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Stories Of Promise - Take It Or Leave It

Stories Of Promise

Take a deep breath and pray. I found out I was HIV+ in jail and I was distraught. I knew what HIV was, but I was in shock. Then I got mad. Then I started crying. I felt like falling to the floor. Like time had frozen. I knew I had to talk to my parents after finding out my status. When I called, my father answered, and I said “Daddy I just found out I’m HIV+”. He asked if I was okay and my mom and dad, no matter what I did, never gave up on me.

I had to tell my daughter; “Mommy’s HIV+”, and she asked me “Mommy, what happened?” I said to her “Well, mommy was out getting high and one night I got into the wrong car, and a guy raped me. I found out that he raped a lot of girls in the area. He always told them, “You’re going to remember me.” He knew he had it and he gave it to me on purpose. I was using protection even when I was out doing what I was doing in my past. It just took that one time.”

I was ashamed and I thought I wouldn’t be able to do things I used to do. After receiving treatment in a local facility, I got my self-esteem back. They helped me understand what HIV really was and I realized; that yes, I CAN do things.

At first it was embarrassing for me to share my status and I would not want to talk to any guys because then I’d have to tell them, so I did not date. Safe sex and protecting yourself is important. If we get intimate put a condom on! Men, they don’t understand the importance. Please! Put the condom on! For me, I tell them my status and that my viral load is undetectable. This means there is such a small amount of the virus in your blood it cannot be measured by a test. It also helps protect your health. I tell them if they care about me as much as I care about them, they will wear protection. Don’t be afraid to be rejected, because it’s going to happen. You’re going to have people who look at you totally different after you tell them you are HIV+. But you say it because you need reassurance that you’re okay. Even though you got it, you’re okay. You’re not going to die. I felt better. I felt better when I shared it. I have HIV and I’m not ashamed of it anymore.

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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