Moving north to Oakland after college was when I seriously started thinking about it. Most of my sex acts had been low risk, but not all. And I knew serial monogamy wouldn't save me – my average relationship was two months long. Hell, you're supposed to get tested up to six months after a possible exposure – I'd be on a second or third partner by then. And HIV had crept into the periphery of my life. Two friends became infected. One was an ex-lover. I started getting nervous.

Nervous because I could get sick, very sick, in fact, I could die. But more than that, I was worried about who I could've infected if I was carrying the virus. I had a waking nightmare about trying to tell my past partners that they might be carrying HIV, and I might have been the one to give it to them. That thought alone made me decide.