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Don't diagnose yourself!

Apr 18, 2001

Hi I'd like to preface the following message by thanking all of you at the body for the great job you're doing. If anyone is interested I'd just like to share a little story with you. I am sitting in an e-mail cafe in Bangkok where I came for an HIV test(the country I live in being very intolerant of foreigners who test positive.) About two weeks after unsafe sex last August I came down with a high fever, lymphadenopathy and my entire tongue was covered in ulcers(so bad I couldn't eat). I had diarreah, night sweats and lost an incredible amount of weight. After this I recovered but was never really the same. I had a thick white coating on my tongue, my lymph nodes remained swollen and I battled with almost constant fatigue. Anyway I put two and two together and came up with HIV. For the past six months I have not had a waking moment when my HIV status was not in my mind. I spent days on the internet looking at symptoms and from what I've described above you can imagine how my conviction that I was positive was only reinforced. I stopped going to the gym, lost interest in my work(I'm a university professor and it must have been hell on my poor students) and since February basically stopped functioning normally. Last night the doctor told me the test was negative and I burst into tears. I couldn't really believe what I was hearing. I've learned two things from this experience. I am not a doctor and neither is the internet and I will leave all future diagnoses up to those who spent hard years in med school acquiring the ability to practice. Secondly, I have no intention of revisiting these last six months of darkness and therefore will NEVER have unsafe sex again. For those of you who are worrying yourself sick I hope this message gives you a little hope and inspires you to get to a doctor or a testing center. For those of you who are living with HIV I have had but a brief glimpse of what it must mean to know that you are positive: strength and power to you-we gonna catch this thing and kill it eventually so just hang in there and be positive. Have a great day everyone-I'm having one of the best of my life!

Response from Mr. Kull

Thanks for the message.

RMK



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