A Mother-of-three didn’t feel she was at risk of contracting HIV because she thought only ‘African people got it’.
Rachell Dilley told ITV’s This Morning presenters, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield that she’d had unprotected sex because she genuinely wasn’t aware that white people could contract the disease.
The 48 year old started a relationship with a man she had met online shortly after separating from her partner of 20 years.
After a few months, the pair clicked and their relationship progressed sexually. She wasn’t worried about getting pregnant because of her age at the time and hadn’t given any thought to using contraceptives of any kind.
The relationship ended shortly and then Rachel began to feel unwell.
‘I had swollen glands, a sore throat, a temperature and couldn’t eat properly,’ she said.
‘It was like a really severe bout of the flu.’
After tests were inconclusive, to her surprise, doctors suggested that she take an HIV test.
A week later, the devastating news came that she was indeed HIV positive.
Her first thought was that she was going to die, but, 10 years on, thanks to great advancement in treatment and with the support of family and friends, she’s been able to manage the condition.
In a world still plagued by the stigma being suffered by people living with HIV, Rachel is an incredibly brave woman for coming out and helping to increase awareness on the dangers of having unprotected sex.