S.J.

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After leaving my boyfriend in London and coming back to Australia as a PLWHIV, I really didn’t think I would ever like a boy again. I mean, I had been with him 8 years and for all that time I hadn’t looked at anyone else. So it was somewhat of a shock to my entire system when I started to fancy a guy at work. We started off talking a bit here and there. He was good looking, funny and well, we really hit it off. But it didn’t matter, because I had HIV and well just that, nothing could ever happen. Then we spent nights on the phone talking for hours and hours, about anything and everything. Well almost everything. It’s weird when I think back to how it all played out. I don’t remember being nervous, or scared about telling him. The plan was to never go to that next step, meaning I would never have to tell him.

Then, the inevitable happened. We had been drinking all day by his pool, laughing and joking all day. Making silly future plans, and just being the Ying to each other’s Yang. As we laid in bed trying to drunkenly watch a film, I all of a sudden knew I had to tell him. I sat bolt upright (as upright as u can be after drinking all day), turned to him and blurted out in the mess I was “there’s something I have to tell you because I want to have sex with you. I have HIV. I’m really sorry.” I then proceeded to word vomit (thankfully not actual vomit) about how and why and who and everything that I thought he needed to know before he had a chance to stop and judge me. I think I got just about everything out within about 2 minutes until he stopped me. He told me to breathe, relax, and be calm. But I really couldn’t at this point. I had just disclosed to someone I was pretty much in love with that I not only wanted to have sex with him, but that I was HIV positive as well. Not only that, it was my first romantic disclosure of all time, and the first person I had liked after thinking id never like anyone ever again. Then the tears started. I’m pretty sure it was because I had no other coping mechanism at that point, I had just laid my heart and life out on the line with absolutely no regard to how it would end or what I would do afterwards.

He managed to stop me crying and said “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? We didn’t have sex, but we talked, held hands and cuddled.

A couple of days later I finally got the courage to ask him if we could be in a relationship. He said that after I had left that day he cried. He was really sorry but due to him having a young son he didn’t want to put himself at risk for the sake of his son. It was too much for him to take on. I understood and we remained close friends for some time. We no longer speak, but it just shows me that you meet people at the right time. I am extremely thankful, that despite the high alcohol content and my complete disregard for any consequences, my first disclosure was with him. 

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