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Better education

Testing positive for HIV was always one of my biggest fears, being a quite promiscuous gay man meant that unfortunately the chances of this happening were signifcantly higher for me. Don't get me wrong I always did my best to make sure i was protected but rational decisions about sex are somewhat difficult at times when you lead a lifestyle of drugs, alcohol and seedy nightclubs. Never the less I was very lucky for many years, and eventually settled my behavour down and settled into a more responsible life. In Early June of 2005 myself and my partner of 3 years and friend of 8 years split. It was a difficult time for both of us and we dealt with it in 2 completely different ways. I went out a lot to the clubs just so I didn't have to be home as we were still living together. It didn't take me long to get back on the casual sex wagon. I met a guy who originally was only a one nighter but we ended up seeing eachother quite a lot and after a few weeks he informed me he was HIV+. I liked him a lot and truely belived I had nothing to worry about - we had been safe everytime and we were sure of it. I made the decision to continue my relations with him and we remained safe but there was one thing neither of us ever expected, any publications you read and most doctors you speak to will tell that the chances of contracting HIV through oral sex are so incredibly low it's become something no one realy seems to consider, well, the risk is very real! I got an infection in my gum under my wisdom tooth in Mid July, we never thought about it in the heat of passion, we were too focussed on making sure we used condoms and were safe in that respect and it never really crossed our mind that we were playing a very dangerous game. Early August I became quite ill, I thought I was going to die, I was so sick. I had a gut feeling something was wrong and when the fever passed I went and got tested. On the 10th August 2005 I got the phone call from my doctor telling me i needed to come to the surgery ASAP regarding my test results. I had tested HIV+, my illness i had had earlier was seroconversion and the specialists said they believed I had only very recently been infected, within 4 - 6 weeks. It's funny because I think I know the exact moment i was infected, thinking back on our sexual activity. Now 7 months on I have been on and come off treatment, my VL is undetectable and my CD4 @ 880. I'm lucky so far, my body is fighting hard. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it saddens me so much to know that after all the stupid, irrisponsable things I did in my life I was lucky enough to get through clean then, the one time I am safe, with someone I like and care about, my worst fear comes true. You can never be too carefull, and I truely believe there needs to be better education about the risks of unprotected sex including the risks of Oral Sex (the risk is real all be it low) With HIV up by an incredible 19% in my home town It seems people - particularly the youngies who never lived through the Grim Reaper Campaign of the 80's - are becoming complaisant about safe sex and they're playing a deadly game.

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Sent via Email March 13, 2006 from Australia.

Site editor - Read more about the Australian 'Grim Reaper Campaign' launched in Australia in 1987.

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