“It’s very puzzling… we thought we lesbians are safe”
Perhaps infected them. Every one of these individuals reported that they had never ever been with male lovers or had experience of medical transmissions or inserting medication use (we didn’t ask if individuals had been created with HIV or other feasible dangers of transmission). Although hard for all of them to know, the only real possible path of transmission and high-risk behavior they could report had been intercourse along with other females. All individuals additionally claimed they had been shocked to learn they was indeed contaminated with HIV and may perhaps not know how it had occurred. That they had all believed that they were safe because they had only been with women:
“…i really couldn’t know the way it simply happened because I became fine and I also thought we (lesbians) are safe, as well as the only individual I became intimately active with ended up being also a lady. I really couldn’t comprehend… I really couldn’t comprehend. I possibly couldn’t know the way I really could have contracted herpes once I had thought I happened to be safe in a real means! ” Zanele, 31 yrs old, Durban
“It’s the manner in which you get badly infected as a lesbian as it’s actually confusing how it will be possible. Other ladies know which they obtain it from their lovers during penetrative sexual activity then again as a female that is a lesbian whom also sleeps along with other ladies – it is extremely confusing. ” Lebo, 22 yrs old, Pretoria
The individuals’ confusion and disbelief is obvious through the above examples. When you look at the very first estimate, Zanele repeats just how she “couldn’t understand” being HIV infected. This feeling of confusion and very nearly not believing any particular one is HIV good ended up being a theme that is recurring the five individuals whom reported exclusive intimate connections with ladies in their life time. It stays not clear for all of those just exactly how feasible transmission could happen between females.
For these individuals, managing HIV demands constant explanations of how one got contaminated as assumptions override lived realities. Not merely are participants not able to comprehend possible disease on their own, they simultaneously battle to respond to constant concerns from other people about how exactly they may be contaminated:
“People think you got HIV that you have slept with a man and that’s how. It will make my entire life much much harder because as being a lesbian woman whom is HIV good, i have to explain the way I got HIV. ” Bongi, 33 yrs old, Johannesburg
“In town they raise numerous questions regarding the very fact they see…my partner is a woman that I am a lesbian and when. Then, `how did I be HIV asian shemale cumming good once I have always been someone who really really loves other females? ‘ they ask. Some also get in terms of saying it’s not astonishing I have you ever heard that a lady and another woman could be included? That We have HIV – where have actually” Gugu, 30 yrs old, Durban
It really is obvious through the above quotes that their HIV status that is positive different problems into the life of those females. The constant need to explain a person’s status to other people shows that you may still find misconceptions about HIV transmission along with lack of knowledge about same-sex relations.
Choosing to disclose
Individuals had been additionally expected when they had disclosed their status to anybody apart from the interviewer. Reactions suggest that nearly all individuals had disclosed up to someone, some members of the family and friends that are few. However, a few individuals had just disclosed to a single or two other people. Some had disclosed to members of the family, friends as well as publicly. On the list of individuals had been a couple of AIDS activists who had been understood inside their communities to be residing freely with HIV. For the people individuals who’d disclosed to household members and buddies, disclosure ended up being couched into the language of protection – i.e. Protecting yourself and another from feasible illness:
I still have to do the same for myself“As I would like to protect the next person. I would nothing like to get re-infected…As very very very long while you carry on having non-safe sex, you are able to nevertheless get re-infected. ” Zintle, 22 yrs old, Pretoria
“My mom as well understands (about my HIV status) because that she must use gloves to help so she won’t be infected” Gugu, 30 yrs old, Durban if I collapse in front of her she must know
While individuals may shy far from disclosing into the average man or woman, all reported the need and significance of disclosing to intimate partners. Central to such disclosure is protecting somebody and ensuring she will not get badly infected:
“Most of this lovers that I became dating – many of them are now actually HIV negative and I just be sure that they’ll constantly stay HIV negative. I would personallyn’t risk their everyday lives and We just be sure that I mightn’t do just about anything…” Taati, 26 yrs old, Windhoek