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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

The Responsible Thing to Do

By Khafre Abif

May 13, 2011

Early in 1990 I met a young woman on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Soon after our second or third date I share with her that I am a Bi-Sexual man. She seems comfortable with it and with me as our relationship developed. By March of 1991, I knew I wanted to marry her.

Prior to asking for her hand in marriage I decided to get tested for HIV. Before returning to Pittsburgh I was a student at Florida A&M University and I had unprotected sex with both men and women, so in my mind this was the responsible thing to do.

The county health department was in the same area of the city as the university. I called to find out what I had to do to be tested. I was given some information which included the location and testing hours. Two days later I went to an office on a side street, not even in the building which housed the Department of Health. I don't remember being nervous.

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I sat and waited for someone to acknowledge me. It took a few minutes, but felt much longer. Believe me when I say, I started to walk right back out of the building. I didn't want to be recognized by anyone coming or going.

The test was a blood draw. It didn't take long. I was told that I would have to return to the same office in two weeks to get my results. Then I was given a slip of paper with the office's contact information and a number which would be used to identify me when I called to see if the results were available. During that two-week period I played the tapes in my head of all the sex I had. Not that it was a great deal, but it was unprotected. I had one sexually transmitted disease during my time in Florida, Syphilis.

I called back to the office in about 17 days. My results were in. I told the person on the phone that I would be there the next day. When I arrived, there was no wait. It seemed that they were waiting for me to open the door. I sat. Two white men shared that I was HIV positive. At that time, there was no pre-test counseling and risk assessment. These counselors may not have ever had to give a positive diagnosis.

The only thing I heard after that, as I was making my way to the door, was: "How do you think you contracted HIV?"

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See Also
Day One With HIV: Finding Out Your Status, in Your Own Words
TheBody.com's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for the Newly Diagnosed
More "Just Diagnosed" Stories

Reader Comments:

Comment by: JC (Oregon) Thu., Jun. 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm EDT
Khafre ~ you say you have two children. Did you have them before or after you found out you were HIV positive? I am new to this website and HIV/AIDS. My 30yr old son was diagnosed 3 months ago. He has been with the same girl for 8 yrs, they had been trying to get pregnant for several months when my son started having the first symptoms which eventually landed him in the hospital with pnemonia and the AIDS diagnosis. This is something you are suppose to hear about...not deal with in your own family. We are fighting this horrible disease as a family and my son's girlfriend is still with him. His CD4 count has gone up from 5 to 36 and his viral load has come down from 375,000 to 199,000. He has been on Atripla for 2 months now. My question is.....is it possible for them to have a baby or is that totally out of the question now? The doctor says they will talk about this "later". I havent been able to find much information anywhere. So I just thought I'd take a chance and ask you, or the people who have shared their stories on this wonderful informative website. Thanks for any info you have....
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Comment by: Angel (Georgia) Thu., May. 26, 2011 at 7:09 pm EDT
I do not understand people, they know better, but yet they want do better. Only one you can blame is yourself period....You don't only put yourself at risk, you put others at risk as well. Yes I do have unprotected sex with my husband, and that is a chance I take, but he is my husband. If I get HIV from my husband that is a chance I will take, by trusting him? This is 2011 and people are still having unprotected SEX, it is an alarming situation, because they don't think it will happen to them...Is everyone gone mad? I only pray that people wise up,because this is a serious matter...hmmmm.Sometimes I wish that I had a magic wand and send "COMMON SENSE" 101 to everybody in the world, and it would be a better place.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Green Trees (Atlanta) Mon., Jun. 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm EDT
Judge not that ye may not be judged.


Comment by: Simplyme504 ( Chalmette, LA) Thu., May. 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm EDT
I was recently diagnosed and in just a few months my life went on a roller coaster ride like never before. I went from the lowest point in my life to the highest point in my life. The one thing I did not feel was anger. I totally skipped over that stage. I am responsible for my own actions. Being HIV positive had made me look at my life differently. I have two beautiful children who I have to live for. I am strong and I refuse to let HIV define who I am or what I can do.
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Comment by: Nadnipha L M (Cape Town South Africa) Tue., May. 17, 2011 at 4:20 am EDT
I find this website educative being HIV positive myself for the past 17 years , I am a survivor and a winner as I from an abusive relationship and got infected while in a marriage and my late husband only confess on his death bed ,that he knew when he met me that he was already HIV positive ,I chose to forgave him ,becasue I told myself i refused to his slave and bare grudges ,that will not help me intead will destroy me in the process . Have two beautiful kids both girls they are the reason for me to live and and have a positive mindset ,I do workshops and empower other women taht have lost hope , and tell them that they must take HIV as alife chnging condition not a death sentence .

Regards
Nandie
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Freedom Rider


Khafre Piper

Khafre Abif

Khafre K. Abif, AIDS activist, has been thriving with HIV for more than 20 years and is a father of two teenage boys. Khafre is the Founder/Executive Director of Cycle for Freedom. Khafre is one of five men in the inaugural class of The HEALTH (Health Executive Approaches to Leadership and Training in HIV) Seminar Program developed by My Brother's Keeper, Inc. He has also served as the Community Co-Chair for the New Jersey HIV Prevention Community Planning Group. As a librarian in his first career, Khafre was the first recipient of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)'s Dr. John C. Tyson Emerging Leader Award. Forthcoming books include Raising Kazembe and Cornbread, Fish & Collard Greens: Prayers, Poems and Affirmation for People Living with HIV/AIDS.


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