Darkina recalls her open minded attitude and desire for a positive outlook after her HIV diagnosis.
In the beginning I was open to everything – anything that would help me understand, anything that would change that negative attitude, that hole that I felt; I thought I was dying; I didn’t know anything about it; anything that they threw at me, I was willing to accept it.
I had one lady in my life in treatment. She was so outgoing. When I first met her, I must tell this story, when I first met her she… I didn’t know here status; I didn’t know anything about her, but I wanted everything she had. I wanted her recovery. I wanted her attitude. I wanted her outfit, her face, her walk. I wanted everything she had, and a week later I heard her story and then a week later I found out I was positive and I knew.
For some reason I thought HIV had a face on it. I thought AIDS – you have to look a certain way to have AIDS, but this woman was gorgeous. She was beautiful. She was outgoing. She had it going on and that’s what I wanted, even before I knew her story, and I took that while I was in treatment and I said, “I am going to work and I am going to work and I am going to get what she got. I am going to get what she got. I am going to be pretty just like her. I am going to have the attitude just like her. I am going to be outgoing like her. I am going to speak like…” I wanted it and I got it, and that’s where my main positive attitude came from to let me know that I wasn’t going to die; I’m going to live with this disease. I am going to get educated and I am going to live with this disease. I am going to hold my head up high and I am just as pretty as the next individual that don’t have HIV.