A woman who was diagnosed with HIV in 2006 is an outspoken HIV activist who has made it her mission to help others overcome the virus.
Nancy Dzweloznik is the co-founder of the HIV advocacy group Positive Action for HIV.
She is a native of Poland and grew up in Warsaw, Poland.
She is a licensed professional nurse and has been active in helping others with HIV and HIV testing.
Dzwelsoznik, who was the cohost of a radio show called ‘Nosna Polska’ (New Polskaya) for the last eight years, says her life has changed since her diagnosis.
“I’ve always been a strong person.
I always loved life, I never liked the pain.
I loved my parents, my family, my friends, my dogs, and my country,” she told Al Jazeera.
Dwelsuznak was diagnosed in 2006 with HIV.
She says she was diagnosed while she was taking medication for a cold.
“When I got my first pill, I was so afraid.
I thought, ‘I have HIV.
I am infected with HIV’,” she recalled.DZWELOSZNEK’S LIFE WITH HIVShe was diagnosed at age 14 after her mother got infected while pregnant.”
My mother had contracted HIV from someone else.
My father was in prison.
I remember my mother saying that she could not have children,” Dzwszłoznik recalled.
After her diagnosis, Dzwasoznik’s life changed drastically.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure.
I was not allowed to leave the house, I could not go to school, and I could never get out of bed for work.
I had to take medication for an infection every day,” she recalled, explaining that her father was one of the people she was not able to speak to because she was being monitored by the police.DZAWELOLSKI’S MISSIONTo make the world a better place for all, DZWSLOZNAK says she wanted to help people overcome the HIV virus.”
What we have seen in the last four years is a remarkable growth.
We’ve seen the number of people getting tested and treated in the country, the number who are living with HIV, the improvement of our lives,” she said.
Dzeloszy, who lives in London, England, says that her life had changed since she was a teenager.
“Back then I would have been scared.
But now I am happy, I am a better person, I think I am more open.
And it is a joy for me,” she added.”
As a young person, there were things that I was scared about.
Now, I feel safe,” she noted.DZEBZZELSKI says her role as a mother has helped her overcome the stigma.”
Before I started taking medication, I didn’t want to be treated like a bad person.
Now I want to have the support that I need to fight the virus,” she explained.
D ZWSLOKA’S PHOTOSNancy’s passion for social justice is not limited to social issues.
“The most important thing is that I love my children.
I would like to be a better mother than I am,” she stated.
She believes that her activism will continue to be important.
“We have to make the best out of this difficult time.
We can’t let the virus destroy us,” she declared.DZIWELOKA says that while she has seen a lot of positive changes, she is still worried about the future.”
Every day I am thinking, ‘What will I do tomorrow?’
But I can’t stop thinking about what I can do tomorrow,” she expressed.”
Today is not a time for tears, but rather a time to move forward, and to help those who are suffering.
I hope to inspire others with this message,” she concluded.
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