My name is Calvin Tan. I am a person living with HIV for 7 years in a modernised world where HIV shouldn’t be an issue anymore. I was infected with HIV when I was 19 when I didn’t know better because some laws said I was a criminal, so why should I care about my life when it was wrong to be myself?
I hated myself. I hated how I hated myself because my country deems me as wrong. Schoolmates came up to me and said “Do you know that being yourself is wrong?” while I was having lunch with them. I can get incarcerated for being myself, so I should be a criminal, right?
“You think I WANTED to be a criminal in the country I was born, raised, and taught to love?”
I shouldn’t had have unprotected sex with that stranger. I should have used protection. I should have known better. I shouldn’t have sex. You think I’ve never asked myself that? You think I WANTED to get infected with a virus? You think I WANTED to be discriminated by society? You think I WANTED to be a criminal in the country I was born, raised, and taught to love?
We have the current laws which dictates I have to disclose my status to my partner so they know the risks of sleeping with me and then make an informed decision. I just have to tell them I have a virus that can infect them regardless if I achieved viral suppression and I would be safe from getting incarcerated. Easy right?
I have to reopen my trauma of being infected with HIV every time? What fun. Strangers threatened to out my status because they found it fun to see me suffer. Hookups scolded me because I didn’t tell them before we hooked up. First dates marvelled me because they’ve never seen a living HIV person before. It is depressing.
U=U(Undetectable = Untransmittable) arrived halfway through my first year of diagnosis. It was my saving grace – I can finally declare I am non-infectious so others can accept me and I won’t get all the issues I had, right?
“A nurse called the cops on me”
A nurse called the cops on me because she thought I was willingly infecting others without asking if I was non-infectious. Peers refuse to believe that I cannot infect others even if I have been on medication for years. People think I am selfish for “coming up with a medical statement so I can get away scot-free”.
What is wrong with you all? Just because a law is there it doesn’t mean it SHOULD be there. But no, everyone decides that people living with HIV should always declare their status because it’s the right thing to do. Have you ever considered that we might have already done so and the other party just pretends that never happened and wants us to get into legal trouble? Do you even bother to stop and think just for a moment: We didn’t want this at all? Do you even care about our wellbeing at all?
I ask on behalf of my community, the People Living with HIV community; the ones that went to hell and back, the ones that are rejected by this country and its people for a condition that simply compromises our immune system and manageable as a chronic condition, the ones that have died because of existing laws:
Do you want us to die? Do you want our lives to crumble because you all can do so by reporting us all of sexual assault? Do you want us all to go to jail because you have the power to do so? Do you want to feel superior to us because we had the short end of the stick and you can tell us what we should do?
My name is Calvin Tan. I am a person living with HIV for 7 years in a modernised world where HIV shouldn’t be an issue anymore. So why is it still an issue today?
Source: Calvin Tan Facebook