Marie: "My one night stand could change my life forever"

Marie*, 25, comes from France but works for an international non-governmental organisation that often requires her to travel around Asia and Africa. While on one such trip she made a decision that could change her life forever.

"I met a colleague from one of our other offices; he seemed really nice and almost as soon as we met we began to flirt outrageously with each other. At the time I didn't think anything would really happen beyond flirtation - after all, he was my colleague.

"One night, after a long day's work, we went out to dinner and then went clubbing. We both got really drunk and became even more flirtatious. One thing led to another and we ended up in bed together.

"We used a condom, at least I had seen him put it on, but when I got up in the morning, I realised I had what looked like semen on my body. I wondered if the condom had broken and went to look at it. I found it intact but with no semen in it - he had obviously removed it while we were having sex.

"By then he'd returned to his own hotel room so I ran to his room to confront him. At first he denied it, but eventually I got him to admit that he had removed the condom before we'd finished having sex. I was so worried, I asked him when he'd last been tested but he just kept saying he was okay, he was sure he was HIV-negative.

"After that I kept replaying in my mind the things he'd told me before we slept together - things like how many women he'd been with; he made himself out to be some kind of man-about-town. I was dead scared.

"By the time I thought about post-exposure prophylaxis [a short, preventative course of antiretrovirals] it was too late. I'm not worried about pregnancy because I'm on contraceptives. I'd told him that earlier, so maybe that's why he felt like he could do it without a condom - he knew I wouldn't get pregnant.

"Now I have to wait six weeks [the window period before HIV can be detected] before I can have an HIV test. I think the chances are slim, and I'll be able to deal with it if I am HIV-positive, but I am so angry with him - and I still have to see him whenever I'm in our [other] office!

"I still can't believe a silly one-night stand could change my life forever."


*Name has been changed