My boyfriend risked his life to start a family with me

Mum-of-two Sasha was diagnosed with HIV when she was five.
Caters News Agency

A mum-of-two whose boyfriend risked his life to start a family is speaking out about the disease to break down the stigma.

Sasha Goodman, 30, from Milton Keynes, was diagnosed with HIV when she was five after she was unable to overcome a bout of chicken pox.

After doctors carried out a blood test they found out Sasha had contracted HIV from her mother in womb.

She was forced to leave school due to bullies and following the death of her mum to AIDS, Sasha’s life began to spiral out of control.

But after meeting partner Jay Hart, 32, seven years ago, Sasha was surprised when he wasn’t fazed by her HIV diagnosis and the pair have since had a child.

Mum-of-two Sasha – who already had one child before meeting Jay – has chosen not to identify her kids but said her entire family are HIV negative as she has not passed on the disease to Jay or her children.

The full time mum and HIV activist said: “People can’t believe it when I tell them I was born with the disease as they due to the stigma around HIV people assume you’ve caught it through unprotected sex.

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(Credit: Caters News Agency)

“When I was a teenager, I told one friend I had HIV, who then told my whole school, so I had no choice but to leave without taking my exams.

“During my teens I was always emotional and feared I was going to die from the infection.

“I didn’t take my medication as it was just a constant reminder I had HIV, but after losing my mum to AIDS it pushed me to be a HIV advocate.

“I never thought I would ever be a mum, I was petrified to have a boyfriend as I didn’t want to infect anyone.

“When I met Jay seven years ago in the pub, I did already have my eldest son who I knew didn’t have HIV.

“I fell completely head over heels in love with Jay but I was scared he might reject me once he found out.

“He handled it so well, and we used a condom to ensure he was safe whilst he helped me accept that I had HIV.

“HIV is treated with antiretroviral medications, which work by stopping the virus replicating in the body. This allows the immune system to repair itself and prevent further damage.

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(Credit: Caters News Agency)

“Due to being on the medication the amount of HIV in my blood count was low which meant that although there was a risk Jay would get HIV from me when we tried for a child, it was very small.

“I now have two children who are 12 and five, and we couldn’t be happier.”

Sasha was diagnosed with HIV after she struggled to overcome chicken pox aged five.

Doctors then discovered mum Sharon Goodman, 42, had caught the disease from unprotected sex.

She said: “My mum was diagnosed after I was as doctors knew I must’ve caught it before being born due to my young age.

“It’s thought she caught the disease through not being unprotected during sex at some point in her life.

“I had a tough childhood and was raised by my grandparents, Jean and Bill Goodman, who have since died.

“After being bed bound for two years the horrific side effects of HIV , I had to learn how to walk again along with being tube fed. I missed out on everything.

“I remember putting up a fight when my grandparents would try and give me the medication as I was just a kid who never understood the disease was life threatening.”

Caters News Agency
(Credit: Caters News Agency)

The National Aids Trust states 97 per cent of people living with HIV who are on treatment are virally suppressed – they can’t pass the virus on.

However, HIV is known to attack the immune system and those who contract the disease are more likely to be severely effected by common illnesses such as the flu.

Sasha says: “The best thing I ever did was get support and I am now lucky to help other people who are suffering in silence whilst refusing to take their medication.

“It is a form of slow suicide because they are so scared of other people finding out, but actually HIV is very manageable, there is no reason for anyone with it to not lead a normal life.

“None of my family have HIV despite me and Jay having unprotected sex to start a family, this is something that fascinates some people as they seem to think it’s highly contagious.”

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