In 2007, after moving back to Johannesburg, I met the man who changed my life forever. 17 years old, I thought I knew it all, but I was in a relationship for all the wrong reasons. I dated a celebrity, a kwaito star. It felt good, it was fun and I thought finally my dream would come true; I was going become a famous dancer. How wrong was I? Instead of a dream come true, my worst nightmare began. I had unprotected sexual intercourse with this guy countless times, the biggest mistake of my life. I later discovered that he was HIV positive and he actually went around spreading the virus because he did not want to die alone. He got sick, very sick and being the good girlfriend that I was, I took care of him and cried with him.
I watched him disappear in front of my very eyes. It was hard, took a lot out of me. It was even harder for him since he was in the public eye. He committed suicide. Well in the end I guess he got part of what he wanted, he infected me and many others then he died. But I doubt he died fulfilled, I’m more than sure he died lonely and sad.
I was in denial, I did not even go get tested because I thought I was superior to the virus. I thought it was for prostitutes, those who were sleeping around and those from poor backgrounds. I continued to live my life as normal, as if nothing had happened. Instead of getting tested I continued having sex and if there was no condom I would still go on. Typical of a teen my age, I was drinking and partying like there was no tomorrow. Just living a care free life. I was one of those who would discriminate and stigmatize people who were infected.