One thing that I pride myself on is the fact that in all my time living with HIV – I have not transmitted the virus to anyone else.
For the most part, I have remained consistent with taking my medication as prescribed and going to the doctor.
When I first got diagnosed, I remember how cautious the medical folks would be when talking about the possibility of transmission.
I remember hearing that if my virus was undetectable, that there was like a 4% chance that I could pass it to someone else during intercourse.
Then they started saying a 2% chance.
And that is where it stayed for a long time.
Imagine disclosing your positive HIV status to a potential sexual partner and having to say,
“I’m undetectable so that means that there is no virus in my fluids but there is like a 2% chance that I will pass it to you.”
Ain’t nobody hearing that shit.
But I stayed with that spiel.
Some of the guys who decided to stay after I explained the risk wanted to use condoms.
And I understood it.
But there were a few who took that “2%” chance with me.
And, to this day, they remain negative.
Cus I don’t know if I would be able to handle that.
I would never want to be the reason why someone had to apply for Ryan White funding.
Or why they are so aware of their T Cell count.
This shit is for the birds.
But this one time I was convinced I had transmitted it to my partner.
See, he was one of those who donated plasma – faithfully.
Twice a week, faithfully, he would go exchange his blood for some bucks.
Until this one week.
They pulled him out of the line talking about he couldn’t donate because of some “medical concern”.
And that he would not be able to donate again until he sat down with a medical professional.
I cannot explain to you the amount of fretting and guilt that I put myself through in those two days.
In my mind, since I was the only thing that changed between this current visit and the last one then I had to be the reason for his walk of shame at the medical center.
Tip: U=U. Undetectable=Untransmittable.
I support this mission fully because I have lived it for like a whole decade now. Yet it’s still hard for me even to fathom sometimes.
Over those two days, I cried.
And I prayed.
And then he went to the doctor.
Come to find out this Negro needed to be screened for high blood pressure.
(Not that that’s not serious, cus …)
But it wasn’t HIV.
And high blood pressure was most certainly not my fault.
What not to do: Don’t react prematurely.
I told you.
HIV is more of a psychological thing for me.
It be fucking with me.
But I can still stand firm on the fact that I have not transmitted this virus to anyone else.
And for this, I am grateful.
+ Ci Ci +