Anto is not his real name. He decided to protect his identity because everyone around him, in his family or at work are not aware that he has been living with HIV for 3 years, following a random screening at his university faculty. from Montreal.
The story of 24-year-old Anto is very interesting, especially since it’s the first time in 25 years of specialized journalism that an individual tells me about his adventure with HIV, but from an entirely unusual and new. His problem is that he does not know how to thank the society, the researchers, his doctors, the militants and the gay media for being there, before him, at the right moment of history so that today, he can to enjoy life relatively fully, thanks to the fruit of the work of others. Anto, full of life, asks me in an interview « how can I say thank you to everyone? I do not know how to say thank you! « He said, punching the table!
Unusual, no? Anto’s story about HIV is no different from most other young men who contract the virus in a relationship they thought was exclusive. « Three years ago we did not talk too much about PrEP and everything about this preventive treatment, we did not have all the information on its safety and even if I read a little about it, after all it concerned me as gay, I did not see the relevance for me since my spouse was HIV negative (that’s what I thought) and we had an exclusive relationship (that’s what I thought too. »After attending this other student from the same university for almost a year, Anto has contracted some sort of flu
a little stronger than the others, « I had the impression that I had just been passed over with a truck so I had pain everywhere, all the joints, all the muscles », tells us without rancor the social science student. « My doctor recommended routine screening for all sexually transmitted diseases and I laughed when he told me we never knew. » A few days later, his doctor contacted him to tell him to go to the clinic. Once on the spot, very gently and without your alarmist, his doctor told him that he was positive for HIV, but that there were a lot of treatments at his disposal so that he could continue a relatively normal life and make it undetectable.
Anto does not want to tell how he handled this news with his spouse at the time, just saying that he had forgiven him and that this announcement was a great signal he had received on the value of the moral commitments of some people! Rather than falling into a depression or losing his means, Anto realized quickly that if his condition was easy to manage, thanks to a competent doctor, but also thanks to the general mobilization of the last 30 years in the face of HIV, he had to thank someone to reap, today, the fruit of the sacrifice of others, in the past. « Many people have died to give me what I have today, this chance to manage the disease with a real hope of living a lifetime, and I do not know how to thank them, really … ». Anto, your testimony in this edition is a great way to do it and thank you for giving us this moment of recognition. It’s for people like you that everything has been done. It’s up to you to enjoy your life now!