Andy O’Malley’s Story

I was diagnosed in 2005 and I knew nothing about the progress of treatments that had been made since the virus had first been identified.
I thought I was going to die, despite what the doctors told me.
I told my best friend and one of my brothers who supported me for the first year before I told the rest of my family. During that time I made contact with a support group called ABplus in Birmingham UK and found friendship and support from others living with HIV. This was the most significant change that I needed in my life at that time. Laughing and talking with others like me helped me to normalize my diagnosis and made me realize that the doctors were telling the truth; I would live.
The relief was incredible and reassuring.
I have been through many ups and downs since then but I’m still here and now I’m involved in setting up a new support group called Positive West Midlands which supports people living with HIV and their partners and families.
Social and peer support has been the key for me to move on with my life and I would encourage anyone to access a group either physically or on-line; You won’t regret it.
Have faith in yourself and the treatments and your doctors. It will be ok.
Stay Positive, Stay Strong, Stay Together.

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