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Hope for the Worried
Mar 13, 2003

Mr. Kull:

I wanted to share my story in the hopes it might help someone in a similar situation. 6 months ago I had protected vaginal sex with a woman of unknown status. Since I am married and had never strayed before (nor ever will again), I felt incredible guilty about the whole thing. Within a couple of weeks, I feared that I had been infected with HIV despite the low risk exposure. I had nearly every symptom in the book: coated tongue, night sweats, ulcers on the tongue, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, tingling hands and feat, and a feeling that something inside of me just wasn't right. Many of these symptoms lasted for 12 or more weeks. Some I still have today. I tested negative at 4, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, and finally 24 weeks (today). After 8 weeks, I began seeing a psychologist who helped me minimize my fears of HIV (and taking Paxil probably helped too). But, there were times all the way up until the past month or so that I still feared the worst. I know now that I am not infected, and can at least put that behind me. For those reading this forum that might be suffering from similar symptoms, hang in there. It wasn't easy for me, but I gained a little more strength with each passing week and learned a lot about this disease and myself in the process.

Take Care.

Response from Mr. Kull

Wow, you really went through it. Glad you made it out of this unscathed (relatively), and I hope that your story inspires others who struggle with the same fears.

RMK



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