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Tyrone

I am a gay male, and I dated a guy who told me that he had it shortly after we started dating. I admired him for telling me, and I believed that he had a good spirit and that he was seriously committed to our relationship. Needless to say we kept dating for a while, and although we had our ups and downs I believed in him.

While we had protected sex, he would always want to push the boundaries. He would want to start without using a condom, and then put one on later on. He was convinced that that couldn't get me infected, and I was naive and believed him. Mind you, it worked at first, because I was still getting tested negative, so we kept doing it for a while. Then he would go longer without a condom, and I got very nervous, but still trusted him to know what he was doing. I was very nervous, and sometimes I blame myself to this day for not being more cautious and thinking long term, but I was young, in love, and considered our love to last the test of time.

I eventually tested positive, which didn't cause me to be depressed initially, because I felt I had him to support me like I supported him. However, after finding out and telling him, I felt him drift away from me. He wouldn't check on me, he was more evasive, and his whole persona just changed. I found myself re-evaluating our whole relationship, and found myself to be naive and too much in love to realize this is who he was the whole time. I was always manipulated into giving him what he wanted, and never getting what I wanted. My love for him made me shut reality and reason out, and now I live with that mistake every day.

At first I blamed myself, then I blamed him. Eventually I realized that I was angry at so many things and I needed to let go. It took a long time, but I was finally able to move on past him and it, and I found few others who are also positive that I am very close to. In fact, my knowledge has helped them, which in turn helped me. I was lucky for I had access to a good doctor from the start, and found out very early so that I am healthier than most people living with HIV (according to my doctor). I vowed that I will not die from this, and it will not stop me from living my life the way I want to.

Currently, I am dating someone who is negative, and I vowed never to put them in the same position that I am in. I revealed myself to them (late in the relationship, only because I was afraid), and they still accepted me. This is a rare thing to find in someone, but I learned that we shouldn't hide who we are because of what we have, for our stories are all different. As such, we should be careful who we open to, for the right person can help us become stronger and push us further, and may even help us find happiness again.

AVERT says: If you feel personally affected by some of the content of this story, please see our HIV Prevention and Living with HIV designated sections.