A PanAfricanist Queer Womanist Collective
Anonymously submitted through HIV Form
First and foremost I would like to applaud you for providing this platform.
I am 22 years and to turning 23 later this year, and I am in a lesbian relationship with my girlfriend who is bit older than me. We have been in a relationship for six months now.
My partner tested for HIV after two months of us being in a relationship the results came positive. She sms’ed me the week she discovered that she was positive, but she was not willing to tell me her status. The intenseness of those sms’s, however, made me speculate that she might be positive. The reason why I was speculating that was that she said that she will understand if I will leave her and that she does not want to compromise my freedom and she loves me.
The reason for me speculating was because she had told me that she would understand if I wanted my freedom and did not want to live with her because she did not want me to compromise because she loved me. The other reason had been that when we had started dating she had been sick and I had seen some rashes in her face. When she had spoken about it she had jokingly said she they were caused by ‘having AIDS’.
We met a few days later after she broke the news. She came to my home after I returned from work and she was intense and she seemed very reluctant to tell me. I told her that was okay she did not have to tell me what she wanted to as it was late and she needed to get home. As we walked we were silent and reached the corner we usually parted ways. We started a new conversation as we were chatting she seemed to be reluctant to say what she needed to and I tried to urge her to say she was positive. I waited patiently. I saw in her face that it was difficult for her to say it.
Her eyes were filled with sorrow.
Then she said it ‘Baby I am HIV positive.
Of course I was not shocked because I had seen it coming.
We spoke I told her that I will support all the way and my love for her has not changed and I still want to be with her. I am very liberal and understanding person.
To be honest it was very emotional then and continues to be so now. The thought that runs through my mind is I cannot loose three women whom I love because of HIV. I had lost my my mom, aunt and now the disease had my girlfriend. I know understand that it is not a death sentence but one cannot stop thinking about the idea of dying.
We met the two days after she disclosed her status to me at her house.
It was amazing.
I slept over and had sex as usual. To be honest I felt uncomfortable with having oral sex as we did not use protection (as usual). What came to mind at that point was that ‘what if I am also infected?’. So I told her that I was no longer comfortable with having oral sex and she understood. The assumption that there was minimal chance of transferring HIV within lesbian relationships gave me little relief. I know the question you are asking, ‘Why don’t you go and tested?
The answer: I am very busy at work and have no time but when I get the time I will make sure I do test.
As for my girlfriends, I love my woman. She is now taking ARVs and I am supporting her all the way.
Her status has nothing to do with how I feel about her.
We talk openly about it and I even remind her to take her pills.
She is the best thing ever.
So that is my story and thank you so much for allowing to express something that I have not told anyone in such detail. I respect her and I don’t want to go around and disclose about her status.