TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – It’s a disease that affects one in 172 people here in the Big Bend.
“It completely changed my life. I was diagnosed in 1999.”
Tracy has been HIV positive for over two decades. It is a virus that wreaks havoc on your immune system and your mental will.
“I went through all the emotions that come with it. I tried to kill myself and do it faster.”
Now she spends her life giving back.
“I changed, quit drinking and using drugs, and started volunteering with AIDS agencies that help people living with HIV.”
One of those organizations is Big Bend Cares.
“What we do is help people affected or affected by HIV or AIDS.”
Stephanie Schwartz is the Director of Development for Big Bend Cares. Schwartz and hundreds of neighbors prepare for the annual Tallahassee AIDS Walk. The Walk – raising awareness and funding for families and friends affected by the virus. A virus that kills nearly 16,000 people in the United States each year.
“He is immunocompromised, HIV is as well as COVID. So all of our customers are doing their best. “
The money needed to buy drugs and supplies can also be overwhelming. Big Bend Cares and other organizations are trying to ease this burden
“Over 33% of Care Point customers don’t have the insurance that we served last year. The money therefore goes to medical care. The money goes to non-perishable food.
For Tracy, it means a lot to see the community giving back.
“It’s good to know that… you are not alone. I am not alone in this fight.”