How would you feel if you accidentally infected someone with HIV?
It was mid-day and my phone rang. The caller ID read Josh Robbins.
Imagine that feeling you get when you realise you were going 90 mph on the highway and you just passed a cop. Intuition told me that this could not be a good call (hearing from an ex, out of the blue, rarely is). I let it go to voicemail. His message was thoughtful, but urgent. I stepped outside to inhale a cigarette before calling him back.
We were cordial—almost too cordial. We chatted. Then Josh dropped the bombshell. He told me that he’d tested positive for HIV, after having initial HIV symptoms, and that I needed to go get tested. He went on to explain that it wouldn’t have been possible for him to contract HIV from anyone else. If it was from me, he said that he didn’t want to harbour any animosity towards me.
I think my response must have been similar to if my mother had called at 7 am on a Saturday to tell me to go to the dentist, “Yea…of course I’ll go. Talk to you later”.
I spent the next day pretending to live my life normally, trying to salvage the last hours of a carefree life.
When I finally made it to the health care centre, I had envisioned every possible outcome, good and bad. I was mentally prepared for a positive test result. Believe it or not, when the test came back positive, it felt more like a relief than a blow. I could move forward now. I could take action. I was no longer stuck between knowing and not knowing. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t happy news but I knew I was going to be ok.
I also felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. I wondered if Josh’s friends or new partner knew that I was the source of his HIV. Did they think I was an awful person? Was I an awful person?
Click here to find out what happened next.
This post has been adapted courtesy of ImStillJosh.com