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.
I fully disclosed not only my status but explain[ed] how this came about. It was the most painful experience I have ever faced.
"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!"
“But I can’t bring myself to utter those words because I know it’s going to shatter their world. I know it, and it really hurts like hell.” – from the collection Blood Ties, edited by Salli Trathen
"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?
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.
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 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...