"The first time I had sex I contracted HIV"



Fear, shame and self-hatred kept his diagnosis hidden from his family for the next 14 years.

Last year he "came back from the closet" for the second time in his life and wrote a play about his experience, about how it is like to grow up gay and hi-positive.

Nathaniel, 32, of Manchester, hopes that the one-man-show will address a conversation about representatives of history in political culture.

It tells how it was to know that he had the virus when he was still a child.

The "Summer Romance" with a Parent Man

I knew he was cheerful when he was between 13 and 14 years old.

"He told me that he was examined and his good health … At age 16 you really did not have the ability to challenge that."

2003 was a very different period of time. Not even (to say it) was an option in school. Everything was secret … It was hard to find out what else is cheerful.

And then this man came to my life. I was 16 years old, he was older than me, in his twenty.

Suddenly, the elderly cheerful pay attention to me and made me feel validated, approved, it was very intoxicating. So we started to see each other.

That relationship did not last long, really only a couple of months.

It all happened in the summer, in the transition between high school and college, a summer romance, so to speak. Then we take separate paths.

I was diagnosed with HIV and when I told him, I received messages from his friends, who were older than me, told me that I was just a stepchild, that I was making it worse and worse than that.

What I really wanted is for the test to be done and for it to get the necessary treatment so that it would not be passed to another person because most of the infections come from patients who do not know they have the virus.

But I never knew if he really knew. He told me that he was examined and that his health was good … At age 16 you really did not have the ability to challenge that.

"As if I had a bus"

I had just increased 17 when I received the diagnosis.

Netanyahu when I was a teenager and a more recent photo.

I remember that the clinic staff was very nice to me and I really do not remember much more, apart from receiving the news.

Then, I remember going home and feeling like I had to make a decision.

And I have it quickly, the decision is: to enter my room and close the door and not tell what happened to me.

I feel as if I have to hit a bus because when I try it, I feel a physical sense of being overwhelmed with enough force.

I remember crying. What they say was very different from what they say today in the same situation.

Of course, we are not in the epidemic where the epidemic AIDS broke out, there are medicines available and they are good and get better.

But they told me that the prognosis was around 37 years. So, actually, having that number in mind was very difficult to digest.

I received psychological counseling in my university, I felt supported and I thought everything was fine until the end of last year I had a small crisis.

"I think shame controlled me"

I think shame is the greatest thing. It is the only illness that has ended with a moral judgment and, in some measure, to which we adhere to our own worthy judicial power.

I was cheerful and one grows in a heterosexual world. You hear that you are morally wrong or what you do is dirty and this is what you should ashamed. And I was very original.

Then you hear warnings of this kind "you will be punished."

It is as if, at this moment, the prophecies have come true and that caused me a very overwhelming sensation.

To the point that I imposed on myself the feeling of disgrace.

I remember when I was in school, the only example of a joyous relationship that we got in the subject of sexual education was a video in which a cheerful person was dying of AIDS.

It was a completely outdated lesson and, so, the articles I received was secondary to or what I was doing was wrong and unmoral or whatever, they did not come from my family, but came from everywhere.

They sank with time and then, suddenly, I became that stereotype.

So I think shand really controlled me.

"I did not recognize myself"

I think the key moment was when, after a party, I was not sleeping for two days.

Nathaniel eating in a scene of the game.

I looked in the mirror and did not recognize myself.

At that moment, I realized that drugs and alcohol … not necessarily because they took over my life, but I was abusing them in a way that did not do me any good.

No way is it a bad addiction or something, but I'm self-medication with alcohol.

I'm just trying to get rid of the anxiety and low intensity pressure that has been built over the years.

I realized that if I did not do it, it could be a serious and real problem.

Something has to change.

I need to tell my family. I tried many, many times before, but never happened and never came to tell me.

So I began the journey of doing the game. I started writing and making sense of things by writing.

So I decided to write a letter to my parents and my brothers.

It was one afternoon to write everything I wanted to tell them. I said that I could not send that I just need to write and see how I feel about it.

But still doing it, I feel quite calm. So I simply put it in the envelopes immediately and sent them before I can change my mind.

I did it so many times before I tried to tell him and I never could.

And I also thought that doing four times in a row would cause a strong emotional impact.

To be honest, the answer did not impress me.

There was, a bit, the same as many guys feel before leaving the closet. I'm afraid of what may happen, but they all sent me text messages and they called me and they were totally quiet.

They only regretted that I felt that I had to keep it secret for so long.

My mother came the next day and we were chatted.

My great worry is that they are upset because I did not tell them and because I did something so important.

But my mother said, "I'm upset because my son was struggling with this for so long on his own."

It was scary. There was some insulated homeopathy that many homosexuals feel and then shame, a layer on which fear accumulated, and all that, together, is really strong.

Even if you have a really loving family, it's hard for you to tell them.

"I used to get up every morning with a package in my heart"

Not that, suddenly, everything is fixed. But writing and working on the project took me to some difficult places and that's hard.

But I have a lot of fiberglass and much more capable of dealing with things and with anxiety that has accumulated.

"Every morning, the first thing I felt was a fear in my chest, something that preceded me"

I used to wake every morning with a package in my heart, in my chest.

I used to think that this did not affect me, but still told my family, I released a bit and thought, "My God, you lived with the almost overwhelming anxiety".

Every morning, the first thing I felt was a fear in my chest, something that preached me, and I can still feel it when I talk about it.

But since I was embarking on the trip, admitting the crisis I was walking through and some of the malicious decisions I made and make the peace with that, I do not need to be the perfect person I tried to be.

And it was very liberated.

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