‘HIV – Positively in Love’ By Xynthia Raven (Preferred publish name)

This short story follows two kindred spirits, a boy and a girl. Classic love story right? It takes place in the 80’s, a time where the HIV/AIDS epidemic came about and the disease wasn’t quite as understood as it is today. Emily, a young girl, always seems to be there for Avery, a young boy. The two grow up together, and Avery can’t help but wonder why she always keeps her distance. Unbeknownst to Avery, Emily is HIV positive. Despite the hurdle, the two still fall head over heels for one another. Neither of them mind the lack of physical contact or intimacy, making their bond even stronger every day, relishing in each other’s company. Unfortunately, Emily’s T cell count gets too low and a simple common cold puts her in the hospital. As Emily’s condition worsens, Avery stays by her side as word finally breaks out. It’s a breakthrough in HIV research: how it can and cannot spread. The two indulge in their first and only kiss before Emily passes away, leaving Avery, holding her hand, wondering if he’ll ever love again…

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