Rejected because of my HIV status


Date: November 24, 2010
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My name is Ayanda* and I live in Newcastle in northern KwaZulu-Natal. I am a 27-year-old single mother, and I can now say without hesitation that I am HIV positive. It still does sound a bit strange when I say it because I never in my life thought that I might be in this situation. I found out when my “boyfriend” and I decided to go for testing at our local clinic. I cannot explain the way I felt that day when I saw the results. It was in the afternoon when I did the test when they first result can out, I remember falling on the floor and grabbing the councillor. The poor lady asked how many lines I saw on the testing device; I looked closely and with shock and told her I saw one. I was lying because the other line was a bit faint and I did not want to believe it.

I just told myself that it was a mistake because the last two tests I did came back negative and there was no way that I could be positive. Besides that I was not sleeping around with many partners. I had not been in a relationship since I had broken up with my previous boyfriend, who I had been involved with for a year without any sexual contact. To convince my disbelief, we did another test and it also came back positive. I came out of the testing ward and my boyfriend was there, but I could not tell him because I knew exactly how he felt about the issue. I just kept a straight face and pretended everything was OK. I must be a great actress as he did not suspect anything.

I went home and told my Mom. Luckily she is a nurse and she works for a private company that rolls out treatment for HIV and AIDS. More than anything she hugged me and told me that she does not love me any less. I was relived because at that moment those were the words I needed to hear from her. I thought to myself that on the home front I was covered as my support system was solid. My first night as an HIV positive person was a bit of hell because I kept asking myself questions I could not answer. “How is it possible, why now, why me, how can this happen because I have been a good girl?” A month has gone by and I feel a bit numb even though I have seen a psychologist.

In these counselling sessions they tell you that you must take things slowly, and that everything is going to be ok. I respect that they are supposed to say that as it is part of their job, but I wish that there could be a part where they tell me how to deal with everyday life issues. I am talking about the feeling of knowing that your life will never be the same again. I had a dream of having a normal life just like everybody else. Right now I am dealing with the fact that my “boyfriend” who is now more like an ex-boyfriend, has rejected me. It pains me because when I found out about my status he was there, he said he would support but as time went by his actions have told a totally different story. He is the first person who has made me feel rejected, even though he made a promise to be there. We even went for counselling together with the hope of fixing our dying relationship.

The problem I have with the HIV and AIDS issue is that, as much as people say they have moved from the stereotyping mindset, they have not. In the matters of love relationships I ask myself what brings two people together, is it love or HIV? If it is love then both parties should be able to withstand the challenges that come with the relationship. What makes me very mad is that if he was the one that was HIV-positive I would have been expected to play a supportive role. Another thing that annoys me is that we as women are expected to endure whatever difficulties we face in relationships better than men, just because the Almighty God gave us the nurturing role in society. There are many men who are HIV positive and are supported by their partners, who are HIV negative. Right now with me and him it is a case of a relationship that has lost its flame just because of a virus. What also comes into mind is that maybe he could have accepted the situation better if I was diagnosed with cancer, high blood pressure or diabetes. What difference does it make because these are chronic diseases? When I went for my CD4 count test the doctor said I am fine at the moment, and I do not qualify for ARV’s. The only thing I have to do is take good care of me by leading a healthy lifestyle.

The saying that says “never say never” is true because you never know when something like this might happen to you. At the moment I am battling with the fact that if I get into a relationship with somebody I really like, I should disclose my status. This is something I am definitely not looking forward to, as I might be discriminated against. Especially in this society that still thinks that if you are HIV positive you must have been promiscuous, you are a walking corpse and you are dirty or totally different. If one is not careful things that people say out here, could make you go downhill, depending on how strong you are. Right now I am feeling fine, but I do get relapses now and again. What I also know is that I have to move forward with a positive attitude and be strong, not only for my daughter but for myself.

*Not her real name.

 

 


2 thoughts on “Rejected because of my HIV status”

Sarah says:

Hello I understand what you are going through since I went through a similar experience. My boyfriend wanted to take the relationship to the next level and start having kids and we decided to test before. The worst part is I asked what would happen if one of us is positive and he reassured me saying there are alternative ways nowadays. However, when the results came he was negative and said he needed some space after a while he asked if I was sure that I did not know that I was positive. I have never heard from him since so I eventually stopped texting him.

Roscoe says:

I know the feeling sister and everything you said is true, my girlfriend dumped me, she kept me hanging being ok with my status and suddenly becomes an issue of infecting her, I didn’t ask for this and I know I would’ve been expected to accept it if it was her

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