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Married, Monogamous and HIV Positive: A Woman Explains How Her Husband Ruined Her Life

wepoweopa1By Staff Blogger

You make all the right choices and think that you’re safe.  Then, life slaps you in the face with a harsh reality that you will never forget.

A woman named Renee Burgess out of Jacksonville, Florida is working to raise money to tell a story that could change the lives of millions of women.   She says that even though she was married and monogamous, she still contracted HIV from her husband.

Renee is planning to write a book about her experience and will share numerous stories about her life since 2007, when she first found out that she was infected.   She also says that she had her husband put in jail for infecting her.

This book will talk about my life in the deepest way that nobody has yet to ever see. Not only will this book go into detail of how I became infected with the HIV virus but also the life I have had to live for the past 5 years dealing with my HIV diagnosis. Which includes dating, school, the birth of children, depression, suicidal thoughts, and what it takes for someone who has gone through all of this to move forward and come out on top. I will also give details on how I went through having my then husband put in jail for infecting me.

Her deadline is coming up, and she is preparing to tell her story in 9 – 10 chapters.   She says that she wants to confront the HIV/AIDS issue directly, rather than avoiding it as so many others have done.  She says that all of the proceeds from the project will go toward her book, which she wants to serve as a beacon of hope for people who are in similar situations.

You can visit her Indigogo campaign at this link.  We hope you’ll give just a few dollars toward her effort, it only takes a second.

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88 Responses to Married, Monogamous and HIV Positive: A Woman Explains How Her Husband Ruined Her Life

  1. Jackson Reply

    July 24, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    I remember Renee’s story. It is sad but,true. I volunteered at a nursing home for people with HIV/AIDS 17 years ago. When I talk to black women about this subject they don’t want to hear it. I personally stop having romantic relationships with Black me because, I feel they are dishonest and promiscuous. I also feel deep down they don’t love us.

    • Chele Belle Reply

      July 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      When you consider the life altering trauma, the personal pain and betrayal of vows that keeps happening I am beginning to wonder if Black men have the capacity and the willingness to truly love any one besides themselves and their carnal needs. No one is asking for perfection but a lot this behavior is long term, ever evolving misconduct. At a certain point and time when a man cannot or will not control his carnal urges than yes it should be held against him.

      • GWINDLE ARYEETEY Reply

        July 25, 2013 at 4:59 pm

        why do you all think so harsh of black men is it because you’ve had a couple of bad experiences. white men cheat and lie and so do every other race the best thing to do is keep it to your self or be protected *** with anyone can be a risk you can marry , date or have *** with some one for years and could be positive and it just hasn’t shown up keep it to your self or just use protection don’t bash black men I HAVE 6 BLACK SON 3 ARE IN RELATIONSHIPS NOT EVERYONE CHEAT THERE IS ALSO A LOT OF WHORISH AND CHEATING WOMEN TOO. AND YES THIS IS WRITTEN BY A WOMEN ONCE AGAIN KEEP IT TO YOURSELF OR USE PROTECTION.

        • Aprillove Reply

          July 28, 2013 at 5:33 am

          Hi I agree with what you are saying but every women needs to know that all men cheat I repeat all men cheat. They can’t help their carnal urges. The only difference is some men are able to manage and control their carnal urges a little bit better than others. And this applies to all men not just black men.

        • mztee228 Reply

          August 17, 2013 at 9:51 am

          Ms.GWINDLE ARYEETEY, well said…WOMEN CHEAT WORST THEN MEN SOMETIMES, BECAUSE SOME OF THEM HAVE LOW SELF ESTEEM ISSUES…I have seen things done by Black Females, that I never imagine they would do; but wants a man to love them…Let God Love you First…

