E.S.

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In 1994 I was sexually assaulted and raped by three blokes. I kept that secret hidden from my wife and family for 12 years because of fear and as a result of discrimination I experienced when forced through circumstances to have to disclose my status. When In 2006 having become ill I was admitted to Hospital it was at the Doctors insistence that I had to disclose to my family that I was HIV Positive. This I had to do in the Doctor's presence, their reason given was that they had to be witness and be sure that I fully disclosed not only my status but explain how this came about. It was the most painful experience I have ever faced. I have had unrequited support and understanding from my immediate family. What I also have found to be of great support since then is the understanding of people who like myself are HIV Positive and that is encouraging and has allowed me to have normality and perspective in my life. Yet there is I believe still much misunderstanding and disinformation out in the wider community about HIV so supporting initiatives that inform, educate and empower is important to rectifying this and is a valuable movement against the stigma that still remains in our communities.

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