My husband and I have made the difficult decision to move across the country from San Francisco to Chicago. We feel it will be best for our daughter to be near other family members, and I look forward to having my family's support around me. We are scared, but confident this is the right decision for us.
We are concerned about my husband maintaining some type of healthcare. He can't miss doses of his medication, but we will have a lapse in insurance coverage so I think we'll find ourselves in the position many people find themselves in...needing access to healthcare at a reasonable cost.
We are also concerned about encountering ignorance and prejudice due to our HIV-affected family dynamic. I don't think we'll tell many about my husband's condition, but I can foresee inwardly cringing when people make inappropriate comments about HIV, such as this sign on a condom dispensing machine in Chicago.
I mean, first of all, no one transmits AIDS...i'ts HIV which progresses to become AIDS if left untreated. And, no, the best method of AIDS prevention is not abstinence before marriage nor is it a monogamous relationship during marriage. This is such a patronizing and ignorant statement.
My mom and dad are thrilled that we'll be closer to them, but I worry about how uneducated they are about things related to HIV and treatment. My husband has psoriasis, and I can see them thinking that his irritated skin patches are the beginnings of Kaposi's Sarcoma.
I know they will say things, with ignorant sincerity, that will be hurtful. And I want to react with love, compassion, wisdom, and grace...for my daughter's sake.
I hope I'm up to this task of bringing their 1980's AIDS mentality into this age of treatment as prevention, and educating them about all the medical advances and knowledge that is available to us today.
In the meantime, I'll be ovulating next week, so who knows....maybe I'll get pregnant!
Lots of changes coming our way, I'm grateful for all of you who wish us well, and have been part of this journey.
This article previously appeared on Poppy’s own blog HIV Negative Spouses here.