Gary (34)

technical services coordinator at an IT company
boyfriend: 3 years
children: none
HIV+: 1 year
HIV meds: none
viral load: 1,200
CD4-cell count: 400

It’s not nearly as bad as I had thought
After I had been in a relationship for a half year, my boyfriend told me he had HIV. I was angry that he hadn’t told me sooner. But I do understand how difficult it is to tell someone – there is never a right moment for it. I was also angry because we’d had unprotected sex. I can’t believe he put me at risk! But it was also partly my fault: I never asked any questions when we stopped using condoms. Now I’ve accepted it. I was afraid that I would become terribly ill and die soon after. Now I’m well informed. It’s not nearly as bad as I had thought.

It’s better not to have it of course, but you can live a normal life with HIV. My virus has given me the opportunity to look at my life from a bit of a distance. It has made me much more aware that my life is finite. I don’t put anything off until later any more. I had always wanted to get my motorcycle licence and now I’m working on it.

I’m a pretty closed person. I just don’t talk about myself that easily. Only a few people know I have HIV. My boyfriend knows, and I’ve told my best friend. He said: ‘You were stupid. You should have known better.’ Maybe he’s right. I haven’t told my mother or my sisters. They live in England and I don’t see them very often. I think it would make my mother worry a lot. I’ll tell her if I become really ill. I work at an international IT company. If I told people at work, I might miss getting a promotion. I have now decided I’ll leave it up to fate whether or not I tell people about my HIV. I don’t believe I need to tell everyone, but I’m not going to actively conceal it any more. If someone asks about it, I’ll tell them.

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020 6 160 160

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