Woman suffering from AIDS for 20 years asks for awareness as World AIDS Day approaches

COAL CITY (WOAY)- “It’s stolen everything from me. It’s a roller coaster.”

Elaina Imes is lucky to be alive.

She’s been battling AIDS for 20 years,  living alone in Coal City. Doctors said she was dying and didn’t have a lot of time, but two decades later, she’s still here.

“I’m a miracle, I know it,” Imes said. “20 years with full blown aids.”

“I’ve known a lot of people with AIDS that have died in three or four years and she’s made it 20,” Imes’ friend, Jessica Bell, said.

The effects of the dreadful disease is taking a toll.  Imes is down to 71 pounds.

A big part of Imes’ daily routine is pills, pills and more pills. Over 10,000 dollars worth. Not to mention all the pain she feels every day just by walking and breathing. Plus- she says she has to wash her hands over a hundred times a day.

With World AIDS Day on Saturday- Imes wants you to see what it’s like to live with this chronic condition- and make sure people like her aren’t forgotten about.

“You need to get tested. I think it’s my holiday. Its my birthday. 20 years with aids.”

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com