Justin Terry-Smith grinded his teeth down on the cotton swab the doctor gave him. His best friend sat in the room with him for moral support.
The test would take about 20 minutes. Twenty minutes from the time the cotton swab left his mouth and went through tests, and then he would find out if he was HIV positive, a human immunodeficiency virus that interferes with the body’s ability to fight off diseases.
When the doctor came back and told Justin that he was, he burst into tears. He and his best friend left after the doctor talked him through what being HIV positive meant and went to the bar. It was happy hour and Justin needed a drink.
This was in 2006, and Justin has been HIV positive for about 11 years now.
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