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Stabroek News



Diary of an HIV-positive, pregnant girl (Pt II)
published: Monday | July 28, 2008

Keisha Shakespeare-Blackmore, Staff Reporter


This is the second instalment in our look at one woman's journey with HIV.

Recap from last week: Gabrielle is 19 years old and is five months pregnant with her second child, and is HIV positive.

Two years after testing HIV positive, Gabriellewas getting her life back when she met Mark, her current boyfriend, who has also been living with the disease for the past 13 years.

The couple met at a support group meeting in Kingston. At the time, she was living with a relative of her first child's father who had died from the disease. Gabrielle met Mark during a complicated phase of her life.

In addition to coping with being pregnant and living with a life-threatening disease, she was staving off the sexual advances of her late boyfriend's relative, Bob. After her boyfriend died, Bob promised he to get her a job and assist her financially with her son. He was about to resign from his job and his employer promised to give her his old job. However, the day when he resigned, he did not inform her. "His girlfriend was the one who woke me up and told me. So I got up and went to the office," said Gabrielle.

Trouble at work

At the office, Bob's employer told her that he was very rude and cursed her before leaving. When she went home, she asked Bob about it and he became upset. He said the employer was lying. This caused a friction between two. In the end, he decided that he was not going to live a house with any woman who he was not having sex with.

"One Friday night, he tried to hold me down to have sex with me. I had to wrestle with him to get him off me."

She told Flair that he should be thankful that she was brought up the way she was, with good morals. "I thought maybe I should just let him take it, then he would have received a nice 'present'. But, I thought if I did that, then he would pass on the virus to his girlfriend, so I did not."

Big argument

The next day, they had a big argument and she packed her bags to move back to her parent's home in the country. She called Mark to come and get her but because of difficulties, he did not pick her up until the following day. Since then, the two became very close friends and about six months later, they began dating. Soon after, Gabrielle moved in with Mark.

Throughout their relationship, they always practised safe sex but earlier this year, they let their guards down.

Gabrielle began experiencing flu- like symptoms, so she went to the doctor. He made her take a pregnancy test because there was a possibility that she was pregnant. "I told him I didn't believe I was, but I tested anyway. I was shocked when test result came back positive!

To be continued.

*Names changed

keisha.shakespeare@gleanerjm.com

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