Picture by: Andrea Linss
After 20 days, I’m still alive and doing well. Emotionally speaking, sometimes it gets really. I am making a big effort to meet people everyday. Sometimes I am tired or have headaches and really don’t feel any sexual desire upon other people. Each date leaves a track on me and I certainly have enough stories that would turn into a good book. Today I would like to share with you my first experience with an HIV positive person. At first, I didn’t know about it and he only informed me after we had sex.
I heard about HIV/AIDS/Hepatitis C and other sexual diseases for the first time when I was 16/17. Back in my hometown, Rostov on Don in Russia, every summer we had a big demonstration about health and HIV, where people would give out flyers and have talks about it. At that time I was already taking part in different initiatives and though I could help people who were HIV positive. For me it was very exciting, like playing with death. I was very scared, but at the same time I had to provide some sort of help to those people.
During that time, I met a lot of former drug users with Hepatitis C and HIV so I started reading a lot and informing myself about sexually transmitted diseases. I helped them by paying them visits and bringing them clean items so they would prevent themselves against possible infections. After moving to Germany, I got to know many people who were HIV positive and became good friends with them. I would kiss, hug and spend time those persons. From 2009 until 2012, I was working as a volunteer for the Dresdner AIDS-Hilfe (AIDS Supporting Center in Dresden). I used to work at their office and also organize events.
There are more than 80K HIV positive people living in Germany. Only in Berlin, there are more than 11K people who suffer from this disease. Even though I have a lot of friends who are “positive” and I’m involved in campaigns about sexual diseases, I feel pretty scared to have sex with people who have the virus. There is a deep anxiety in me. I know that HIV cannot be transmitted through air, food, water, insects, animals, dishes, knives, forks, spoons, toilet seats, or anything else that doesn’t involve blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk / feces, nasal fluid, saliva, sweat, tears, urine, or vomit, unless blood is mixed in them. Also the risk of getting infected by people who are on an antiretroviral treatment is low.
But since I’m everyday meeting new people, I have to take big care of my health. So that’s why I decided to avoid sexual intercourse with HIV positive people or anyone who has even a cough or any other small disease. I am aware that somehow I’m discriminating people by doing that, but it’s my decision… It was my decision. Two days ago I had sex with a HIV positive person. It was late night when I went to Tiergarten, feeling unsure and insecure about what was expecting me. Before that, I was the whole day shooting a new video and had strong headaches afterwards. Anyways, when I got there, I met some people and started playing with a few of them. Tiergarten is a big “theatre” and guys who are walking around play different roles.
So the role I chose to myself was a macho-aggressive-fucker, who treats people like shit. I found one guy whom I was trying to sale to others and whom people could misuse. I don’t know why but I was very aggressive that night. I was playing with him for around 30 minutes, when another guy joined us. He was tall and in the darkness, I couldn’t see much of his face. I had a good impression of him though. I forced him to go on his knees and he blew me for ten minutes. Other guys started touching us and putting their hands all over our bodies. This made me angrier and somehow more active, so I started slapping his face and I came. The guy was very impressed by me and we talked for a while. I thought he might be an interesting person and we went for a walk. He told me his name was Michel and that he was a regular visitor of Tiergarten.
All of the sudden, I asked him if he had lately gotten tested. He said yes and tried to quickly change the topic. I insisted on it and he finally admitted he was HIV positive. I wasn’t shocked, nor surprised. It was Murphy’s law. Two days before that, I was chatting with a guy on Grindr and asked him if he was positive. This made him really angry and he took it personal by saying that I discriminate HIV people and that he would make a big noise about it on the newspapers and Facebook.
I got his point but as I mentioned before, I decided I wouldn’t sleep with people with any kind of diseases. (Ok, I’m aware that I might have already slept with someone who was HIV positive and didn’t know about it. But I’m talking about conscious decisions). But it happened and I got curious about the life of my partner on that night. We spent a few hours together and I asked him many questions. Luckily, we was open enough to answer all my questions.
Michael has been under treatment for the last 14 years. He found out about his infection 20-30 years ago (P.S.: He’s 52 years old). He doesn’t know how he got infected, but that doesn’t seem to bother him at all. In Berlin, there are many people who are HIV positive and some of them are somewhat scared to show up and live open with their disease. But Michael is definitely the opposite of that. He’s friendly, smiley, happy and very open-minded. Since he has been under treatment for such a long time, the amount of HIV cells in his blood is very low. That means that the chances of getting the virus are also low.
By talking to him, I lost all my fears and my deep anxiety of sleeping with people who are HIV positive immediately disappeared. I never expected that and I felt released and very happy. In my opinion, knowledge has so much power… You only have to inform yourself about what you are doing and how to protect yourself.
This made me think about my friend Demir from Russia, who is also positive and lives in Moscow. He has to deal with a lot of bureaucracy, racist doctors and intolerant authorities. For the last 5 months, he wasn’t able to get any medications. There’s a high chance of death, if he won’t gets under treatment soon. His emotional state is pretty bad and lately he has been considering committing suicide. I’m willing to try to put him in touch with some people in Berlin, so he would get the change to immigrate to another country and get the needed cares.
I would like to share some links with you where you can find useful information about HIV and AIDS in general.
BE SAFE AND PROTECT YOURSELF BY KNOWLEDGE.German:https://www.gib-aids-keine-
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