|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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