Just*In Time: HIV Advice Column for April 2013
By Justin B. Terry-Smith
April 28, 2013
Let me start out by saying that you have to stay strong. It is very hard getting out of this stage. The not knowing can be very tough to get through, but you can get through this and you will get through this.
Whether or not the test ever comes back positive or remains negative, you will be okay. HIV most of the time will take longer than two months to show up in any blood test. I don't know what symptoms you might have but I'm going to guess that you are questioning just about everything that might be happening to your body right now. The key is to stay calm, and don't worry until there is something to worry about.
Also, you must feel very betrayed right now -- that I understand -- but we must put attention where it would benefit everyone and that is on the virus. We need to blame the virus and not others. I suggest therapy as well, because it does truly help you move forward. Yes, there might be a time period where you are afraid to have sex with anyone, but in time that might pass. A lot of people have the misconception that HIV only infects people who are promiscuous which is NOT the case. People in "monogamous" relationships can be infected with HIV as well. Stay strong, Monique, be calm and keep in mind this motto that has always helped me get through life: Worry about the things you have control over and do not worry about the things you do not. Be brave, baby. Hugs and kisses!
I understand about only disclosing to those who you are intimate with. Fear is the ultimate enemy. In the 1980s-90s and even now people are afraid of losing their jobs, friends, family, and their very lives if they disclose their status. I've always been the kind of guy to stand up for what I believe in even if that means losing people I love. I would start small by telling someone who you know. The more you tell people the easier it gets. I'm not saying, shout it from the rooftops, but maybe we should start with a whisper. When you throw the tiniest pebble in a pond, it makes ripples. But those ripples expand throughout the pond. If they have a problem with it remember it is those people who have the problem and not you. SMOOTCHIES
Please visit Justin's column for A&U, America's AIDS Magazine.
Justin B. Terry-Smith has been fighting the good fight since 1999. He's garnered recognition and awards for his work, but he's more concerned about looking for new ways to transform society for the better than resting on his laurels. He started up in gay rights and HIV activism in 2005, published an HIV-themed children's book, I Have A Secret (Creative House Press) in 2011, and created his own award-winning video blog called, "Justin's HIV Journal": justinshivjournal.blogspot.com. Now, with this column, Justin has found a way to give voice to the issues that people write to him about. Visit his main Web site at www.justinbsmith.com. He welcomes your questions at email@example.com.
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Justin's HIV Journal
Justin B. Terry-Smith
Justin B. Terry-Smith, M.P.H., may be one of the most public African Americans living with HIV: He has his own website, and he's even on YouTube. He is a noted HIV and gay civil rights activist and the creator of "Justin's HIV Journal," a popular blog in which he shares his trials and tribulations of living with HIV. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Justin resides in Laurel, Maryland, with his husband, Dr. Philip Terry-Smith, and their son, Lundyn. Presently, Justin is working toward earning his doctorate in public health. He welcomes your questions.
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