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He’d never once mentioned his status, and I’d assumed he was negative. Huddled together in the corner of a shrieking pub full of whiskey-soaked drag queens, he confided in me a status he’d told no one. He’d read an article I’d written online and had assumed I was positive too.

I kissed him and grabbed his hand, and stole him away from the drag queens to go home and have him to myself.

I sometimes think about him and hope he’s doing okay.

After he told me his status that night, I said: “Sure, we’ll just use condoms.” The next day I lay curled up on my bed, trying to slow down my thoughts.

And that, my friends, is how we came up with HIV Blind Date.

“HIV is the gay scene’s boogie man,” said DJ Mark Ashley-Dupe in our Young People’s Discussion of HIV.

I could deal with the drugs and the escorting - working on the Soho gay scene I was never very far from either - but the virus was one small step for man, one giant leap for my mind.

A lovely lady at the other end of the phone carefully but clearly explained: “No, babe.” Yet his status was why I didn’t call up the boy again.

Because the way to fight HIV isn’t separately, it’s together.

HIV Blind Date is on Thursday 21 January at the Queen’s Head, 25 Tyron Street, SW3 3LG.

" src="https://livinghiv.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hiv-aids-dating.jpg" alt="Love is in my blood" width="357" height="270" srcset="https://livinghiv.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/850w, https://livinghiv.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hiv-aids-dating-300x226300w, https://livinghiv.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hiv-aids-dating-720x542720w" sizes="(max-width: 357px) 100vw, 357px" /What would be wrong would be for me to preach and be all self-righteous. What they tell you in Sex Ed lessons is, at best, how to protect yourself.

I could easily flip the table and go “UN-BE-LIE-VABLE. Usually, it’s divided in 2: boys should always wear a condom; girls should take the pill. *everyone blushes, looking at the ceiling* Alright then, class dismissed! Some activities are obviously more dangerous than others.

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