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Stories Of Promise - Co-Dependent to Independent

Stories OF Promise I wish I could go back in time and educate myself about HIV transmission. I wasn’t taking care of myself and I didn’t know how much of a risk I was putting myself in regarding HIV. I used to only have sex with people who said they were negative because I trusted that they knew their status. I never had sex with anyone who said they were undetectable because I thought that I could still get the virus from them. I didn’t realize that the people who said they were HIV negative but didn’t actually know their status, were more of a threat. So, since I thought they were HIV negative, I never used or asked a lover to use a condom during sex.

I was stunned to find out I had contracted the virus after a routine HIV test. Everything I knew about HIV and its transmission was wrong. It was then that I realized that if I wanted to change my life for the better, I had to start immediately. I needed to work on myself.

I needed to learn about the virus, its transmission, and my treatment options. I knew that if I wanted to take care of my health and use condoms, I needed to gain confidence. I had my mother drive me straight to a residential treatment facility. I was able to get straight into care and on an anti-retroviral treatment plan. I’m working hard in my group therapy sessions. I’m learning how to advocate for myself and how not to depend on other people, especially a partner. I’m actually dating someone right now while in care and we always use condoms. I have the knowledge and the confidence to use condoms every time, to protect myself and others. I now know that it is possible for me to love myself and love someone else without compromising my well-being.

Broward House is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

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