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I caught my new guy and my HIV+ ex having bareback sex at my party

I caught my new guy and my HIV+ ex having bareback sex at my party

I had never felt so much anger in my entire life. Neither had I felt such a gut-wrenching sense of betrayal, and from my ex-boyfriend and the new guy in my life.

I felt like I was experiencing all the struggles, insecurities and resentments almost every gay guy has living in this city coming into one – I caught them fucking, in my bed, at my house party.

The most shocking part was that they were going at it bareback, when my ex had recently found out his new boyfriend had given him HIV.

‘Alex’ (name changed) didn’t disclose his status and my guy didn’t ask. They both just assumed each other’s status.

My relationship with Alex was turbulent at best. He was one of the first new people I’d met in London so I felt some kind of ‘allegiance’ to him. But he’d been physically violent towards me on occasion and was wildly possessive, which I forgave and accepted following every incident of some new guy looking my way.

I look back now and see the relationship at the time as an anchor for my new life in London, and despite everything that had happened I wanted to hold on to this safety net even when things finally came to an end and I’d quietly come to my senses.

Eventually, we built a bond of friendship, as having mutual friends had kept us in the same circles – hence Alex coming to me to tell me he might have caught HIV from his new boyfriend.

I stood by him and made sure he knew I was there for him. I’d never had someone close to me experience something so life-changing as HIV – so even though our relationship was troubled our new-found friendship, whether real or not now I look at it, led me to care for him no matter what.

And that’s where we were; we were sharing a history, a strong bond and a reliance on each other – for better or worse.

Fast forward three months and I had a house full of people downstairs enjoying my party and upstairs it felt like a large chunk of my life had crumbled from under my feet.

Adrenaline and anger overwhelmed me as I shouted for them both to leave. Alex’s reaction to being caught red-handed was to launch himself at me, pinning me by my neck against the window and raising his fist, as the commotion had brought friends upstairs to see what was going on.

Before he had the chance to hit me, Alex was pulled off me and I shouted him down the stairs and out of the house, followed by the other guy who was in fits of drunken tears.

He stayed outside the house, as Alex left, until I came to my senses and realized I had to tell him he needed to go and get PEP.

The next day Alex texted me just this: ‘I’m sorry – I don’t remember anything.’

I told him and the other guy, once I’d made sure he’d been to the hospital, never to speak to me again. The guy agreed. Alex persisted, but I haven’t spoken to him to this day and I never plan to – we live close by and I’m dreading the day I bump into him.

I’ve been left with the quite cold belief that you shouldn’t ignore someone’s failings or give them any leeway in life, even if they are dealing with something as serious as an HIV diagnosis. They are people, and it is not an excuse to self-destruct and take others with them.

Despite my feelings and things I’m dealing with now, the main concern here is health and the mental well-being of people who have recently being diagnosed or of those who are concerned about the way they may react to such news.

If you feel like you can’t come to terms with your diagnosis or you’re worried about how you’ll react if you discover you have HIV, then please seek help.

This article first appeared in FS magazine. FS relies upon funds from the community. To support FS click here, or, if you’re in the UK, text FSFS15 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 (or £10, if you can).

Photo by Chris Marchant.