Posted: Jun 27, 2012 10:27 PM
Updated: Jun 28, 2012 7:43 AM
RIO GRANDE VALLEY - Some women in the Rio Grande Valley are hiding a secret that could kill them. They have HIV but are too afraid to tell their families and friends. They fear they won't ever talk to them or touch them again.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS talk to one woman who told us she never thought it could happen to her. We're not disclosing her name because no one in her family knows her secret. We'll call her "Becky."
"Becky" said in 2005, her life changed forever. She was a mother to two teenaged boys. "Becky" was married for 10 years to a drug user. She asked him about the holes in his arms, after she found him drugged up in the bathroom. She then found out he'd been unfaithful.
"Becky" told us he left one day and never came back. She spent the next eight years with someone else; he too was unfaithful.
She was alone, on her own and very sick. She thought she was diabetic. A friend convinced her to get checked for HIV.
"I was scared to find out the truth... When I did, I cried. I left. I didn't know what to do," recalled "Becky."
She didn't know much about HIV, just that she had it. She was sure she was dying; she couldn't imagine living.
"I'm afraid of rejection, I'm afraid to get hurt," she admitted. "I'm afraid to lose my friends, to lose my job."
"Becky" is one of the 1,100 people in the Rio Grande Valley living with HIV. The Valley AIDS Council doesn't know how many more women like "Becky" are hiding their secret.
The Valley AIDS Council says 33 percent of the 1,100 HIV patients in the Rio Grande Valley are women. They know many more aren't tested. They may not even know they have HIV.
Related Link: Find a Testing Site