This has been written with the consent of the client. He wanted to share his story to others through this blog.
Your ex was diagnosed August of 2013.
A few days before, you saw him googling HIV symptoms and you encouraged him to take the test. He did. He was diagnosed three months into the relationship. You stayed with him for the next three months. You broke up with him not because he was HIV+, but because his being bipolar was giving the relationship a hard time.
The Past Two Years
You focused on your Med studies. You forgot to take the HIV test. You were so focused on your studies that you cannot find time to take the HIV test. But you were constantly bothered by a pair of inguina lymphadenopathy. Some palpable and swollen lymph nodes in your inguinal area has bothered you. You told yourself you were definitely HIV+.
Your Pre-Test Counseling
We met on Grindr. I told you at once that I’m in the HIV Advocacy. You suddenly decided to meet me. You went to my place, we talked. What was normally a Grindr meet-up turned out to be a pre-test counseling. You were a different case. You were so sure that you were positive that being diagnosed will motivate you to do better with your medical studies. You were not bothered by the possibilities of transitioning into a life so many people are afraid of. You were a unique case.
Your Sexual History
You had always been the inserted in your previous relationship. Unprotected. There was a time when you ex wanted to be the inserter and you let him. He came inside. Unprotected.
You have remained protected over the past two years ever since your ex was diagnosed positive, if at all you would engage in sex with anyone.
You wanted to take the test. You felt that having met me in Grindr was a sign that you had to take the test once and for all. I suggested to take it after your two week exams in med school. You wanted it immediately. You wanted to get it over with.
The HIV Test.
You were in the counseling room. We were talking about the possibilities of being positive — and being negative. You said that being positive would be God’s way of reminding you to get your life straight. I told you it may be the same case if you were negative. Once again, you were so sure that you’re HIV+.
We talked about your history. We shared questions. Thoughts.
Can one unprotected receiver act give you HIV?
Can you go through med school being HIV positive?
Can you take Infectious Disease as a specialty if you were HIV positive?
You were HIV positive, at least according to you. While waiting for the results, you were decided that you were HIV positive. You knew in your heart that you were HIV positive. And you wanted to talk about treatment.
Where to get treatment and what are the side effects of the ARVs?
What are the support groups available?
What’s CD4 and what’s Viral Load?
I went out of the counseling room to check your envelope. The envelope would contain you HIV, Hepatitis B and your Syphilis results. Your envelop was given to me. I gasped as I felt the thickness of the envelop contents. I walked back to the counseling room. I opened the door and my whole body felt the cold air from the air-conditioning unit I sat down. I asked,
What if you were HIV positive? HIV negative? What are your future plans?
Your answer was pretty much generic, after all, you were decided, you’re HIV positive.
I handed you the result. Finally. You stared at me with eyes in limbo– you did not know what to do with the envelope. What else is there to do? You opened the envelope. Tears fell down.
You are HIV negative.