today for the first time I had the evidence of the stupidity of some guys and I also sent one of them to hell, not to say worse, even though he was a very good guy in many respects and I liked him a lot. I’ve always been afraid of sexually transmitted diseases and I’ll explain why, and some of the things you’ve told me have accentuated my fears. I do not think that happiness can be achieved just though sex, though sex is still a thing that creates a true dimension of intimacy, however, thinking of ruining life for five minutes of unprotected sex with an unknown guy seems to me the classic behavior of a totally irresponsible person.
I had a friend, or better, luckily, I still have a friend, he is a guy of Irish origin, I’ll call him Patrick, even though this is not his name. Patrick has become HIV positive for underestimating the risks. It is true that now being HIV positive does not turn immediately to AIDS because there are antiretroviral drugs that control the situation well enough and that’s why the outlook is far less terrible than a few decades ago, but Patrick’s life will be permanently conditioned by the HIV. I’ve seen how Patrick changed after the diagnosis and everything he needs to do for therapy and related clinical controls and are not at all banal things, and anyway HIV is not definitely eliminated.
Talking to Patrick causes me distress and it causes me also rage because no one has ever made him reason, on the other hand I too didn’t even do it, I thought he was very careful about prevention but it did not happen, and I cannot even blame him because he did not have risky behaviors or at least he did not seem to have risky behaviors. He had sex only with his partner and his partner didn’t know he was HIV positive. So, in essence, no one and not even his partner is really guilty of what happened. You could try to figure out who has infected his partner but you would end up tracing back the infection chain without any real utility.
The only way to avoid what happened would have been to test before having sexual intercourse and repeat the test after the window period without having sexual intercourses between the two tests, but it’s a long thing, not easy to accomplish and people end to neglect it with the terrible consequences that Patrick is now facing. I must say that I am very informed about HIV (I study Medicine) and I have continued to attend Patrick, but many of his friends, having known that he is HIV positive, abandoned him completely and this has greatly aggravated his psychological situation.
After I saw how Patrick’s life changed (because of these things I often talk with him), I became absolutely uncompromising in terms of prevention, I would say almost maniac. At that time I had not had already any sexual intercourse with anyone and I was quiet for my personal situation, but later I also had a boyfriend. Until a few months ago, I was with a guy who unfortunately got tired of staying with me and has gone, but from the perspective of prevention he was a guy with the brain in the head. When we thought we could have sexual intercourse, we went together to test and another time four months later for the window effect, clearly we went together to test and retire the results, so as to take away any doubt, therefore, when we had sexual intercourse we did not have in the background the ghost of the fear of HIV.
There is not only HIV but there are several other sexually transmitted diseases, which make perhaps less frightening but are able to cause anyway serious damages. And then, if one goes to test, he becomes also more careful and learns that prevention is a fundamental thing. Of course we waited four and a half months to have sex, but when we did, we could only think about sex and not about the possible risks. Okay, this was my ex-boyfriend, and losing him caused me trouble, because he was not the type of sexual escapades, he had met Patrick, and Patrick had shown him very closely that the risks really exist. Anyway my ex-boyfriend left because we were thinking about other things in very different ways, however he left, and bye!
But since then it had been over a year and I was slowly falling in love with another guy, a very nice and very sweet guy, a guy I loved very much. We started chatting, then we met in the evening to talk a bit (he lives somewhere near my home). Then, inevitably, sexual expectations were also created. I told him about my story and he told me about his. At this point he thought we would come to sex immediately, because in our stories it didn’t seem to be any risk of sexually transmitted diseases, but in such things I don’t accept at all the word “seem”, and I told him that we had to do the double test before having sex, as I had done with my old boyfriend. He was very weirded by this speech. I quote here a piece of a mail about the subject:
“I felt treated like a leper. You do not trust what I tell you. But why should I tell you something false? Do you want to use the condom? Okay, that’s fine, but using it for oral sex just seems absurd. But you do not even need this, you just want to do the test and you want to do it twice! But so we have to throw away five months to wait. But do you feel right? And It’s all for a matter of principle, because you know that you can trust me. Please, try to think serenely and put aside absurd complexes!”
Obviously I could not give in, I told him I did not want any risk and our relationship began to crunch. We met another couple of times, the second time I told him about Patrick’s story because I thought that the story would cause him to reason but that didn’t happen at all and he reacted in a way that annoyed me and probably from here on our relationship went into crisis. I told him that Patrick had only had sex with his boyfriend and that his boyfriend did not know he was HIV positive. I had told him so because that was what really happened, but he started to do strange faces, almost insinuating that Patrick probably had had sex with so many guys and that he probably had infected his partner, but such things were all completely devoid of sense, because he had heard Patrick’s name for the first time just 10 minutes before. Then I became the target of his frustrations, he considered me a psychopath. In the end he put an ultimatum
“or tonight we do it and as I like, or our story is over. I think you’ll be happy.”
I cannot stand ultimatums, and even less that someone judges without knowing what he is talking about, nevertheless I tried to make him understand my point of view and said:
“But how can you not understand that it is not a psychological problem but a real risk? Patrick trusted his boyfriend and came out devastated. You do not know him, you know nothing about him and you think you can judge him, but you don’t know how he is now, you should meet him and understand so much more. Anyway I do not blame you, before I saw closely Patrick’s story, I too considered these things very superficially, it was he who taught me to reason and not to trust. I’m not full of complexes about sex as you think, I’m not trying to get away from anything, before I knew you, I had a boyfriend and we had sex a lot of times, but it was safe sex. I’ve seen more than once worried guys for having had unprotected sex, guys who have been waiting for the test results with a terrible anxiety, they felt extremely worried because they felt as if they had played a game similar to the Russian roulette. In the end, things have gone well for them, but your answer: “So why should not go well to you?” It seems completely absurd, because to Patrick things went wrong. But, sorry, is it not better also for you to have security at another level? It’s about waiting, and then we can be well together even without sex, not forever, but only for a while.”
After this message he disappeared altogether. Now he is not with me, but there is not even fear in the background. I told Patrick that this guy was gone and he said to me:
“He has had a really childish behavior, if he really wanted to, he would have understood, but he preferred trying to force things and impose his point of view, and this is already not a good sign and in fact he has tried to impose an imprudent behavior, which means that it underestimates the risks and as he did it on this occasion he could have done the same in the future. I think that if the guys could see closely the problems caused by HIV they would use much more brain and with a serious education on prevention, the risk of AIDS could be slowly eliminated.”
If you want to post this mail, post it, I think you should absolutely publish it because making the guys aware of the risks of unprotected sex might be equivalent to saving their lives.
If you like, you can participate in the discussion of this post, on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/showthread.php?tid=144