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Jim and Sonia

My brother passed away of this terrible disease six years ago. He contracted it by having unsafe sex. Fortunately, we were able to spend the last year of his life together.

His name, Jim. He never met a stranger. He met many celebrities and I always loved hearing his stories. And he loved my stories and dreams I had of you!
I became active in our local AVOC here in Cincinnati and they are a great support for me.

Jim would go to his support meeting and I to mine, just down the hall from his. We had great times, and sad. The changes that were taking place in his body was not as difficult to handle, because of the support groups we attended.

What a long story I could tell you about his last year, shoot for all that matter, our entire lives. Local news reporters are even interested in how our lives were. It would make a good book!
As dementia set in, along with his organs shutting down, one at a time, I never left his side.

And I was never worried about getting the disease. He would cough in my face as I rolled him over, and I did not give it a thought that I would contract the disease. (AVOC is a very wonderful group) Heck, I bathed him, changed his adult diapers, and his bed clothes. It came so natural, he's my brother. I would do it again, whether it be a family member or stranger.

We both attended AA meetings together, he was sober the last three years of his life. Though when he found out five years earlier that he was HIV positive, suicide was his only answer. He did not want to suffer. But with my love and support, we both were able to help each other.

Sonya Straub

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