Marinus (37)

restaurant manager
boyfriend: none... unfortunately
children: none
HIV+: 10 years
HIV meds: 10 years
viral load: undetectable
CD4-cell count: 956

My health is doing very well
My father is Surinamese. My Surinamese side? I like spicy food and I’m a sociable person. Everyone is welcome to drop in and to stay for dinner. That’s the way I was brought up. And I believe I’m a good dancer. At the beginning my family reacted emotionally of course. After all, it is still a serious illness. But now everyone is well informed and it’s not such a big issue any more. At birthday parties I’m always asked about my health. After I’ve been to the hospital for a check up and they’ve told me all is well, I tell my family that I’ve again passed inspection.

Once, before I had myself tested for HIV, I met a guy that I really liked. I knew he had HIV and I thought that was pretty scary. If I really had been in love with him it would have been different, but for a one-night stand, I was like: I just don’t know.... I’m glad I’ve experienced that side of it. That has given me insight into some guys who think my HIV is scary.
My health is doing very well. I take a pill once a day now and it doesn’t bother me much at all. But I do find it frustrating that guys fairly often lose interest. You never know what might have happened without HIV, but I do think my HIV is a factor in my not being in a relationship.

I think it was about eight years ago that I said in a gay chat room that I had HIV. I got many positive reactions. Then I thought: why don’t I add it to my profile on that gay dating site? I also did it in self-defence. If that’s a problem for someone, then forget him. I act very casual about it, but from time to time it does get me down.

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