|Posted by DeVondia on November 7, 2010 at 8:27 PM|
This morning I woke up and realized that my church family was gone to Wilmington and had no physical place that I truly wanted to fellowship at. I watched TD Jakes on BET and went to my congregation on Facebook this morning with "Good morning and Have a blessed day" Some responded and some still haven't even acknowledged my greeting. "WHY ARE YOU HERE for the number?" Anyway, I ended up having a profound conversation with someone who I thought was a woman becasue of his profile pictures. I assumed as well because his name was similar to my baby sisters. After getting to know him and researching his page a little more I found he was from Africa, a beautiful artist, creative photographer and very inquisitive. I enjoyed the questions that he asked me because he wanted to know about me and what I do. I was intrigued by his questions and wanted to use them as a interview for my web page once I release it and for Facebook. There is no title that can describe the vibe from the simple chat box. Everyone is not going to interview you on TV or radio so connect with individuals that will get the word out on who you really are. Takes me back to what i spoke on yesterday identity crisis. Some of the interview was gone from the chat, But here we are...I guess this is what matters. Enjoy!
Sunday Morning Simple Chat Box
OTeka~ "I know it is a rare topic but how does the Christianity community take you.. It seems like your very strong in faith.. When you found out did you loose friends, were there any backlash in the church and how did you deal with the fear, insecurities, Doubt, and depression?"
DeVondia~ "The Christian Community embrace me. If there is one or many i should say they hide behind their words. I lost a lot of friends...Even heard I was lying about having AIDS in the first place becasue of how good I look. People lie about being pregnant...lolI did not lose a lot of friends I gained more...but through my blessings I lost friends because of jealousy or just plain down right no reason at all. The place things and people I use to do are not around anymore...because they haven't arrived to the level of were I am...ChangeNo backlash in the church. Girl will I ever get married was my biggest fear, will anyone ever love me!!! I had no doubt that God was able to make my pain into a praise party, thats for sure. Depression was a depressing moment for me. Shopping like crazy, tearing up my credit...for things."
OTeka ~ "I am a guy but thats okay." lol
DeVondia ~ "I'm sorry. I always thought you were a female...My sister name is Lateka."
Oteka ~ "I am from africa thats why Oteka"
DeVondia ~ "Ok, your profile pics trhu me off back in the day...
when we first became friends on fb."
Oteka ~ "It always does"
DeVondia ~ Thanks for letting me know, on your page now.
Oteka ~ "but than i get allot of unwanted attention" lol
DeVondia ~ "I feel you"
Oteka ~ "And thats me in the profile."
DeVondia ~ "ok, nice to finally meet you sir.
Oteka ~ Lol "Now I feel old."
DeVondia ~ "Just a respect thang...lol
Oteka ~ "That i appreciate" How about love? sex and relationships?
how do you deal with the ideal of wanting kids and wanting marriad
with your diagnose?
DeVondia ~ "Right now I'm celibate since May 2010 and haven't been on a date since Father's Day weekend...lol My walk is different so I no longer get the same responses from guys I use to get. I have an 18 and 16 year old I'm done with the child bearing. I believe that if God can heal He can provide me with a great man. I have to say this, I claim and believe in my healing. The virus is undetected and my T-cells are 978."
Oteka ~ "For most people dont are not good with health what is a T cell (cause i automatically think T-Mobile cell phones)
excuse my ignorance"
DeVondia ~ "LOL, its cool T-cells are your helper cells that fight off infections and bacteria (White Bllod Cell) HIV antibodies are designed to disquise themselves and attach to the Tcell and weaken the immune system. We want high Tcell counts and an undetectable viral load, which is the amount of virus that is in the body. I started out with the virus being in the millions in my body and my TCells were 19. A TCell count below 250 is considered AIDS. Today I'm 978 TCell and undetectable viral load of the virsu. So I claim and believe that By His stripes I AM Healed!"
