In 1990, a month before she was scheduled to begin law school, Rebecca was diagnosed with HIV. In 1991, with support from her husband Daniel, Rebecca started the WORLD newsletter in her living room with a mailing list of 200. Six months later WORLD held their first retreat for HIV+ women, and a year later Rebecca helped start the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS.
In 1995, Rebecca and Daniel decided to become parents, and in March 1996 their twin girls, Sophia and Sarah were born, both HIV-free. . Her children are now 16 years old and thriving, having recently attended the International AIDS Conference in Washington DC, while she stayed home to work in Oakland. Her husband remains HIV-negative. She has been living with HIV for 29 years.