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He Said, She Said

By Brooke Davidoff

December 18, 2012

"I got it from her, she got it from a gay ex-boyfriend," he told his then wife.

Not that I had talked to him since BEFORE I even knew I had it. I had no contact with him after 2007.

Not that his mother ever got back to me with my email asking her to tell him and his new woman to get tested, way back in January 2010. She knew I had HIV before my own parents did. It turns out either she never told her own son to get tested, or she told him and he never let his wife know any of this was going on. Thank you CDC, for following up on married white women and their map of men. She could have known years ago, she could have been told before she even got it. Maybe. Thank you Guilt, for my caring about people I really don't even know who also slept with my hot ex.

I sent out emails to most of the guys I had slept with in the last 10 years, so for me that would be EVER. Some of them were now married, and a lot of them I had not talked to in over eight years. They all replied to my email differently. Some of them freaked out, a few asked if I was joking; before too long they all went and got tested. Days later they replied one by one, and they were negative. ALL of them, even the two I had slept with after HIM.

The "gay" ex he was referring to, who I had not slept with since I was 21, came back negative as well. I assumed if I'd have gotten it from that ex, I'd have been sick since then.

HIS CD4 count was in the double digits when he was finally diagnosed.

Mine was 136 and I was three months pregnant, which my doctor told me made my numbers lower.

Back when we were together he got really sick, and his mother took him to the doctor. They came home and told me he had a "blood infection." I thought nothing of it. But now I can't get it out of my mind. And what in the hell is a blood infection? Is that when he found out he had it? We were together more than six months after that.

His now ex-wife and I had each spent three-plus years with him. And all we got out of it was HIV and each other, in a weird way.

She is beautiful, divorced and off in the dating world. I feel bad that she has to live with this. I want to apologize for him to her and that makes no sense. In my REAL life I only know one other straight person with it. One of my best friend's exes who was an IV drug user after they broke up.

So I know four young adults, if that's what people in their early 30s are called. We all grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same schools. She and I used to hang out with the same friends. This makes HIV/AIDS more REAL to me.

I would LOVE to know where my ex got it. And how many other women he's shared it with.

I email with my new "friends" that I have made from my blog here and it seems most of us women got it from an ex-boyfriend. We seem to have a new unfinished part of those relationships. Most of them ended years ago, and now they haunt us. We kind of want to talk to those exes, to see how they are, find out what meds they are on and find out where they got this. What was it like when they found out?

I don't want him back by any means. I don't even see us being friends. We fell apart way before we FELL apart. I have no "what ifs" about him. I do feel like I could have saved her. Although he cheated on me with her, so he was sleeping with us both at the same time. She probably got it before I even moved away from California and began my new Washington life.

She and I email every few weeks. I talk to her more than I do some of my old friends who I still call "close" in my mind. But, it is SO nice to have someone I knew before all of THIS who I share it with. And I feel bad thinking and saying that also. Is that weird? I shared an ex and a past with this woman. We hated each other for years. She stole my man. He told her I gave them HIV. And in the end I have her as a new friend and him as a random deadly memory.

I'm glad she is free of him. He was clingy, insecure, untrusting and an addict/alcoholic. I wish her the best and hope to remain "HIV friends."




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