Being introduced to New York City’s premier gay nightlife in the summer of 2009, sex, cocaine and an abundance of shirtless men dancing to house beats is what went down like a thief in the night. I was 19 years old, partying like a rock-star. It was total excitement for me and I was involving myself in risky behavior more than once. In the heat of the moment you lose all common sense. The thought of sex becomes an adrenaline rush. I would walk out the club several nights in the arms of a hot guy or so I thought, but sometimes they are not as attractive when you become sober. You could say I was loose off the goose, drunk in love (at the moment) and my vision was impaired! We would grab a cab to his apartment and have sex. When I would wake up, it was the scene of that Britney Spears song “Blur” off of the circus album. She sings, “Where the hell am I? Who are you? What did we do last night?” I tell the devil on my shoulder "Fuck you! Look all those bad things you made me do!". I could not remember if we used a condom therefore I would ask. But, who really knows if the person you have just slept with will tell the truth. It is a scary moment. I had had an STD several times. Lucky enough each time it was curable. Luck had been my free get out of jail card. In my mind, I was cat woman who had nine lives. However, after all my sexual encounters, HIV did not cross my mind and using condoms was a thought that came and swiftly flew away.
Recently, I had an HIV scare that woke me the hell up. I had sex unprotected with a stranger (again) at a local sex club while intoxicated. All it takes is one time. I thought to myself, I am HIV positive for sure or I have an STD.I felt pain in my chest as I had tears. He did not cum inside me, but pre cum is a way to transmit the virus as well. Who knows if he had pre cum inside of me? That was on a Wednesday, I took an HIV test along with STD test on the next Tuesday. The HIV and STD test came back two weeks later. My results are negative for both. HIV antibodies can show 3 to 6 months after exposure, hence why doctors say you are to get tested regularly every 3 to 6 months depending on how sexually active a person is. I am not in the clear just yet. I will go back in 3 months and then 6 months from the first HIV test. The stress of being unsure was enough to say to myself condoms are a must.
I know it will be tough when you are feeling sexy and ready to go that very moment. Men will tell you they can’t keep a hard on when wearing a condom. The dick or pussy is putting your mind in a trance, but don’t give in! Women will say they are on birth control. Birth control does not protect against HIV. Keep condoms in your purse or wallet. It may sound silly, but who cares. For seven years, I had sex with or without a condom. I was reckless and put myself at risk too many times. Gay and bisexual men are affected by HIV/AIDS more than any other group in the United States. Truth is, we must use protection every time. Let my mistakes with sex be a guide for you to do the right thing. Know your HIV status. Get tested!