Earlier this week, a guy messaged me online who was recently diagnosed as HIV+. He was sixty-two. He said he felt alone and didn’t have anyone to talk with about his diagnosis. I met him and gave him HIV 101. I felt a social duty to help this man get on track.
The guy divorced his wife three years ago because she had an affair with his best friend. He said he was always gay but married a woman because he didn’t want to come out and embarrass his family. He only had a few hook ups while he was married because he chose to suppress his desire for men. After the divorce, the man went wild hooking up with men as often as possible. He barebacked without even considering possible consequences. He didn’t think it would happen to him. The man had not started a drug routine yet he continued to hook up with guys without playing safely.
I lectured him on playing safe and the need to get on an HIV drug routine. I also cautioned the man about possible criminal charges for not disclosing his HIV status to sexual partners.
I came away from the meeting with mixed feelings. I felt sorry for the man for hiding his sexuality in order to comply with family expectations. I was also disappointed he’s not practicing safe sex, or on a drug routine to achieve an undetectable status. I also had empathy for the man because I know being HIV+ will change his life forever.
It’s a shame people are still being infected with HIV. Even though research has developed drugs to control the HIV virus, a cure has not been found. Be smart, be educated and play safe. I want to stop teaching HIV 101.