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Positive Perspective

My first remembrance of HIV was in the early eighties. A group of us were discussing how to meet a friend who was soon to return from the USA - we joked that we should all meet him wearing surgical masks. We thought it was funny - what was this AIDS, anyway? Was it some American gay thing?

Things have certainly changed. That particular friend fell victim to HIV a few years ago. A turning point for me was one day in 1985 when my GP told me of the availability of a test for HIV -- he suggested that my partner and I may like to take it. We both did. In those days there was no philosophical debate on whether or not to take the test. We both knew that if we tested positive we may need to modify our lifestyle accordingly and that was not an issue for us. We both tested positive. We discussed it and decided to have a positive outlook on everything and not let our status take over our lives.

The next year we joined a friend as partners in a new gay venue. My partner and I both left our secure jobs and for the next seven years ran a gay venue. My partner became ill in 1991. He was never ill enough not to look after himself and it was only ten days before he died that he suffered from some strokes, then eventually lapsed into a coma and died from the effects of a brain tumour.


That was almost six years ago. I left the business shortly after that - travelled for a while, didn't work for a time and now I am approaching almost five years in the banking industry. Losing someone you love makes you see life in a new way.

I had to start again and now have a career. I have a beautiful and understanding partner, own a house, am studying accounting and work out at the gym. I have achieved my goals of achieving a Diploma of Business before 40 and of being recognised as someone who "works out". I visit my GP every two months and collect my medication - my HIV results are stable and I am happy.

I think the big contributor to where I am today is that conscious decision I made many years ago. The decision to be positive.


This story has been kindly sent by PLWHA Victoria, Australia. Added to the site September, 1999.

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