A mother of four, LadyByrd would always celebrate a strange anniversary.
She has celebrated this for ten years. Wedding anniversary? Yes but she also celebrates an anniversary of the day she contracted HIV which was her wedding day!
Born, raised, and currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida, Renee “LadyByrd” Burgess-Benson would not cease to share her story of contracting the HIV virus from her husband on the night of their wedding 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 (August 4) went viral, where she additionally shares how his mother attempted to warn her prior to their nuptials.
She shared her story:
“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.”
She is the mother of 4 beautiful children three girls and a boy. LadyByrd or Byrd as she is mostly called became and HIV Activist in 2008 months after being diagnosed the end of 2007 as being HIV Positive. Her story and her life is one that was destined to be shared, is being shared, and for decades to come will remain to be shared.She is an author and wrote a book, “Married: But It Can Happen.”