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Re: Why testing positive now..
Aug 30, 2005

I refer to the post 'Why testing positive now..' Aug 28, 2005

I think the the post and response from Dr Wohl really hits the mark! This is really important in helping us understanding why so many are getting HIV in this day and age.

I became positive 9 weeks ago. I'm university educated, 34 year old with a great IT job. Why did I take risks and become HIV+? I've been asking myself this question over and over. The shock of becoming HIV+ has forced me to look at myself and address other problems. I didn't want to acknowledge how bad my depression and anxiety was. I tried to ignore it but it was affecting my judement and I took risks.

I was depressed after splitting with my boyfriend of three years. I missed the physical and emotional intimacy. Also, I think too much about the voilence in the world and how so many people place little value on human life. Honesty, at night I could not get it out of my head. Closer to home my mother continues to smoke despite having emphysema. Watching the self destruction of those you love really screws with your head. I didn't care for myself.

So when I met someone and got to know them a bit not using condoms helped a feeling of emotional closeness (not just physical closeness). I thought less about the ills of the world. And because it was not an anonymous sex thing the risk seemed less. Of course it was risky and I paid the ultimate price.

As I "brought this on myself" I feel awkward about seeking medical help - but I do seek help. I know my helth providers are asking "why did you let this happen!!!!???". Please be a little forgiving. I'm not so forgiving. I'm embarrassed and ashamed I allowed this to happen.

Stopping this virus means looking out for the mental and emotional health of our selves and friends around us. I think campaigns should focus on mental health as much as simply saying "practice safe sex". Not addressing depression and anxiety can have devistating outcomes!

Thank you so much to the poster and Dr Wohl for such an articulate and honest posting. This really helped me understand HIV. It will help me to get on and live with HIV. I hope it helps others. It should be placed somewhere more prominent on The Body website.

Response from Dr. Wohl

Thanks for you response to the recent chain of posts and for sharing your own experience.

DW



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