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

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

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

Perhaps infected them. Every one of these individuals reported they’d never ever been with male lovers or had experience of medical transmissions or inserting medication usage (we would not ask if individuals had been created with HIV or any other feasible dangers of transmission). Although problematic for them all to know, really the only possible path of transmission and dangerous behaviour they could report had been intercourse along with other females. All individuals additionally claimed 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 they were safe because they had only been with women:

“…i possibly couldn’t know how it just happened because I happened to be fine and I also thought we (lesbians) are safe, therefore the only individual I happened to be intimately active with had been also a feminine. I possibly couldn’t comprehend… I really couldn’t comprehend. I possibly couldn’t know the way I possibly could have contracted the herpes virus whenever I had thought I happened to be safe in method! ” Zanele, 31 yrs old, Durban

“It’s how you get diseased as a lesbian since it’s actually confusing exactly just exactly how it will be possible. Other females understand which they obtain it from their lovers during penetrative intercourse but then as a lady who’s a lesbian whom additionally sleeps along with other women – it is extremely confusing. ” Lebo, 22 yrs old, Pretoria

The participants’ confusion and disbelief is obvious through the examples that are above. Into the quote that is first Zanele repeats just exactly exactly how she “couldn’t understand” being HIV infected. This feeling of confusion and very nearly maybe not believing any particular one is HIV good was a theme that is recurring the five individuals who reported exclusive intimate connections with feamales in their lifetime. It stays uncertain for several of those exactly just just how transmission that is possible happen between females.

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

“People think that you have got slept with a person and that’s the method that you got HIV. It creates my entire life 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 regarding the actual fact that i will be a lesbian and once they see…my partner is a female. Then, `how did I be HIV good once I am an individual who really loves other ladies? ‘ they ask. Some also get in terms of saying it isn’t astonishing that We have HIV – where have actually we have you ever heard that a woman and another woman are involved? ” Gugu, 30 yrs old, Durban

Its obvious through the above quotes that their HIV status that is positive different problems within the everyday lives of the females. The constant need to explain an individual’s status to others implies that you can still find misconceptions about HIV transmission in conjunction with lack of knowledge about same-sex relations.

Choosing to reveal

Individuals had been additionally expected should they had disclosed their status to anybody apart from the interviewer. Reactions suggest that practically all individuals had disclosed up to someone, some family unit members and friends that are few. Nevertheless, a participants that are few just disclosed to at least one or two other people. Some had disclosed to family unit members, buddies as well as publicly. Among 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 that has disclosed to household members and buddies, disclosure had been couched within the language of protection – i.e. Protecting yourself and another from feasible disease:

“As i’d like to safeguard the second individual, we still need to perform some exact same for myself. I might nothing like to get re-infected…As long while you continue having non-safe sex, you can easily still 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

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

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

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