The doctors immediately rushed me in. I had trouble breathing because I also have asthma, and I had problems keeping down food. I was there for about three days, until my temperature dropped. I had AIDS, because my white blood cell count was so low.
VanDerek Foster: It changed the frame of the issue for me. German Lopez: Through all of this, the person you were with at the time told you he felt abandoned. How did you feel about that? VanDerek Foster: It was ridiculous at the time. German Lopez: Have you told any other communities you participate in, like church or theater group?
That was before I had been diagnosed, but I had lost a lot of weight. I do graphic design and photography. It has affected me. I used to be active. It really has affected how I live my day-to-day life. VanDerek Foster: My doctors said it could go either way. VanDerek Foster: Kind of. Have you run into problems with that? It was a person I considered a friend. He also made a joke about someone looking like they belong on an HIV-positive dating website.
It made me wonder what he would say about me behind my back. German Lopez: Do those kind of reactions make it harder for you to be open about your status? German Lopez: Given that HIV diagnoses are rising among young gay men, what would you say to someone who was just diagnosed?
With me, it was my friends. They think you have a plague they can get by touching you or whatever. Leslie: I went to my annual test and mammogram. I did like I normally do my yearly. And when the results came back, the doctor had called me into the office. I was like, "Are you sure you got the right person? Do it again.
I was just devastated. I thought I was being safe. The only person I was being intimate with, we had used protection.
I just felt like killing myself, because I know people are ignorant and not accepting of it. As a straight person, did you feel a stigma as well?
Leslie: I just see it as being across the board. Nobody is a stranger or immune to the stigma. Leslie: I disclosed to my immediate family, because I got sick back in or Leslie: My kids were mad. My sisters, one of them basically lost it. My mom was pretty much the same. German Lopez: Do you know the person who gave it to you, and do you know if he was aware that he was HIV-positive? But I mean, why do me like this?
“Everything you always wanted to know about HIV/AIDS, but were Afraid to Ask!” As a hardcopy book, Understanding and Preventing AIDS sold over , The science of HIV is constantly evolving, and what we knew (or thought we as 'low-risk' or 'high-risk,' many want to 'put a number on it' so they can know the.
I had been with this man since my little girl was eight months. I felt betrayed. Leslie: She was hurt. Like I said, the whole family was hurt because it started to touch home. Everything you instill in your child, you want them to make the right decisions, and things just happen. Leslie: When I went to visit my aunt and cousins in Atlanta, we sat down and talked.
The only thing different is I have to take medication, I have to take care of myself, and my health comes first. Leslie: No. German Lopez: Are you worried your friends and community will reject you? Leslie: Yes, because Arkansas is really small.
Ignorance is bliss. In the end, I do have kids, so if someone finds out here, what kind of retaliation would be done to my children? I look at it from that aspect, because I do have grandkids as well. I saw how her mother treated her, and that was really hurtful. But it goes back to us being in a small state, people run their mouths, and not everyone is accepting. German Lopez: So what kind of effect has this had on your relationships?
What relationships were you in since you were diagnosed?
Leslie: I was married in , and I got divorced in or If you start divulging certain information, how would that person take it and use it against you? So I just kind of shut down with the relationship issues. I just talk with others just to keep my mind off of it. German Lopez: Did you disclose to your husband, and did you guys take precautions?
Leslie: Yes and no. I mean, we were using condoms. After he found out, my mom told him to get tested. There was a lot of stuff that led up to our divorce, and we had to get a restraining order.
It was just really hard. Leslie: I work at a stressful job. I have to be mindful of how it affects my immune system. I am undetectable, but the stress can cause me to get sick. German Lopez: Have you ever gotten sick and had to call off work because of stress?
Information on HIV. Conclusions The data presented in this study was the first part of a larger research project to evaluate the efficacy of a culturally adapted Healthy Relationships risk reduction intervention in Southern Africa. If you go into labour prematurely before the full term of your pregnancy , a double dose of another drug, tenofovir Viread , may be added to your treatment combination. They will be able to offer support. However, evidence now shows little or no risk, so these procedures can be used safely if you have an undetectable viral load. Too much has not been done.
My meds recently got switched, and the doctors did that on a Friday to see how they would work through the weekend. I was a little nauseous, but other than that I was able to go back to work. German Lopez: Given your concerns about the stigma, what would you say to anyone thinking about disclosing their status? Especially if you have kids, you have to really think about that. Is that the biggest fear with the stigma for you?
What do you think would happen to them if you said something? German Lopez: Do you think it would feel good, personally, to come out to people? Leslie: I would like to be able to tell people.