An HIVer brings her jailbird hubby home

WHO: Angela Murray
WHAT: her husband’s prison release
WHERE: Beacon, NY
WHEN: 06.03.04

In 1992, Texan mom Angela Majors, now 57, spotted prisoner David Murray, now 54, amid inmate personal ads in Jive magazine. Both HIV negative to their knowledge, they began corresponding; two years later, they married at upstate New York’s Fishkill Correctional Facility. Angela tested positive for HIV last year. David, still negative, was paroled in June after having served 30 years for murder. On the morning of his release, Angela flew up to unite with him for the first time on the outside.

In all the time David and I have been together, I never focused on bars and locks. We’d write letters and talk on the phone, and I’d fly to New York every few months. But in February 2003, I was hospitalized with PCP and diagnosed with AIDS. We’d been married eight years by then. I figured out that my previous husband had given me the virus 11 years earlier. David was devastated because he knew what I was going through. In prison, he had counseled some positive guys and watched them die. A lot of men probably would have left me in a situation like that, but he stuck with me.

I’d had some medical problems and didn’t leave the house for months. David told me to get outside and smell the flowers. I mailed him two leaves from a tree to show him I took his advice, but the prison wouldn’t let him have them. I’d tell David I was the one in prison—due to my health—and his love helped me get out.

The morning of his release, I didn’t recognize him immediately in a white T-shirt and blue jeans. We were speechless. We started laughing because we couldn’t believe it. We went to a park near the prison and played like kids. He pushed me on a swing, and we talked about meeting my grandkids and doing HIV outreach when we got home to Dallas. Now that he’s here, it seems like we’ve always lived together. I’m cooking for the two of us and giving him all the tender love and care that I can.

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