I have been in counseling for over a year now. At first, I was very skeptical and let’s face it, defensive. No one wants to think they can’t handle the stuff in their lives on their own. I have been taking care of myself in that fashion since I was 14. I moved out at 16, had my first child at 18, the next one at 22, and from then on have been a mother.
I’m a son, a father, a grandfather, a brother, and I am HIV+.
As we are approaching Father’s Day, as a father of a beautiful daughter, I am especially grateful.
Then the truth set me free. Learning about Undetectable equals Un-transmittable ( U=U ), and PrEP gave me a new light in life. I set out to make sure I achieved and maintained undetectable levels to prevent the spread of HIV and inform my partners about PrEP. I have come to understand that my future child will not face the same stigma and side effects in their life. This hope has inspired me to think about what family I want to have.
I became pregnant with my third kid, and who knew, she would be my last. Six months into my pregnancy, I found out I have HIV.
While to my knowledge, there are still little to no support groups for heterosexual people living with HIV, I have learned to focus on the Human of HIV. I aim to create the space to reflect just that.
My name is Nestor Rogel, I am 27 years old and I was born HIV positive. I live in South Central Los Angeles, and have been advocating for people living with HIV for many years. Being a single heterosexual cis gender man in Los Angeles is difficult. Dating and disclosure have taken on different meanings in my life.