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Author Topic: A Letter to my Uninfected Body  (Read 1379 times)

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Offline engineergirl

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A Letter to my Uninfected Body
« on: September 20, 2012, 05:17:39 PM »
Dear Uninfected Body,

A little over ten years ago July you were strong, courageous, and full of life… You had just finished your Bachelor’s degree and enlisted in the United States Army.  You were on top of the world and unstoppable, you believed then that you could do anything and in enlisting had set out on a path to accomplish everything.

One humid early morning before the sun rose as you stood in the dense woods during an overnight tactical training your body was attacked, physically… sexually, your skin brutally torn, your clothes the same… your soul never to be the same.  Sirens, photographs, statements… the perpetrator arrested. Newspapers wrote... your story became the communities.  The news spread, whispers in the hospital halls turned from what had happened to what might happen, the inevitable.  He had AIDS.

Medications filled my stomach, a new vocabulary my mind, fear… my heart.  “Take these three times a day… get tested in three months, then again in six months.”

Weeks passed and your throat became sore… a rash upon your body, lymph glands swelled.  A trip to the local clinic and you were diagnosed with a virus.  Internet searches began and as you lay your head down that evening you realized, seroconversion had taken over.  HIV had invaded your body.  You would never be the same… a tear rolled down your cheek and fear and loneliness set in.

Window period collapsed and your test was conducted: positive… that’s two lines on the little white stick.  ( | | )

You were not afraid to love back then… you were not afraid to touch, to be touched.  You had no need to stand up for yourself, for your rights, to fight stigma.  You have come far in your new body.  Learning to stand for equality in healthcare, in relationships… you have learned to not take it personally when someone thinks of you a whore or a drug user.  You have been ridiculed, but you have been strong.  I am proud of you for making this journey with me… for understanding that sometimes life changes, in an instant and that in order to become who we are… we had to take a piece of who we were and daily mold that piece into who we are capable of being.

You, my old friend, my old uninfected body will find love again, will find the touch of another again… you will find equality in a world without stigma, you will look into the eyes of another and not feel shame and guilt… you will stand and say, I have HIV, I am infected and may my positive outlook on life affect all of those I come in contact with… because I, like you need love.

Love always, your infected body,

« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 09:44:43 AM by engineergirl »
amanda j.
Currently 28 weeks pregnant with a little boy...

Online karry

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Re: A Letter to my Uninfected Body
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 05:32:19 PM »
Hi Amanda!
You are a strong person...Reading your letter inspired me.
Hugs to you...and many more years to come.
Take it a day at a time....and be positive about it too!

Offline surf18

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Re: A Letter to my Uninfected Body
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 07:00:54 PM »
that was powerful amanda

Offline wolfter

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Re: A Letter to my Uninfected Body
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 08:59:31 PM »
Very powerful.  Thanks for sharing and congrats on the new love of your life who will be joining the world shortly.

Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline HippieLady

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Re: A Letter to my Uninfected Body
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 09:35:28 PM »
Great letter Amanda.  I can identify with many of your emotions. Thanks for sharing such a powerful message.
Diagnosed HIV+ April 30, 2010

Current CD4-638  VL-UD  11/2013

Offline engineergirl

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Re: A Letter to my Uninfected Body
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2012, 09:46:55 AM »
Writing this was a bit more therapeutic than I imagined it would be.  Thanks for taking the time to read... and comment.  It's been the toughest battle of my "infected" life this last year.  I've been in process of adopting a child and the protests and court battles are so infuriating and demeaning, that mixed with the planned IV pregnancy and you can only imagine the looks I get in conservative Utah... this letter needed to be written.
amanda j.
Currently 28 weeks pregnant with a little boy...

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: A Letter to my Uninfected Body
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2012, 11:37:31 AM »

  You are stronger than I could ever hope to be.  Thanks for sharing this letter and congrats on the upcoming birth of your baby boy.

I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline niecy_nurse

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  • Too blessed to be stressed.
Re: A Letter to my Uninfected Body
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2012, 12:34:58 PM »
Powerful words. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on your upcoming bundle of joy!!
Diagnosed July 6, 2012 by mouth swab
Confirmed July 25, 2012: VL=821
August 7, 2012: VL=1054, CD4:578
Sept. 12, 2012: CD4=701
Sept. 13, 2012: Started Complera
Oct. 5, 2012: VL=UD; CD4=809

Offline OneTampa

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  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: A Letter to my Uninfected Body
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2012, 06:57:17 PM »

Such power in your letter.  You are a superwoman.  And, congratulations on your baby.

« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 07:00:23 PM by OneTampa »
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline geobee

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Re: A Letter to my Uninfected Body
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2012, 08:05:37 PM »
I'm very glad I read your letter, Amanda.  Thank you for it.

Offline LoboDog

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Re: A Letter to my Uninfected Body
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2012, 08:19:19 PM »

So few people understand the stigma that we go through. Having a cold, the flu, even cancer is not looked down upon and yet a tiny slow progressing virus is. Kudos to you for your letter, for your bravery and for not hiding.


Offline engineergirl

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  • Posts: 81
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Re: A Letter to my Uninfected Body
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 09:51:39 AM »
Thanks everyone!  It was such a good thing for me to write that letter... I encourage you to take a moment and write one to your uninfected self.  It was extremely therapeutic.

Have a great week!
amanda j.
Currently 28 weeks pregnant with a little boy...


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