HIV survivor shares his story

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Brryan Jackson was less than a year old when he was infected with HIV, but it took 4 more years to figure it out because the boy did not belong to any risk groups. He was not born from HIV+ mother, he was injected with an infected blood. It is really terrible, but what is more terrible is that Brryan’s father was the one who did it to his own child!

His ordeal began when he was hospitalised following an asthma attack as a baby. His mother, Jennifer Jackson, and father, Brian Stewart, were already divorced when Steward began to abuse his ex-wife and to threaten that her child would not live beyond the age of 5 . A phlebotomist, he worked as a blood tester in a laboratory, and began secretly taking home samples of infected blood. “He used to joke around with colleagues saying, ‘If I wanted to infect someone with one of these viruses they’d never even know what hit them,’” Brryan said. One of those samples ended up in his veins instead. When Brryan was diagnosed, the doctors prescribed him more than 20 medications and gave 5 months to live. Now he is 25 years old. Miracles happen.

“I’m as healthy as a horse! Healthier than a horse! I am beyond that! I might be slightly chunky, but I’d still consider myself a good athlete,” he said. “Right now my T-cell count is above average. That gives me virtually no chance of passing the virus on. I’ve gone from taking 23 pills a day to taking one. I don’t know what I’ve been doing but now my HIV status is ‘undetectable’. I still have AIDS, though. Once an HIV diagnosis, always an HIV diagnosis.”

As for the father, he is now imprisoned, but it is still hard for Brryan to talk about him: “There have been times I’ve woken up from nightmares, scared he might come back to finish the job. I may have forgiven him, but even in forgiveness I believe you have to pay the consequences.”

Now he heads up his own charity, Hope Is Vital, and is more concerned with looking to the future than dwelling on the past. “I would love to be a dad. A dad is one of the things in life I think I am meant to be. I’d like to root my kids in hope. I want to give them a vision that the world is a peaceful place and I am always going to be there to protect them. Through bad things, great things are possible.”

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