Robin (24)

communications consultant
boyfriend: 4 months
children: none
HIV+: 8 months
HIV meds: none
viral load: 22,000
CD4-cell count: 460

It was really very unexpected to suddenly have the grand prize
When I began studying, I started getting tested for STIs and HIV every six months. I thought I was well informed about what is and isn’t safe. Fifteen times without a single STI, so it was really very unexpected to suddenly have the grand prize. I still haven’t come to terms with it. I really don’t understand it.

Okay, I was single and I had dates, but I felt that I was always being safe. I think I would have felt more at peace with it if I had really been whoring around. Apparently something went wrong somehow. Exactly how it happened is still a mystery.

At ten past four, I rang the GGD (municipal health services) and I had a long talk with the nurse. Right after that, I had to call about a job I’d applied for and was told that after two rounds of interviews, they’d still decided to hire someone else. So that added even more distress! That evening I went out with four good friends to celebrate St Nicholas Eve. I still had to write a poem; otherwise the evening would have been a total failure. So I just did that. I hadn’t yet decided whether I wanted to tell them or not. We were sitting around on the couch nattering and drinking whisky and coke. Then one of the girls asked: ‘Have you heard anything yet about your new job?’ And ten minutes later: ‘And how did that other thing go?’ Then I just told them. Actually, it was a really great evening. Two of them just couldn’t stop crying and the two others didn’t really know what to say. They asked the most obvious questions: ‘How do you get it? Why you?’ I didn’t know much about it myself. I am glad I told them right away. I had got it over with, and it’s nice when people you know well know what the problem is.


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