Increasing AIDS awareness in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE,LA (NBC33) — "i had a boyfriend and we had unprotected sex, so that's where my story goes," says Cassandra Whitty.
Cassandra Whitty's HIV story started back in November of 2000. That's when she found out her boyfriend at the time had infected her with the virus. At first, she thought it was a death sentence.
"I could have died and my family not known...in the beginning I was a mess. I was in a world by myself," says Whitty.
But with the help of her loved ones and a meeting with Magic Johnson...
"That was a turning point," states Whitty.
She was able to start the healing process, But she says it wasn't until she looked inside of herself that change really started to happen.
"You have to love yourself because if you don't love you, then it really doesn't matter what somebody else do to you," says Whitty.
Now she wants to change other people's lives. With Baton Rouge leading the nation in AIDS cases with almost 34 in every 10,000 people having the virus, she knows that there's no more important time than now.
"I need to talk. I need to tell the world my story," says Whitty.
That's why she's spreading the message of not only safe sex, but also knowing your status.
"First of all, you need to be tested...if you're positive get into some type of treatment. Which means go to the doctor, get a regimen, take that regimen and do it constantly," says Whitty.
And her main focus is African-Americans. That's because 80% of the AIDS cases in the Capitol City affect the black community. But if she changes just one person's life, no matter what race they are, she knows she's done her job.
"If I touch just one person or reach one person, I am fulfilling my purpose," states Whitty.