My name is Sattie Nyachwaya. I am 29 years old and live in Dallas, TX. I am a Patient Care Coordinator and the HIVE blogs touched my heart so much that I wanted to share my story with you.
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.
My Name is Michael Zalnasky. My friends call me Zee. My grandsons call me PaPa. My Daughter, well she calls me Dad. And I am Heterosexual HIV POZ.
That damn bicycle has given me a life back when I thought I had none. It’s rejuvenated my creative abilities to record and acknowledge such an incredible, health-rebuilding journey. Spinning my wheels to the tune of 8,880 miles since August, 2015, and I was diagnosed August, 2014.
Every child learns and grows at a different pace, I know back in the day kids grew up a lot faster and weren’t coddled as the ones today. I don’t think my daughter quite understands the gravity of the virus and what it comes with, the doctors, the stigma, the friends and family casting you out, mostly because of ignorance, so, when I think she can wrap her head around it is when I’ll discuss it with her.
One of the few things I’ve learned in life is that if you stay positive and constantly ask the universe, eventually you do get what you want, which in this case, is exactly what happened.
My son was a different story. I just felt like it was too soon for me to tell him my status. I was hoping I could teach him about it and then let him know sometime after that.
After sitting down with my daughter, and educating her about HIV/AIDS (using information from the CDC), she instantly felt relieved, and immediately gave Henry a hug and kiss on the cheek. Things have gotten much better between me, Henry, and the kids now.
Now comes the snag, we are having difficulty due to the fact that Donna needs fertility medications to help us have a baby. Our insurance does not cover it; the most we could afford was a visit to a fertility doctor, to buy treatment for about 9 months, plus two follow up visits. So far we’ve had no success.
Needless to say, I’ve had a few ups and down over the course of the past 16 years, but my daughter is the reason why I get out of bed every day. I consistently think about what I can do to improve her life and be there whenever she needs me.
I was in jail, and had decided to get tested. I knew that my girlfriend at that time was living with HIV and we hadn’t been taking precautions.
When the shock finally wore off many months later, I realized HIV was only a small part of me and I was not going to allow this virus to define me.