I arrived at the clinic with my two youngest children. Sitting in the waiting area everything appeared to move in slow motion. A barrage of thoughts swirled through my head. My nerves were all over the place. Finally I heard my name called. I immediately snapped back into reality. The walk down the hallway to the office room was as though I was walking to death’s chair. The nurse walked in and said Ms.Thomas, “I’m not going to beat around the bush. Your HIV test came back positive.” In that moment, my heart dropped in my stomach. I felt numb all over. Her words were final.
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?
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.
I had eventually hit my bottom, where I had to get into treatment. At that time I had a beautiful healthy son. I completed a drug program, got my own place and was in a new relationship. I decided to get tested because my significant other and I wanted a baby. I found out that I was HIV-positive.