We Are Family: Duston & Karen (2:18) I Greater Than AIDS
- Published: 31 October 2015
- Whether it’s the one you are born into or the one you create, family matters. Watch these inspiring stories of real families as they show what is possible with love, support and ongoing care for people living with HIV. #WeAreFamily
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Karen: I was only 18 when I had him. And we were like – we’re like buddies.
Duston: Mom just kind of came out and asked me.
Karen: Okay he’s gay, oh my God, he’s going to hell. You know. And I think I even told him that.
Karen: I let him leave. You know, I didn’t stop him from it. It was just my stupidity, my ignorance made me push him away.
Duston: You know, I was really kind of lost, and didn’t know what to do.
This is where I always used to hang out. I’d walk up and down this road kind of all day long. And I remember hanging out with a bunch of other guys back there by the dumpster and just getting high and stuff.
Karen: And he called me, and he was just crying so bad, he was, he was scared to death. “Mama, I’m HIV positive.” Well, being a mama, my first thing is telling him, “Duston, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.”
Duston: My mom’s a huge part of the reason I want to stay healthy.
Karen: I did a lot of research online, and um realized that you know, I can kiss Duston and I’m not going to get it. We can use the same bathroom and it’s okay.
Duston: Try a kiwi.
Karen: You have to get a different mindset. He’s not going to hell, he’s not gonna die just cause he has HIV. My biggest thing is his medicines. He's got to stay healthy.
Duston: And we shot a game of pool, and three hours to do...
Karen: He’s my kid, I love him with all my heart.