By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Being born with HIV can be tough enough, but it turns out that dealing with the people who find out, and misunderstand, can be worse.
Twenty-year-old Paige Rawl has literally been dealing with her HIV-positive status all her life, although nobody knew that until she was three. Her mother tested positive, apparently due to an affair by dad and Paige was collateral damage.
She doesn’t have AIDS, her health maintained by meds and she was coasting along until she told a friend in sixth grade. Make that ex-friend, because soon it was all over school.
“It took a big toll on me. I had a period of nine months when I was having stress-induced seizures. I lost about 20 pounds and my hair began to fall out and in 8th grade I learned this school was no longer a safe place for me.”
Home-schooled for a time and now planning on college, she sums up her story in the memoir Positive.
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