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.



    • well from me listening to the story he didn’t cheat and bring it back he had already had the disease before he met her but he did not tell her that he is hiv positive

  1. 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.

    • 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.


        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 sex with anyone can be a risk you can marry , date or have sex 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.

        • 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.

        • 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…

        • 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.

        • 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!

    • 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. If you are positive you will not infect the one you love…and if you love someone and cheat…you would avoid sex until you were at least tested if you really loved your wife….or husband or lover…

  3. Shakira Deary on

    Derrick A. Capers …no the articles says she PUT him in jail..he wasn't in jail before that….but either way it's sick.

  4. Peter D. Slaughter on

    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

  5. Crazie Flawed Narcissistic-VampDoll on

    sleeping with someone unprotected knowing u have hiv or aids ys considered attempted murder. and should be taken as serious as any case of injustice. im glad she has found peace in the unfairness that is life

  6. Chudney RecognizeReal Rush on

    @Proteus, E Lynn Harris was a fictional writer who wrote books about being gay and exposing married men and homosexual…her story will be an autobiography told from her life experiences

  7. Here in Charleston, SC Monique Howell had the same story . She was active duty military and pregnant with his child. She wrote a book about it, and has been working tirelessly to bring it to the forefront as well.

  8. God Bless her! My heart goes out to her. And her ex deserved jail. Wow! She is very brave. I hope she makes millions!

  9. This Lady is still short $1,077.00 & has 9 days left. The link is in this reticle, & any amount would help. I'm going to donate when I get paid on Friday. I think it's a worthwhile cause. You can hear her on the video, she's extremely intelligent.

  10. This Lady was pregnant with twins when she found out. PLEASE click on the link in the article, you will see her video.

  11. Dane, great advice, but very few even consider that. She was pregnant with twins when she found out. Click on the link in the article, which takes you to her video.

  12. Harrison Moore on

    Stuff like this really makes you wonder. People go around banging all the time and walk away scott free. This lady has sex with one dude and is infected for life. Life.

    File this under shit happens or some shit is unavoidable?

  13. This blog starts out so very wrong. Although she may have thought she made the right decision she did not do the work. What it takes to have an affair does not happen overnight. You have to be a liar, a cheater and a risk taker to do something that may ruin your marriage. These character traits show themselves long before you walk down the isle. She married with the hope that he would do the right thing, be monogamous. That rusk have irrevocably altered her life. My point is do not be so desperate to get married that you take a chance and marry a stranger or someone you fell will be changed by marriage. She did not do the right thing. She did the stupid thing.

  14. James Synegal-Colson on

    I was in a similar situation but I was one of the LUCKY ones. I am clean as a whistle. I had an ex who I think had this shit. I am not positive he did but I think he may have. Lucky for me I don't as we dated like twelve years ago. Anyone who is going around knowlingly spreading should be nailed to the jail.

  15. The talk is well and fine. But, what about the evidence? When was HIV isolated and purified, and proven to be the cause of AIDS. Please provide the name(s) of the study, research and scientist(s) involved!

  16. We have long told any who would listen to be extremely cautious about taking the so-called HIV antibody tests. These diagnostic tools are extremely unreliable and actually do NOT test for HIV. For anyone who believes that they are HIV positive, I recommend going to the web and watching the documentary film House of Numbers. You may just reverse your whole position on HIV/AIDS after confirming the information put forward. Have you ever heard about The Great AIDS Hoax?

  17. 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.

  18. Claudia Padilla on

    D. C I find ur comment stupid and well naive…to say she was desperate and married with hope that he would do the right thing? And I'm not sure what planet you live on…but no these traits don't always show themselves long before marriage leading someone to not care and "desperately" still marry someone… I've never heard of a man "planning" to have an affair many of these affairs are spontaneously provoked by a night of drinking etc etc….lol gee…i cant believe you posted such as inconsiderate

  19. 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 hell & 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?

  20. 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 hell & 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?

  21. D.c, I am so confused right now about your statement.. You're blaming the victim that doesn't make much sense to me. all the nonsense about showing character traits long before walking down the aisle isn't an absolute science . That's like saying all the reality shows are real reality when you know for sure all of them are staged. I suppose that just your opinion.

  22. Gloria Brooks on

    The bottom line is this her husband cheated and he gave her hiv, He didn't have to cheat, That was his choice and that selfish decision cost his wife dearly. The only stupid decision she made was Loving someone unconditionally and that's a heavy price to payIJS

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

  24. 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….

    • 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.

  25. 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.

  26. My people perish for lack of knowledge.. BLACK WOMEN are the FASTEST GROWING POPULATION of HIV INFECTION… 90% PERCENT INFECTED BY BOYFRIENDS and/or HUSBANDS… STOP the madness.. This is a serious issue.. no hoax.. and people are dying because of ignorance! … IT'S FOR REAL!

