This Inspiring Woman Is Being Honoured For Sharing Her HIV Story

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A woman who has shared her story of being diagnosed and living with HIV has been recognised in the Queen's New Year Honours list.
Becky Mitchell, 45, from Teignmouth in Devon, has been awarded an MBE for services to HIV awareness.
Mitchell, who works for the Environment Agency and as a personal trainer, was infected with the virus in 2012 by an ex who later went to jail for recklessly transmitting HIV to her and another woman.
Since been diagnosed, Mitchell has displayed an incredible commitment to normalising what it's like to live with HIV. She's also helped to spread awareness that HIV can be transmitted to anyone regardless of gender and sexuality.
She works with the Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK's leading HIV and sexual health charity, and regularly gives interviews about her experiences of being diagnosed and living with the virus.
She shared her story with Refinery29 on World AIDS Day in 2018, recalling that when she was diagnosed with HIV, she felt "angry, confused, and didn't know how on earth I would tell my mum and my friends".
"I just couldn't believe [my ex] had robbed me of my right to choose how to live my life," she added.
She also spoke candidly – and inspiringly – about the "stubborn" way she's refused to let HIV affect her ability to live a normal life.
"Six years later, I'm still doing everything I did before; I just have more things to consider: I take a pill every day now, and I'll be taking that pill forever," she said.
"With new partners, I've always been open about being HIV positive," she continued. "The last relationship I had was with someone I'd known for a long time anyway, so it was never an issue. He knew I was sensible and took my medication, so he wasn't worried at all. He just felt really sad that this had happened to me."
With typical pragmatism, Mitchell responded to news of her MBE by saying she hopes it will help to spread further awareness of the virus.
"There are still not enough stories about women living with HIV," she told the BBC. "It still seems to be that it affects just gay men and it doesn't."
You can read her full story, as shared with Refinery29 in December 2018, here.
For information and support on dealing with HIV and AIDS, call THT Direct on 0808 802 1221 or visit Terrence Higgins Trust 

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