For the past five years, I?ve been known as the ?HIV positive heterosexual male go-to-guy?, a seemingly non-existent, rare voice within the HIV community. That all changed a couple of weeks ago when I finally came to terms and acceptance with a very personal topic I?ve grappled with for quite some time, the realization of my bisexual identity.
Through sharing my story, I want to reduce the stigma in our lives and show others that there is truly life after HIV diagnosis. I also want to teach others how to advocate for themselves when it comes to protection, stigma, and healthcare.
I?m in a position in life right now where I’m living poor. At the moment, my lights are off, I have no way to get back and forth to the doctor, I haven?t been on meds since I gave birth to my daughter in march 2016, and it?s hard to find work where I live.
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.
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.