        • Chindoll Reply

          August 17, 2013 at 11:59 pm

          Gwindle, you sound like a dam fool and an idiot, to tell a woman who has been infected with HIV/AIDS by her ex-husband but who was her husband at the time. You sound like a narrow-minded woman who obviously needs to be shaken by your own experience. Just because you have three sons don’t mean they won’t cheat on their women. Don’t think your sons won’t cheat if they haven’t already. They are not going to tell you too much about their personal lives. A man is a man who do not think anything like women. Men do not bond with women as women by with men. Beside, regarding your son is irrelevant to what this woman has experienced. This woman has been traumatized and all you can say is keep it to herself. Get your eyes out of your @$$. We need women to share their bad experience that they had with men (Diseases) with other women so that we are aware of what’s going on in our society, it’s call EDUCATION. You ought to be ashamed of yourself to tell any woman not to share what affects the community at large.

        • Renee' LadyByrd Burgess Reply

          August 24, 2013 at 8:26 am

          I don’t think bad of black men at all. I HATE that they named this article the way they did. I only knew of this posting when someone I know saw it posted on multiple FB fan pages for various things. You spoke volumes in your post and alot of people will reply negative. But you’re so right God bless your sons!

    • Anderson Reply

      July 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      So you’ve stopped having romantic relationships with Black men because of what you’ve believe. Dishonestly and being promiscuous is not exclusive to one race. Having those “characteristics” is about the individual. Black men are no more likely to cheat or lie than any other man of any other race. The other element of this lies in the responsibility of the women. A man typically doesn’t wait until he’s married to cheat or lie. And unless you’re in denial, a women has probably seen elements of those behaviors long before they were married. Maybe she accepted it. Maybe she turned a blind eye. Maybe she thought it would stop. Women (Black or white) are almost as likely to cheat than a man is. So to say that this is a man thing, or a Black man thing, is ridiculous. Stop getting sucked in by stereotypes of broad generalizations from one person’s experience.

  2. Peter D. Slaughter Reply

    July 24, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Sorry to hear this for this sister.
    But since so many black males are guilty of this.
    Maybe I brothers gave up all this old,played out
    superfly,mack pimp non-sense.

    A vast % of black males who still go along with distorted depiction of black men when it first came out.
    Seem to not that those images were purposely created and promoted to do exactly what type of social conditions that are happening right now.
    It a long thought plan to create the type of results we are seeing now such as this

  3. Chele Belle Reply

    July 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Infidelity. As old as time itself. She’s a victim of a cheating husband…cheating in a time when it goes beyond just maybe getting someone pregnant or catching a venereal disease that can be treated with penicillin. She got caught being married to someone who gave her a death sentence. Yeah you can live a long time with it…but there is no cure and it’ll eventually take your life if something else doesn’t beforehand. Should she have known he was so reckless, do deviant that she could have for seen the end results…who knows. If every Black woman left a relationship due to cheating there would be even more single Black women. Its stories like this…that make me glad I’m a spinsterwoman. No joke.

    • Renee' LadyByrd Burgess Reply

      August 24, 2013 at 8:28 am

      He was infected a year before I EVER MET HIM. So him cheating wasn’t how he infected me. Him not disclosing his status was.

  4. ROCHELLE HILTON Reply

    July 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    WOW, I WOULD LIKE TO STAY INFORMED & KNOW WHEN THE BOOK COME OUT. I WOULD BUY IT THEN PASS IT ON TO SOMEONE ELSE,

  5. Weslin1 Reply

    July 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    We do have a serious problem in our world. Ask how many black men have their fathers sit down and had the talk? The talk about being faithfull in a marriage or a committed relationships? I was at work one day and the subject came up about cheating. And this woman said; her dad told them don’t anyone ever think about moving back home because of you got caught cheating. And I thought about it for a minute how many black fathers have that talk with their sons or daughters for the fact? For the record I never had that conversation with my dad either. I will say I have a very good wife & would never cheat on her. But I have been to **** & back because of a previous marriage. Lets just say that previous one wanted a puppy and not a man. In other words she wanted something she could control instead of love & respect. So ladies ask your man the question ; has any male or female ever had the talk about faithfulness? See what he says & then what are you two going to do about it?

