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Why testing positive now..
Aug 28, 2005

I want to address Dr. Wohl's comment on the second part of his answer to my recent question of recently testing positve for HIV. "why test positive now..."

Well, I have pondered this question to myself and others in the same boat I am in. Here is MY story in brief: 34year single minority male, living alone in the Big Apple. Depressed, rocky career, no stability despite having a degree from an ivy league college. Estranged from immediate family because of my homo lifestyle. Meeting flaky guys, and no one wants to commit. Future seems bleek, with no assets, no retirement fund and despite great experience, not being hired for jobs trully qualified for. Feeling of uselessness, worthlessness. Add on the feeling of looming fear daily because of threats of sudden death from bomb attacks in NYC. There is a sense that, what am I being safe and living long for? Sex fills the void of loneliness, depression, sense of belonging, being touched, feeling human. I started having sex in the period of the early 90's and was terrified of Aids, and was very safe, but over the years, that reach for the condom just slowed down. perhaps because I hoped that this was the guy I was to be with, like past boyfriends who were negative and we enjoyed condomless sex. "Hey, he is the one, and he will stay..." Add on our flawed natures, periods of self-destruction, and hence, we open up to things we should not. It's so easy for others to judge and dismiss this increasing surge of HIV infections to guys who are just being purposely careless. but people are really in pain out here emotionally, and sometimes living for the moment of pure bliss of touching someone is very powerful. sounds so stupid, but it's so true. Condoms and all this sickness is not normal. Sex, and having sex is. bottom line is this, they need to find a cure fast, because this trend is just going to get worse. Or the world needs to embrace the down and out, so everyone has a future to look forward to, and they try their best to preserve themselves for that day when their dreams, hard work,faith, and goodwill pay off. but that isnt realistic. I could go on...but I will stop. I am planning to write a lot in this period, and present it to doctors, so they can understand the psychology of the current HIV phenomenon..

Response from Dr. Wohl

Your response is one of the most meaningful I have read while answering questions on this forum and provides the story behind the CD4 and viral load numbers. My question was directed not only at you, but to call attention to what is happening all around us. On the one hand, I simply want to shout from the rooftops that we need to be safe and not allow another person to acquire this infection. On the other, the complexities of how, where and why HIV continues to spread can be described no better than by your post. What you have shared helps me (and all of us) to begin to understand how this virus exploits not just the much described weaknesses in our nature but also the faults that exist within our communities and, by extension, the society we have created for ourselves. We simply don't take care of one another very well.

I thank you for sharing your story. It does just what you say you are setting out to do, help doctors (and I would add the general readership of this forum) understand how this virus is now being spread - how it finds a niche among despair, hopelessness and loneliness. I feel strongly that with the increased understanding we gain each of us can begin to think how, in our own ways, we can work to prevent others from becoming infected and - as your post also makes clear - be loving and compassionate to those who have the virus has found.

Do let us know what happened at your ID specialist visit and if your numbers came out the same. But, I also hope you will also let us know from time to time how you are doing.

Thanks again,

DW



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