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Jae’s Intro

January 18, 2010

Who am I?

My name is Jae, I am 39 years old and have been HIV+ for 18 years. I am a wife, mother to 3 boys, an employee, and full-time student. I live in Southern California, USA. I work in the medical field, the city I work in I come in contact with men that are HIV+. I just don’t have anything in common with them. First of all they are men. Second, most of them are gay. I am neither. I have a family and have been married for 21 years. My husband is in law enforcement and I was a stay at home mother for many years. He is a bit of a private person and has suppressed my participation in activism. So reluctantly I have agreed to forgo being a face to the masses to sitting back and Blogging about my own experiences.

Why do I want to be a part of A Girl Like Me: I have been so alone when it came to women’s issues and HIV. I have always wanted to be a voice of women that are HIV+. Then I realized I don’t know any other women with HIV. When I got pregnant with my youngest, I was the first HIV+ patient to deliver a baby at that hospital. I still had nobody to talk to. I wish there was a website that I could have turned to when I had questions. Just to know that I wasn’t alone would have been nice.

More about me…I am a very outgoing person. If there is a challenge on the table, I am usually the one to accept. I am the first to accept an invitation to go to a Karaoke bar, and sing (no alcohol needed), although the singing would sound better to you if you were drinking. I am generally a happy person. I have a big heart and want to help everyone. This is my opportunity to help others like me.  Thank you for the opportunity to share my story. I hope my story might help someone create a positive one of their own.

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43 Comments leave one →
  1. Nomsa permalink
    February 3, 2010 9:15 am

    Hey Jae, how you doing, pleasure to read your introduction, I am a 32 year old positive woman for 9 years now, was diagnosed 2001, when I was pregnant with my baby boy, who was such a cuttiepie, I loved him to bits, unfoortunately for me, he left me 4 months later after a short illness. I have been missing him ever since, he was my joy, my life and my all. I wish to have another kid but with my HIV status its impossible cos I am unable to meet any guy who is also positive and the negative guys i have dated have been a horrible night mare.

    Anyway, take care and keep healthy.

  2. Jae001 permalink
    February 4, 2010 12:59 am

    Thanks for replying. I am sorry for your loss. It is unfortunately difficult to find a decent man HIV+ or not. I see the difficulties with my friends and they are negitive. I am thankful everyday not to be in the dating pool, it’s kinda mucky in there.
    Keep trying there and don’t be discouraged. Someone will realize how truly special you are.
    Jae

    • August 6, 2010 5:41 am

      Hi Jae, I do not know what to say, whether you are super woman or what? I am strugling to keep up with my job, the virus, studies and being a mom and a wife. You trully inspired me with your introduction. At times I feel selfish for enrolling for a B-degree course while I am so challenged. Please tell me what you use to boost your energy for all that. I get so tired at times I feel like quiting the studies, but unfortunately I am not a quiter. I just need a proper booster. By the way, I am Esther, 39yrs mom of 2 girls 14 and 8yrs. A registered nurse, divorced, now traditionally incobabitated, sweet loving husband who makes me and my kids happy. Persuing a B-degree in Nursing Science mayoring in Nursing education 1st year. Supervising nurses at clinics in my district. I travel a lot since these clinics are far apart.
      I am happy to have found friends who will never judge me, but suport me and even correct me through their sharing of experience. You already have inspired me that it can be done, with or without HIV. Thank you and may our Father keep us all going throughout many years of love and joy till the end., which should still be far by God’s grace.

      • Jae permalink
        August 9, 2010 2:48 pm

        No not Super Woman… LOL I wish!!! Sometimes I feel if I stood still too long I might get sick. So I am going to keep truckin along… Hoping to never get ill… for now I am well, Trying to be Super Woman ; )
        Jae

  3. February 7, 2010 8:17 pm

    Oh my God Jae. I am so glad I asked you to be my friend through FB, I wouldve never met such an icredible woman as you otherwise…I am 51 this Friday and have been infected since 83, AIDS since 99. I dont take medication and I am in a relationship where he is not infected and in the 11 years we have been together, have never practiced safe sex, odd is’nt it…either way, you are my hero and I want to become the best of friends with you…and anyone else out there that wants to be friends…call me 541-490-6284 (it is an Oregon number but I live in Palm Springs area.) God sent me to you and you to me…I KNOW this……