  27. Ill informed people, such as yourself, is part of the reason HIV is spread so rampantly in our community. Your dumb ass post should be deleted. Hopefully, no one will discontinue his/her medication regimen. People are living longer & have a very fulfilling life, on the antiviral regimen vs not taking the meds.

  28. Saddity Princess TheDiva on

    Keidi Awadu They don't just test for antibodies anymore…there are newer HIV tests that actually test for the virus. Where have u been?! Also, I don't encourage anyone to ignore an HIV diagnosis…we have seen time and time again that AIDS is real. I worked in a hospital for many years I saw people infected die by the hundreds and they were in denial until the day they died! People, stop denying that the disease exists and get tested or seek help! It is not necessarily a death sentence anymore! There is help and the new medications work wonders but only if it is caught early! Education and Early intervention is the key people! Protect yourself every time by using condoms or abstain but don't deny the virus!…that's how people get caught out there! I hope this helps.

  29. I did not choose the title to this article and I NEVER said my life was ruined! Those were the chosen words of whomever created this post.

    However I did have my ex-husband put in jail for infecting me and there were NO signs of him cheating before we got married. FYI: his cheating isn't what infected him. He was diagnosed in 2002 we got married 2007 YEARSSSSSSSSSSS before so his cheating was his vindictive way of spreading the disease to anyone he could have unprotected sex with.We got tested before marriage and because of the HIPPA Law and Privacy ACT we were allowed to share our results with each other however we chose. If it had been mandatory for marriage in FL then I would have known. He chose to not disclose his status to me.

    I ask that you get the book when it comes out so that you get the entire story. There is no such things in this case as "oh it's always 3 sides to the story" There is a RECORDED confession of him admitting EVERYTHING. My story details EVERYTHING.

    I'm still in communication with one of the women he was frequently cheating with and let me tell you. She connected so many pieces of the puzzle as to when and how he even had time to cheat. Which was mostly when I left once a month to visit family in FL and to do wedding planning stuff.

    Feel free to add me on FB I am an OPEN BOOK! Every Tuesday I do a Q&A Session where I interact with followers and friends.

    I always tell people if you don't know just ask but NEVER assume!

  30. You sound like someone that has it and trying to convince yourself it's not that bad….. Or you are just stupid!!!…

  31. Wow, and you didn't want to SEE his results……my now husband and I went to planned parenthood when we first started dating…. We both were tested on the spot…and we both had to agree that the other could be in the room when the results were read…..THAT'S HOW YOU KNOW YOUR MATE IS NOT INFECTED…….not by his WORD! We women need to learn….this is nothing to play around with…

  32. DAs a practice, I and my potential sex partner get tested together before having unprotected sex. 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.

  33. Keidi Awadu please don't put that out there. H.I.V…AIDS is not real! I have witnessed this monster kill too many people not to know it is in fact reality..the difference is now and back when ..medication is more reliable and produces a better way of living.. but pleeeease it is not a hoax. But I would recommend getting tested again if one recieves a positive result because sometime it can be a false positive.

  34. Bitches 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???

  35. If you love someone…If your infected why just not infect anyone at all is the things….Knowing your infected means you have already been tested and confirm….But if your living the down low life or if your out paying street walkers and your involved with someone….WHY DO IT AT ALL?

  36. I had a very dear friend that passed away due to her AID infection which she contracted from a man that's is a carrier back in 1994…… Unfortunately for her she he took his situation lightly and passed it on to her and now she gone

  37. HIV as it tears down the immune system of the body and leaves it defenseless of infection it then turn into AIDS

  38. Sarah M. Hart on

    Ah dear sir my daughter died from AIDS so ah yeah that is real no hoax there! SMFH this is the kind of shit that makes people with HIV in a worse light do you really have to yes I have read all the ridiculous posts about the Aids hoax but having lived with it and see alot of my friends die from it its not a hoax some people just dont want to live with the truth! SMFH thanks for stunting our acceptance! IDIOT!

  39. Sarah M. Hart on

    I am a woman who is living with HIV for 30 + years and doing well I just hope that she paints herself in a positive light we don't need people out there who come across as victims we are victorious in our fight against this disease. All things happen for a reason and for a purpose it sounds like some of this is on you!

  40. Camille Graves on

    Sarah M. Hart he didn't want to disclose, and she didn't force him to. it is not her fault he gave her hiv. i can't believe you would even suggest it's her fault. gross.

  41. 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 sex 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 sex 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.

    • 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 sex 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!

  42. 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!

  43. Sarah M. Hart If you trust someone you trust them simple as that! Not my fault he didn't disclose! All he had to do was be up front from DAY ONE of ever meeting me when it got to where we wanted a relationship. I was his friend for YEARS before we met.

  44. 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.

  45. 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 sexual 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 sex. 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.

  46. 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?

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