My sex positivity journey is still occurring! That’s my lesson. I couldn’t rely on the adults in my life to guide me or tell me how to date or navigate love because they were accustomed to traditional ways of mass toxicity when it comes to sex & love. (Sex) and HIV were not close cousins but still family in my world.
Yes HIV is typically transmitted through sex so …..so if I want it I gotta figure it out solo.
No one tells the truth. I suppose 2005s prevention tactics were to downplay sex, like sex is kinda like dental work— we all need it but hate doing it.
So, when it came to my needs? My needs were minimized and overshadowed at one time I thought I had a “problem” because as a woman developing her life with HIV wanting sex and enjoying talking about it must mean I have some serious mental health issues.
current stigmas and lack of education was the poison in my life. What I needed when I was 14 or 22 was comprehensive sex education and approval from my HIV community that I’m entitled to orgasms too.
I think Sticking black kids in a room with an old banana and condom as a way to scare us out of humping each other blew up in their faces.
In reality, sex feels amazing Condoms are really an OPTION. And the pink elephant in the room:
That no one that has contracted HIV through sexual transmission is bad.
And that just because we want to avoid getting chlamydia and maybe HIV doesn’t mean you gotta stop fucking.
Just stay informed.
I wish all young folks with HIV, if they want too, to go on their own sexual journeys and really push back on the judgment. I think we need to document it all and keep up the noise!
Really stigma is just the absence of dignity and rights. Sex is a human right, so when we go out and talk about sex and encourage each other to give ourselves pleasure….really we are fighting stigma against sex which is a war on HIV and hanging on to each other at the same, how beautiful are we?
We are activist every time we love.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Photographed & Interviewed by: Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca