There has only been once that I've gotten a "Yeah...and so am I" response when disclosing.
(Miss you, Damion.)
Chris Whitney lived in San Francisco in the 1980s, when there wasn't much known about AIDS. But then he tested positive for HIV in 1985. He explains what happened next to his friend Erin Kuka.
"The first person I told was the person I was dating at the time, and that was pretty much the last conversation I had with him," Whitney says. "You know, the fear just took over. That kind of made me really wary about opening up to people.
"So, I decided to do some traveling. And I met a Frenchman who would become my partner for the next 10 years," he says. "And I was freaked out about telling him. I was like, 'Well, I have to tell you something. I, you know — I'm HIV positive.' And his response was, 'Yeah, and so?' And I thought, 'OK, he didn't understand that.'"
"Language barrier," Kuka says.
"Right," Whitney says.
Believing that Alexandre Coda didn't understand what "HIV" meant, Whitney explained — and Coda listened.
"And he said, 'Yeah. No, I understand, and so am I. And, so what?'" Whitney says. "And I was so blown away by that response. I was so used to always being the person who was positive meeting somebody who was negative. It didn't occur to me that I would meet somebody who was also positive."