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.

 

 


6 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

Nana says:

I know the feeling.. My boyfriend of 1 year 3 months suddenly suggested we become intimate 2 days I go.so I thought I should be honest and disclose my status. At first he hugged me and told me he stills loves me and nothing has changed. But his actions tell a different story. He’s been avoiding me. I hate to say this but I feel rejected by him and it’s the worst feeling ever.

Nana says:

I know the feeling.. My boyfriend of 1 year 3 months suddenly suggested we become intimate 2 days ago.so I thought I should be honest and disclose my status. At first he hugged me and told me he stills loves me and nothing has changed. But his actions tell a different story. He’s been avoiding me. I hate to say this but I feel rejected by him and it’s the worst feeling ever.

Khanyisile says:

I can safely say that I know how you are feeling. I tested late last year and my result came back pos. My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for 4 months. It happened that on our first night, I did not disclose (not because I didn’t want to and I know how unfair this was on my part but it happened and I felt really bad). I only disclosed to him the next day and he was able to get on PEP.

He blatantly told me that he wanted to deal with this in his own way which I totally understand considering how I disclosed to him. He tried to be nice at first but I guess reacted differently later on. I was ok with it though it hurts but I think it is only normal for some people to react (reject you/us) this way considering how stigmatized this virus is in society. To every young person living with HIV, my message is that, it is never easy to disclose and it is different with everyone. HIV needs a lot of understanding and awareness so that people are more accepting of it. I recently learnt that you can actually live beyond it and go after your dreams like everybody else. It is no longer a death sentence. Teach yourself more about it and it will be a lot easier. It was only after this incident with him that I started researching more about HIV that I got to learn that our health system is trying to normalize the lives of people living with the virus. Do not batter yourself too much about getting rejected. Chances are they were never for you in the first place and are not necessarily rejecting you but the virus. The right person for you will come along. There are so many mixed couples (neg+pos) nowadays who are in loving and happy relationships only because our health fraternity is doing the best it can to support people who are living with this virus.

Jenny says:

Excuse me for my English language, I am still learning. I met a really nice guy last year December, everything is going on perfect but I haven’t told him that I am HIV positive..I tried to introduce the topic but he was not so much interested, I asked him if he knows that nowadays people can be married, have children despite being HIV positive, he told me that the whole topic is a serious topic. So, talked to my doctor, she is a very nice lady and she is willing to talk to him on my behalf, she will explain to him everything that he needs to know…I know he will be shocked, maybe he will be disappointed too. Fingers crossed. Tomorrow he will meet my daughter for the first time, he has also expressed the idea of having a family with me.
By the way, I am a mother to HIV negative daughter, she is 9 years old, my ex-husband is HIV negative too

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