When the guy Abby Landy had been casually dating became sexually aggressive — and pressured her into sex without a condom — Abby knew it was time to break it off.
The Sydney woman, now 26, told Cosmopolitan that sent him a text declining to meet him for lunch, and thought she’d never have to pay the guy a second thought.
But the text message he sent in response — “‘I hope you at least remember me forever” — ominously hinted at what was to come.
Soon afterwards, Abby broke out in a rash of cold sores — an odd enough development in itself, given that she had never had a single cold sore previously, as she writes for news.com.au.
That symptom was followed by aches and pains, nausea and a horrible rash that began to spread over her body.
Ultimately, a test at her GP’s confirmed Abby’s worst suspicions: she had contracted HIV.
“It was the worst possible news I could possibly receive. My first response was, ‘Look, I don’t want to live with this’,” Abby told news.com.au. “I was really lucky that I had lots of family support. They were able to cushion me through that initial period of shock.”
But when Abby went to visit a specialist, she was surprised to learn the preconceptions she’d harboured about living with HIV weren’t reflected in reality.
“I saw a specialist and he laid down the facts. I said, ‘When am I dying? When does this mean?’ I had no idea of what it meant to have HIV in 2012. I assumed it was game over,” Abby told news.com.au.