What happened after finding out that I have HIV
When I found out that I have HIV, I became mentally ill. I worried about many things during that period. I was worried about my parents finding out about it. I thought that I have to live with this disease for many decades from now on. I worried about money too. I also wondered what my friends would think of me. Although there were so many things that made me anxious, I was particularly worried about my love and sex life.
“I should never have sex with someone from now on”
After finding out that I have HIV, I kept thinking about my love and sex life; “I have no right to love someone again.” “No one will go out with a HIV patient.” “I wonder if I can ever have sex with someone again.” I completely lost my self-esteem. I was scared of getting into a relationship. I was afraid that once they have find out that I have HIV, they would say, “You are HIV positive, really? Sorry. Good bye.” Because I was so scared, I rejected every invitation I get, even from someone who was so good looking. Although I was sometimes tempted, my fear of getting hurt was stronger. If someone reacted negatively, I will never be able to find love again. Therefore I stopped asking out all together. Yet I was extremely unstable mentally because I didn’t have anyone by my side. I couldn’t even count on my parents, since they didn’t know anything about the disease. So I wanted to have a boyfriend who would stay by my side during this difficult period. But I simply couldn’t ask someone out.
When it has passed more than 3 months since I have found out about my disease, I finally started to feel calmer. I guess pills for my mental problems were working. As a result, I could think seriously about my love and sex life.
As I written earlier, I have participated meetings for HIV patients. In one of the meetings, there was a discussion on love and sex. We discussed whether if we tell our partner that we are HIV positive. We then imagined what others would say if we tell. We also talked about whether it’s safe to have sex when we are HIV positive. Everyone was struggling the same thing. The conclusion of that discussion was; “ we should be careful how to tell our partner that we are HIV positive, but we shouldn’t stop loving someone or having sex just because we have HIV.”
Even if we are HIV positive, HIV virus is close to inexistent if we don’t forget to take the anti-HIV drugs. On top of that, if we practice safe sex and use condoms, for 99% of time we won’t transmit our disease to our partner. Of course, it’s awful to spread this disease by having unprotected sex. But if we are careful not to spread the disease, there is no reason that prevents us to find someone special in our lives. I could think like that after this meeting.
“Do you want to go out with me?… Even if I am HIV positive”
For the first 3 months since finding out that I have HIV, I didn’t go out with anyone. I didn’t even try to find a boyfriend. When I became so depressed and couldn’t stop crying, it has happened to me to drink until I pass out. In spite of my state, I didn’t have any sentimental or sexual relationship with someone. When I felt calmer, I started to go out in Shinjuku Ni-chome (the area in Tokyo where there are many gay bars) or to meet someone who has contacted me online. I also started to have sex (of course, I practiced same sex all the time).
During that time, one gay man asked me out. I was surprised. At the same time, I started to worry that he doesn’t know I am HIV positive and I should tell him.
I told him “there is something I have to tell you before I say yes.” “What is it?” he said.
“I am HIV positive.”
“Do you want to go out even if I am HIV positive?”
He said, “Yeah, that doesn’t change my feelings towards you.”
I notice that I was crying. I thought even person like me could find love. It was the first time I could think of me being in love with someone.
Relationship and sex with HIV
I have gone through many difficulties, such as having mental problems or dealing with paperwork, after finding out that I have HIV. I also found out that there is also positive side of getting sick. That was, for me, the fact that it made our relationship stronger.
For HIV positive people, it’s not easy tell someone that we have HIV. We want to avoid doing that if we can. We also put ourselves out there by telling others about HIV. It’s because we can get hurt if other person rejects us. Imagine you have diabetes. What would you feel if you ask someone out and he/she rejected you because of the disease? It’s hard to have a hope of finding another relationship when we are rejected like that. Therefore you would understand that it’s important, for people with HIV, to find a partner who would say “you are taking your medications, so I am not worried about HIV”. If we can find out someone like that, we have already gone through two of the most difficult things: the fact that I told him that I am HIV positive and he accepted me. That makes him a special person, who I can’t easily replace with others. (He also said to me that he worries about me and care about me)
In addition, I was over-thinking about sex when I just found out about my disease. People with HIV can have sex. We just have to be careful not to transmit it to our partner.
Now when I wake up in the morning, my amazing boyfriend tells me “It’s time to take medicine! I will make you a breakfast.” He cooks me a breakfast and eat together before taking the drug. I also have sex with him just like a normal guy who is in love.