Every now and again something comes along and I’ve dated people, usually meeting them through friends.
I’ve never had any negative feedback from dates about my HIV status, probably because most people already know about it as I’ve put it out there in the media.
But they did have questions – they’d always say ‘sorry if that sounds stupid’, but I’d never blame them for not knowing the ins and outs of HIV.
I wouldn’t have known myself if it hadn’t happened to me. It definitely helps that I was diagnosed early and that I’m fit and healthy.
I asked the doctor if I’d still be able to do all of that – he assured me I would, and he phoned after the weekend to check I was alright.As it sunk in I felt shocked and upset – I knew there was no cure. She had a typical mother’s reaction – she just felt powerless, saying, ‘I can’t take this away from you, there’s nothing I could do to make it better.’ Friends would say to me, ‘How on earth could you have HIV?But my passion for fitness helped me come to terms with my diagnosis – I carried on teaching spinning, kettlebells and leading running groups. I told a couple of friends straight away and left it a little while longer to tell my mum and brother. You’re so fit and sensible.’ But that’s the thing – it can happen to anyone.I find once it’s out there and I’m open about it, it doesn’t cause an issue.It’s the fear, silence and taboo around HIV that fuels stigma.But not long afterwards she received an email from her partner’s ex-girlfriend that changed her life forever.