An HIV positive Guyana-born woman, who is a now born-again Christian based in the United States says that she previously cried herself to sleep sometimes when she thinks about the men, whom she had possibly infected with the dreaded HIV AIDS virus.
The woman who had also founded her God-fearing soulmate on the HIV Positive dating site Positive Nation, has since been drafted into various counseling groups that usually reach out to spouses and persons who have been infected with HIV/ AIDS.
Sitting down for a brief interview with the Guyana Guardian on the sidelines of an HIV Inspired event that was held earlier this week at the Church House in Westminster, London, the Activist (name withheld) shared some elements surrounding her HIV Positive life story.
She told this reporter that during a routine medical checkup in preparation for her planned move with her parents to the United States permanently in 2008, she subsequently learned that she was HIV positive.
Being in a state of shock and denial the now 31-year-old woman said that she forced herself to label the test as erroneous, and further self-duped her conscience into believing that she was not infected; – a phase that is usually experienced by most people who surprisingly discovers that they were tested positive.
At that time, she explained that the catchphrase “I can’t get Aids” sank into her so much that she was no longer bothered by the supposedly ‘erroneous’ results.
As a matter of fact, she was even emboldened to continue with a previously stalled relationship, and then move on to two others when one or the other did not work out.
In terms of the fourth person, she explained that a supervisor, and then a Director, who was the fifth person at a popular local company, and who were both married men, took advantage of her emotions since one picked her up when the other felt that he had enough.
With regard to the sixth person, she shared that the young man was a Guyanese residing in Barbados whom she had a one-month relationship with before the man returned to Bridgetown, and simply abandon her.
Thereafter she said that she started to work as a waitress at a club and had carried on a sexual relationship with a nightclub owner.
In all of these cases, she subsequently ended up having unprotected sex with the men.
It was not until the US forbid the discrimination of visa applicants who are HIV positive in 2009, that her permanent residency documents abruptly came through.
She migrated to the United States in 2010.
I was only after being tested positive again there twice, that the woman realized what she had actually done.
Even so, it did not take long before two of her ex-partners contacted her via Facebook and accused her of “giving them Aids”.
One of the men went ahead and used a phantom Facebook account to tag and viciously expose her in 2014, while the other had even threatened to have her executed.
The abuser’s account has since been removed by Facebook, while a complaint was submitted to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations, and copied to the Guyana Police Force since late 2014.
The woman, however, has never returned to Guyana, and said that she does not have any plans to do so in the immediate future.
“I will admit that my actions were reckless, but I never intended to infect anyone with HIV. For that I am deeply sorry, and is pleading for those affected persons to forgive me”, she said with an obvious look of regret on her face.
She has since removed herself from social media and is now married to someone who is also HIV positive.
Together, they have traveled to more than 30 countries providing inspiration for people and children with HIV Aids, while she also serves as a UNESCO spokesperson and blogger on the subject matter.
With a strong presence in her New Jersey community church, she is also a counselor with over a dozen HIV counseling groupings and also serves as the Director of three of them spanning the State of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Asking if she has any other parting words to say before the interview was wrapped up, she nodded mildly and reiterated that “If I could have turned back the hands of time, I would never be so reckless with my life or the lives of others. But I was young, wild, and misguided. I regretted those moments, and I will continue to pray for those men and whoever else in their family my actions must have affected. After all, I already asked God for his forgiveness, and he has set me free. I can only ask again for those affected people to find it in their hearts to also forgive me”.