“Brent,” our anonymous writer, has plenty of stories to tell you – so make a weekly date with him in his column, “The Boy with the Rainbow Scarf.”
No one ever told me that finding love and being gay was actually this hard. Maybe, if someone had warned me… I wouldn’t have let him infect me.
This happened years ago, during my university days. I was pretty optimistic in love. I was your typical hopeless romantic, trying to find my knight in shining armour. So my search began in all those typical apps like Grindr, Jack’d, et cetera.
I was a virgin until I met him. A lot of guys texted me on those apps but as usual, most of them just wanted sex. I ignored all of them… as the months passed by, my hope of finding love began to waver. It was as if almost every gay guy I met was obsessed with one thing: sex.
One day, my friends took me a club to party. It happened to be his birthday, so he wanted to get white girl wasted with all of us. I’d never been to a club before… so I thought to myself, why not?
All of my friends were partying, dancing and getting drunk, while I on the other hand, just sat at our table looking bored as hell. Until he walked in.
The moment my eyes met his, I felt this instant connection. My heart started beating faster as he continued to walk in my direction. When he finally sat next to me, I couldn’t talk or even act like a normal human being.
This was the moment my misery began. The moment he said hello, my life was over. That Taylor Swift song, “I Knew You Were Trouble” became the anthem of my life.
We talked, exchanged numbers and the days continued with us talking over the phone. As a young kid, when a guy like that gives you the time of day… you just can’t help but to be obsessed with him.
A month later, I had fallen completely in love with him. He would beg me to let him stay over at my place, but of course, I wouldn’t let him. I didn’t want him to think that I’m some easy guy whom he could just sleep with, then leave in the morning. I wanted to be sure if he actually wanted to be with me.
Eventually, he said he loved me. I, of course, opened my legs for him to cement that love in me. I didn’t understand how sex was supposed to be. Having had not much else in terms of education on protection aside from what I watched in porn and other movies, I allowed him to fuck me bareback.
Waking up the next day, I saw that he had already showered and was ready to leave my room. I tried to get a kiss from him but then he just ignored me and went straight out.
The coming few days, he stopped replying to my texts and answering my calls. That was when I realized that he just wanted to have sex with me.
Of course, I broke down in tears because after all that time together (even though to some is short) he just ended up using me for sex.
My friend came over to check up on me after a few days of missing classes. I told my friend what happened and he was pissed but then he told me to get myself checked. I asked him why – and received a grilling instead.
“You shouldn’t have let him cum in you! You know that’s not the safe thing to do, right? Did you ever think that he might have infected you with an STI? Do you know what his status is?”
I didn’t. My friend wasn’t pleased. But his eyes showed concern.
“You should get tested for HIV. As soon as you can.”
My heart dropped as he explained further. I just couldn’t breathe. Could I have gotten infected too? Why didn’t anyone teach me about these things?!
Not long after that exchange, he accompanied me to get a test done.
The test came back positive.
My HIV diagnosis forced me to do a lot of soul-searching. I was angry at that bastard for infecting me with HIV. It really couldn’t have been anyone else. I was angry at the education system for not educating us about safer sex practice and how to avoid these kind of things.
I only found out about these medications like PEP and PrEP, after I got infected. PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) means taking antiretroviral medications (ART) after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent becoming infected. Had I known about the existence of these medications, I could have avoided this. I could’ve still been healthy.
I’m now on ART medication to treat the HIV infection. I’m healthy now, and this whole incident is a lesson learnt – but the fact that I could have just avoided the whole thing still haunts me till today.
I suppose then, that there is nothing else for me to do except to move on.