If we don't talk, we suffer in silence!
I was diagnosed with HIV in 1992. I had just graduated from high school in WA and moved to FL. I met a man that I thought I was in love with, but I realized it wasn’t love, but lust. We started dating and he asked me to move to GA with him. I told him no, that I had just moved to FL and wasn’t ready to move again so soon! When he moved, I met someone else and did not think anymore about him.
In Dec. of that year, I got a yellowish coloring in eyes. My mother, being a nurse, told me to go to the doctor. She said that I had jaundice and I needed to get checked. My dad took me to the hospital and I had a blood test done for Hepatitis and HIV. I didn’t think that I was positive since I had not slept with the new guy. Two week later, I get a call from the doctor’s office saying that my test results were in and that I needed to come to the office.
My dad took me back to the doctor’s and when I got to the office, I was scared! i didn’t know what to think. When I sat down in the chair, the doctor told me that I had Hepatitis B and HIV. I was shocked and devastated. I sat in his office for a couple of minutes and left the office. When I got to the waiting room, my dad asked what the test results were and I told him the everything was fine. I walked out of the office and I didn’t tell him the truth! As a matter of fact, I didn’t tell my mother or any one else in my family for a while. I told my brother about my status only because he found me crying in the living room!
I had made the decision not to tell anyone and because I was not having any symptoms, I kept it a secret until 2004 when I started getting sick and having trouble seeing. By this time, I had moved to Atlanta and was going to school and when I got sick and started to lose my sight, I knew something was wrong. When I went to the hospital there, they found that my T-cell count was 4 and my viral load was 300,000+. They immediately admitted me into the hospital and told my pastor to contact my family. I realized that I had to let my little secret go. When my mother got to the hospital, we had a long talk. As I laid in that hospital bed, I had to tell everything that had happened over the years. I was the hardest news that I had to give her. She asked me why I didn’t tell anyone and I told her that I didn’t know how to do that and that I was scared. She told me that me that I had nothing to be afraid of and that she loved me unconditionally! Hearing that from her was the thing I needed to get better!
I’m saying this with the hope that someone will read this and realize that they are not dealing with this alone! It’s about time we talk about this because if we don’t talk, we suffer in silence!
- Page last reviewed: June 15, 2017
- Page last updated: June 15, 2017
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