SMH these folks know they were dead wrong for treating this girl like this. An HIV positive teenager is speaking out about abuse she suffered after learning her status at only 12-years-old.
Via NYDailyNews reports:
A pre-teen soccer star diagnosed with HIV was cruelly told by her coach she’d score more goals than her teammates because no one would want to touch her, she’s revealed.
Paige Rawl, now 18, has broken a six-year silence to talk about how her diagnosis — at age 12 — saw her shunned by school friends and abused in the street.
“I went from having tons of friends to hardly having any,” the Indianapolis teen told the Indianapolis Star. “I had a note left on my lockers saying “no AIDS at this school.”
Born with HIV after contracting it from her mom, Rawl tested positive when she was just 12.
It was then she also found out her dad died of an AIDS-related illness in 2000. It’s unknown how or when he acquired the condition.
Her news turned her entire world upside down. After confiding in a best friend, the news was spread around the whole school within two weeks.
Subjected to cruel taunts, she gave up her place in the soccer team, show choir and cheerleading — eventually opting to be home-schooled because of the constant abuse.
But the isolation made her even unhappier, so she enrolled at another school for ninth grade onward — at which point, she says, peers and staff were more supportive.
It was the strength they gave her, she added, that is now letting her speak out and share her story – and try to fight the negativity surrounding the conditions.
“It stems from a lack of education and just the ignorance of people,” she said.
“I tell people, HIV doesn’t define who I am. There’s no certain face to HIV. This type of disease doesn’t discriminate,” she added, revealing she is now writing a book about her experiences.
Rawl, whose story will feature in October’s issue of Seventeen magazine, plans to study molecular biology at Ball State University to become an HIV and AIDS drug researcher.
We’re glad this girl is brave enough to speak up about her experience. People truly ain’t isht for alienating her over this!
While we’re on the subject, National HIV Testing Day is tomorrow June 27!!! Know your status…