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Admitting that l am HIV positive

I found out I was HIV positive today (5/21/03) at 2:30pm. I cried for hours and so did my sister. We are like bestfriends and to know life without me is virtually impossible for her as it is for me. I cannot recall how I contracted the disease because I was a very promiscus young girl as well as young lady. At the age of 21, I am actually admitting that I am HIV positive and I do not know who gave it to me. I have always been naive and had low self-esteem. Men used me and abused me as I mistaked it for love. I see now that it wasn't. When I took the HIV test 2 weeks ago, I was hoping it came back negative...the last time I took one was in 1999, my senior year in high school. I thought that if it came back negative, I would show the world and start building up my self-esteem and marry my soulmate.

Now, that dream is dramatically deferred because I don't see a future for myself. I have been sexually active since age 13 and since then, I have had 88 partners....the majority of them(75) used condoms; the rest I trusted enough to not use a condom. It seems whomever gave it to me knew he had it and could care less about infecting other people
. I am still trying to grasp the idea that my body is deteriorating before my very eyes. My sister says we'll get through this but I just can't see that happening. I think suicide would be an answer but I tried that a year ago and it did not work. I dont even know how long I have had HIV or who I have infected since then. I just wish this was all a bad dream and I could wake up tomorrow, back in the 5th grade, still a virgin with no worries. Oh well, that won't happen. My fiance is incarcerated and thank god! I have not infected him. I broke off the engagement and decided to move on with my life the best I could. I love him dearly but I can't find the strength to be rejected by him if I told him why I broke the engagement. It all seems as if GOD is punishing me for engaging in pre-marital sex. I just wish I wasn't suffering from the Fatherless Daughter Syndrome...maybe my self-esteem would have been higher and I would have been less naive. HIV...how am I suppose to live with the fact that one day I may drop dead from this incurable disease?

- Sent via Email, May 23 2003, Miami, FL, USA
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