“Are you sure you’re HIV positive?” my last doctor asks, looking up from my blood work.
“I better be or there’s going to be one hell of a lawsuit.”
You would never know I was positive from looking at me or going through my medicine cabinet. I can pass for negative the way some married men pass for straight.
Because of that, I more or less took myself off the market; I got sick of the look of disappointment on a guy’s face when I told him the truth.
Lately I’ve been shaking my moneymaker again.
For a time I was a strict serosorter — dating and fucking only guys who are positive — but found it doesn’t make things any easier.
First, I’ve never been to a positive social event where I didn’t feel like an AIDS patient. Even the positive dating sites have a funereal quality to them. I’m not looking for a hug, just a blowjob and maybe a boyfriend.
Second, we’re still men. Positive guys don’t treat each other any different from the negative ones.
I hooked up with someone positive online who said he would be over in 15 minutes. “Be naked and hard when I get there,” he wrote. An hour later he emailed me to say he was just leaving his apartment.
“Fine,” I wrote back, “But I won’t be naked or hard.”
The “Status” field on my Manhunt profile reads, “Ask me.” Not one person has. They all assume I’m negative.
A positive fuck buddy of mine takes great exception that we are given the option to disclose our status online.
“D&D free! Who do these guys think they are?” he complains. “I’m a successful man! I’m a productive member of society! I might as well have a needle sticking out of my arm where they’re concerned!”
Caustic though it may sound, I get a sick satisfaction out of knowing that some of these men are in fact candidates for an STD. Are you seriously going to take the word of someone you just met? Would you trust them with the keys to your car or your apartment?
What bothers me is not that they’re afraid to have sex with me — that I can almost understand — but that they would prefer that I didn’t exist. They just want me to hurry up and die so they can go back to having unprotected sex.
My current doctor laughs when he reads my lab results; my viral load is just a nasty rumor, my T-cells runneth over.
“Could this be some horrible mistake?” I blurt out, exposing a crack in the veneer.
“No,” he says solemnly. “Tony… what you have… it’s a blessing.”
“No,” I tell him. “It is not.”