This is a weekly staple affording our readers the opportunity to share their personal testimony regarding abuse, violence, disease, family, happiness, faith, jail time, obesity, and/or mistakes made in your youth, just to name a few. Let your testimony be a blessing to someone else attempting to overcome a particular avenue in life.
He’s fly but does he have it though? Looks can be deceiving.
Have you ever considered if he has it? Often times we can’t tell by looking at someone if they’re infected with this virus. In certain cases they know and never reveal their truth to you.
There is a negative stigma attached to this virus, that forces people to keep there status hidden. Mostly out of the fear of being judged, shunned or embarrassed. Sometimes even admitting it to themselves can be a task they aren’t ready to process.
“I dated a man that was keen in appearance. I mean his socks matched his underwear, underwear matched pants and shoes matched his belt. That kind of fly. You’d never know the price of what he was wearing, because he was well versed at making it look good on a budget. I was attracted to his mannerisms, swag and determination to get it at any cost. He was a Go Getter.
We dated a while, traveled and dined at some very posh places. He taught me how to shop, dress outside of jeans and sneaker, while putting me on to the best places to have my hair and nails done. He taught me how to legally hustle, and get on my grind. Frankly stated, A person that teaches me something, will always be cherished more than the person that bought me something.
This man didn’t look sick; I mean the thought never crossed my mind. Or did I see it but ignored the signs? The rapid weight loss and gains, attitude changes and the health signs he considered the common cold. As I sit back and reflect, I may have been blinded by what I wanted to not see what was in front of me. He was fly, cool and eventually he chose and fought for me. He claimed to love me but I’d never experienced normal love at this point, not even parental. Only toxic Love.
I never gave thought to his HIV status outside of what he told me initially. Plus, he never even to this day, disclosed this information willingly. Shortly into my pregnancy with my 2nd child & his first child, I discovered his secret. Snooping around I found his medications. I literally sat in his bed, and had to go back 10 years of medicine bottles to get the earliest date. Literally he had big trash bags hidden and filled with medication he also wasn’t taking regularly.
I had so many thoughts going thru my head. I was having one of those experiences, where I needed the earth to pause while I took time to regroup. It never did. I’d never imagined this would be the point, that I’d lose the inner self I was familiar with. I didn’t have one person I could call and totally trust with this information. I was scared and shaking literally. I couldn’t stop thinking about my 12 year old child from a previous relationship and what this could mean for his future.
How do you address someone you love and now hate at the same time? I was ignorant to all the facts of this virus. In my mind, sitting in the middle of his bed, I had convinced myself that I too had to be infected. I was also pregnant by this man and I believed that my baby would be infected too.
Eventually evening came and I still didn’t know how to approach him with what I found. Luckily, he made it very easy. He began being very callous and disrespectful towards me, out of nowhere. He told me to get out his house and that he was sick of me and needed time to himself. I lost control, we’d talked about having unprotected sex, including was he tested. He told me he was regularly tested and that he was negative. We’d never shown proof to one another, and rapid testing was just making its way to prominent cities around this time. Never being this close to the virus, I didn’t think much about it.
I began crying, turned to him and said, “I asked you, were you tested”. He looked at me bewildered, as if he didn’t comprehend my questioning. You told me your results were negative. I stated. You lied to me. Did you ever consider my child? Did you ever consider this baby that we planned? Face flooded with tears I asked “Why would you do this to me?” and he fell to the floor crying. He said I’m sorry repeatedly while screaming what have I done? At that moment, life as I’ve known it was forever changed.
A lot of things have transpired since that time. Psychologically I haven’t been the same. I was tested again immediately and the results were negative. My doctors tried to convince me to abort the pregnancy due to fear that I could test positive for HIV later on.
That year I had a baby, who was and still is HIV Negative today 15 years later. (Wont God do it?)
When I look into my baby’s eyes, I find strength. I recently had this talk with him. I explained everything, play by play. I felt is was time, because my paranoia has me on edge daily. I have faith,, but I have fears also. I wanted my son to know what it took, for me to to bring him in this world. I often express the importance of faith, because I know that God brought him here unharmed for a greater purpose. He gained a higher respect for me. He said “Mom you have been thru some messed up stuff, I love you for keeping the faith and believing it was safe to birth me and not abort me.”
I married 15 years ago and the following year after my child was born. I was and am HIV negative 15 years later. I didn’t really want to marry him, because my mind at that time was so screwed up even after testing negative 3 times prior. I still didn’t believe that I would remain uninfected. My logic was “he did this to me, so he owes me.” I didn’t know that this thought pattern would serve as a punishment, more than a purpose. This wasn’t love; he married me out of guilt & out of status. He was so insecure within himself that he felt marrying gave validity. He never honored, respected or loved anyone. Not even himself.
Well the flyest guy I knew, who was my husband and father of my child, has been deceased 10 years now. HIV/AIDS didn’t kill him. But, I believe it contributed to his health failing. His major organs had began to fail one by one. He became a shell of himself & I was there every step of the way. Many would want to know why? Well my only response is my self-value and worth had been tarnished long before I’d met this man. I never had a supportive family or a trustworthy circle. So I stayed with him, believing that I was supposed to. No one ever taught me that you can ride for someone, without them putting you in a position to die. Values and morals weren’t something the streets had taught me. It took years for me to understand the errors of my ways. What costly prices I’ve had to pay.
Mentally, I still haven’t snapped completely back. No I am not infected with HIV, however the residue from this entire ordeal has proven to be very strenuous. I have severe trust issues, complicated grief due to the circumstances surrounding his death, panic attacks and live in isolation. I really believe that anyone is capable of anything, at anytime. I’m nervous more often than I let on.
Many may say I should be rejoicing. However, I’m just getting past the guilt of my choices. I’ve punished myself repeatedly for not seeing beyond the veil of who the man was, or staying longer than I should. I’m learning that walking away is not always a loss. Sometimes walking away is the greatest achievement. I stayed, made a commitment and endured years of physical and psychological abuse. Not one time did I think of the after effects of those bad choices. Because of the path of my youthful days, I felt I had something to prove to people, (who could have cared less.) Like yes, I overcame all of that and here I am. I thought that as long as I stayed I was validated. What I was doing was adding layers to those scars. Today I know that what is covered, cannot heal properly.
All that glitters is not gold. What you see isn’t what you always get. Sounds cliché, but it is the realest truth I know.
Having the uncomfortable talks are extremely important. If a man or woman wants to be with you, they should have no problem getting confidential testing done. Protect yourself. People are still hiding their status and damaging lives, while family members cover for them. There are people who don’t know how to deal with their status. This virus or any sexually transmitted disease doesn’t discriminate. I’d rather face an uncomfortable truth before learning of a deadly lie any day.
Everyone may not be as blessed as I have been. Even if you do test positive, the world of medicine has since advanced. HIV is no longer the death sentence it was many years ago. There are more varieties antiviral medicines available. Speak to someone, a counselor a doctor. They will point you in the right direction to get the appropriate help. If you test negative, never again leave your health in the hands of others.
Be proactive and protect yourself. We live in a day where women comfortably carry condoms in their purses. All types of protection is available, oral, anal and vaginal.
Just because he/she is fly, doesn’t mean they do or don’t have it. The only way to be sure is to get tested together…………..when you are safe, you aren’t sorry.
You owe it totally to yourself, to remain protected.”
Written By: Anonymous Writer