POZ - Newly Diagnosed : Transcript: Video Interview: Leslie Williams

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Transcript: Video Interview: Leslie Williams

Andrea Williams
Diagnosed with HIV in 1993

Leslie Williams
Diagnosed with HIV in 1993

Andrea Williams: Hi, I'm Andrea. I was diagnosed with HIV in 1993

Leslie Williams: Hello I'm Leslie I was diagnosed with the virus in 1993. We've been together twenty years, we've been HIV positive, we don't blame each other, nothing like that because I know mainly it's my fault. I was out there doing a bad thing, I shot drugs for two decades

Andrea: But I played a part in it, because I knew what he was doing, so it all can't be blamed on him.

Leslie Williams: It was to the point when I thought I was always careful. Sometimes you didn't have that clean needle but you needed that dope so that's what it was so for somebody that's newly diagnosed, and their partner's diagnosed, you live longer working together, together you live longer it's no blame, it's nothing like that anymore, it's there it is what it is, and you can move on with that and you can live happy and just educate yourself. Take your meds, see our doctor, and don't cross the comfort zone and you'll be all right.

Leslie Williams: I wasn't scared, I was angry to the point where I know that my wife probably would've been infected with this virus. That's the only angry thing about it for me. I knew that I was getting high, and nine out of ten everybody I knew that I was shooting drugs with I can't find one not infected.

I'm living with another virus; I'm living with Hep C. When I got tested I had everything. I had genital warts, I had herpes, I had everything that was in the book, everything that was in the book and I took care of everything. I got rid of the genital warts, the herpes, I'm dealing with the Hep C and I'm dealing with HIV.

I lost a brother back in the early 80s and I just buried my father three years ago from the virus.

When I was first diagnosed with the virus my wife introduced me to a men's support group and I sat there and I wasn't ashamed or nothing like that I'm outspoken when I got there I just went with it. I wasn't outspoken, I just started talking and I started learning form the other brothers that were positive way before I was and certain medicines they were teaching me what's good for you what's not good for you, where to get your healthcare from and where to go because you had to know where to go back then because everybody used to come to the city to get service and all that and they would tell me, I was learning a lot from these other brothers that were HIV positive before me.

I got a beautiful daughter, a beautiful wife and I'm enjoying life. I'm really enjoying life now because I shot drugs for two decades so I was really getting high all the time, I was enjoying life being high. Now, I stopped getting high since 1989 and I'm enjoying life and I'm very happy I really like what's going on in my life right now.

You've got to be very careful about what's going on out there. For the brothers, for the sisters, you've always got to carry condoms. You have to be careful who you mess with, Don't think because they look good or they look healthy and that they don't do the wrong thing, that they're not HIV positive. You've got to be careful about everything and everybody.

Andrea Williams: We've come a long way together, a long, long way.

Leslie Williams: I mean we've been through some stuff together that they might want to write a book about us. But we've come through some stuff together, we've come a long, long way with this virus too and if could see us now and say god if they can do it, you can do it.

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