February 2nd, 1984 is when I was born, and when it all started. My mother had had to have a C section, as she did with my older siblings. This time, she lost a lot of blood, so they had to give her a blood transfusion. When they gave her the transfusion, they gave her blood that was tainted with HIV.
Well of course my mother didn’t know the blood transfusion transmitted HIV, and they didn’t tell her till a few years later. So, it ended up that she infected me through breast milk and to my father through sex.
My parents found out they were HIV positive in 1986. My father was trying to donate blood and they said—”Hey no can do!” He didn’t what was going on until the hospital sent something a few weeks later saying his blood had the HIV virus.
My parents didn’t get me tested until I was about 9 or 10, because they didn’t think it would have affected me. But, it did. So they found out I was positive—although they didn’t tell me for a while. When they finally did, I didn’t quite understand since I was younger.
At that time I was going to a private school that didn’t have any policy for HIV positive youth attending the school, so they had to make one up. Most of the people either treated me very well or treated me the horribly. My principal made another person throw their lollipop away cause I sucked on it and then prayed over them and then said stupid, inaccurate stuff about HIV. Some people made fun of me – but that didn’t happen that often.
I had some boyfriends, but most of their parents didn’t support them dating me. I felt quite low after my last boyfriend’s parents made us break up because I had HIV. I had never put him at risk but his parents were frightened. People say some really stupid stuff too and don’t even realize it. I guess some people are just ignorant and haven’t been taught.
I am 18 now and just graduated from high school. I am doing pretty well physically but it just keeps getting harder mentally. Some people don’t accept me—well a lot of people don’t—so it’s scary. People are also very judgmental. I have never talked to anyone my age with the virus, but I know there are lots of people out there. Just so you know – you’re not alone! Even though it might feel like it—I know trust me!