My teen years were a bit different than my classmates’ because, on top of my studies, they also included travelling to England to bury my father and caring for my mom, who was in and out of the hospital and passed away in 2012 from cancer.
When my parents died, I didn’t tell people why either. I’ve also been told that I’m “really mature” and “act older than I am,” which I choose to view as compliments.
The person may look healthy, but can still transmit the virus.
This is one reason people in stable relationships are infecting each other.
When I was 13 years old, I remembering telling myself, “I haven’t even kissed a boy and I have an STI.” That’s how the kids in my class and I were taught about HIV, an infection that I’ve had since birth. A bit about me: I’m 24, living in the Greater Toronto Area and a Gemini who works as a freelance journalist. My mother contracted HIV after my father had several affairs, and she was unaware of her status when she got pregnant, gave birth and breastfed me.
We both found out that we were HIV positive when we came to Canada in 1995. Over the years, I have learned to accept my status and love myself—but finding partners who feel the same is not always easy.