Share via Email I had a one-night stand with an attractive, dark-haired, exciting man. I was visiting my best friend who had just got married and was living abroad. I was feeling low and lacking self-confidence, but 'Tone', a friend of my friend's husband, seemed to like me.
On the Saturday night we all got drunk and I flirted with Tony. My friend kept giving me warning looks. At 5am we headed home. My friend and her husband went to bed - and so did we. Too drunk to do anything, we fell asleep. When we woke up we had hurried, unsatisfying sex which lasted two minutes. I got up and had breakfast, he left. I never saw him again. Three years later my friend's marriage ended. She returned to England and came to my new flat. I had a job, a car and a budgie - all was right in my world.
Until she dropped the bombshell. I doubled over with the shock. My hands started shaking uncontrollably. Tony, my friend had since discovered, was both an intravenous drug user and a high-class pimp at the time we slept together.
They told us to come back on Monday. In a mist of fear I battled through Saturday night and Sunday. My brother stayed with me while we went over and over whether I could be HIV positive. On Monday morning my doctor told me to go to St Thomas's for a test.
My brother came with me. I sat in a small, grey office while softly spoken people counselled me about whether I really wanted to take this test. The worry would kill me. The hospital had given me valium to help me through the next two days. I couldn't eat, sleep or think. My parents would be destroyed. Who would I tell? Would I get the sack from my job? The world carried on without me. I was no longer a part of it. I went to a church and lit a candle.
I'm not a Catholic and I'm not even christened, but what did I have to lose? I couldn't look at the nurse as she emerged from her office, waving my folder. Other people, sick people, looked my way with envy. I cried and cried. I had been given my life back.
My brother laughed and laughed. We emerged into the daylight. I vowed never to take a risk again. My euphoria and my vow lasted a year or so. In the end I made a compromise and now I only date guys who give blood.
The writer's name has been changed If you have a true confession, email kim.