Putting a face to HIV/AIDS

News Desk | 11/27/2013, 10:04 a.m.
My husband and I were ready to adopt a child. My husband contracted a lesion on his hands then all ...
Kimberlin Dennis

Kimberlin Dennis story

Me and Darryl got married August 22, 1987. They had just stopped the law, stating that couples seeing a marriage license had to obtain a blood test. We got married and wanted children. My first pregnancy was a miscarriage. In 1992, I had an atopic pregnancy and was given two counts of blood to save my life. My parents wanted me to get tested for HIV/AIDS because Magic Johnson had just the world that he was positive.

I got tested and my results were negative.

My husband and I were ready to adopt a child. My husband contracted a lesion on his hands then all over his body. The doctor ran every test they could. In March of 1994, the doctor asked to do an AIDS test. Two weeks later, Darryl was diagnosed with full blown AIDS. He was given three months to live.

I was tested again and, two weeks after Darryl’s diagnosis, I tested HIV positive.

Darryl lived six months after his diagnose. He passed on October 16, 1994. Darryl contracted HIV/AIDS from a girlfriend in high school who was an IV drug user. We dated three years before we got married. I knew of this girl’s drug behavior but never thought it would affect us. The girl was infected with HIV/AIDS before we were married but did not tell him. We were married for seven years until I became a widow at the age of 33.

That was nineteen years ago.

Today, I have a non-profit organization, Ministry of Hope. I do speaking for the Ministry of Hope and for Beachbrook 8th graders. I was the spokes person for the City of Cleveland’s, Take Charge Take the Test. I speak in middle schools, high schools, churches, county jails and pre-release centers.

The Ministry of Hope was given to me in a dream by God. I’m the Ministry of Hope, made to honor the word of God and to do the will of God, to walk the walk, and talk the talk, practice what I preach, to give the people the good and the bad and the ugly, and to be one of many faces to this AIDS epidemic. Speaking is a calling on my life, that’s why I do it. It helps me to relieve stress and to know that, if I reach one, my job is done. Even when I don’t want to, God always put someone or something in my path to remind me to keep running the race, don’t give up and know that I’ am making a difference in the world.