I have been HIV+ for four years. I have always been an ambassador of safe sex, I never had unprotected sex and being very honest with myself, I was very ignorant with my lack of knowledge of PrEP.
I had relocated to Spain just eight months before and the change of scene from Dublin to Barcelona was beyond what I had expected. In Dublin, I lived a very sheltered life, very naive and innocent and didn’t get myself involved in the gay scene. It just didn’t interest me.
When I moved here, I wanted to experience the famous scene – visit the matinee parties and hit all the clubs. I also quickly realised that a hook up wasn’t a hook up without being asked to fuck bare. I decided to get off the apps and focus on making friends here instead, I wasn’t prepared for Barcelona.
My story is not a happy one. It’s painful and terrifying and I experienced it all alone.
I made a new circle of friends here and we would go out every weekend to dance and get drunk. It became a weekly tradition and it was a great way to get to meet people and make more friends – we always had so much fun!
One night we were at our usual club and I was getting tired, I said bye to my friends and went to the toilet to take a piss before leaving the club. You couldn’t take your drink into the toilet so I left it outside the door and collected it when I was done.
I was no longer than a minute in there but that minute would change my life forever. Maybe I was too drunk or I had no idea of the hidden dangers but I downed the end of my G&T and made my way to collect my jacket. I remember thinking my drink tasted strange and as I stood in the queue I started to feel stranger and stranger. I cannot remember getting my jacket and the rest of the night was a massive blur…
I have flashbacks being in a taxi and being with a guy whose face I cannot remember. I have some flashbacks of slipping in my bathroom and being carried to my room and that’s about it.
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