We got caught up

Diamond's Story

I met her at a yoga retreat in Toronto. She had long dark dreadlocks tied loosely on top of her head, and chestnut brown eyes. Not to mention her form was impeccable. I am a firm believer that the universe puts us exactly where we’re supposed to be, and I know we were put there together for a reason.


Messy bed closeup in bedroom

Our energy was electric, which I know sounds cliché, especially for queer women, but it was unlike anything I’ve felt before. After the retreat we went for lattés, saw a movie, then came back to my apartment. Before I knew it, we were lost in the heat of the moment and our bodies were completely entangled. With a natural attraction like ours, it’s easy to forget about using protection. I have plenty of dental dams, lube, and insertive condoms in my drawer, but I couldn’t keep myself away from her long enough to even consider getting them. I am usually really good about taking the necessary precautions to have safer sex, but that day, I just got caught up. Besides, the statistics for female-to-female transmission for HIV are so low, and I’ve been tested within the past 6 months, so what reason did I have to worry?

Three months passed since the day. As I walked home from my Saturday morning yoga class, I noticed my friend sent me a link to a radical self-care event for Black women. It mentioned that African, Caribbean, and Black women don’t prioritize self-care enough, including HIV testing. What I read resonated with me. It’s absolutely true. As Black, women we’re always showing up for everyone else, but rarely for ourselves.


It made me think more about my encounter with the lovely woman from the yoga retreat. I realized even though I knew my own status at the time, I never bothered to ask about hers. I texted her to see how she had been. Our texting quickly turned into a phone call, and eventually, I asked her what I really wanted to know:

“So, this might seem random, but I was wondering if you had been tested before or after our night together, and if you know your status?”

“I appreciate you bringing it up. It’s actually been a year since I’ve been tested, so I know I’m well overdue.”

“There’s this radical self-care event happening. They offer free anonymous HIV testing for African, Caribbean, and Black women. Want to go together?”

“I’d love to.”

These stories are not the stories of the people in the photos and do not depict the health status of any individuals in the images.

If you've ever been
in a situation...

Sister to sister

Self-care goes deeper
than the skin.

If you are a Black woman between the ages of 29-49, you are in the group that is showing higher rates of HIV infection. Early detection is important in order to live a full, healthy life. 

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Redefining Our Self-Care
© 2021