“The night I found out, I slept one and a half hours,” recalls D, a 29-year-old black gay man.
He’s talking about being diagnosed with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
“Even though I work in public health and tell people daily that HIV is not a death sentence, that first night that’s all I could think of,” says D. “This has to be wrong, I thought. I work in public health. This can’t happen to me.”
D, who requested anonymity, says he contracted the virus when a condom broke during sex. Two weeks later, he was tested for two sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – chlamydia and gonorrhea – but not for HIV. Shortly afterward, he went back for an HIV test and found out that he had the virus.
Soon after his diagnosis, D moved to Atlanta, which also happens to be the epicenter of a re-emerging national HIV crisis.