    • Esther permalink
      August 6, 2010 5:08 am

      Hi, I am really ammazed by your strenghth and courage to have lived for so long without medication. I am 39 yrs, mom of 2 precious girls,divorced and now am traditionally incobabtatd with a handsome sweet guy who loves and respect me and kids, Both of us are diagnosed HIV+ since 2004. We are practicing safe sex at all times. He is still fine but I am falling sick now and then. My CD4 count was 174 in Jan2010. I have started treatments 3 times and all made me deadly sick. I have decided to live trusting in my Saviour. My doctor is trying to cnvince me to try the treatment again. Only he promized that this time it will be something different. Please help me to stand my ground because I got terrified sometimes when a flu attacks me. I start feeilng guilty and think that maybe I am selfish of being afraid of the treatment. But how could I trust something that almost killed me three times. Deep down I know that I trust in God and he is more powerful than anything else. Plaese talk to me about my confussion and mixed feelings on my decision of not taking medication. It is hard when one have children.

      • Jae permalink
        August 9, 2010 2:45 pm

        Just to let you know Esther, Karen isn’t doing very well. She is often very, very ill. I haven’t heard from her in quite awhile. I hope and pray that she is still well.
        Jae

  4. February 9, 2010 6:41 am

    i am a 37 year old zambian woman, married and with 4 children, the last, born 8 months ago. i found out about status 4 years ago. i was devastated. my identical twin sister is also hiv+ was there for me. i got pregnant last year and i said to myself come what may, i will have the baby. i gave birth to a healthy baby who is hiv-, by c-section. i am happy i am alive today and it gives me so much joy to read about people like JAE. stigma is still here in this part of africa. even my own hubby wont barge. i am strong and good to start something that will make people accept their status. i am ready to learn more about HIV/AIDS.

  5. molly permalink
    February 24, 2010 10:28 am

    truly remarkable i have to say and i am so glad i found this website, i was jus thinkin about it the other day that i dont have anyone to talk to, apart from my husband who is negetive , there is no one else and i jus love this, i do
    thankyou

  6. jae001 permalink
    February 24, 2010 4:30 pm

    I like that we are all here fo the same reason. Some how we have found each other. I don’t feel so alone anymore. I am thankful for this blog. I am thankful to each and every one of you.
    Jae

  7. MIKE permalink
    February 25, 2010 7:07 pm

    Hi Ladies,

    I think it’s great that you have this forum to share your stories. I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate for a male to comment on here. I was just wondering as a male could I be safe in a relationship with an hiv+ woman? I have a girl who has been a close friend and is positive and I have feelings for her but am frightened to take it any further because of my own fears. If any of you have any advice for me I would appreciate it. God bless, I truly wish you all the best.

    Mike

    • Jae001 permalink
      February 26, 2010 4:50 pm

      Mike,
      I can understand your fear. But, there are precautions you can take to have a very safe intimate relationship with a woman the is HIV+. If you think about it, you already know her status. Would you be as precautious with another you didn’t know their status? If she is where your heart leads you then, GOOD FOR YOU! I wish you both the best!
      Jae

  8. Lee permalink
    March 10, 2010 7:48 am

    i`m in a relationship i`m so scared to tell my boyfriend i`m positive i`ve being push him way. reading this actually showed me some people can be in a relationship with a positive people. i`m so scared the only thing i`m think of is my funeral and my parents.

  9. Jae001 permalink
    March 19, 2010 12:33 am

    You need to be honest with those you want to be in a relationship with. I don’t see that it is important unless it becomes a “relationship” but there comes a time that you need to disclose your status. Some can handle it and some can’t. Good Luck

  10. lolo permalink
    April 1, 2010 6:33 pm

    hey Mike i would like to say i am glad there a open minded people like you and as for me my husband is negetive been together for 7 years and we have a healthy young boy . believe it or not we jus argue about normal couple things , whose getting up to sit with our son in the moring. my health is not an issue and if there somethin botherin him we talk about it. so go for it, shes worth it!!!!!

