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October 16, 2019 - Video: I'm a young woman living with HIV - it's not my defining characteristic

From the moment of testing and diagnosis and getting into care, Taylor Sherlock shares her story as a young woman living with HIV, and her work as a member of Youth Experts and Advocates for Health advisory board (ATN-YEAH). HIV is not her defining characteristic.

Press play to watch, and view a transcript below the video.



When I was diagnosed with HIV, it was the first thing that popped into my head, was not about my health, it wasn’t even about anybody else, it was just about my hopes and dreams for my life and you know, in that one second it was almost like I saw my hopes and dreams crumble.

I want to teach people that none of that is true. HIV is this one tiny, small part of my life. I take a pill for it once a day, and I’m good. And all those dreams that in one second I thought were dead, and I thought that would never happen for me … is gonna happen for me!

Your worth, your value, your hopes, your dreams, those things have nothing to do with HIV, and I think that we, I gave that, the disease, the virus all that power to take that away from me, and I am slowly learning to take all that power back.

I have learned from the ATN that knowledge is power and that really doing everything that I can with the knowledge that they’ve given me about HIV, about other people, about the world.

And all those hopes and dreams that I had, and they’re coming back to me and I just want to focus on myself and growing and traveling and really exploring the world.

To be able to say those words out loud, to say that out loud, that I am a young woman living with HIV, and HIV is not my defining characteristic.

End of transcript.


ATN is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Research reported in this publication was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U24HD089880.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


More from YEAH Members

Learn more about the ATN-YEAH and see other videos and articles by its members here.