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Last Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Teen 24: Living with HIV
Pictures from each of the Teen 24 films

Teenagers have been given the chance to talk about issues affecting them in a week of special reports on BBC News 24.

Two teenagers spoke to Myleene Klass about what it's like to live with HIV.

You can read their stories below.

ALEESHA'S STORY

Aleesha

The biggest misconception about HIV is that it is contracted by drug addicts and people who are gay.

I think there are lots of people who don't know the proper facts at all.

They don't know that it can be passed down to you from your mother, that it isn't just about having unprotected sex with someone.

I found out when I was 12. For me, the worst fear is that people will find out that I have HIV.

It's hard when your friends are gossiping or arguing about boys and stuff - I know that I have bigger problems to deal with.

At the end of the day, I now realise that my life isn't over just because I have HIV.

MORE HELP
Body and Soul:
0207 923 6880
www.bodyandsoulcharity.org
Terence Higgins Trust:
0845 12 21 200
National AIDS Trust: www.nat.org.uk

One of my problems is that I'm a really bad liar so I don't know how I have managed to keep it from my friends. I have no choice though - I have to keep it a secret because I'm not sure how they would react.

When all my friends talk about boyfriends and stuff, it's hard for me. I don't want to think about that. I just want to concentrate on school.

MAX'S STORY

Max
The teacher was talking to us about AIDS and HIV and he got it all wrong
I was first diagnosed in 2002, I was ill and had to go to hospital and it was only then that my dad told me what was making me sick.

At that stage, I had a basic understanding about HIV.

The thing that bothers me most is the ignorance.

I remember being in a science class at school and the teacher was talking to us about STDs, he started talking about AIDS and HIV and he got it all wrong, saying that you could catch AIDS by touching somebody.

Teen 24 logo
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus
63,500 people are living with HIV in the UK
Last year almost 3 million people died from AIDS
48% of people living with HIV around the world are women

That made me really angry and my reaction was a bit extreme, I think.

It's hard when you're at the age of meeting people and having relationships but what is good is that sometimes you expect a bad reaction but are surprised when you get a good one.

HIV doesn't hold me back at all.

Looking back, I now know HIV is not the end of the world for me.






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