April of 2008 I took a test at a drop in center in the Montrose area of Houston. Something felt different this time because the results took longer than normal to come back via the person who conducted my test. He came and he looked petrified, maybe because we knew each other, it was probably the hardest thing he had to do that day. It took him about 3 minutes to even say what he needed to say to me, and when he finally revealed my results to me, it was like a horrible dream. The odd thing about the situation is that I was eerily calm and I usually like that in crisis mode.
I flashed back to the fall of 2007 and early 2008 when I suddenly remembered the dry heaving coughs and the recurring flu like symptoms. This happened as I went through how I could have contracted it, and we talked about the fact that he needed to do a blood draw for a confirmatory test. By this point, Everything that I had learned about HIV over the years came flooding back to me and as I broke out in hives I asked myself, "What you gone do bitch?" For context, the question meant that I could not sulk because it was always a risk that I was taking when I had unprotected sex and that I could handle it. A little while later, my blood test also came back confirmatory positive, I was set up with a care provider who would walk me through labs and how to maintain my health.
A few years later I came out to the world about my status to the world with the sole purpose to educate and break stigma. I just had no idea that it would be so impactful... Here is how I came out.