Kids, before I was left without a job, a dear friend of mine told me about a gay gathering off Phuket, Thailand in the beginning of the year 2014.
Of course, when I first decided to join (before my previous life was over), I did want to find sex and love at the event. However, after the HIV diagnosis, I did not think it was a good idea (plus, I needed to save what little money I had left).
I told my friend this and he convinced me to join anyway. He told me that when he joined the gathering the previous year, he met some HIV-positive gay men.
“You’d be surprised to see many HIV-positive gay men at the event. They’re not young anymore but boy they are healthy … and good-looking,” he added with a smile.
When I told him about my financial difficulties, he said I could ask for a funding. It looks like the Universe really wanted me to join the gathering and who am I to refuse?
So I went to the gathering … not to find love, but to be inspired. Meeting those HIV-positive gay men (some of them diagnosed in the first breakout in the US back in 1980s) would surely give me a boost of confidence. And it did.
What I didn’t expect was: when I decided to stop finding love, it was love who find me.
So there I was, at the ferry boat, cruising from Phuket to Koh Yao Yai Island, smiling to myself as I soaked up the sun when, this guy, with a smile that (until now) make me feel like a little child. We hit it off right away.
Kids, it was like teenage dream. That night, we walked on the beach, under the moonlight, and kissed for the first time.
When he wanted to take things to next level, I opened up to him.
“Guy, before we go further, I need to tell you something,” I told him. I took a deep breath and said, “I’m positive.”
I thought he was going to back off. I thought he was going to stop. Instead, he just said, “thank you for telling me. That was very mature of you.”
You see, kids, my boyfriend was negative. But he was well-educated about the virus. He does not care about the virus. He cares about me.
After spending so many times thinking I would never have a boyfriend, let alone marry, partially because I am HIV-positive, I finally found a loving and caring partner.
I often get questions like …
“Does your boyfriend know that you’re HIV-positive?”
“Is your boyfriend HIV positive?”
“So how do you guys … you know ….”
Well, as I said in the article, he know about my HIV status because I told him from the start. No, he’s not HIV positive. As for how we do “it”, we do “it” just like everybody else. Yes, we have to be more careful but that doesn’t mean it’s not as enjoyable.
Why? Because unlike my previous life when I fucked every single of those guys, with him, I do not fuck: I make love (okay, how cheesy that might sound).
Kids, when two people really want to be with each other, they will always find a way to make it work. He lives abroad so that’s another challenge. He’s American so that’s also another challenge. But we always find a way to make it work.
We have lived together for almost two years now and, guess what, last week, we proposed to each other.
Kids, I’m not saying that I would live happily ever with him nor did I say my life is easier now. However, I can say that both Robert (my fiancé) and I are rich in love, and that’s what matters. The ARV therapy does keeps the virus at bay, but his love, for me, is the ultimate drug.
First published on Bali Peduli.