I had a fairly good gay life, and was always happy that I was gay. I came out to my family when I was 25 and there were no great traumas about that. I grew up in rural Herefordshire, but moved to Dundee, Bristol and eventually the bright lights of manchester in 1999.
I came out to my family when I was 25 and there were no great traumas about that. I grew up in rural Herefordshire, but moved to Dundee, Bristol and eventually the bright lights of Manchester in 1999.
I thought I was invincible, that maybe I was immune? Then in 2003 at the age of 38 I started getting really bad rashes and fever. It was on 19th February 2003, 6.30pm that I was diagnosed with HIV and HepB.
I had a little weep and got on with it. I stayed in work and came to terms with it all quite well. I already had a few HIV+ friends and they were a great help and support. I joined gaydar as Pozclone, deciding that i was going to be open about my status from the start.
I started treatment in 2005 and it was trouble free and I continued to have a good life, although my sexual partners tended to be also HIV+ - it was easier and guilt-free.
Then in 2008 another bombshell. I had HepC as well. Things started to deteriorate, not so much physically but mentally. I began to feel isolated, dirty and felt I'd never have a relationship again.
It all came to a head just before Christmas last year. I didn't like to be touched, was afraid of guys picking me up and had stopped eating almost altogether, I had no appetite and food tasted bland. I got down to about 10 stone. I felt so depressed. My HepC treatment didnt work and there wasn't anything I could do. Everything seemed so dire.
Then came an epiphany - I talked to my friends and told them everything I was feeling. I cried a lot both with them and alone. Within a day or so it was like a weight had been taken off me. I began to feel hungry and started eating again and food tasted nice!
I started talking to guys I'd been with since my HepC diagnosis - a lot of what I was feeling was guilt - I had an extra secret. Their reactions were wonderful and supportive and none of them tested positive for HepC.
In February 2011 I updated my gaydar profile to include my HepC status and I've had a great response from guys who want to know more and other guys who are going through the same thing. It's a new start.
Read another story: Ian's story ››
(4 votes cast)
Please log in
or register to vote.
to add this article to My favourites.
Adding an article to My favourites will allow you to easily come back to it later or print it.
You will need to be logged in before you can leave a comment.
Please log in using the form on the top right of the page or register.
Various people talk about their experiences of living with HIV.
CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau
HIV Drug Interactions
George House Trust
Equality and Human Rights Commission
Copyright 2017 © Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (reg. no. 288527)
Company reg. no. 1778149 and a registered charity in Scotland (reg. no. SC039986). Registered office: 314-320 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8DP.