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Darlene: Moving Forward

“This time I’m not going to stop.”

Transcript for Darlene: Moving Forward video

The Story

Darlene’s story is one of transformation. At a young age she gave up on her dream of becoming a nurse when she was introduced to cocaine. As she says, “It was a dark time in my life.”

When she was diagnosed with HIV, Darlene was pregnant and shortly thereafter both she and her son became very sick. With the help of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, she’s been able to recover from her addiction, keep her HIV in check, and take care of her family. It’s been a long but fruitful journey.

Today, Darlene is active in her community and in support groups and has been taking classes to increase her clinical understanding. And now, years later, she’s revisiting her dream and at age 57 is pursuing nursing.

Darlene’s advancing knowledge has changed the way—and depth—of conversations she has with her HIV primary care provider and she feels more empowered than ever.

HRSA’s Response

Darlene receives her care at New-York Presbyterian (NYP) Hospital in Harlem, a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part A, B, D, and F grantee. Through the help of NYP’s Special Needs Clinic, Darlene has been able to access mental health services and truly comprehensive HIV and medical care.

NYP’s continuity of care record, funded through a HRSA Special Projects of National Significance initiative, has enabled Darlene to have access to her own health information. The result has been increased health literacy and self efficacy.

HRSA works hard to address the needs of women like Darlene particularly through the Part D program for women, infants, children, youth, and their families. HRSA has also recently funded the Enhancing Access to and Retention in Quality HIV/AIDS Care for Women of Color Initiative to address the increasing HIV infection rates among women of color and research best practices.