“I was 22 years old and, for me, it was something that did not affect young people”

“I did not expect this result. For me at the time, HIV was something that didn’t affect young people. I thought the virus couldn’t get to me. “ Andréa was 22 when she learned that she was HIV positive in 2014.

People under the age of 25 represent 13% of discoveries of seropositivity in 2019-2020, according to the Public Health France agency. A proportion similar to that observed in 2017-2018. This data is accompanied by another worrying figure: 23% of 15-24 year olds feel poorly informed about HIV and AIDS, according to a survey unveiled in 2019 by the Sidaction association. This is the highest level in ten years.

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Today, Andréa is 28 years old. Six years later, the young woman, who lives in L’Isle-d’Abeau (Isère), remembers the “shock” generated by the positive income test. “Suddenly I realized that my life was going to change and I started to cry. I knew I wasn’t going to die tomorrow. On the other hand, I was terrified of the impact of the virus on my social and emotional life. I said to myself: “It’s over, no man will want me anymore” “, she recalls.

Loïc, he saw « [sa] life scroll “ at the time of the announcement. “I was 26 and I thought, ‘It’s not possible, I’m much too young. I had just arrived in London, it was my “welcome gift” », he quips seven years later, adding:

“I thought that I didn’t have much longer to live, that I had to go around the world to enjoy my last months. At that time, I was a nanny. It was a Thursday, it was 3 pm and I had to pick up the little ones from school. My best friend kicked me in the ass: “Come on, go work, life goes on.” It got me back on track. “

The months, sometimes the years, following the discovery of HIV infection are often very difficult psychologically. All the more so at an age often synonymous with carefree and light-heartedness. “I lived in shame and secrecy. From Mme Everyone, I had the feeling of becoming a plague victim ”says Andréa, who went through several periods of depression and attempted suicide. “Some days it was really hard to get out of bed and not spend the day staring at the wall”, abounds Loïc.

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“Little by little, the shame has faded”

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