At the age of 18 months, William Brawner contracted the HIV virus. At the age of 5, his mother finally disclosed the news to him and told him to never tell anyone of his immunodeficiency, including close family and friends. 25 years and some girlfriends later, Brawner decided to come clean with his family, friends and past partners, while attempting to start life anew with his new wife, who is HIV-negatvie.
In the Mike Brown-directed documentary 25 To Life, a now 27-year-old William is forced to comes to terms with the consequences of his big secret. Many family, friends are of course shocked and disappointed that he couldn’t be honest with his sexual partners.
“I suppressed my HIV status so much that I minimized it. And because I couldn’t express it, it didn’t exist. Because things were a game to me, I was always looking for my next conquest. That’s how I expressed my man hood. That’s how I expressed my bravado. [...] I know I’m a day late and dollar short, but I feel terrible and I want to apologize for that.
In the film, the question of forgiveness comes up and some people say they wouldn’t know if the would’ve told, others see him as an attempted murderer while his mother holds her stance on their secrecy: “If he was not going to have unprotected sex with them, then no, I don’t think he should’ve told them.”…
You all may remember how in August 2010, a woman by the name of Nadja Benaissa, was convicted and sentenced for “causing bodily harm to her ex-boyfriend by having unprotected sex with him despite knowing she was infected with HIV.” (VIEW POST)
If you were William, Nadja or a former sexual partner….