Everyone calls me "Angel". It has been my nickname for as long as I can remember. I was born in March of 1979. I am 36 years old. I am in recovery from an addictive lifestyle. I have 13 years clean. So far, so good. At 6 months clean, I was diagnosed with HIV. I was so grateful to be clean and made up my mind that I would not allow my medical status to become an excuse to live in a self-destructive manner. I knew that God would give me the strength and desire to truly live. I educated myself on HIV and educated my family members by sending them pamphlets on the virus that they could read on their own time.

Adjusting to taking these medications was quite the challenge. It was difficult for awhile to get used to taking medication daily. However, after some time, it just became a normal part of my life. I am So Grateful that I have access to medications that prolong my life. I choose not to take that for granted. I Bless my medications every time I take them, the same way I Bless my food before eating.

My life is full and I love it!!! I am undetectable. I work full time. I am independent. I have built up an amazing support system of family and friends. I wrote two books. I tell my story anytime the opportunity comes. I look for ways to help others as much as I can. Helping others drives me. I desire to leave a positive impact on this Earth.

Why Angelena wants to be part of A Girl Like Me: I would like to blog for A Girl Like Me to let others know that they are not alone, to help educate on HIV and to show people that they can live a fun, successful and productive life in spite of the challenges connected to living with HIV. Instead of getting caught up in the challenges, we can celebrate the life we have.

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