Hi everyone, I am relatively new to this forum and decided to post here because I have a problem that has been concerning me lately regarding the primary application essay. There is a really obvious experience that changed my life drastically, which I want to write about; but I am worried that it may be inappropriate and a poor choice that may hurt me. Basically, I am gay, and I have a boyfriend who lives in China; we have been together for nearly 3 years now and always see each other during the summer and during breaks. We are very in love with each other, and it is not the type of transient relationship characteristic of people my age. Last summer (which I spent in China doing a medical internship at a hospital), I suggested that we both get tested for HIV.. and very sadly it turned out that he was positive (and probably has been for many years given his CD4 count ~350). At that time I became very stressed (even concerned about the possibility of my having HIV too, despite our mostly low-risk behavior), and even had feelings of wanting to go home to the US early and just abandon him and his problem. However, I was sitting in the hospital, and I watched his face as the doctor told him about his status; because I shared that experience with him (and because I love him, obviously), I felt like I had a responsibility to help him cope with his status and learn as much as possible about what he needs to do to stay strong. After the initial shock, we spent a few pretty miserable weeks together, in which we waited for confirmation of his status, and the results of a CD4 test from the cdc. Ultimately, we pulled through the initial misery, and began to accept this reality; since then I got him in contact with an American doctor at the hospital that I was interning at (because neither me nor my boyfriend trust Chinese doctors that much), and my boyfriend is in very good spirits and making some great changes to his lifestyle to stay as healthy as possible. Whenever the doctors suggest a medication for my boyfriend, I always read research articles about the given drug and help explain to him how it will/won't affect him. Also I now spend a considerable amount of time reading research papers and studies regarding dietary/lifestyle factors and how they affect people with HIV, in order to give him the best advice. Of course, my boyfriend's HIV status doesn't affect my love for him; we are still together, and both of us are doing quite well these days, despite what we learned over summer. Before this summer, I had a lot of doubts about going into the medical field (actually I am an electrical engineering/biomedical eng major, and was probably planning on being an engineer); now, however, I have no doubts about going into medicine, and I really wish I could ultimately have the opportunity to do research regarding HIV treatments. Anyway, I would like to make my experience at least some portion of my essay, as it is by far the most glaring factor affecting my decision. However there are some problems: 1. I am primarily concerned that some homophobe will read it, and develop a bias against me because I am gay 2. I am concerned that me and my boyfriend's experience sounds a little over-the-top, and that people will not believe it is true and think I am writing a load of bullcrap (although it seems the details I can provide and the fact that I am being honest should hopefully prevent this) Unfortunately, if I choose not to use this experience for those reasons, then I will have to bulls**t and lie about some other, lesser experience that has made me interest in medicine; unfortunately I am a bad liar, and the essay would likely sound rather synthetic in that case. In the end, I don't have to rely on the essay as a "crutch," because my GPA and MCAT are fine, and so I guess it is not a huge deal. I realize this is a problem that probably doesn't apply to much (if any) people here.. so I really appreciate your advice and time spent reading about my situation; sorry for the length.