Breaking stereotypes around HIV and AIDS
Treatments that allow people who have the Human Immunodeficiency Virus to live normal lives are now available, and one Valley woman is living proof that treatments work.
HIV patient Lucy Trainor says she’s not going to be knocked down by the virus.
“That means I'm going to do everything possible to stay alive, I kept my word,” Trainor said.
Trainor attended Thursday’s candlelight vigil for World AIDS Day at the Basilica of San Juan. As a straight woman with the disease, Trainor is helping break the stereotype surrounding HIV — which can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or AIDS.
Dr. Stella Safo, who works with AIDS patients at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, says more people need to be aware of the risks of the disease.
Texas has the second-highest number of people living with HIV and the southern U.S. leads in new infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“These are the areas that are really becoming the epicenters of HIV transmission,” Safo said.
The majority of infections are among young, black, gay and bisexual men. Straight black women also lead new infections.
Although Trainor's HIV diagnosis is manageable, she's now facing another fight — breast cancer.
Trainor says her will to live keeps her going.
“I fear that I wouldn't be around… and I didn’t want to go yet,” Trainor said.
Doctors recommend people get tested for HIV to stop the virus' spread.
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