November 2, 2009 I went to the clinic in Baltimore, MD, and got an HIV test, which came back positive. After speaking with the case worker I left with two of my friends, and the whole time all I could think about was my boyfriend. I had gotten into a relationship with him August 16th of that same year and we had probably only used a condom on one occasion. From listening to the rumors that had caused me to get tested in the first place, I had narrowed down the timeframe that I could have contracted it. So the thoughts of passing the virus to someone else echoed in my head the whole ride home.
At this time I was living with my boyfriend's mom so of course when I got home she was there. I wasn't ready to tell her what had just happened to me yet because I didn't know how she would handle the thought of her son possibly being infected with HIV, and much worse, INFECTED BY ME. I went up the stairs and said my hellos; then my friends and I went back down the stairs and out the door. It was burning me up inside to go back in and just tell her what was going on. Instead I decided to ride around Baltimore and wait for my boyfriend to get out of school.
School lets out and there I am faithfully, waiting on my boyfriend and his home-girl to get in the car so they can go get tested. It was one of the worst car rides I had taken with my boyfriend since we had been together. I didn't want to tell him what just went on a few hours ago because I wanted him to go in the clinic with an optimistic look on things. I mean he could still be negative right?
First stop, the clinic where I got tested earlier that day. Just my luck, they didn't do testing after a certain time. So we rode around to Planned Parenthood and their testing was only by appointment. What the hell! Finally we found this clinic that was open but they wouldn't do any testing for a few more hours. So we went right back to the first place and I spoke with the case worker and pleaded with him to do the testing. Success!
He called the girl in first. She came out and sat with me in the waiting room while my boyfriend went in to get his test.
"So how was it," I asked.
"I came back negative," she said. Sigh of relief for her. Then I decided to tell her that I had gotten tested earlier that day. She looked at me confused. "How did yours come out?"
"Are you serious?! Did you tell Rico* yet?"
"No I didn't want him to be scared when he got his test done. He'll probably be OK though." I was really trying to make myself believe that but it just wasn't working.
Time continues to go by slowly and finally the case worker comes out to the printer. I ask him is everything OK and he says that Rico is fine. Now I'm confused, is he poz or neg? I asked Mr. Landerson could I go back in the room with Rico. He goes back and asks him then comes back to the waiting room to let me know that it's OK for me to come back. I walk in the testing room and Rico is sitting on the examining bed. So I stay standing and start looking at HIV posters on the wall.
"My test came back positive," he mumbled.
"Wow. Well I got tested earlier today and my test came back positive also."
He immediately started crying and we walked out to the receptionist so she could print him a slip to get his blood drawn. He falls on the floor like those girls from the DNA testing show. I asked him if he was OK and he said all that's going through his head is my children and how he infected their dad with HIV. I had to explain to him that I am the one that most likely gave it to him. I was taking into account the timing of my symptoms along with the timing of when I had sex with Ray*. Also Rico had gotten sick about a month after we had started having sex so I was sure that it was I that had given it to him.
The three of us left the clinic and headed back home. Rico's home-girl lived around the corner so I parked the car at Rico's house and she walked home. Rico and I walked in the house and it seemed like the whole damn family was sitting there expecting us. He walked over to his mom and told her that he needed to speak with her upstairs. She told him to go ahead and speak. He told her again and she finally went upstairs and away from the rest of the family to listen in private.
"I'm HIV positive." He got right to the point.
"What! You're what?!" She said this as if he didn't just say what she thought he said.
"I went and got tested today and I'm HIV positive," he repeated.
I didn't stay around for the rest of the conversation. The thought of standing in front of his mom knowing I had infected her son was too much to bear at the time. I ran downstairs and out the door and started crying. Not one of those regular cute cries, but the ugly, distorted face, bawling and screaming cries. I HAD JUST INFECTED A 17 YEAR OLD WITH HIV.
Check out my past video on the topic of "Infecting Your Partner":
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Jermaine Wright is a young, black, bisexual father of five who is also living with HIV. Following a period of service in the Army he is now at the Community AIDS Resource and Education Services of Southwest Michigan (CARES) where he promotes Mr. Friendly, a prevention tool used to raise awareness of the stigma associated with HIV. His mission is to reach out to other young black people living with HIV in a safe manner via his YouTube channel, PozLyfe09. For many youth, this is the only place they can go to discuss and share about living with HIV with someone who is open about his status and sexuality. Topics of his videos include: disclosure, dating, fathering a child post HIV diagnosis, passing on the virus, barebacking while HIV positive and more.
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