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I Wanted More For Myself

Stories Of Promise

At the time I was in Atlanta, Georgia, and I had gotten really sick. I didn't know what was wrong, I just knew I didn't feel right. It was unlike anything I've ever felt before. I went and had a rapid HIV test done at the health department. About a week later, I was getting a call on my cell phone, and it was from the health department. They told me I had to go see a doctor and get retested because they said the test was inconclusive.

When I went into a local health center, I was told I had HIV. At that point in my life, I had been doing drugs and things like that. I knew in my mind that it wasn't a matter of if, it was when I was going to find out. My sexual practices were male-on-male, unprotected sex, some prostitution involved, and things like that. I had been all over the country. I had a good 5-6 years of being homeless and basically living off Grindr, which is a terrible thing.

When I found out, I was almost relieved because I didn’t have to worry about it anymore and it was off my chest. I met someone that took me under his wing, and he was negative. I ended up coming to Florida because I was escorting. I came down here in March of 2002, and I never left. I love the weather, and it just felt like home here. I didn’t have any family here, but I had gotten a roommate and things were going well. Then, I ended up getting kicked out. I was using opiates and meth at the same time, and he refused to see it anymore. It got to the point where a friend was on his knees crying like: “You need to get help. You can’t do this anymore.”

There were periods of not taking my medication. I was good for like 3 years while living in D.C., and when I lived in New Jersey there was a good chunk of maybe almost a year where I wasn’t taking medicine because I didn’t know where to go. The closest place I could go was about a half hour away from where I was. The use of drugs prevented me from adhering to my medication. I was in a very toxic relationship too. I was using crystal meth for almost 10 years. My health went up and down and up and down.

I went to detox and ended up being there for 20 days. I went in thinking that I was only there for opiates. I saw my blood pressure was really high. I was on three different blood pressure medicines. I thought to myself, “I can't keep doing this my body.” I started to feel good, and every day it was better. I just got to the point in my life where I knew that I wanted more for myself. I'm 32, and there are things I've always wanted to do. I should be in jail right now. When I went to treatment, I didn't think that I needed to be sober. Now I have a new family, and I'm grateful for everything. I take my medication daily. I’ve never been this happy.

Broward House is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

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2800 N Andrews Ave,

Wilton Manors, FL 33311

Tel (954) 568-7373 ext 7373

Email: info@browardhouse.org


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