I love my job. Yesterday however was a very stressful day. I work to provide HIV prevention services to young black gay and bisexual men. Sometimes in the function of my job I am called upon to provide HIV prevention counseling for people who come in to get tested for HIV.
So yesterday, while I was going along in my day I had to deliver results to two young black gay men. Both of these young men who were under 25 were HIV positive. I was so upset and so unable to function in the moment. I for some reason was not able to be the mother-cancer that I usually am in these sort of situations. Something about delivering positive HIV results to two young brothas was arresting.
It's like, a brotha who is at the beginning of his life and I have to tell him that his life will be forever changed. "You know, In about a month you will have constant diarrhea, head aches, pills pills and more pills, uncertainty, doubt, lowered self esteem, nausea and a host of other symptoms of HIV infection. All the mothering and caring in the world cannot keep your life from being radically changed. My words will not wash away the reality of what is happening inside of your body. So what do I say, what do I do? How do I respond? Referring you to my program will not change that reality. For the first time in my career of supporting young black gay and bi men in atlanta I did not know if I could make a difference. I did not know what to do.