Jennifer Veary, a nurse who is HIV positive and has been described as a Christian HIV/AIDS activist “with a heart for Vietnam,” was seriously injured Saturday when her head hit the pavement after her bike was clipped by a van near her Huntington Beach home.
After being thrown over her handlebars, Veary reportedly suffered a fracture to the orbital area of her skull and abrasions and soreness throughout her body. She was taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment before being sent home to recover.
The van driver never stopped, Bruce Sonnenberg, founder and president of He Intends Victory, tells the Paris-based Christian news service, Continental News. Veary became affiliated with the Irvine-based HIV/AIDS ministry in 1994 and now serves on its board.
The critical care nurse who has worked at Cedars Sinai Hospital and UCLA Medical Center was informed by a former boyfriend in 1991 that he was HIV positive and she should get tested. The results came out positive for her also. A friend encouraged Veary to get closer to God, and through her spiritual journey she eventually became an ordained minister.
She married Rusty Veary, who is not HIV positive but is living with cancer, in 1997, and they have made frequent trips to Southeast Asia as international AIDS educators. The couple also give speeches on U.S. college campuses. Whether at home or abroad, they teach people not only about the disease, but how people can find love despite one of them being HIV positive.