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Hi, my name is Juana and I am 26 years old and live in the Guatemala. I used to live in California, I went there at the age of 18, to become a lawyer and then return to my country to my boyfriend, get, married and have a family, but when I came to the states I started school and went to work at a Mexician restaurant to pay for college, then there was this guy who would always come into the restuarant and he would always sit in my section, he would filrt and sometimes try to make conversation, after about a month I decided that I needed to get out more and site see instead of just studying and working. So one day he was making conversation and I ask him what kind of site seeing was there around there he said oh there is lots maybe you would like me to show you around town this weekend,

So I took the offer and we went site seeing, we became closer and closer then after 3 months he asked me to move in with him so that I would not have to pay rent. We began having sex (unprotected) 1month later I became pregant and quit school (I only did 1 semester) and we got married right away.

7 months later we had a little girl we named her Juanita (after my gradma) we never told my family of this. About one year later he started getting severe headaches and getting sick alot. I begged him to go to the doctor but he refused to listen. 1 month went by and the symptoms became worse, he decied that we needed to move to Mexico where he was from. So we did, he finally after 2 years of only getting worse he finally went to see a doctor but it was too late. The doctor dignosed him with AIDS, the doctor said that he gave him 6 months to live. However the symptoms lessened after about 2 months and we assumed the doctor wrong. But then about 5.5 months later he went to sleep with his 3 year old daughter at his side and never woke up.The sad thing is that she was the one who ws trying to wake him up.

At the funeral service there was a young lady who was over the casket crying I went up to her and asked her how they were related and she said they wernt, I said "you must have been really close friends". She replied back to me, "we were to be married and he found out that I was cheating on him and he went to the US to live, then I found out that I had AIDS I told him that and he was furious and he told me to never tell anyone of it, I also know that he had been sick before but it went away, I feel that his death is all my fault because if I had never cheated then I wouldn't had caught AIDS, and givin them to him".

I was so furious with him that he never told me about being with someone who had AIDS and to know that is what he died from. I was tested but nothing showed up. When Juanita asks "is Daddy comming home?" I simply say "no he's gone".

I only hoped that I wasnt infected but 5 year later i began to get severe headaches and can't eat for days at a time so I went back to the doctor and I too was digonised with AIDS. But now Juanita his big enough at the age of 8 and i had to tell her and he would just sit by my bed and cry and ask me if I was going to die like daddy and I could only tell her that time would have to tell.
Finally, so far it has been 7 years and I have only gotten worse and I feel that I to will die very soon and Juanita now 15 just prays that I don't have to suffer anymore than I already have. She said that she wished that I could live to see her wedding and my grand children. But in the final stage of AIDS, I don't ever see that happening.

Now at the age of 35 I have finally come to the conculsion that I have to make the best of today becaue there may not be a tomorow. So please ask questions of your partners and use protection.

Juana Maria Lopez, in memory of my husband Franscio Furnando Lopez


Sent via Email, January 13, 2005 from USA / Guatemala.

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