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.
“He said, ‘Look, it’s a really manageable chronic illness. You take a couple of pills a day. People live next to normal lives’.”
She also now believes that of all the people to be living with HIV, she is “one of the luckiest.”
‘I’m young and educated and have good access to healthcare,’ Ms Landy told the Daily Mail.
Now, the virus has no other affect on Abby’s physical health apart from the need to take those pills, the Daily Mail reports.