NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Actor Charlie Sheen announcing he is HIV positive — brought about this reaction from Karina Danvers.
“I was thinking how sad — that despite all the medical advances we have which are great — we’re alive, we’re healthy — that stigma is still alive and well.”
Considered low risk at the time — Karina was married to her first husband – when she was infected. She has lived with AIDS since 1994.
“I always say I had unprotected sex with someone who loved me and I loved them.”
With early diagnosis and effective medications- the virus is undetectable in patients like Karina and Charlie Sheen.
“It doesn’t mean there’s no virus in the person’s body it just means that it’s so low our tests cannot pick it up,” said Dr. Merceditas Villanueva is Karina’s doctor and heads up the Yale HIV/AIDS program.
She also pointed out — there is also a preventive strategy to HIV/ADS known as PREP – Pre-exposure prophylactics.
“If you are an HIV negative person who maybe at risk of acquiring HIV then you can take a medication to actually prevent you from acquiring HIV.”
Karina spoke out early on the risks of HIV/AIDS — and is now working full time — educating and training others.
“In the old days you knew you were going to die now you don’t know when you’re going to die and to tell you the truth, sometimes it’s unnerving. I really like the party and I don’t want to leave yet you know.”
Happy and married again – life is full of promises.