I was diagnosed HIV positive earlier this year during a routine mobile testing clinic held in school.
My initial reaction upon being told the news was far from the norm - often people react in fear, anguish or anger but in my case, a very calm "oh" was all that came out of my mouth. Deep down inside I had already expected it. I had been ruthless with my body. It's hard to believe but from the time I lost my virginity, and thanks to my heavy usage of dating apps I'd slept with more men than I can count in 1.5 years. If you ask me now, I can't exactly pinpoint where exactly my impulses came from. I think I wanted to feel important. That few minutes (sometimes hours), I was the centre of attention. With every dick, every tongue stuck inside me, I was his (or often, their) object of fascination. Maybe I was needy, I craved that sensation cuz I was tryna fill the void. But what I can say for sure is, I was careless. I was naive. No condom? Never mind, he said he was "safe". He said he got tested recently. So in a sense, I knew deep down that I deserved it. Among the few people whom I've revealed this to, many have reacted in pity. Of course, the question of who gave it to me arises and to be honest, till this day thanks to my promiscuity I have no idea. Also I hadn't gotten tested regularly henceforth I can't pinpoint a specific time frame.
Did I feel sad or angry? Briefly. But I will admit, when I walk past the maddening crowds of cheerful young people like myself in school or outside, I feel a tinge of envy within me. My family doesn't know. Am I planning to come out about it? Never. In the past I had other issues my parents have carried the burden of, but this, this is entirely on me. I will never allow this mistake of mine to give even the slightest worry to my family, particularly my mom who is my entire world.
Anyway, the reason I'm choosing this anonymous platform to voice out is because it could literally happen to anyone. Like myself, a lot of other HIV+ people, are terrified of coming out about their status because of its social stigma. I applaud the few who've openly revealed themselves to Singapore. To all the HIV+ people reading this, know you're not alone. There is always help out there for you, and you must believe things will get better. And to everyone else, always practice safe sex.
This is not the end for me. I'm on medication and my viral load has reduced to a single digit. For those unfamiliar, viral load refers to the amount of HIV cells in your body. Most newly diagnosed have viral loads in 4 digits but with medication, it reduces to single digits or even a 0 but you are still HIV+ because the antibodies in your bloodstream are still around. Thanks to Medifund and the loving care of NUH staff, I only need to set aside about $130 for medication and consultation fees which my part time job and allowance suffices to cover.
I end this with the hope that one day there will be an affordable, readily available cure. And the stigma against HIV+ individuals will be ridden of along with world hunger, poverty, racism, homophobia and global warming. Ok bye now I'm starting to sound bimbotic lol.