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HIV and Love

March 18, 2011

This article was cross-posted from "A Girl Like Me," a program of The Well Project.

My HIV, My Strength

Love, how beautiful it is! This is so important for people living with HIV/AIDS ... to have someone who loves you for you and can see past the illness, that is if they are negative ... I am very blessed that after all these years of being positive and thinking way back "I WILL NEVER MARRY," I have been blessed with such a loving and caring partner. She is a key element in my health, believe it or not!

When you are loved and cared for ... your heart and soul fills up inside. You are happier and feel complete, all these things make your immune system go up ... and it is not only the love of your partner, wife, husband ... it comes from anyone that shows you love and cares for you! A friend, your family ... even strangers ... people just don't know how important it is to love and be loved for us. My partner, Lisa, would be the first one to say she was part of the ignorance, of course until I came along ...

It is not easy to disclose your HIV status, but I guess I have a method to my madness if you want to call it that way. Almost all my life I have been with HIV negative partners ... only one positive and that was actually my worst relationship ... although we learn from good and bad relationships. My method is to get to know the person first and feel them out ... if you see things are getting deep, and I mean spiritually and mentally, you must disclose and give them the opportunity to choose. It is not an easy thing to do ... I get so scared! I guess the fear of rejection or having someone you connect to on so many levels and maybe they can't deal with the situation ... which is also very valid. My situation was, WOW! I found my soul mate after all these years ... I feel so much for this person ... now I have to tell her about me! everything about me! oh my god! what if she rejects me, or stops talking to me. Well, I said to myself, you are a strong woman! Tell her! And make her feel comfortable either way! So I actually disclosed through our chats in the computer LOL ... I guess easier being rejected in the computer than in person! I have to be honest, I beat around the bush like for an hour!

"Lisa I have something very serious to say about me before we move forward!!" Oh my! I just couldn't type the words at that moment ...

She would reply, "Tell me! I don't care what it is!"

I answered, "Well it something very very serious" and I was driving her insane! cause I just couldn't say it! I was thinking OMG Maria say it and get it over with! But how sad to know we are in love and I might lose her today! so I wrote: I AM HIV POSITIVE ... but of course I did not click send yet! I paused and said "OK Lisa, here it goes!" and I clicked "send" ... I felt like throwing up ... anxious ... Everythingggggg ...

She paused for a second and said "OK , and?" "So," I said, "that is my secret."

My Partner, My Comitment

She responded, "I don't care I already love you!" I told her "If you have any questions, I would be more than glad to answer them. ..." She responded "If I do, I will ask you!"

So I was like, wow! Still felt I might be putting her in the spot! So I said, "You know, if you need time to think or just want to be friends I am OK with that also ..." She responded "NO! I love you!" Those were the sweetest words to my ears! All my fears were gone! Finally, my soul mate knew everything about me ... it is such a wonderful moment! You feel so free. So we continued to chat for hours and she said jokingly, "My god, I thought you were going to tell me you were a man, or a murderer, or that you had child you gave up ..." LOL ... so this is part of my story of Love.

It has been 4 years since this event ... we are happily married and going strong. Recently we both did the My AIDS campaign.

My campaign is "My HIV, my strength." and Lisa's is "My partner, my commitment!" How beautiful is that! And by this, she is exposing herself to the stigma, as an HIV-negative person being with a positive person! But guess what! She doesn't care what people think! She is supportive, compassionate, loving, and I am blessed to be a part of her life!

I have told her if me finding a cure meant having to leave you, I would choose living with you because living with you is my happiness ... which is ultimately what we as human beings are looking for! Being straight, gay, bi whatever! It doesn't matter ... WE ALL NEED TO LOVE AND BE LOVED! As we both have said from the start ... IN IT TILL THE END.

Lisa Laing, this blog is dedicated to you!

With all my soul,
Maria T Mejia

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Time to Show My Face and Take the Stigma Away

Maria T. Mejia

Maria T. Mejia

I am a Colombian female who lives in Miami, Florida. I've been positive for 20 years. Although almost all my life I've been in long-term relationships with HIV-negative men, I am happily married to a woman who is wonderful and caring. We have been together almost three years and she is HIV negative. I have no children but we will look into having! I am an activist, a peer educator, a caregiver. I volunteered for the Red Cross in education for the Hispanic HIV community and also the American community. I was a pre- and post-test counselor. I have spoken in many conferences and done a lot of outreach in the community, especially in the schools for prevention and education. It is part of my everyday life to educate everyone I can on this subject. Being HIV positive is nothing to be ashamed about! We are strong women, and we will take away all the stigmas slowly but we have to open up.

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