  6. Weslin1 Reply

    July 25, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    We do have a serious problem in our world. Ask how many black men have their fathers sit down and had the talk? The talk about being faithfull in a marriage or a committed relationships? I was at work one day and the subject came up about cheating. And this woman said; her dad told them don’t anyone ever think about moving back home because of you got caught cheating. And I thought about it for a minute how many black fathers have that talk with their sons or daughters for the fact? For the record I never had that conversation with my dad either. I will say I have a very good wife & would never cheat on her. But I have been to **** & back because of a previous marriage. Lets just say that previous one wanted a puppy and not a man. In other words she wanted something she could control instead of love & respect. So ladies ask your man the question ; has any male or female ever had the talk about faithfulness? See what he says & then what are you two going to do about it?

  7. Solaris Reply

    July 26, 2013 at 9:50 am

    I had a distant relative who died from AIDS that she contracted from her husband. The ******* out-lived her.

  8. Lady Reply

    July 26, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Sad story that alot of women have to live through

  9. aj Reply

    July 27, 2013 at 5:12 am

    Let me tell it to you as it as a proud black man, yes i have slept with multiple women but they also were told by me wat i was doing, and its not always the black man who catches it, thenvbrings it “home” not all women are as they say innocent, women lie to this ladies incident is truley sad if she got it from not the other way around bc the truth is how many of us kno her on a personal level? Would putyour life on the line foherr telling truth? The bok is nothing but a means to make money so wat if its a lie it wont be a first….the main thing is you kno watt type of person you are getting involvrd with even a habitual liar shows sign….

    • Renee' LadyByrd Burgess Reply

      August 24, 2013 at 8:32 am

      I know about my own life and personal level! I am not out for money. If that’s the case then I’d charge when I go speak and I’ve been speaking since 2008 and have not yet charge one time to speak to anyone. I have a non-profit organization that’s about promoting awareness and testing.

      I wrote my book to SPREAD THE AWARENESS and to SHARE MY STORY!

      Want to see what I do add or follow me on my personal FB page

      I have nothing to hide I do a Q&A every Tuesday and you can always inbox me and ask questions. As personal as you want to know.

  10. Baba Oggun Reply

    July 27, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I am sorry to hear that this occurred and I hope her the best but I wonder if she knows the harsh truth that scientist have proven about HIV and the P24 antigen. That this disease at the HIV level can be false positive and that it can be cured from the body with an altering of her diet. I would love to talk to her and speak with her on the subject matter in hopes that she can still write her book and get her life back.

  11. riley Reply

    July 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Youre so cool! We dont suppose Ive examine anything like this before. Thus nice to get somebody by incorporating original ideas on this subject. realy thank you for commencing this up. this website is a thing that is needed on the net, someone with a little originality. beneficial job for delivering something new to the web!
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  12. Hope Reply

    August 3, 2013 at 8:40 am

    DAs a practice, I and my potential *** partner get tested together before having unprotected ***. However, when your married that may not be the case. But ladies if you suspect your husband of doing wrong, do not be afraid to make him cover up until he gets tested.

  13. jerry lee Reply

    August 4, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    ******* keep your legs close and stop blaming men because you a hoe…. Love don’t have nothing to do with it…because if you love yourself NONE OF YAH WOULD BE ON YOUR 10th & 15th BOYFRIEND IN LIFE THAT A HOE???

    • Renee' LadyByrd Burgess Reply

      August 24, 2013 at 8:34 am

      I was married. So how was I a hoe? Do your research and GOOGLE ME better yet find me on Facebook.

      I had my ex-husband put in jail for infecting me after he plead guilty to the crime!

