Found 1 week ago

Five individuals self-reported, with much disbelief, that their partners that are female have

“It’s very confusing… we was thinking we lesbians are safe”

Perhaps infected them. Every one of these individuals reported that they had never ever been with male lovers or had contact with medical transmissions or inserting medication usage (we would not ask if individuals had been born with HIV or any other feasible dangers of transmission). Although hard for them all to comprehend, the sole possible path of transmission and behaviour that is risky could report ended up being intercourse along with other females. All individuals also reported which they had been surprised to learn they was indeed infected with HIV and might maybe not understand how it had occurred. That they had all thought that they were safe because they had only been with women:

“…i possibly couldn’t know how it just happened because I happened to be fine and I also thought we (lesbians) are safe, additionally the only individual I became intimately active with had been also a lady. I really couldn’t comprehend… I really couldn’t comprehend. I really couldn’t know the way I really could have contracted herpes whenever I had thought I became safe in a real method! ” Zanele, 31 yrs old, Durban

“It’s the manner in which you get badly infected as a lesbian as it’s actually confusing exactly exactly exactly how you are able. Other females understand which they have it from their lovers during penetrative sexual activity then again as a lady who’s a lesbian whom additionally sleeps along with other ladies – it is extremely confusing. ” Lebo, 22 yrs old, Pretoria

The individuals’ confusion and disbelief is clear through the examples that are above. When you look at the quote that is first Zanele repeats just exactly how she “couldn’t understand” being HIV infected. This sense of confusion and very nearly maybe maybe perhaps not believing that certain is HIV good ended up being a theme that is recurring the five individuals whom reported exclusive intimate connections with feamales in their life time. It continues to be confusing for all of these exactly how transmission that is possible take place between females.

Of these individuals, coping with HIV demands constant explanations of how one got contaminated as assumptions override lived realities. Not just are individuals struggling to comprehend feasible disease for themselves, they simultaneously battle to answer constant concerns from other people about how precisely they are often contaminated:

“People think you got HIV that you have slept with a man and that’s how. It will make my entire life much harder because as being a lesbian girl whom is HIV good, i must explain the way I got HIV. ” Bongi, 33 yrs old, Johannesburg

“In town they raise numerous questions regarding the actual fact they see…my partner is a woman that I am a lesbian and when. Then, `how did I be HIV good once I have always been an individual who really really really loves other ladies? ‘ they ask. Some also get in terms of saying it is really not astonishing that We have HIV – where have actually I have you ever heard that a lady and another woman could be included? ” Gugu, 30 yrs old, Durban

It really is apparent through the above quotes that their HIV status that is positive different problems when you look at the everyday lives of those ladies. The demand that is constant explain an individual’s status to other people implies that you may still find misconceptions about HIV transmission along with lack of knowledge about same-sex relations. sexier

Determining to reveal

Individuals were additionally asked should they had disclosed their status to anybody apart from the interviewer. Reactions suggest that the majority of individuals had disclosed to somebody, some loved ones and few buddies. Nevertheless, a participants that are few just disclosed to 1 or two other people. Some had disclosed to nearest and dearest, buddies and in addition publicly. Among the list of individuals had been a couple of AIDS activists who have been understood within their communities to be living freely with HIV. For many individuals that has disclosed to members of the family and buddies, disclosure ended up being couched when you look at the language of protection – i.e. Protecting yourself and another from feasible disease:

I still have to do the same for myself“As I would like to protect the next person. I might nothing like to obtain re-infected…As very very long while you keep on having unsafe sex, it is possible to nevertheless get re-infected. ” Zintle, 22 yrs old, Pretoria

“My mom as well understands (about my HIV status) because if we collapse in front of her she have to know that she must utilize gloves to assist so she defintely won’t be contaminated” Gugu, 30 yrs old, Durban

All stated the necessity and importance of disclosing to intimate partners while participants may shy away from disclosing to the general public. Central to such disclosure is protecting somebody and ensuring she will not get diseased:

“Most for the lovers that I happened to be dating – a lot of them are in reality HIV negative and we just be sure that they can constantly stay HIV negative. I mightn’t risk their life and We just be sure that I’dn’t do just about anything…” Taati, 26 yrs old, Windhoek

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