Five individuals self-reported, with much disbelief, that their feminine lovers could have

Five individuals self-reported, with much disbelief, that their feminine lovers could have

“It’s very puzzling… we was thinking we lesbians are safe”

Possibly infected them. All of these individuals reported that they had never been with male lovers or had experience of medical transmissions or inserting medication usage (we failed to ask if individuals had been created with HIV or other feasible risks of transmission). Although burdensome for them all to comprehend, the actual only real possible path of transmission and dangerous behaviour they could report had been intercourse along with other females. All individuals additionally reported out they had been infected with HIV and could not understand how it had happened that they were shocked to find. That they had all thought that since they had just been with ladies, these people were safe:

“…i possibly couldn’t know the way it simply happened I thought we (lesbians) are safe, and the only person I was sexually active with was also a female because I was fine and. I possibly couldn’t comprehend… I really couldn’t realize. I possibly couldn’t know how I really could have contracted the herpes virus once I had thought I happened to be safe in method! ” Zanele, 31 yrs old, Durban

“It’s the manner in which you get diseased as a lesbian since it’s really confusing just how it will be possible. Other females understand which they obtain it from their lovers during penetrative sexual activity then again as a female that is a lesbian whom additionally sleeps along with other ladies – it is rather confusing. ” Lebo, 22 yrs old, Pretoria

The individuals’ confusion and disbelief is obvious through the above examples. Into the quote that is first Zanele repeats exactly just how she “couldn’t understand” being HIV infected. This sense of confusion and very nearly perhaps maybe perhaps not believing this 1 is HIV good ended up being a theme that is recurring the five individuals whom reported exclusive intimate associates with ladies in their life time. It stays not clear for all of them just just just how transmission that is possible take place between females.

For those individuals, coping with HIV demands constant explanations of how one got contaminated as assumptions override lived realities. Not just are individuals struggling to realize feasible infection they simultaneously struggle to answer constant questions from others about how they could be infected for themselves:

“People think you got HIV that you have slept with a man and that’s how. It generates my entire life much much harder because as a lesbian girl whom is HIV good, i have to explain the way I got HIV. ” Bongi, 33 yrs old, Johannesburg

“In the city they raise numerous questions about the very fact they see…my partner is a woman that I am a lesbian and when. Then, `how did I be HIV good once I have always been someone who 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 from the above quotes that their HIV good status produces different difficulties into the everyday lives of the females. The constant need to explain a person’s status to other people shows that you may still find misconceptions about HIV transmission in conjunction with lack of knowledge about same-sex relations.

Determining to reveal

Participants had been additionally expected when they had disclosed their status to anybody apart from the interviewer. Reactions suggest that virtually all individuals had disclosed to a partner, some household members and few buddies. But, a participants that are few only disclosed to 1 or two other people. Some had disclosed to loved ones, buddies as well as publicly. On the list of individuals had been a couple of AIDS activists have been understood within their communities to be residing freely with HIV. For the people individuals that has disclosed to family unit members and buddies, disclosure ended up being couched within 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 might nothing like to have re-infected…As very very long while you carry on having unprotected sex, you’ll nevertheless get re-infected. ” Zintle, 22 yrs old, Pretoria

“My mom as well knows (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

All stated the necessity and importance of disclosing to intimate partners while participants may shy away from disclosing to the general public. Central to such disclosure is protecting someone and ensuring she will not get badly infected:

“Most for the lovers that I happened to be dating – a lot of them are in reality HIV negative and we just be sure that they’ll constantly stay HIV negative. I mightn’t risk their everyday lives and We just be sure that I mightn’t do just about anything…” Taati, 26 yrs old, Windhoek