Orphan Eva Fields Goes From Single, HIV-Positive Teen Mom Of Two, To Wife And AIDS Activist
On her own since she was 15-years-old, Eva Fields was orphaned and supporting herself by her sixteenth birthday. “I was taking better care of myself than my elders were,” she admits. “But, I wasn’t making the right decisions.” By 17, she was pregnant with her second child and told she had tested positive for HIV. Thankfully, her son was born healthy, but she knew things were only going to get tougher from there. Instead of giving in to the fear and the pain, Eva chose to educate herself about HIV and AIDS. She focused on staying positive and helping others learn from her experiences and mistakes. Fields always believed she would never be able to have more children, but with medical supervision, she was able to conceive her third child, a healthy baby girl who was born HIV negative. Her story is powerful and a true inspiration to all women who have ever had to face an unthinkable diagnosis. In honor of National Women’s Health Week, we talked to Fields about protecting our bodies and our children and the importance of spreading awareness.
ESSENCE.com: You told your now-husband your status on your first real date. How courageous! Why did you decide to do it that way?
EVA FIELDS: It was scary, of course. Any time, as a woman, when you meet the one, you have those attractions and you don’t want to lose someone because of a societal stigma. Society as a whole puts a bad label on anyone who’s HIV positive. I just felt it was time to let him know and that if he cared about me enough he would either accept it or not. It was my responsibility as a woman and as an adult to let him know. We were on a lunch date and before he decided to take that first bite, I just told him. For me, it’s never been difficult to tell anyone my status. It’s difficult getting turned down and feeling rejected. That’s what makes it hard for anyone HIV positive wanting to date someone that’s HIV negative.
ESSENCE.com: What was his reaction?
FIELDS: He was like, “Okay.” Just like that. I asked him what he meant by “okay,” as I prepared to put my guard up, and then he said, “Okay. I’m educated. I have the real education, and I’m very educated on the subject.” I felt very blessed. In the past, I had come across people who were not educated and reacted terribly. I can’t blame them. Sometimes, as human beings, we fear the unknown.
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