  14. Black Reply

    August 9, 2013 at 8:04 am

    I’m saddened by her plight.. But catching this disease, or any other disease is not a particular race, or gender thing. And from reading some of these posts.. It seems that its being deemed as such. “MEN”, and “WOMEN” of “ALL RACES CHEAT” that’s why the spread of STD’s is so worldwide because its being passed back-n-forth between genders. Now who’s to say she contracted the disease through infidelity on her husbands behalf? Maybe HE, or SHE could have contracted the disease during their dating period while they were seeing other people. And after marrying one another its just now showing up. Because the disease can take 7-10yrs to show up. Maybe she gave it to him. You just don’t know. If he gave it to her.. Which means he had it first. And after “some time” she started showing signs, and went, and got tested. By this time he wasn’t showing any signs by then? If he gave it to her? Hmmm..! Because if he’s committing infidelity, and having unprotected *** with someone.. He would have gotten tested unknowing to his wife, and knew he had it. Her husband didn’t know he had the disease. Because if he did, I’m quite sure he wouldn’t have unprotected *** with his wife. Its a good chance she’s hiding something. And who’s to say everything in her book will be the truth? But readers don’t be so quick to make assumptions, and jump to conclusions, and make it a particular race, or gender thing.

    • Renee' LadyByrd Burgess Reply

      August 24, 2013 at 8:36 am

      He was diagnosed Aug 2002. We met and became friends Sept 2003. We never dated until Winter 2005 going into 2006. Got married Aug 4, 2007. First unprotected *** with him was our wedding night. Got pregnant and had prenatal labs and Nov 21, 2007 was told I Was HIV positive. So he KNEW he had it all those years and NEVER TOLD ANYONE!

  15. Imani Reply

    August 9, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Know your facts about HIV instead of speaking misinformation. Judge not, we all have a story. She is taking the risk to share hers. Who is anyone to judge and make assumptions about this sister? Again, we as black folk are so unwilling to support and embrace each other. I congratulate her for speaking her truth!

  16. Lynne Reply

    August 19, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Sadly, I was married to a man for almost ten years who cheated all the time. He was military and I was in a bad way during the later part of my marriage. Luckly, he left me and I was able to remarry a wonderful man later down the line. I used to not feel so lucky but looking back on the situation, I feel blessed to be alive and happily married to another African American man for the past 11 years. Life goes on and not every man is the same. Protect yourself and know the signs. Lastly, hope that luck is on your side.

  17. Renee' LadyByrd Burgess Reply

    August 24, 2013 at 8:44 am

    First off, My life is not ruined! I don’t know who titled this article but I HATE IT!

    Secondly, I am not after money. that’s not why I wrote this book. I wrote this book to save lives! IF you knew the stats and the number of people truly at risk you’d shut your mouth and pay more attention.

    I don’t even charge to speak and I’ve been speaking since 2008.

    My ex-husband was in fact cheating BUT I didn’t find that out until after I left him for infecting me. He was diagnosed Aug 2002 and he never told anyone of his status. So before I ever had ****** contact with him he was infecting hundreds of others. God chose me to be that strong willed rock to have him locked up and stopped as long as possible.

    I don’t hate men at all as a matter of fact I’m in a relationship with an HIV NEGATIVE black man.

    Understand this. HIV is serious. I don’t care what theories exist of where it came from and who made it or whatever. People are becoming infected in various ways not just from having ***. EVERYONE needs to be aware at all times.

    My life has been dedicated to AWARENESS AND PREVENTION! Like I said in previous replies on here. If you want to know what I’m doing and about my life. Don’t assume come and get it from the horses mouth! I’m on FB, Twitter, IG, and can be googled.

  18. Desiree James Reply

    February 13, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Inspiring that you don’t consider your life as ruined. Unfortunately this an all to common story. Years ago I had a beautiful sister give a HIV/AIDS presentation to our staff. After an hour long presentation, she said by the way I’m HIV positive. Every jaw in the audience dropped.

    She too was married and found out during prenatal testing. Luckily her T cell count remained at a level that did not require her to be on medications. Her greatest fear was not knowing whether or not this would change.

    I hope you stay focused on your goal and don’t give energy or thought to anything negative. Much health and success.

    Are you aware you can self publish for free?

  19. Desiree James Reply

    February 13, 2014 at 6:34 am

    See your book is out. Look forward to reading it.

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