September 9, 2016
Most of the people who find out I have HIV from seeing my blog or my Facebook page are curious. They are usually people I knew in high school or middle school. They do not send name-calling emails calling me a slut. They ask questions.
I got it from a boy I dated for three years. We lived together; we went to the same schools; we grew up in the same neighborhood. HIV is close to home for everyone, and it found its way into my safe San Diego community.
People want to listen; they want to learn. We need to give them that chance. It's up to us to educate them. We need to stop hiding and speak up.
I don't think that what I'm doing is brave; I think it's the right thing to do. If my blogs help anyone practice safe sex -- even with someone they have been with for years and when they are on birth control -- then my story has had a purpose.
I was told he had only been with four females before me, and I had met three of them. If I could go back, yeah, we'd both get tested before unsafe sex began. But I cannot.
I knew he was a cheater when we began dating. He was in the process of moving out from living with her; I'll call her woman one.
I just Facebook messaged her today asking whether she's been tested. I let her know he gave it to me and I thought she had a right to know since he would never tell her. He blames this on me. It's easier for him to point the finger than to take responsibility for himself and the others he passed this disease onto.
He admitted to cheating on all of his exes; I'm not sure why I thought he would treat me any differently. He finds a new one while he's still with the old one and complains about the old one to the new one, looking like a victim who lives with meanest woman ever. New girl promises to never be like that. Three or four years later, repeat.
I should have left when he gave me a sexually transmitted infection for Valentine's Day one year. I should have left then; I should have walked away. He was a fabulous liar when he was on meth and insecure, untrusting hearts want to believe the beautiful lies drug addicts throw up on them.
I have not spoken to him in more than ten years. I have no desire to; I have nothing to say to him.
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Brooke grew up in San Diego, Calif., and from a young age she wanted to change the world with her words. She has been writing poetry since 1992, and majored in journalism in school.
She was diagnosed with AIDS when she was eleven weeks pregnant in her first year of marriage. She is now a single mother living in Long Beach, Calif.
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