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Author Barbara Samson Speaks
about Living with HIV

Barbara Samson

Barbara Samson
Photo by Denise McGill



At the age of seventeen, Barbara Samson sought treatment for an eating disorder. While staying in a health clinic in her native France, Barbara fell in love with another patient who wrote love poems for her.

Barbara would find out later that the poems were actually translations of Jim Morrison's lyrics of The Doors' rock songs. And her lover didn't tell her something even more important: he was infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Just seventeen years old, Barbara found herself infected with HIV. Angry, depressed, and unsure of her future, Barbara borrowed a line from the French poet, Arthur Rimbaud, and wrote her autobiography, On N'est Pas Serieux Quand On A Dix-sept Ans (Nobody Is Serious when They're Seventeen). The book became a bestseller in France and has been translated into eight languages. Her story was also made into a film for French television.

Now, over ten years later, Barbara Samson lives and works in France. She visited Ohio University in the spring of 2003 to speak about living with HIV. Listen in RealAudio as Barbara tells her story.

Barbara Samson (in French with English translation)
(59 min. and 43 sec.)

Barbara Samson reads a poem by Arthur Rimbaud (in French)
(29 sec.)

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