Marinated in stupidity...
May 23, 2008
I am a 40 year-old female. In March of 2007, I got divorced. At that time, I was so starved for love and affection that I literally marinated in recklessness and stupidity for an entire year by repeatedly having unsafe, high-risk sex. I'm an intelligent woman, so I'm not sure why I did the things I did, but I did them without giving much thought, if any, to the possible tragic consequences.
A few months ago, I had unprotected sex with a male friend who I knew little about. A week later, he casually mentioned he had tonsillitis. I thought it was odd that a 26 year-old would get tonsillitis, but thought it even more odd that I didn't get it and felt no ill effects whatsoever. All of a sudden, I started to panic. Unlike many people who fear someone has infected them, I was afraid I had infected someone else. Thinking back on my numerous unsafe indiscretions, I couldn't help but wonder if I had contracted HIV at some point with no symptoms and had now passed it along.
I started looking for information on the internet, which only freaked me out beyond measure. The weight of the things I had done and what could possibly be was overwhelming, and I literally spent hours upon agonizing hours at the computer. Certainly there is information to be had, but much of it is confusing and inconsistent.
I eventually found my way to this website and it is, in my humble opinion, a definitive source of information with regard to HIV. Because I found facts and consistency here, I was actually able to calm down and educate myself about what the real risks are. More importantly, I was able to summon the courage to go and get tested, because I learned here that if you've had unprotected sex, speculation is worthless and testing is truly the only thing that matters.
I've learned a lot about myself over the last few months. We all make mistakes...what is important is that we learn from them. I am incredibly fortunate, and will no longer surrender my personal power to someone else, allowing him to decide whether or not a condom should be used. Ever.
Thank you for being here.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Thanks for your kind comments and for taking the time to write in and share your experience and new-found insights!
Congratulations and WOO-HOO!
I would ask that you consider "paying it forward." In other words, now that you've fortunately dodged the HIV bullet, do what you can to educate others by promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. By openly discussing what you've learned with others and by insisting we reinstitute science-based, age-appropriate sex education in our schools, you just may save a life!
Be well. Stay well.
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