3 years ago, while living in Moscow, Russia I was diagnosed with HIV. Today I live in San Francisco, my viral load is undetectable, my CD4 count is at a normal level, and 2 months ago I gave vaginal birth to my healthy, HIV-negative son.
?I had a fear of being alone?The stigma was huge. I had more internal stigma than external stigma?I stayed out of relationships because I didn?t want to disclose.?
Trigger warning: IPV concerns
Jessica has not disclosed her HIV status to her partner because she is concerned about physical violence and the possibility of her partner leaving the relationship.
It’s almost National Youth HIV Awareness Day. Last year I wrote something about it that was positive. This year I’m having a hard time being positive. Maybe it’s because I’m a teenage girl and because of puberty I’m really sensitive about everything. But I don’t think that’s all. I think as I get older certain things about me having HIV get harder.
I was interested in breastfeeding not only because of disclosure reasons but also because of the value of breast milk & bonding, but I was concerned about the HIV risk