People living with HIV speak out on World AIDS Day

Sat. December 1, 2012 12:39 PM by

On the 25th anniversary of World AIDS Day, people are talking about living with the disease.

Freda Jones, a mother, spoke to CNN about receiving her diagnosis in 2002.

"When I got diagnosed I thought it was the end of the world," Jones said. My boyfriend "already knew he was positive but he didn't tell me. I didn't ask him if he was positive. He didn't tell, but also I didn't ask."

Pat Till said he believes the acquired HIV from his partner. He's been living with HIV since 1999.

"I pretty much made up a story of what I was sick with. I said I was sick with Leukemia at the time," he said. "I was hoping that I would die instead of endure more of the pain associated with being that sick."

Robby Astrove said he was diagnosed HIV positive at the age of 15.

"All things pointed to a 1978 life-saving blood transfusion I received just hours after my birth," he said.

"I think the biggest misconception is that people that get it are promiscuous," Till said. "It's unbelievable the guilt and shame, and you don't people to know about it."

"If I was negative, I don't think I would be the grown mature person that I am today," Jones said.

"I could be you, you may even be me right now. And things are going to get better," Astrove said.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine