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Valentine's Day for Women Living With HIV -- Finding Your Heart, Soul and Voice

February 11, 2014

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Sharon Gambles on Finding Love, Intimacy and Laughter

Inspiring stories of people living with HIV.


My experience is that I am a very romantic, compassionate person. And I feel I deserve the same for me. I love me. And so I know how to love someone else. And so my search: I'm in a good relationship. Every relationship has little bumps and stuff like that, because you're trying to get to know an individual. But I also know that once I let someone into my life I have to remember that I'm carrying on somebody else's feelings, as well. So, me, when I'm in a relationship, what I do is, one, disclose.

How soon?

If I feel the relationship is going to get intimate, I definitely do it probably the second or third date. Because I'll know if it's going to get intimate by that time. And I give that person a choice. You know, for me, it's not about the rejection; it's about that I give the other individual the choice to be with me. And I have been with negative people. And after our separation, they go get tested, and their tests come back negative. I'm a peer advocate. You want it to come back negative. You know what I mean? And so I know how to protect myself. I know how to protect my partner. My relationship has been good.

So you haven't had problems finding people.

No, I haven't had problems finding women.

Is it because you don't sit at home and feel sorry for yourself? I mean, so many people find that it's such a big challenge, they just can't talk; they can't bear to talk to other people about it.

Right. And I could not pinpoint on why is that. I mean, I'm still beautiful, inside and outside. I'm still a human being. I still need to be loved. Yeah, I know there are good vibrations, and stuff like that. But I want to be touched on. You know, hugs. I get hugs from my kids, my friends, and stuff like that. But a romantic, intimate hug is an entirely different type of feeling. So I want that. I've been that type of person ever since I can remember. And so I search for that, you know -- regardless if it's a romantic fantasy or not, I still want to be hugged by my partner. I still want to be kissed by my partner. I still want my partner to tell me, "I love you." I need those things. You know what I mean? It helps me.

I still need to laugh and get with my partner. We still need to have our funniest moments. You know? Where we can laugh and just think about them, and look at each other and laugh. You know what I mean?

Make sure to watch or read the full interview with Sharon.

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