Dee’s HIV story
Knowing that, as someone living with HIV, you can’t transmit the virus once you’re undetectable, like that’s a big deal. It’s a huge deal. It’s a huge breakthrough in HIV science.
I’m Dee. I am Romanian and I also identify as non-binary, which means that I don’t feel fully male or fully female, but I sort of feel somewhere in between and not really either of those things.
I was born at 7 months—2 months early—so they had to keep me alive, so I got a blood transfusion from the hospital.
At 14, I started getting really sick, all of a sudden, and nobody knew what was wrong with me. But finally, someone decided, “Let’s just rule it out and test her for HIV,” and it came back positive. And at the time, I didn’t know what it was. I just knew, “Hey I’m sick. I just want to get better.” You know, a teenager, all you want to do is just go back to normal. So, I went on medication and within a year, I was fine. So, my body just reacted so, so well to that medication.
Text on screen: U = U (undetectable = untransmittable)
Undetectable equals untransmittable, and what it means is that the HIV can’t be found through a blood test. It’s undetectable through a blood test, so that means it can’t be transmitted to a sexual partner.
I also think it’s really important to remember that not everybody has the same access to becoming undetectable.
Text on screen: Treatment prevents the sexual transmission of HIV.
I just hope people take the opportunity to just learn more about it. For someone who’s newly diagnosed, I would say educate yourself and reach out to the HIV-AIDS community because, for me, that’s one of my biggest, biggest regrets, is not doing that sooner.
I’m really happy that I got to meet a person who is so kind. And not just kind about the diagnosis and kind about HIV, but just kind towards all of those little things that make me hard to love sometimes, and I think we all have those little things.
We love doing so many different things together. We’re always busy. We’re always doing something. We just enjoy each other’s company so much.
Lately, I’ve just felt so much more grounded.
Text on screen: People with HIV on treatment can live long and healthy lives.
And, actually, ever since I started doing the photography and the blog, I’ve just felt like I know myself so much better. And so having those outlets and having those ways of expressing myself, I think really, really helped me and continue to help me.
And I can’t wait to see what I create next.
I love it. I’m at a point where I just feel…I feel happy.
Text on screen: Get the facts about HIV. Together, let’s stop stigma. Visit Canada.ca/hiv.
A message from the Government of Canada.
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