Rochester, N.Y. – Zena Chambers says she’s blessed to be 48-years-old. Chambers is one of millions living with HIV.
She contracted the disease through a blood transfusion after giving birth to her son in 1985.
“Lord, just let me raise my children and see plenty of grandchildren, weddings and graduations, everything,” Chambers said. “I just wanted to see my children grow up.”
“I have grandchildren, great grandchildren so I feel truly blessed,” said Chambers.
Chambers says helping others is what keeps her going.
“HIV is a community issue that we have to talk about, because if we don't continue to talk about, HIV is swept under the rug like it doesn't exist and it does,” Chambers said.
Gregory Bouie lost good friends to the disease at the age of 21.
“An individual that I was really good friends with, we used to go out together had contacted something and he thought it was a cold and he just started to dwindle,” Bouie said.
While there's more knowledge about the disease, the number of those infected continues to grow.
For those honoring World AIDS Day, they hope this day will raise awareness.
“I hope we will go to zero infections and zero discrimination and that there will be unity in our community for those people infected and affected by this disease because it's not an easy thing to deal with,” Chambers said.