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Personal story: Calvin

Life goes on, and nothing has changed – we just have to be a bit more careful now about our lifestyle

Smiling African man in street with motorbike
Photo credit: ©iStock/RapidEye. Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.

"I'm 31 years old and am an electrician in the mining industry. I have a beautiful wife (24) and three kids (8; 4; 3). One night, I went out with guys and met this good-looking lady who made her interests in me known. I was drunk and went to the toilet – she followed me in, and we started kissing. One thing led to the other, and before I knew it, she was on top of me, and we were having sex (unprotected). After we were done, I spoke to her about what had happened, and she assured me that all was well. I then applied my ignorance.

Recently, I was called in for a regular medical check-up for my work. I tested positive. I was completely shocked and felt like the whole thing must have been some kind of joke or mistake. I left and when I got home, I got even more scared. I looked at my wife, trying to work out how I was going to tell her. I drove around for six hours trying to work it all out. When I got home, I suggested to her that we should go and do a blood test together and she agreed.

We went and did the test - both of us came out positive. I thought I was strong, but my wife happened to be my strength. She looked at me and said, "there's not much we can do now, we have to accept and seek help and live our lives, for our kids". I cried like a baby. I still felt so shocked and just kept trying to work out what she must be thinking?

The shock has not quite worn off yet. We still worry about sharing our news with other people, especially our parents. We worry about how they will feel whether they will reject us – we are the first in our families to have been diagnosed with HIV.

But she was right, LIFE GOES ON, and nothing has changed – we just have to be a bit more careful now about our lifestyle.

This website encouraged me – all is not lost but rather gained. I look at this and say: "More time for my family and everything I do will be for my family” – meaning that every second I live will be for my family."

What we say

Testing positive can mean that you have to make lots of difficult decisions, including working out how to tell your loved ones. It’s normal to worry about these things, but as in Calvin’s case they might work out better than you expect. People’s reactions can surprise you! Either way getting a test and knowing your status is the first step to creating a healthy and happy life for you and your family. See our page to learn more about HIV testing.

Do you have your own story to tell? Click the link to share it with us!

These personal stories have been submitted to us anonymously by individuals who use our site. Some of the stories have been edited for clarity purposes and names have been changed to protect identities.

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  • Last updated: 14 November 2022
  • Last full review: 01 March 2022
  • Next full review: 01 March 2025
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