Elise Trotman was diagnosed with HIV when she was 20 years old. She says her white blood cell count was so low, doctors told her she was too far along and would likely not beat the virus. Now, 14 years later, the virus is not active in her body. Elise Trotman, Big Bend Cares Client Representative, says,"For me, HIV changed my life. My life started after that, it didn't end."
She took 14 pills four times a day for a year to boost her cell count. After doctors said her immune system was not strong enough to fight the HIV virus, she proved them wrong. Trotman hopes her recovery will inspire those currently fighting HIV and that's exactly the message of Saturday's walk.
Trotman's battle is one many can relate to. The Centers for disease control and prevention states, in 2016 the annual HIV diagnosis number dropped by 5%, but work still needs to be done. Event coordinators say it's important to educate teenagers so they know how the virus is spread.
The world definitely need more of something like this, to open their eyes that we fight against HIV/AIDS together.