Oteka ~ "Thats amazing. "And great to also know how open you are about it with no shame
I honestly commend you for that"
DeVondia ~ "God is amazing! Thank you."
Oteka ~ "And i appreciate your honesty."
DeVondia ~ "Thats the best policy and the Bibleway."
Oteka ~ "It take allot of confidence and boldness to be like that"
DeVondia ~ "Yes, it does..."
Oteka ~ "How do your kids deal with the fact that their mom has HIV? How did they respond when they found out?
DeVondia ~ "In the beginning I didn't tell them, but eventually I had too, didn't want the streets to be the one to inform them of my poor choices in having unprotected sex with a man that was not my husband or one I didn't love or loved me. In fear, from my oldest screamed hollered and said no!!!!! My youngest was nonchalant about it yet inquisitive. Today they support me with events and are just as knowledgable as I am on the subject. It has bonded us and also by them seeing first hand what this disease can do has a major impact on their choices."
Oteka ~ "Thats great. Wow."
DeVondia ~ "Thanks and so are your questions...send me your address in my inbox so I can send you a copy of my book. I would like to use this candid conversation here if you don't mind?"
Oteka ~ "What about job? Do they know or how was their responses?
DeVondia ~ "I own my own business, I have a nonprofit for African American women and girls struggling from self-esteem with a major focus on HIV prevention. Author, motivational speaker and independent Conultant are just a few of the things I'm blessed to do. But I'm guaranteed payment from my part time job as an Access Coordinator with the Mecklenburg County Helath Dept. My role is to identify individuals who have fallen out of care with HIV access the barriers to why and assist them back into care. Also navigating those that are newly diagnosed as well.
Oteka ~ "No problem at all. (Consent to the interview being posted) "What are some of the commen misconception that you encounter about HIV patients? And how do you deal with them?"
DeVondia ~ Great question. One that comes to mind is that its not a death sentence anymore. You are going to die we all are, but not from the disease. Complication related to it, but not of AIDS or HIV. "The medications are going to kill me" Some believe the meds are designed to keep them sick...If it had not been for me adhering to my treatment, I wouldn't be here. God is the source of everything that has been created, so He is not left out.
Oteka ~ "What the life expectacy of an aids patient and HIV patient.. Do you have an idea... (sorry to talk about death)?
DeVondia ~ "Thats fine...I'm not scared LOL The life expectancy of an HIV person has actually increased do to the medical treatments, faith in God and of course adhering...A normal life expectancy is what we are seeing in individuals now."
Oteka ~ "So do you think medical technology has improved the lively hood of an AIDS patient compared to 10 years ago..
because back in 1998 it was with so much fear has people become more acceptance of it?
DeVondia ~ "Yes, it truly has, a lot of fear, because of the unknown. There are drugs that people don't believe have been created for HIV that didn't work for the virus but helped for their diabetes, or cancer
FEAR is a stigma, the biggest stigma is the reluctancy to conversation the topic
Oteka ~ "Interesting I have been educated for today."
DeVondia ~ "Awesome"
Oteka ~ "Enough about the disease? let talk about you"
DeVondia ~ "I'm ready"
Oteka ~ "Who are you, what are your upbringing and what are you most proud of?"
DeVondia ~ "I'm a jokester...I love to laugh and admire people that can make me smile! I love to learn, enjoy writing and cherish my walk as a Christian. A mother that is proud of my daughters and seek his face daily. I was raised in a single family household util i turmed 13. My mother married my Father, who many will call my Stepdad. But he is the Father I know as daddy! I experienced a lot as a child growing up. Rape, low self-esteem. So I wasn't very happy. I faked it a lot because I loved to hide behind the pain. My pain was doing funny stuff to make people laugh. What am I most proud of, my daughter graduating high school this year"
Oteka ~ "Okay its been a great conversation I really appreaciate it."
DeVondia ~ "Thank you Oteka for responding to my Good morning and Have a blessed day"