I first heard my husband talk about his HIV status in passing to a mutual friend. That's how I found out he was positive. Long before we dated, long before we were even friends...barely just acquaintances, and he was so open with disclosing his status. I found out last week that prior to telling my parents about his status, he was quite open about it with everyone he came in contact with...and then when my parents found out, he completely shut down. He stopped telling people, and started living under a blanket of shame from that point on, to this very day today--going on 12 years now. Amazing how a small moment in time can be so defining for a person. Equally amazing, how such a tiny cellular thing can cause such a reaction in people.
I want to see this tiny cellular thing. I want to see HIS HIV with my very own two eyes. I want to see what it is that requires him to take these powerful medications, and causes him to feel ashamed sometimes. I want to see what I'm protecting myself against when we use a condom to have sex. I want to know--what does it look like? How does it move? Does it have a color? Shape? Is it ugly? Is it beautiful?
Its so microscopic and yet so big between us that I feel this sense of wanting to see it, to understand it.
I've done a lot of research about it. I've talked about it. Cried about it. Worried about it. Written about it. Lived with it...and now I need to see it for myself.