A Morehouse college student is getting national attention after revealing his HIV positive status on Facebook. De’Von Weatherspoon, a rising senior considering seminary school post grad, recently shared more of his story online in an interview with Cocoa Fab.
On revealing the news via Facebook:
“If I could have just put everyone that I knew in one room and told them, I would have. But since that’s not possible, I thought about Facebook. I had been thinking about it for a while. After a while, it got kind of hard to remember who I told and who I didn’t. At some point, I just woke up and I didn’t feel like this is something that I necessarily have to hide or keep from people anymore.”
On finding out his HIV positive status:
“The guy I was dating at the time, we used to go out for coffee a lot. We were drinking coffee and we were outside hanging out. And I guess we saw what they call a mobile testing unit. He got tested so I figured, I’ll go get tested. At that point, it had been a while. Usually I get tested about every four to six months but then it had been a while and life took over. It was an oral swab. They came in and swabbed my mouth. Twenty minutes later, they called me and I remember the guy saying it came back positive.”
On homophobia in the black community and Morehouse College’s reaction:
“Well first of all being black with HIV is hard. It is really hard because a lot of people in the black community are so uneducated about this. A lot of them don’t know that aside from black gay men the next biggest group of people that are affected by HIV are straight women. I would say that Morehouse has some issues dealing with sexuality in the first place but when you add HIV to it, it makes it more complicated. You have the segment of people who in their words aren’t gay they just experiment, they just get down. So they’re paranoid about someone finding out that they have an attraction to men. On top of that, when HIV enters the equation, they’re super paranoid because not only might they be exposed for their sexual preferences, they might also catch something. At Morehouse, I had a friend and we were working on a project with four other people. For whatever reason my sexuality became an issue and all of these terms such as f**** and sissy were thrown around. That’s something I’ve experienced regularly at Morehouse. So ultimately, I feel like the culture surrounding it at Morehouse is just one of ignorance. Ignorance to me breeds fear. And that kind of fear can lead to discrimination, it can lead to hate, it can lead to a lot of things.”
What do you think about De’Von’s story? Would you reveal your HIV positive status via Facebook???