Day One With HIV: "'Mad' Wasn't the Word That Came to Mind"

Bob Clark
Bob Clark

One day in May 1989, my partner came home and told me he had both HIV and AIDS. In one moment, my life changed forever. I was tested and found to be negative -- until February 1992 when I visited the doctor for a urinary infection and was asked if I wanted an HIV test. I said no as I was having it done elsewhere anonymously.

Several weeks later, I received a call requesting that I come to the doctor's office for a conference, where I was informed that an HIV test had been mistakenly done and was positive.

"Mad" wasn't the word that came to mind. After telling the doctor I had no interest in him treating me, I tried to leave the office. On the way out the door, the doctor yells down the hall to the waiting room for the checkout person to give me "one of the BLACK notebooks with the HIV info," while six people sitting in the reception area heard all of it.

Had T-cell count test done and it was 1,275, so no treatment was recommended at the time. My partner passed in 1996 and I live on with another, now almost 14 years.

Want to share your own "Day One With HIV" story of finding out your diagnosis? Write out your story (1,000 words or fewer, please!), or film a YouTube video, and email it to In the coming months, we'll be posting readers' "Day One" stories here in our HIV/AIDS Resource Center for the Newly Diagnosed. Read other stories in this series.