I am not sure if I contracted HIV through a blood transfusion or by contact with contaminated medical instruments. But when I was diagnosed twelve years ago, I was sure it was God’s punishment.

I was frightened by the idea that my husband would think I had been unfaithful. Fortunately, he always gave me his support, and so did my daughters and sisters. As far as other people, I preferred to remain silent. I didn’t know how to share my story with them.

I was a union leader for a long time, and I transferred this experience to the field of health. Now I represent patients in the hospital where I’m receiving medical care, and I demand respect for our human rights.

In the future, I hope to create a shelter for people affected by the epidemic who have no relatives or are rejected by them. I want to leave a trace, just as the leaders of the Mexican Revolution did, with the hope that my life would serve as an inspiration for others.

At the age of fifty-six, I feel happy that I have finally removed the stigma I had earlier imposed on myself. Now I expect to get a good response from those who would otherwise have ignored that I live with the virus.