  11. REFILOE permalink
    April 22, 2010 8:52 am

    HI GUYS I FEEL HONOURED TO READ ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE IM LIVING WITH HIV AND IM DIVORCED NOW ITS DIFFICULT FOR ME TO FIND THE RIGHT PARTNER WHOM I CAN SHARE WIT H HIM EVERYTHING CAUSE IT BECOMES SO LONELY SOMETIMES AND THE GUYS IVE MET ITS LIKE THEY ARE JUST WITH ME FOR OTHER REASONS NOT FOR LOVE LOVE AND I RECENTLY BROKE UP WITH A GUY WHOM IVE DATED AND FIND OUT HIS POSITIVE BUT HE CHEATED ON ME AND HE DIDNT HAVE THE GUTS TO APPOLOGISE TO ME THEN I LEAVE HIM CAUSE HE WAS GIVING ME LOT OF STRESS AND NOW IFEEL LONELY BUT I JUST WANT TO TAKE A BREAK FROM THE DATING GAME CAUSE I DONT WANT STRESS AT THE MOMENT AND IM 28 YEARS OLD AND I HAVE A 6 YEAR OLD GIRL TO LOOK AFTER

    • Jae001 permalink
      April 25, 2010 1:01 pm

      REFILOE,
      You are not alone. Always remember this. You have a daughter to look after. You need to be an example to her. Keep her in mind before you think about dating anyone. You are a mother first. Let’s keep her safe and aware that HIV affects us all. You are very lucky to have the opportunity to be a mother.
      Good Luck,
      Jae

  12. shirley permalink
    June 14, 2010 6:44 am

    Hi Jae

    I am 22 years old,recently married,32 weeks pregnant with my first child and I just tested positive for Hiv 4 days ago.I am so scared I have not even told my husband. I don’t know why i delayed testing maybe a part of me knew somehow and I was in denial about it.I came across your blog by accident googling about hiv and pregnant women and I thank God.It gives me hope to read about your experiences you seem so positive about life despite your status.There is still a lot of stigma where I stay and I am not upto it.I feel this is an oppurtunity for me to realy live my life instead of going through the motions but I am scared to death.How do i turn the days into weeks, months,years and decades? What are the do’s and dont’s? How do I ensure I will be around to see my son grow up……..How do I cope

    • jae001 permalink
      June 14, 2010 10:43 am

      First of all get retested. Next make sure you are getting pernatal care! Surpport from family is important. I think you need to make an appointment to see the doctor so your husband can be tested also. Protect each other. Find out what you medication options are. Congratulations on the addition to ur family! How exciting! Enjoy your family . This is a bump in the road, I am sure it won’t be the last. You are having a child, I am sure there will be more. Just wait till he or she hits addolesent years : ) if I can be help don’t hessitiate to ask

    • Mary permalink
      August 24, 2010 10:54 am

      Hi Shirley,

      Hope you are feeling more secure in things….I have been poz for 2 years and I have a 2 year old that is poz too. Hang in there. It may feel very final to be poz but it’s not. Just take care of yourself and it will all be fine. My two year old is very healthy and takes her meds 2 times a day like clockwork. Good luck!

    • THECLA MARTIN permalink
      January 12, 2011 11:04 am

      like i always say you have just began to live. you must start by supporting yourself. look into the mirror and tell yourself i will make it, it’s not a battle ,it’s simply an adjustment to a way of life. it’s not even a killer as some people presume. it doesn’t destroy unless you want it to. So keep living and have fun.

      TEK

  13. Dolly permalink
    August 6, 2010 5:38 am

    Hi Jae
    I a 29 years old, i tested positive last year and my husband is negative. Life is not good at home coz my husband is no longer interested in me, he dont want to have sex with me saying that he is scared. We have a lovely baby girl who is 10 months old.

    What food supplement to use to strenthen my immune system because i dont have enough money to buy healthy food.

