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Home / Gossip / HIV Positive woman tells her story…says she slept with over 100 men when she was in her 20s…

HIV Positive woman tells her story…says she slept with over 100 men when she was in her 20s…

Feminist Karen Fratti took to the website redbookmag.com to speak out about her experience living with HIV. In her write up, she said she’s slept with over 100 men just when she was in her 20s. Wow! Read below…

I was living in New York City with a boyfriend I’ll call
Matt when I was diagnosed with HIV. I was 28 and he was just hitting 35.
It was my first steady, long-term relationship, and we did what I used
to think of as “grown-up” things. Like having Sunday football parties or
fighting in Home Depot about what color to paint an accent wall in our
living room.
We made complex weekday dinners to distract ourselves from
the fact that we were both pretty bored with each other.
Of course, I wasn’t really grown up, because I had never even been
tested for HIV at my yearly checkup at Planned Parenthood, where I went
for primary care. Taking care of your health is more adult than playing
house with a boyfriend, yet, even though I had been tested for STIs, I
had never thought of getting an HIV test. But one day, randomly, I added
the HIV rapid test to the list of things to do before intake to my pap
smear appointment. I thought it was a formality I should finally take
care of.
The positive result almost didn’t compute at first. What does that
mean? I kept asking the nurse who took me upstairs at the Margaret
Sanger Center in the East Village for a second blood test to confirm the
rapid test result. I was in shock that simply sleeping with probably
close to a hundred men throughout my 20s — in college, in Rome, Italy,
where I lived for five years, in New York City upon my return — and not
being strict about using condoms could have such a serious consequence. I
grew up during the HIV/AIDS crisis and should have known better, but as
a heterosexual woman, I equated safe sex with not getting pregnant more
than with getting an STI, let alone HIV. I know how that sounds. It’s
embarrassing to admit that now, but I really did ignorantly think sex
was all fun and games. For me, “dating” was basically a euphemism for
casual sex. I had no type, no goal, really, and a bad one-night stand
was just as much as fun as one that turned into a mini-romantic fling. I
naively thought I was invincible, that one day a hookup would lead to
true Disney princess-style love, and never assumed that HIV would have
anything to do with my life.
After my diagnosis, Matt and I stopped making dinner together,
speaking to each other and sleeping in the same bed. (He was negative
and had been getting tested his entire life.) We broke up within the
year.
There was a positive aspect to my HIV, though I didn’t know that
then. It woke me up and made me realize what I needed and wanted from a
partner. Matt had never been a good match for me, really; my diagnosis
just shined a spotlight on that. The only bad thing about breaking up
with Matt was the realization that I would have to start dating again.
But when you’re the kind of person who equates dating with dinners,
drinks and casual sex, HIV can put a real damper on all that.

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