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The fight against ignorance

I grew up in a small city that has alot of social issues, drugs, violence, high teen pregnancy and poverty. Considering that this is the place I once called home the way of life there was normal. I can remember vividly in the 80's when crack/cocaine hit the streets. Every guy that could get a connect became a superstar because he had cars, clothes and money. The girlfriends of these drug dealers lived what I thought was the "glamourous life" i wanted to be like them. I started to develop what I call the Hotboy syndrome". At 17 I had three men in my life, good looking and paid. My boyfriend of two years, the love of my life I later found out that he had slept with almost every girl in the city and to this day is still knocking them down, he's relentless. The other was a high profile huslter who lived the same lifestyle, "the fast lane" , well the girl getter date raped me, and left me with a STD that I could get rid of. I was naive and continued to have unprotected sex with him, thinking if I have HIV there is nothing I can do about it know, the final guy also lives the same type of lifestyle, we had an unprotected incident once. They all have had girls pregnant making me aware that they were risky. I went to college and again did what I had vowed not to do with a guy who played me, just keeping it real, we were under the influence.


My hot boy boyfriend returned to my life years later, 100 more women later, and I initiated sex with him, WHY?, but using a condom, how it managed to break after 3 minutes of intercourse i will never know, but he knew that the condom had broke and he was going to proceed until i caught him, that situation scared me to death because he will not get tested and says that he is okay. My senior year in college I lost 15 pounds, i had lost my appetite, and I just felt bad all the time. My father noticed the change in me and expressed his concern to me in a way that frightned me to death. I can remember crying harder then i ever had, i assumed that I was infected although I had not been tested. I finally found the "strength" and that is what it takes to go get tested when you feel the odds are totally against you. I had waited five months after having unprotected sex, i assumed that if I am negative now and positive later that I would be able to identify the person whom infected me. It was horrifying as most people will agree having to wait for an answer that will change your life forever. I was tested with the Western Bloc, i was told that the result is 99.4% accurate. I tried to prepare myself for the worst news that was told to be by an HIV positve homosexual man who did counsoling. My results were negative, an undescribable relief, but not satisfaction, i still doubt testing methods considering there are new strains of viruses, I feel like i did not wait long enough ( 5 months) and going in for another test will be horror all over again. My entire life I have been obsessed with this virus, my father warned me of it when I was young because it was rampant in our city in the 80's. I want to do anything possible to get the message out to young women who are naive and are approched by fine, older guys with something to offer, and teach them that AIDS is real because everyone I talk to these days seems to not have gotten the clue, that it can happen to you. These guys still are not willing to get tested they claim they have already been tested and then they claim they have had a few partners in between but they are OK. I'm blessed. Still afraid but ready to help in the fight against ignorance.

Sent via Email - December 5, 2003. Chester, PA , USA

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