In one day I told my parents, I told my friends, I told my job, I set up a YouTube site and decided that this illness can help me in a way to get a stronger mind by documenting how I felt in an open forum.
My favourite moment was during a question and answer exercise I did in my 1st proper session about how you can contract HIV. One boy had obviously been listening to my story as he yelled out “EX BOYFRIENDS”.
"I have absolutely no problem with you having HIV. My friend passed away from AIDS a few years ago. I understand how you’re feeling". I could not believe my ears. Are you kidding me, did he just say he didn’t have an issue?
I loved and respected these women. Lying to them made me hate myself. So, after talking it over with my partner, I decided to bite the bullet and tell them my secret.
Perhaps the problem with disclosure was me, not everyone else. I kept thinking that the world was going to end when I told anyone. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced that level of fear before. It was crippling. Heart beating fast, shallow breathing, but it was all me. I judged myself
I was being open and honest about who I was and I was being accepted for it. The fact that there were feelings at some level made the whole situation extra amazing.
Are you clean?’ Well you can interpret that question any way you want. I knew what he was meaning to say but I just answered him as if he’d asked ‘Have you had a shower?’ or ‘Are you physically clean?’ and so I said ‘yes I am
I was diagnosed in Sydney with HIV in June 1997. I was in Australia as a recent immigrant. At the time I was working as a RN in an Intensive Care Unit in Sydney…and it goes without saying that even at the best of times it's a job that requires one's full attention in every way...
Telling my parents I have HIV was absolutely one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life. After my diagnosis - a surprise to all concerned - I initially managed to cope with the news thanks to the love and support of a few close friends and my ever-supportive, negative partner. But, after a few health complications and increased social isolation, it began to get me down.
I have so many stories of disclosure, most of them thankfully have been good, and interesting, experiences. Yes, it can be scary to reveal your status, but only because of the fear we impose on ourselves. We often transfer this fear to the people we tell, and sometimes unnecessarily.
I need to tell you that I'm undetectable... I have been for many years... very fit and healthy. Just want you to know :)
I am PrEP, and Poz friendly. The (=) in my screen name means that I am stigma-free, and don't
discriminate against people based on their HIV status.
"Martin at this point in time I think I have to tell you something that might interfere with our sexual and mental connection that we have found and experienced it over the last month... "
"What right now Jose?"
"Yes ... I am HIV positive and have been for a few years!"
"Yeah Yeah Yeah... that doesn't change anything as far as I am concerned... we are both adults... now lets get back to what we were doing!"