In my upcoming book, The AIDS Generation, I share the life stories of 15 remarkable gay men who bravely navigated the pioneering days of the AIDS epidemic, a time when many of us had very limited understandings of the disease and few viable options for fighting the virus.
Even when my weekends had begun with North Fork Riesling and hydroponic hash and ended with cheap beer and speedballs, I kept the sex barrier-inclusive. The irony that I was being "safe" while on enough drugs to kill me was lost on me; that's how ingrained my fear of HIV was.
I didn't expect to live long enough to write this when, 20 years ago today, my doctor called to tell me that my HIV test had come back positive. The news hit me like a bomb; hyperbole or not, back then it was still pretty much considered a death sentence.