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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Anonymous
Unregistered

First HIV test in 14 years
      #160638 - 09/26/05 04:18 PM

For reasons of paranoia, I hadn't taken an HIV test since 1991, and I've been sexually active with many men (I'm a male) since then, though I've tapered off in the last few years(and haven't done anything remotely unsafe in about two years). Yes, I was quite promiscuous for a number of years. Though I didn't have unsafe sex frequently, over the years those numbers add up, even if it's just a few times a year. Anyhow, as the years went by I became more and more paranoid about having caught HIV, checking lymph nodes often, monitoring appetite, worrying about a cold endlessly, but I wouldn't take a test because I would rather not know the results given that there was a possibility I could be positive. So I procrastinated for years, at the same time I would have periods where I would get worried sick about having HIV, and go look up all these HIV/AIDS websites and just get depressed. I even thought about calling a psychologist to help me rationalize why I'm stressing but still won't get tested, and I'm normally a highly rational person. I repeatedly envisioned a scene where the counselor tells me the results were positive and and that I need to have more testing. That thought, along with me replaying the times where I was unsafe with persons whose status was unknown to me, kept me from going for years to get tested.

Well, this afternoon, I finally forced myself to go. It' s an understatement to say it took a superherculean effort to walk in the clinic and sit and then get called in to do the oral swab and the precounseling. I was shaking terribly, and after the swab the the counselor told me to wait 20 minutes for the results. I went outside for a walk for 15 minutes because I couldn't sit down, and I even thought of just not going back, as I had done in 2002. But I told myself that my life is sort of on hold until I get these results. So I dragged myself back and stood around until I was called. The counselor had an expressionless face, the same face he had each time he called people in. I gathered up the last bit of light-headed courage I had and went into the room. He told me to sit down and he locked the door behind him. Not good, I thought, trying to read his face. He asked to confirm my test ID number. And then he said, "You're negative. Your test results were negative for HIV. Any questions?" I said no and I managed to repress my joy until I left, but I pretty much danced all the way back to my car. I didn't cry; I'm not that type. But after all the worries, the years of wondering, body-checking, nightmares, etc., it was all just foolishness because I didn't have the balls to get tested every so often. I did some risky things from time to time, so I had cause to worry, but since I don't want to go through that uncertainty again, I'm going to play it safe. Heck, I've settled down a great deal anyway. It hasn't even been an hour since I got the results, and it hasn't really sunk in yet, but I can finally relax on that matter. Anyhow I just thought I'd share my experience and I hope it inspires some others to get tested.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: First HIV test in 14 years new
      #160650 - 09/26/05 09:49 PM

Congrats on your test results and glad you found the strength to test. I hope you don't engage in unprotected sex anymore. It is not worth the risk. Good luck to you. Stay safe.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: First HIV test in 14 years new
      #160669 - 09/27/05 09:13 AM

I am so scared to go get tested. Possible high risk 13 years ago. Used condoms every day since then. I don't know what to do! Somebody please help me.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: First HIV test in 14 years new
      #160672 - 09/27/05 10:17 AM

Trust me get tested or you will only drive yourself crazy. I am awaiting the results of my 5 week test and I am in self torture hell. You will never feel right unless tested.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: First HIV test in 14 years new
      #160673 - 09/27/05 10:23 AM

I am just so scared. I feel sick all of the time. I don't know if I am making myself physically sick because all I do is worry 24 hours a day. I don't know what I would do. I feel like I walk through every day just hoping that someone will call me and tell me I am ok. I know I won't get that call till I go to get tested. I can't do it. I am too scared.

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daisey6205
Legend

Reged: 09/08/05
Posts: 1091
Loc: kansas
Re: First HIV test in 14 years new
      #160674 - 09/27/05 10:36 AM

It is hard to go get tested. I was so worried to be tested. I had never tested. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I put myself at risk. I got back together with my ex and low and behold he finds out he is hiv pos. Imagine my surprise. I thought I gave it to him. It took all I had to go get tested. I tested negative then, but 3 months later tested positive. Get yourself checked. It is worse not knowing, than to know that you are ok. The what if is a horrible feeling when someone from your past comes to you and says " I am HIV+, you may have it". Be sure you don't and no one can say you did it. I'd rather know that I am not to blame for someone elses fate. Trust me you will feel better in the long run.
DAISEY

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: First HIV test in 14 years new
      #160675 - 09/27/05 10:39 AM

What sounds like a better quality of life, possibly not even being infected yet worring about it all the time or the possibility of finding out that you can breath easier and no longer concern yourself. Even if the test was positve, at least you can stop wondering and start getting healthy.

