Rhys 31, Gay, Auckland

Some days I like to think to myself that it was a completely different life 8 years ago when I was diagnosed with HIV. Dad took me in to see my GP who had been trying to get hold of me for 4 days. After a minute of silence in her office and a brief chat about what it is I got back in the car where Dad waited for me and we went straight home so that he could google HIV and learn about this virus which so many people don’t understand.

The last 8 years have not been a walk in the park for me. At the start of my diagnosis I lost friends and chances of relationships, there were days where I didn’t want to get out of bed and I did consider suicide. I know that if it weren’t for my family and close friends I wouldn’t be where I am today. I knew that I had to use my mistake as a chance to educate people and show them that it really can happen to anyone, I once thought that I was invincible too.

I am lucky enough now that I have a job that I love, a life that I’m living and an amazing husband to share it with.  My last doctor’s appointment discussed finally starting me on anti-retrovirals at some stage early this year which I do worry about but I also know that no matter what, I have the support that I need to get me through anything.

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Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Charlie 31, Gay, Auckland

HIV isn’t a cause for shame or some dirty little secret... I firmly believe that the more honesty and frank discussion we have about HIV, the better.

Living with HIV

Personal Stories

Judith 42, Straight, Auckland

You can live with the virus, but the stigma will kill you emotionally. I encourage you to talk about HIV; that is the only way we can fight the stigma.

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