A 34-year-old woman whose husband infected with the HIV virus on their wedding night celebrates 10 years of being positive.
The woman identified as Renee 'LadyByrd' Burgess-Benson, narrated how she had waited to consummate her marriage on the night they would be pronounced man and wife only to end up being infected with the disease.
Sharing her traumatic experience, Burgess-Benson said while she was dating her husband who has been sentenced to jail for infecting her, she had insisted on a no-sex relationship while looking forward to her wedding night, not knowing that her husband was HIV positive and had hidden it from her.
Burgess-Benson, a resident of Greenville/Spartanburg area of South Carolina, who has been sharing her story since 2008, decided to celebrate the 10th anniversary of her being HIV positive after her husband infected her when she was 24-years-old.
While trying to bring awareness to those in denial of it happening to them, Burgess-Benson’s recent post on her 10th-year mark went viral, where she additionally shared how her mother-in-law attempted to warn her prior to their marriage.
Beginning her post, she said:
“Your wedding night is the time to consummate the marriage. But in my case, it did not end as I foresaw.
My wedding night, we did that but he also knowingly exposed me to his HIV. I trusted him with my life and he took my life into his own hands and chose to lie in the most explainable way!”
In addition, Burgess-Benson said that on the steps of her mother-in-law’s attempt to question him about the virus prior to their wedding, her husband denied any truth to having it.
Furthermore, she explained the series of events of the wedding, having unprotected sex and contracting the virus, to hearing the doctor tell her she was HIV positive and then learning of the many women and men her husband was sleeping with.
Consequently, the two found themselves in court, where he continued to lie about having and knowingly sharing the virus up to sentencing.
Continuing, she said:
"Thereafter, the lies hadn’t stopped until the judge presiding stated:
'We have you on a recorded conversation admitting that you had HIV since 2002.'
Concluding her posts, Burgess-Benson admits that her biggest regret is not seeing the results, and simply wished for others to stay aware and get tested.
This is what she posted on her Instagram page:
"10 years ago on this date, was the first time I was exposed to his HIV. Before this date, we had NEVER had unprotected sex. I was very adamant about it. Your wedding night is the time to consummate the marriage.
Well, my wedding night we did that but he also knowingly exposed me to his HIV. I trusted him with my life and he took my life into his own hands and chose to lie in the most explainable way!
From that trip to the doctor when he said his HIV test was negative, to his mom telling me to ask him about HIV and he saying he didn't know what she was talking about just days before the wedding, to having unprotected sex with his WIFE on our wedding night, to the doctor telling me that I WAS HIV POSITIVE, to me finding out about other women and possibly men he was sleeping with, and ALL THE WAY UP TO SENTENCING he lied!
When the judge said, 'we have you on a recorded conversation admitting that you had HIV since 2002,' the lies stopped!
I was 24 years old on this day August 4, 2007, and on this day, my body was introduced to HIV."
In addition, she said once she spoke out, others who had slept with her husband began to come forward, like another woman who he’d infected while his wife was pregnant, while another 100 women who allegedly had sex with the man also coming out of the closet.