Client Story: John

31 year old gay man living in Hemel Hempstead.
Diagnosed: June 2013

John said “When I was diagnosed, at first I was in a bit of a daze. What was I going to do? But the way I was brought up was that if something happens, you

Safe sex is the way forward. Often gay sex and unprotected sex go hand in hand, and they shouldn’t. There are still people who are un-educated, or who don’t want to know about it.

HIV is not the death sentence it was back in the 1980s. The medicines available have been developed and are so much better. The way I look at it, it’s similar to diabetes – part of my life and something to be managed. I’m not ashamed. I’m an open book when it comes to my sexuality, and people contract infections and diseases all the time.

Herts Aid has been instrumental in my decision to open up about my diagnosis.

If I hadn’t found them, I wouldn’t be speaking so openly now. They’ve been an absolute lifeline. Through my Herts Aid support worker, I’m now involved with a project focusing on the discrimination that the LGBT community faces. Since being diagnosed, so many doors have opened up and despite the HIV, I feel positive about the future.”