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How HIV-positive youth feel about having HIV
What HIV-positive youth say about feeling different from other youth

How HIV-positive youth feel about having HIV

“I feel like I have this BIG secret that I can’t tell anyone because then they’ll treat me different!”

“I feel like I have been ripped off. I’m really, really young and it’s like—I feel like it's different if you have HIV when you’re 30 or 40.”

“I was born with HIV, so my life feels pretty normal. It’s only weird when I hear my friends or teachers talking about HIV and they have all these ideas of what it is. Most of them are pretty out there. Sometimes I try to speak out in class but it's hard. I don’t say I am positive!”

“I am sick of having to remember to take all my meds all the time!”

“I love basketball but I don’t take gym anymore because I don’t want to have to explain anything to anyone, like if I get hurt and start bleeding.”

“I am not originally from Canada. My parents knew I had a drug problem but they don’t know I have HIV. I don’t want to tell them because of how they think. It’s not that they would hate me, it’s just the way my people think. They think of people dying and having nothing when you have HIV. I don’t want to worry them and make them scared.”

"Even though I have a life-threatening illness, I still consider myself lucky from many other children in the world. I never take my life for granted."

Hospital for Sick Children University of Toronto Positive Youth Outreach CATIE