A Milton Keynes woman with HIV has spoken out about how she gave birth to two healthy children after her diagnosis.
Amanda Mammadova was 30 when a routine health check to join the RAF revealed eight years ago that she was HIV positive.
“It was such a shock, it was mind blowing and completely floored me,” she said.
“The minute I heard those test results I thought ‘I’m going to die, and nobody will ever want me again’. I just thought this was the start of a very miserable existence.”
Amanda, who believes she was infected by a previous boyfriend, had a steady partner who was living in Azerbaijan at the time.
She decided to reveal the news over Skype as she was sure he would end their relationship.
In fact, two weeks later he proposed and six months later they were married. He tested negative for HIV.
Already a mum to a daughter from a previous relationship, Amanda assumed her diagnosis meant she and her new husband would not be able to have children.
But when she discovered her HIV medication reduced the amount of the virus in her blood to undetectable levels, she decided to try to get pregnant. There was a one per cent chance the virus would be passed on.
Saabira, now five, was born in 2013 .
“They took her blood straight away. I couldn’t watch. It was terrifying," said Amanda.
"You know the risk of passing on the virus is less than one per cent but you are scared for your baby. We waited a couple of weeks before being told she was negative.”
Two years later Logan, now three, was born and he is also HIV free.
Amanda’s older daughter Lauren, 18, was told about her mother’s HIV status aged 12.
Afterwards, in a sex education class a teacher said a woman with HIV cannot have children,”
“Lauren told her she was wrong and that I was pregnant,” said Amanda.
“People told me to keep quiet about my status but I thought, ‘How dare you tell me to keep quiet like I’m ashamed about it? It’s not a dirty little secret.’ What I’d say to anyone diagnosed is: life is full of surprises. Don’t write anything off. HIV means you can live the same as everyone else.
Amanda appears in A Life Beyond, a short film about living with HIV, View it on bloomsburynetwork.co.uk/event/a-life-beyond-screening