October 4, 2023

Elsa, "my partner has hidden my HIV status"

Contaminated by her lover
"I was infected in 1995, when I was 22. For more than two and a half years, we used condoms, and then, feeling confident, I agreed not to put any more, but I did not the test. In hindsight, I tell myself that his behavior might have alerted me. He was doing a lot of sports, using anabolic steroids and I knew there was needle exchange.
One day, I had a significant rule delay. I consulted my doctor. As I wanted this possible pregnancy, he prescribed me a blood test including the test HIV. I accepted without any worries. Ten days later, he told me that I was not pregnant, but that test was positive. It was very violent for me. At the moment, I lost the use of speech. It was as if I was alien to myself. It did not concern me, it could not happen to me.
When I told my friend he confirmed that he knew he was carrying the virus. How could he have told me anything? No dialogue was possible later. I was annihilated. He even told me that I should have expected. He seemed to be totally mocked. For him it was destiny. Our story stopped instantly. "

Elsa wished her death 
"At the moment, I wished him dead How to accept such behavior? How could I have been so wrong about our love story? Eleven years later, I still blame him, my wounds are still alive It took me a long time to announce it to my family and friends, and although I'm lucky to have a family where we speak, it was never the right time. I had the feeling of contaminating them in my turn, inflicting pain on them.
After this terrible discovery, the image of death was present daily. I saw myself dying in atrocious suffering. My life was ruined, I had no future. I was terribly afraid of the reactions of others, I also lost friends. "

To resolve to live with
"I was lucky, if I may say, that at the time of the diagnosis, my infection was coming back in a short time, maybe three months, I was able to be treated quickly. the disease is still not declared.
Even though I'm single right now, I have a life sentimental. I had loves that held the road. When I meet a man, I obviously inform him right away. HIV is part of my life and as I know the subject by heart, things seem simpler to accept for the other. I am also able to understand that a man rejects me because of the disease. Somewhere my HIV status gave me some strength.
The treatment is heavy with side effects, which remain bearable. But I must respect an excellent hygiene of life. The most difficult to bear for me is lipodystrophy (note: abnormal distribution of body fat tissue due to drugs). My body has changed, I do not like it anymore. I can not ignore it, sometimes I go so far as to compare it to a waste. Fortunately with the love of my dating, I sometimes get to accept it with the eyes of a man. It's still a big fight for me. "

The future
"Today, I am not afraid that AIDS will be declared, I am not thinking about death anymore, I am looking into the future and I am old, but I still feel the need to consult a psychiatrist, when I feel vulnerable, but I try to overcome my worries, I have to go out alone. life as normal as possible. I have a job that I like, and I really want to become a mother. My entourage is not very favorable, he fears for my health. It remains a project well anchored in my head. I hope to make it happen one day.
Even if today I live relatively well despite the presence of the virus in my body, I would like that through my testimony people understand that we can prevent contamination. We must continue to protect ourselves by putting condoms until we are sure of the other and especially until we have done the test. It's too important. "μ

To read : 
Living with HIV 
From Rommel Mendès-Leite and Maks Banens
Editions Calmann-Lévy - 19?
The authors give the floor to about fifty men and women with HIV. Courses of life moving.

For more information on World AIDS Day and the Sidaction Association, click here.

Rethinking infidelity ... a talk for anyone who has ever loved | Esther Perel (October 2023)