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daisey6205
Legend

Reged: 09/08/05
Posts: 1091
Loc: kansas
Re: First HIV test in 14 years new
      #160676 - 09/27/05 10:41 AM

You have nothing to be afraid of. People die in car accidents more than people die from HIV/AIDS. Life is not promised, the only gaurantee we have in this life is death, regardless of how we go. HIV is no different from cancer, except more people survive HIV. Stop beating yourself up. Get tested before you go nuts. We are all here for you and we have all been where you are, but you will feel so much better. You have nothing to fear, but fear itself.
DAISEY

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Hi Daisey new
      #160679 - 09/27/05 11:15 AM

Hi Daisey, But it has been 13 years! I feel as though I have all the symptons now and then some days I don't. I feel like I can't handle this. I am so scared inside. I don't know what I'd do. I love life! I can't believe I have put myself at risk. I look at myself in the mirror and I am so mad at myself.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Hi Daisey new
      #160680 - 09/27/05 11:37 AM

You may not even be infected and so you are going through potentially not needed anxiety.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Hi Daisey new
      #160681 - 09/27/05 11:40 AM

I'm the original poster....Let me encourage you to get tested. I can't believe the fear I lived with for so long, the denial, the search for symptoms, even though I never had any (heck I've only had 5 sick days in 13 years of work)...only to come up hiv negative and feel like a fool and ask why I lived with this worry needlessly for so long. 13 years after one unsafe encounter doesn't seem to me like you have much to worry about. I too looked in the mirror, angry at myself for both being a coward for not getting tested and for putting myself at risk by having probably 25-30 unsafe sexual encounters. But I almost think I'm just as angry at myself now because the worry was all for nothing (even though I SHOULD worry about unsafe encounters enough not to engage in them, which I haven't done in a couple of years).

With that said, yes, I could get hit by a truck tomorrow, or have some other tragic end. In fact what really prompted me to go and get tested was that three weeks ago I had a spot removed from my leg which turned out to be a possible melanoma. It was caught so early that they couldn't be sure that it was truly melanoma and not just an atypical mole, but they wanted to play it safe, so it was removed and I have nothing else to worry about in that regard. However, just the word melanoma strikes dread in most people who know about it, myself included. But I still couldn't breathe a sigh of relief after it was removed because of my unknown HIV status. I had read that cancers can be a sign of immunosuppression so this made me think an awful lot about getting tested.


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Anonymous
Unregistered

thank you to the original poster new
      #160682 - 09/27/05 12:05 PM

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I just really feel I put myself at a very high risk. I no longer have any contact with this person from long ago. Also I have concerns that my partner has been not feeling well. I could not live with myself if I have exposed him to anything. He is th most wonderful man in the world. I want to cry because I am so mad at myself.

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daisey6205
Legend

Reged: 09/08/05
Posts: 1091
Loc: kansas
Re: Hi Daisey new
      #160683 - 09/27/05 01:40 PM

You still have life. Life is all what YOU CHOOSE TO MAKE IT!!!! It can be crappy or it can be GREAT, if YOU make it that way. It is ok to be mad at yourself, but consider yourself your own best friend. Would you forgive your bestfriend if they had wronged you? Then ask yourself if you are worthy to be forgiven? I think you are. We all make mistakes, but I think if you go get tested you will see that you are worrying for no reason. If you need to talk we are all here. We've been in your shoes. Once you find out you will get through it alot easier than what you are now. You are then able to deal with whatever the outcome may be or may not be. At that point you are able to move on with your life.
Keep in touch.
DAISEY

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Hi Daisey new
      #160685 - 09/27/05 02:05 PM

Daisey, Thank you for your heartfelt words. I feel as though I am living in a small dark room. I will never ever forgive myself! I am not a strong person. I want to curl up and make this all go away! I am pathetic. I feel frozen and I don't know what to do.

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daisey6205
Legend

Reged: 09/08/05
Posts: 1091
Loc: kansas
Re: Hi Daisey new
      #160687 - 09/27/05 03:47 PM

I think that we all go through times when we feel that we are toilet paper in a world of piss. I have felt that way. There are so many things I have done in my life, that would curl the stomache of a bulimic, but one thing I have learned is that life is already too short and I can only change the future. I can chose to live in the past or I can take one step to improve the future by moving forward. It takes time. You are stronger than you think. At the time when you feel the lowest, you have to rely on your friends to carry you through the hard times. Life sucks and we are never given more than we can handle, even though you may want to be re-evaluated. Been there, done that. I can preach at you til I am blue in the face, but it won't do me any good if you don't take the first step and go get tested. As I said before, having HIV is not the end of the world. I can think of alot worse stupid things I have done in my life to be mad at myself over, but I chose to carry on with a new attitude about it. Do you have children? Live for them, if not for yourself. Learn all you can about HIV and help others, because someday someone is going to be right where you are now and you can help with your own personal dealings.
I accepted the fact I was HIV+ before I ever found out I was. I only wanted to feel the pain once. I had 3 months to deal with the fact I was positive. When I actually found out I was, it didn't hurt anymore. All of us has our own way of dealing. Find your way and adjust...... Get TESTED. I guarantee you are negative, but put your mind at ease. You can't change the past, only the future.
DAISEY

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