HIV test

An HIV Test Cost Me My Relationship

[AskShanTellem] Letter writer thought he was doing the responsible thing, but his girlfriend disagrees

HIV test

Thinkstock

Dear Shantellem,

I’ve never been so confused in my life. My girlfriend broke up with me for getting tested for HIV. She is allergic to latex condoms and wanted us to have unprotected sex. So I did what I thought was the sensible thing and went and got tested for HIV—something I had not done in years. I did it for her, but I also did it for myself. Instead of being relieved at my negative status and consideration for both of our health, she ridiculed me and accused me of not trusting her, and no longer wants to date me! What the hell did I do? Am I wrong for being conscious of my and my lady’s health?



Signed,

Lost and Confused

 

Dear Lost,

The short answer to your question is that you did right by getting tested, and something is truly wrong with your girlfriend for getting upset at you for being proactive when it comes to your health.  This is by far the strangest advice submission that I’ve ever received. More than 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV and almost 1 in 8 (12.8%) are unaware that they have the disease. HIV is rampant within the African American community, with Blacks representing 44 percent of new HIV cases despite making up just 12 percent of the U.S. population.

HIV is a disease that tends to lie dormant in the human body. It can take years for it to become detectable in some cases, so no matter how faithful you might be, you risk infecting your partner accidentally if you’ve had sex with an infected party. So getting tested, no matter how committed you’ve been to your girlfriend, is always a damn good move.

As for her reaction, my guess is that it could come from one of two places: One, she’s severely insecure and/or Two, she’s keeping a secret that she doesn’t want you to know about.

My advice for you is to leave this woman alone. If she’s flipping out about you going to the doctor, imagine what else is in store! No one should be made to feel bad for taking care of themselves, especially when it comes to sexual health. This is a serious red flag so do not ignore it. If you do so, your life could literally be in jeopardy.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

Shantell E. Jamison is an editor for EBONY.com and JETmag.com. Not confined to chasing headlines, this Chicago-based writer, radio personality and cultural critic is also the author of Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self.”





Comments
 
Stay in the Know
Sign up for the Ebony Newsletter