Reality – I remember my first time telling someone i was HIV positive like it were yesterday, I had just had my daughter 3 months ago and things with my daughters father had gotten so bad with all the cheating, lies, fist fights with other women., just finding out i’m HIV positive and the person i love and trust have deliberately given me this illness.. im 20 yrs old with little support around me..I had no one to help me navigate through this time at such a young age. Trying to figure out how to take care of myself and still live a healthy dating life seemed impossible.. All i could think is who would wanna be with me now that i’m positive? would i date someone positive?? probably not.. no person wants to be boxed off & isolated like that imagine a young girl or boy… what should i do if someone neg makes advances at me?
Unexpected – Months into finding out my status, and trying not to stress out thinking about dating and think more about living a long life for my daughter, stop stressing so much, focus on moving out of my mothers house,,,.. back in 2001 In Nyc there was a housing program for people living with HIV called Hasa at the time. it was a program geared toward helping people living with HIV sustain safe and affordable housing. So while out meeting with a case manager about an apartment, i walked by a group of guys on a busy street in Brooklyn and heard someone call my name. I turned around and there he was… the boy i had the biggest crush on since i was 13yrs old.. all grown up standing there with this smile and head slightly tilted to the side. He had always had this cool laid back kind of swag to him that was forever attractive (shakes head) ok ok ok lets not get off track lol Long story short we exchanged info and things picked up so easy and natural. My daughters father was considered my first love but this was the one guy that i felt got away.
Hope – 2 months had gone by and my crush and i had made things official. We were close as children but 100 times more as adults. Already acquainted with each others families that made things easier for us. He had accepted my daughter , took on some responsibilities ,doing more for her then her own father was. things felt great. At this time my daughters father had been arrested so i didn’t have to worry about that drama.. I had finally gotten an offer for my very 1st apartment which was over a store front, it wasn’t the prettiest place but it was mine and i loved it. the more time we spent together it became more hard to tell this guy i was HIV positive,. i had ducked and dodged sex for two whole months! lol knowing i had this secret was the worse feeling to have in the pitt of my stomach.. things would feel almost normal until the topic of sex would come up or he would hug or kiss me..having that little voice screaming IM HIV POSITIVE!! in the back of my head is horrible!.. no seriously… IT IS HOOORRIBBLLEE!! lol just knowing if you slip it could all end.. your happily ever after could go away when you tell him.. at this point i knew i had to tell my crush before he heard it from someone else.
The Call – My crush and i had spent the day together but this day was different. Things had gotten hot and heavy, clothing was removed and lets just say he definitely needed a cold shower and possibly some pain killer lol smh..I got all weird about it so we called it a nite, he had gotten into a cab headed home. I paced back and fourth with my 5 month old drinking a bottle of milk watching her mother worry.. me looking crazy with this cordless phone in my hand .. yes cordless house phone! no cell phone lol remember the cordless phones with the caller ID box?? ..lol ya’ll dont pretend ya never screened some calls back in the day.. hahaha anywho.. i called his phone and when he picked up he knew something was wrong so he kept asking “Are you ok?” “whats wrong?” “Talk to me”.. “What happen” .. so i said something like “remember the conversation we had about people that are HIV positive?” (A previous conversation i made up to fill him out on his views about HIV) ..he responded “Yeah” i said “I Have a secret” ..omg then i just blurted out “Well that’s my situation!” and i hung the phone up! lmao please dont ask me why i hung up?! i guess i was so afraid of his response that i didn’t wanna hear it.. He called back 3 times and i finally decided to talk to him. He asked if he could come back over and see me in person and i said ok.. We talked for hrs, he seemed upset about how long it took me to tell him but we got passed it.. Him and i had a healthy relationship (With Protected sex) and decided to call it quits after 1 year.
Dating Tip – If your struggling to tell someone about your status, trust me your not alone.. Every positive person knows the feeling, some will accept and some will reject that’s the name of the game , look at the up side rejection is something HIV neg folk go through. The best advice i could give someone about disclosure is stay refrain from sex until you have “The talk” , Be protected when intimate, be careful about state laws when your Pos. making the decision to date Neg. each state is different in these matters.. in some states you could be convicted if your not upfront about your health on your 1st date if there’s something as simple as a goodnite kiss involved. Trying to fill your date out?? Test the waters , throw around some topics about HIV and see how your partner responds. If your getting nasty faces and mean remarks well that obvious.. Dont become defense just end your date and never call or text.. if the person seems open and understanding during the conversation they might be worth a second date.. 🙂