Readers' Submissions

HIV and Betrayal

This is a story of ecstasy and HIV. A story of betrayal. I have heard of many farang who have sex in Thailand without protection. They are strong unless the verdict falls. I was strong unless I have love. The day love collapses, everything falls down.

She came to Hong Kong to « work ». I was also working in Hong Kong. Although it was a different kind of work. I worked in an office. She was a prostitute.

I knew Thailand before, as a regular tourist for 9 years. I spent 3 crazy years in Hong Kong. A pill of ecstasy for me every Friday and Saturday, I spent my nights in the same bar, full of Thai prostitutes. They come for 3 months in Hong Kong, sometimes more. All of them smoke “ice”. The perfect match for sex: a healthy farang under ecstasy, a pretty Thai prostitute under ice. Sex was unbelievable. With how many of them did I have sex? Honestly, I don’t know. Probably 500, more or less. Yes, I did forget the condom many times. Yes, I did not change the broken ones during the sex session of 1 or 2 hours.

I met her 5 months after my arrival. I had sex with her as many times as possible. I saw her coming for the first time in Hong Kong when she was shy, 24 years old, with her original Thai flat chest. I saw her change to a silicone one, smiling more and succumb to the ice effect, giving blowjobs more and more professionally. I had the greatest sex of my life with her.

3 years later, I calmed down. Conscious that I would soon go back home, I stopped taking ecstasy and going out at the weekend looking at Thai prostitutes drugged up. I saw her clean. She said she no longer took ice and had a Japanese boyfriend. Her English had improved a lot. She didn’t work anymore but lived with her Japanese boyfriend in China. He was in the bar. I said “hello” to him, unconscious of the future.

I came back home to Farangland. I made the test: negative. A miracle, considering the number of times I didn’t use a condom during those 3 years. What do these Thai prostitutes think about it? They think nothing, because they don’t even realize that they are not using a condom. They smoke so much ice that they don’t even know there’s no protection or the protection is broken. They also enjoy so much sex with a man indefatigable under ecstasy that they don’t even notice. I found out later that she didn’t even know we had sex more than ten times without a condom. How many times had she had sex with other customers without protection?

A year later, I remained in contacted with her with occasional email. I went for holidays in Thailand. I had sex with her. We decided to go to Phuket for a week. Then, she followed me to Ayutthaya. I said “I will come back”.

We felt in love. I made the visa for her. She came to Farangland 3 months. She left her Japanese boyfriend. She came back to Farangland for 3 months.

We spent 4 years in Asia, not Thailand, but in my new expat posting. Everything was perfect. She learned my language. We got married the Thai way after 4 years. From time to time, she went back to Thailand for holidays alone, usually for 3 or 4 weeks. She smoked ice in Asia 2 times per year. I was clean. On her holidays in Thailand, she got checked in a Thai hospital. She SMSd that me she had tested HIV positive. I got mad alone, waiting for her to come back for 3 weeks so we could go to Farangland to have a check together. We had sex for 4 years without a condom. I knew the result from the time she sent me that SMS from Thailand. Back in Farangland, the results were not a surprise to the doctor or us : we both had HIV.

We were thinking of having a baby, so we postponed. The next country I had to work in after Asia was in another continent, a poor country with poor medical infrastructure. Having a baby in such a country would have been foolish. We decided to wait to go back to Farangland to give birth in a country with a decent healthcare system.

A year and a half later, she went to Thailand for 5 months. Her unique holiday, due to the 38-hour trip to go to Thailand. I waited for her 5 months, alone in this boring country. She came back. In the taxi going back home, she started to talk about divorce and going back to Thailand. We had sex. I went to work.

I looked at her Facebook more carefully, trying to understand the obvious truth. I came back home and asked her if she had has an affair.

She said “yes”.

A farang expat teacher in Bangkok, divorced, one child, shaven in his 40’s. He takes ecstasy with a group of farang expats and Thai hookers. She took ice. They had sex for 2 months in Thailand without a condom. The perfect sex match. He promised her marriage. She’s been with him a few days in Farangland for holidays. She was coming back to our home to pack and go. The same day she called him to say she and me have HIV. He knows my name, my work and my face. I know his name, birthday, work and face before he hid his Facebook.

My life collapsed. Learning we have HIV was nothing considering we loved each other. Learning she betrayed me was the end of the world. Learning she had an affair and she told to a stranger that I have HIV, something that not even my relatives know, was shattering.

10 days after, she told me she was pregnant. By him. We decided she needed an abortion. It was too risky for the baby. In this country where abortion is forbidden, I found a doctor who would do the procedure.

6 days after chatting and calling him, she announced to me that she would stay with me. What did he said to her? I couldn’t help but look at her mobile.

He said he still wanted her. He has good health insurance, and he can take care of her and still wants marriage. I can imagine his crazy life as an expat in Bangkok, because I had the same in Hong Kong. I can imagine he did it without a condom with many other women. Was he scared to be alone with HIV?

And what about her? Did she learn something of her past experience? Sex without condom, with ice for her and ecstasy for the man? Nothing. She’s still a newborn about sex, condoms, drugs. She thinks of her pleasure, not even considering the risk for the occasional partner and the pain of her husband.

5 months later and we are still together. She hasn't ceased contact with him. I know I just put off the decision. My heart stills love her, although my senses say it’s finished. I cannot resign to the inevitable. I don’t know my future. I will try to make it work with her.

I know I will be alone with the pain of betrayal, something that Thais never talk anymore, to avoid the pain and to enjoy the feeling of sabai sabai. Not only is HIV a taboo and largely unspoken about in Thailand, but the fact that many Thai women are unfaithful also. Prostitution is a way of life for many young women before marriage. It is about money, but also about pleasure, however they will never admit it. They can do the very worst things in their seeking of pleasure. Sex, drugs and condoms are unspoken in the land of fools.

You will see us walking hand in hand in Bangkok during our holidays, maybe even with a baby. We look good, not like jerks. We have no stigma. Our respective bodies are perfect. Look at this well-matched couple: she is pretty, he looks reasonable. They talk Thai or farang together, not broken English. They live abroad. She is a housewife, takes good care of her baby and husband. He is an expat and earns well. They make a lovely couple. You just don’t know the hidden truth. They are irresponsible.

Stickman's thoughts:

"She SMSd that me she had tested HIV positive"…oh man, has anyone ever received a more dramatic SMS?!

What a total mindfuck this whole situation must be for you. I cannot imagine what it's like rationalising all that has happened. I can but wish you all the best going forward.