In a series of interviews about life in a time of HIV/AIDS, this is a story from a 17 year old male student from a senior secondary school.
Who am I?
I am a regular guy, I like girls, school, music , singing, making dance moves, movies, athletics ( I do well in the high jump and long jump,and relays), and most other sports. I am into computers and electronics. I like the Harry Potter books. My role models are Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump and Asafa Powell. I also admire other students in school who are disciplined, especially the religious ones; and the ones who have great athletic skill who could handle themselves in situations. I am inclined towards Christianity, but I like the discipline which some Muslims seem to have. I do not understand the Hindu religion enough, the variety of Gods seems confusing. I am talkative, sometimes disrepectful towards people. I love Guyana.
I really like my school, I think that the students there are really intelligent but there is a problem with discipline and I think that there should be better teachers and facilities to aid in the educating of the students. I sometimes get involved to solve the problems of discipline. I think things would improve if there is better teacher student relationships. I would like to see a student council set up.
I look for honesty, intelligence and that they must be fun to be with. My friends and I talk about sex, ,music, movies and sports. We don't talk about HIV/AIDs. We talk about girls, the positions we would have sex in and so on. We don't talk about abstinence, because most of us want to lose our virginity. I used to want to wait until marriage, but then I compromised and a situation came up and I had sex, so I am like my friends. I don't discriminate against anybody.
About sex and relationships
I have had about four sexual partners, maybe one or two others. Two guys and two girls. I used condoms with both girls. With the guys, I felt guilty afterwards, though with my best friend, I did not feel guilty or regrets. When I was young, I was molested by a guy who worked with us. Nothing happened. A cousin and I messed around, and I feel that it was enjoyable, but that it was wrong and maybe I should do something about it. I did not use condoms with the guys, because one of them was his first time, and the other one said he only had one partner. I realise that I should take an HIV test to make sure that I am okay. I really do not like the homosexual feelings and wish I could be like a normal guy. One of the girls who I really like, I enjoyed being with her. She is a lot of fun, we have been friends for a long time. She has another boyfriend, but maybe I will win her over. The idea of secondary virginity, is a good one, to say to my friends that let us try something different, see if we could master ourselves and say no, how long could we abstain if we wanted to. I don't know how they will view it, but maybe it is something we should think about. It would be difficult, guys like to feel that they could have a lot of sex. I think the messages have to be persistent to get over, some of us hear, we change for a while, and then go back to old ways.
What are the plans for the future?
I would like to get rid of my homosexual feelings. I am working on that, not sure where that will go though. I realise they are a normal part of me, but guilt is always there. At the same time, I have some assignments to complete. And to study for exams next year. I need to work harder at preparing for them. I want to pursue studies in computer science and electronics, and go abroad to study. I feel I could do anything I would like to do. I already make some money with computer repairs. The important things in my life are my family, education and God.