21 - TESTIMONY - B
"By way of introduction, I decided to add a few words to B's testimony.
Firstly, I simply ask you not to judge his story, which I think is very important because it is so typical about the way sex is consumed today.
It is imperative to take care of one's sexual health and I have written about this on the blog before.
to write about it on the blog.
What I haven't emphasised enough is the importance of getting tested. We are lucky in France to be able to do this simply and without constraints. We are also fortunate in that we have effective treatments to prevent us from becoming ill and infecting our partners. However, too many people are unaware of their serology, too many people allow themselves the luxury of not wanting to know it when in other countries they would only ask to be treated.
Take care of yourself and others".
B, 23 years old, Roissy-en-Brie
It all started on a Saturday night. I was horny. I logged on to Grindr looking for a booty call and that's where I found this blonde, blue-eyed guy in his thirties.
I started talking to him, we exchanged a few messages, a few photos and very quickly he sent me his address. I go there. On the way, we continue to talk. We agreed that we would have sex without condoms as he was on PrEP.
I arrived at his place, he undressed me and I came inside him twice. After that he tells me that a friend of his is about to arrive for the evening. He offers me to stay with them and I accept. His friend arrives, very nice. We chat, we laugh, we drink, we smoke weed, everything goes well. Then our host suggests cocaine. I have always forbidden myself the use of sniffing products, but driveń by the good atmosphere I accept.
The evening continues. The day breaks. We decide to go to bed and then he offers me to do it again in front of his friend. Despite the embarrassment, I accept, hoping that his friend, also very sexy, will join me, but no. We fall asleep.
The next day, we wake up, his friend leaves, but I stay. We spend most of the day in his bed watching YouTube videos. I gradually start to think and ask myself a question following the previous day's exchanges: is he really on PrEP? Indeed, during the evening, he explained that he was Dutch and did not have a health card. So how does he get PrEP? I ask him to show me his pills, and he explains that he left them at his parents' house during a recent trip to the Netherlands.
I begin to understand what had happened, but I don't really know and I don't want to believe it.
We then agree to meet again that evening for dinner. I agree. I go home, shower and honestly ask myself a million questions about the forgotten PrEP in the Netherlands. I text him and ask him again. He tells me not to worry. To reassure myself, I offer to bring a self-test and give it to him before going out for dinner. He agrees.
After a short diversions to the pharmacy, I arrive at his place. The atmosphere is strange. I give him the self-test. Never before had 15 minutes been so long. Negative. I am reassured. He goes to the bathroom and doesn't come back. I go to see him, to see if everything is fine, and there he bursts into tears. He explained that he had lied to me, that for the last three months he had only been getting caught without a condom and that therefore the test was not reliable. I was torn between crying and acting. And I did. I asked him to accompany me to the nearest emergency room.
It was 8.45pm when we arrived. The beginning of a nightmare. I waited until 11.45am the next day to leave. All night long he was with me, apologising, over and over again, but I couldn't understand what was happening. Everything was fine for me, so I told him that it wasn't serious and that in a few days it would be a bad memory.
The nurse called me, asked me some questions about taking risks. She then took a blood sample and prescribed a PEP (Post Exposure Treatment) for 5 days to be repeated if necessary. After 5 days, I met with the hospital's infectiologist who renewed it for 28 days. The PEP, that fucking triple therapy that sums up your life in two words: nausea and diarrhoea.
After several weeks of treatment and two long months of post-treatment, I went back for blood tests for the umpteenth time. Everything was negative. I was happy, relieved. My Saturday night "booty call" was not so lucky. He is now HIV positive.
This is the first time since it happened that I have spoken about it. And if I mention it, it's not to make people feel sorry for me. It's just to remind you not to trust strangers and to get tested every 3 months. If you don't want to use condoms, choose PrEP, it's free and more reliable than a condom against HIV. This is the protection I chose after this story.