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.
The more we talk about it, uplift each other, educate and support one another, the closer we get to ending the virus! No one should have to suffer in silence. If I could talk to anyone dealing with a similar situation, I would want them to know, “You are not alone, we can battle this together.”
I have learned so much about my body and what it means to me to be able to protect it. I have learned what it is to exercise my right, and that of other women, to be on PrEP.
I’m not stopping pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) because my skin turned blue. That was an embarrassing mistake I made in the first few days of trying it. Don’t tell anyone, though, or they’ll find out that I’m the kind of guy who buys a black flannel shirt and wears it for a few days without washing it, not realizing it’s going to seep dye onto exposed areas, causing me to make panicky calls to bemused, sympathetic friends and globally noted HIV researchers alike.
How do I get through it all, a man that I thought the world of, a man that took me from the streets and helped me get on my feet with a job, a nice place to live, and practically gave me the world had also given me something that I must deal with for the rest of my life, and now I’m on my way to be Behind Prison Doors?
A couple of weeks later, he advised me that his HIV test came up inconclusive-which he advised me is mostly likely a positive result. The news was like a shot in the head because I was caught in between two worlds- do I stay with my current husband or do I move on to my new life?