  14. Gracei permalink
    August 17, 2010 6:10 am

    Hello,
    I am 33 years old single mum of two beautiful girls. I thank God for their HIV- and so is their dad. We separated sometime back as he treated me like he was doing me a favour staying with me. I took my stand and we parted not so peacefully as I was more of the caretaker at home. But I am born again christian and this has helped me alot. I trust in God and believe He will get a good and God fearing partner. I get so lonely sometimes, and just envy my friends with their partners. So i keep myself busy with work but after the girls have slept, I just keep staring in my bed at night. I get the sexual urge most times and you know its not easy because men hit at me because I look good, good business running but lonely inside. I have this secret to myself so its hard sometimes. Thank you for this blog and God bless you dear

    • Jae permalink
      August 17, 2010 1:43 pm

      Gracie, I am not sure where you live. But there are dating websites for HIV+ people. look it up in your search engine. You might be surprised. Most of all be safe, for your children. I understand that it is hard to find a partner that is accepting of your status. But there are some out there.
      God Bless You,
      Jae

      • Gracei permalink
        August 19, 2010 5:49 am

        Jae, am from East Africa and there is alot of Stigma here. You just go silent with your sorrow. Thank God for my kids but to be honest, I really do get soooooooo lonely sometimes and I just want to cry like God forgot me. But anyway, I am trying to make the best of my situation now. Please get me some
        links on those websites so that I can try my luck. Thank God for you!
        Gracei

    • THECLA MARTIN permalink
      January 12, 2011 11:26 am

      don ‘t be upset with men, they act that way with women without hiv too, so don’t let that get at you. someday someone good will come along, there are lots of them around. stay happy. loads of love to your daughters

  15. Jae permalink
    August 19, 2010 3:47 pm

    http://personals.poz.com/

    Check this out… you might find a connection or just someone to take too

  16. August 23, 2010 10:18 am

    Hi, jae, am a girl of 27 years a graduate, and tested HIV+ last year december, its really scaring to know, my fear is how to have babies, though engaged and my fiance is aware and supportive even when he is negative,but am still worried, worried that he might quit any time, bcos i caught him with another lady recently something i have not seen in him for the past 8 year and he is the only one aware, i can’t tell my parent, cos i don’t know how they would take it, bcos they are not educated.am really happy for these blog, at least i now know there are people like me and i can now share my feeling, thanks a lot jae and God bless

  17. Mary permalink
    August 24, 2010 10:57 am

    Jae, This an awesome resource! I love that you are here telling “our” story. I feel like a fake everyday because no one around me knows. My husband, myself and our daughter are all poz and it’s hard to keep from drowning in all the information and fears. But we still carry on and pretend like everything is ok

    • THECLA MARTIN permalink
      January 12, 2011 11:35 am

      Mary you don’t have to pretend that everything is ok, because everything is really ok. there are worse things in life than living with HIV. look on the bright side. stay faithful to God and your medications and you’ll find out that it’s no big deal afterall. best regards to the family

  18. Lucia permalink
    September 9, 2010 7:30 pm

    Hi Jae,

    My name is Lucia, I’m a mother of 3 and was diagnosed when I was pregnant with my first child about 12 years ago. I do feel alone at times and feel like I’m the only positive woman out there. Since you also live in Southern Cali do you know of any peer groups out there? What do you do? Thanks for listening, take care!

  19. ernesteen permalink
    October 4, 2010 9:12 am

    hi jae
    i found out i few month ago that i am positive
    i feel so alone at times because i can`t really
    tell my family i am to scared i am a mother of
    a 7 year old and a 28 year old women.
    can you maybe give me some advise on how
    to cope it is been 5 months since i know my status.

    thank jae

  20. jae permalink
    October 5, 2010 6:32 pm

    Ernesteen,
    I know how alone it can feel. May I suggest a support group locally in your area. My family is very supportive. However I do have some extended family that is uneducated in this field and havn’t spoke to me in 17 years. I know who my true supporters are. If you could trust one person and confide in them you wouldn’t feel so alone. Maybe ask them to go to the doctor with you. Help educate your family. Knowledge is power over fear.
    Jae

