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An Interview With Shana Cozad

An Interview With Shana Cozad

In 1993, as a 21-year old new mom, Shana Cozad could not have been less worried about HIV. "It was commonly referred to as a drug user's disease. It was commonly associated as a gay disease," she remembers; "The stigmas and the discrimination and the unsupportiveness attitudes all around the globe around this disease were peaked at an all-time crisis high." Shana herself didn't do drugs, and she had not had many sexual experiences, but she was not a fan of condoms. "I remember getting an HIV test when I was 20, pregnant with my son, and thinking, 'I don't understand why you guys are doing this to me. ... It's those other people out there who are at risk. It's in those other communities.'" Shana, a full-blooded Native American, had been adopted at birth into a highly educated family; and because giving birth had had such a profound effect on her, she planned on becoming an obstetrician/gynecologist. She went to a university with many other young mothers in the student body, and thus unk