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Course of my life

I was a regular sixteen year old, full of rebellion and feelings of inadequecy and i tell you what, i really didn't want to go on a boring family holiday. My parents tried hard to give us the best. Private schooling, overseas holidays every now and then and by all comparison, we had things pretty good.

My sister is two years younger than me and she could never relate to my wild ways and hatred of authority figures. I was experimenting with acid and weed and came home pretty messed up more than once.

Back to this family holiday. Mum and Dad had booked us on to a cruise liner to bali, broome and lombok, a total of twelve nights trapped with family togethernes. so how was i to escape? they thought they had it all planned out. ha! i showed them. i hooked up with a senior officer on the first night. having only just turned 16 i was concerned with the prospect of not being served booze onboard. i got chatting to this spunky officer who was 24 and could barely speak english (he was russian) and i thought i'd hit gold! I told him my age was 19 and got him to flog a bottle of vodka from the officers' mess. Well, we drank it on down and i ended up losing my virginity to a stranger.

i wasn't to know but he was the catalyst that has changed the course of my life. three years down the track in 1999, my sister who also happens to be my best friend went to donate blood. she is a kind and selfless soul and wasn't prpared for the consequences of this generous act. the donor clinic screens all blood and hers had a catch. i went back there with her, not knowing at all what to expect. i waited for what seemed like ages in this cafeteria with treats for donors, then got called into this clinic room where i saw some doctor and my sister looking inconsolable. was i scared? understatement. "we tested your sisters blood, blah, blah blah, hiv...99% accurate but we'll send her to the hospital for more tests."

Questions, tears, shock, who do we tell, where did she get it? i was walking around in a daze. she was only 17. mum and dad came to the hospital and it was a friggin nightmare. none of us knew a thing about HIV and it was a huge mess of fear and confusion. the testing started. mum and dad were tested, then her boyfriend and they all came up negative. i was tested only as a precaution. guess what? it was me. i was the typhoid mary of my family. sure i had been wilder than most teenagers, but i had never injected and i used condoms sometimes. i thought that was enough. but it was that first drunken time when i lost it to the russian sailor.

what plagues us to this day is how did i pass it to her? we were regular siblings. we fought occaisionally, we weren't freaky incest sisters or anything. the doctors thought it might be because we share a bathroom. we will never know.
Sad eh? well, things went to shit for a little while. i moved out because i couldn't hack the guilt. told everyone i knew at the time. my boyfriend still loved me which was a godsend. i wouldn't have made it without him. my sister was in year 12 and doing her TEE, what a trooper, still got in the top 98 percentile.

six years on we have accepted things the way they are. She has had a boyfriend for one year now. i have bought a home with my boyfriend of four yaers and we are both doing great professionally. the meds can get a bit of a snore, but healthwise we could be compared to any one our age...

what have i learnt? its funny how shithouse experiences can sometimes make you a better person. i laugh more, i tolerate more and i love my family because they are my strength.


Sent via Email, January 6, 2005 from Perth, Australia.


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