  21. Angela permalink
    October 18, 2010 4:41 pm

    Jae,
    I have been feeling like I am the only 40 year old female in MS with HIV. Everybody else that i have talked to is gay. I do not judge anyone, but it’s hard to relate to males. I never in millon years expected to be here, and like you i would love to be an advocate, but i am scared of the stigma, my kids reputations, and losing my job. Mississippi is not the most open minded state. I teach a local community college and try to express the risks of contracting STD’s in my classes ( i work in the health care field). I feel like the students could related and understand more if they knew i contracted it. If it can happen to their teacher, it could happen to them. But right now, i am not that brave. Maybe in the future
    Good to have people to talk to.
    Angela

  22. little permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:14 am

    Hi am a 30 year old and was diagnosed 7years ago when my husband died.I have a 7yr old who is a source of joy to me and my parents.Had been so lonely and remarried last year, but am not sure i can get kids.We have been trying to get a kid for the last 1yr am to a breaking point cause its bringing problems in my family.My husband is also positive.Dont know what to do now?I wish i would have positive friends in Nairobi Kenya and all over.It always feels better talking to a person going through what you are going through.Thanks people for sharing.

    • THECLA MARTIN permalink
      January 12, 2011 11:40 am

      Little, your baby will come at God’s time but make a conscious effort to bother less about issues like that, and a conscious effort to stay happy for all of us who love you.
      Tek.

  23. christy permalink
    March 28, 2011 4:23 pm

    HI THERE JAE. I WAS LOOKING THROUGH WEBSITES WHEN I FOUND YOU, I TOO AM HIV+ FOR 10 YEARS NOW. I AM A NURSE AND WAS LOOKING FOR A WEBSITE ABOUT CONYINUING TO WORK IN HEALTHCARE WITH POSITIVE STATUS. IT’S NICE TO KNOW THAT THERE ARE OTHER WOMEN OUT THERE TO TALK TO.

    • Jae permalink
      March 28, 2011 9:27 pm

      Christy, I totally understand. I found AGLM by browsing also. I am so glad I did. Working in the healthcare field is hard under normal cricumstances, add the fear of getting pneumonia or the flu from a patient just adds that uneasyness to the mix. I am glad you found us… Hope to hear from you again
      Jae

  24. shay williams permalink
    October 14, 2011 10:34 pm

    Im scared… been diagnosed since 12/24/09 almost two years now. I’m still with the guy who gave it to me. Almost three years. he doesnt talk about our illness. i feel lonely and have been having panic attacks. im non detectable and was in the thousands but dropped to 850s. I have a four year old daughter who is the best thing i could have hoped for. im scared im not going to be around for her. ashamed of myself for not taking care of myself. i work in the same hospital that im being treated in. i have access to my own records. a gift and a curse. im lonely..my boyfriend and i barely get along anymore. but i hear about hte difficulties in finding a partner with this disease. I would really like some advice or just a friendly voice to get me through this. I know that people have their own problems. I have never felt so alone. I wanted to know when this feeling or rather if this feeling would go away. shay

  25. October 15, 2011 7:24 pm

    Shay I am so sorry that you are dealing with this alone. What about family?
    Jae

  26. davida permalink
    May 5, 2012 4:57 am

    thanks so much 4 ur encouraging words.Can we be friends since we hv so much in common,really need sum1 2 talk 2,thx

  27. sangiconfusedgaL permalink
    June 6, 2012 5:52 am

    hi thr,

    m 34yrs old happily married women with 2 kids, n expecting a 3rd, i got recently tested for hiv and they say it is positive, m so confused and scared tht i hav not been able to concerntrate on anything, i hav not talked about it with anybody here, plz motivate me …..

    confused gal

    • jae001 permalink
      June 6, 2012 2:42 pm

      Have your other kids and husband been tested? Just wondering… You dont have to, tell anyone. It would help to have family support. Listen to your doctor, take the meds when its time, a therapist helped me. Find as much information on new therapies for women that are pregnant so there are no surprise’s. You will find as time goes by this will not define you, you and your family will. You will be ______ (insert name) soccer mom You will be _________ wife of ______ You also will be that amazing woman u hVe always been!

      Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless

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