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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Anonymous
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If I tested negative, YOU might too! relax & read
      #205514 - 08/30/06 06:49 PM

Hi everyone! I feel that I need to share my story with anyone in need, because I think that many of you will be able to relate to my story. I know that many of you are terrified, wondering if you have HIV.........just like I was. Here is my story:

First let me give you some history: About two years ago, I had unprotected anal sex with a man I met on vacation. He ejaculated inside of me and I did not know my status. Then, last October, I gave a man oral sex, unprotected, and I swallowed his cum. I again, did not know his status. On top of it, I also had a cut inside of my mouth. In between these two incidences, I gave about 9 other men oral sex. All unprotected, and all.......I swallowed. After my experience in October, I began to realize that I had put myself at a high and low risk for contracting HIV. After October, I started to get more and more sore throats, I was tired, I had headaches, I thought I was going through ARS. I started researching symptoms, and began going over every sexual encounter I had ever had, trying to remember how I felt afterwards.

I tried not to worry myself too much, so I put the possibility of me having HIV in the back of my head. However, it would pop up from time to time, and I would spend a few days in complete dissary, thinking that I had HIV. Then, I would convince myself that I didn't. In the mean time, I read more and more about HIV, looking for an answer.....the answer that I did not have HIV. I never found it online, and niether will you.

This pas week, for some reason, the thought that I had the chance of HIV came back to my mind. However, this time, it was stronger than ever. I looked back to what I had done, and was paniced. Yes, I put myself at a very high risk for HIV through anal, and then again, at low risks, by giving men oral sex........all of these men I never knew their status.

So, after days of becoming so stressed out, I decided to make an appointment to get a rapid test. I was so scared. I had put it off for a year, and then again for another 6 months. However, I knew that I had to do it. After I made the appointment I couldnt sleep, i couldn't focus at work. I was crying thinking how I was going to tell my family, how I was going to tell my boyfriend, how I was going to really tell myself.

Well, today was the day that I had my appointment. I went to the doctor, sat down, answered some questions, and took my rapid test. As I waited alone in the doctor's office with my gossip magazine, my heart was racing. I prayed to God that I would please me spared of this disease. I cried, thinking how I would react if she came in and told me I was positive. Then, I heard the DING, and I knew my results were ready. The nurse came in, folder in hand....quiet at first. She looked up and said, "congratulations, you are negative!" I said, really, I am!!?? I told her that she made my day. She said, really, were you worried? I thought to myself, HELL YES I WAS WORRIED!!!! Then I realized, a lot of my worry was so uneccesary. A lot of it I created myself. I walked out the doors and smiled.....thanking God for everything!!

Before I got tested, I was beyond terrified that I had HIV!!! I got strep throat a couple times and was convinced it was due to HIV (its not). I wasted so much time, trying to diagnose myself. I spent hours and hours on the computer, researching HIV, trying to make myself feel better, trying to calm myself. They only t hing that calmed me was getting tested. Even though I was more anxious and nervous than I ever have been waiting for those 20 minutes, it was well worth it!!!!

I just want all of you who are just as scared that I am, is that ITS OK. Even if you do come out being HIV+, its okay. But go get tested, and either way, you will feel better. I also want to remind you all of tihs....this is something that I have learned from putting myself in risky situations, and then stressing immensley about them.
If you are ever again in a risky situation think to yourself; is it worth sacraficiing some fun with this man or woman, would i rathe have them dump me, disapprove of me, diss me, leave me, hate me, but know that I am healthy? Or is it worth it to induldge in the risk, to possibly live a life with HIV? Nothing is more important than you, and as hard as it is to say no, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

We all make mistakes. Do not hate yourself. We can only learn and become better people from our regrets. Whether you are HIV+ or HIV-, it is our duty to make it so the disease does not keep spreading. I never want anyone to have to go through the stress, strain, and struggle that I went through, simply from not knowing.

Thank you for all of your support. I am here to support you!

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: If I tested negative, YOU might too! relax & read new
      #205515 - 08/30/06 06:59 PM

Thank you! Your encouraging story is a breath of fresh air around here :)

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Anonymous
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Re: If I tested negative, YOU might too! relax & read new
      #205705 - 08/31/06 11:02 PM

Thank you so much for telling us your story because I have those same worries and have made myself so sick wondering if I am HIV +. I have spent hours trying to convince myself that I am fine by researching it on the internet and of course, nothing helps. Your story has definitely inspired me to go get tested. Thank you!

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: If I tested negative, YOU might too! relax & read new
      #208276 - 09/24/06 03:48 AM

Thank you so much for your story! I would like to second your advice -- there is hope for everyone!

I'm a straight female that had unprotected encounters a few years back with a several boyfriends who's status I didn't know (one of whom in retrospect I suspected might be bisexual), and I never got tested. I became obsessive about safe sex after that - if I had contracted the virus, I wanted to be sure not to pass it on. And I also went thru obsessive periods of "am I positive?" We're talking hours and hours and hours spent on the net hoping someone could tell me that I was OK (the internet is NOT a crystal ball), and going over every symptom of every sniffle and every cough I'd ever had trying to figure out if and when I'd seroconverted. Over the years I'd had some swollen lymph nodes, a bout of shingles, a few instances of folliculitis, and a few bouts of the flu, which had me convinced I was positive. I would cry and cry for hours, envisioning a slow death and breaking the hearts of my parents and friends when I told them.

There were times (sometimes long periods) when I wouldn't think about it, but it always came back around to wondering and not knowing. Twice I got up the courage to schedule a rapid test, twice I cancelled out of sheer terror. Then I ordered the Home Access rapid test on the internet, and when it arrived the thought of being positive scared me so much it sat on my desk unopened (couldn't even bring myself to open the shipping box it came in). I was ashamed of my lack of courage, but fear won the day every time.

Finally this week, I went to take a required checkup that included an HIV test. The days leading up to it were surreal. From the time I awoke in the morning, my perception was centered around pre-diagnosis vs. post-diagnosis. I would think, "this could be the last time I wear these jeans/watch this TV show/eat at this restaurant before I find out I'm HIV+". It was the hardest few days of my life, but I realized I was truly sick and tired of running and didn't back out of the physical.

As the labs began to come back (there were a lot of tests done for the physical), I kept asking (heart racing a mile a minute), "what about the HIV test?" Twice when I asked it was still pending, which of course made me think there was a preliminary positive that was being confirmed via Western Blot/Elisa. Finally, yesterday, I got the news...NEGATIVE!! And since it's been a little over 12 months since my last sexual encounter, my doc says it is a conclusive negative.

People, I feel reborn. And I also feel like I have a duty to tell others who are worried that, while the net is an extremely valuable resource, ONLY A TEST can give you a definitive answer. I know that's been said over and over here, but I truly wish I hadn't put myself through the years of torture. I also thought about what it would have been like if the test had been positive, and I realized that, while I would have been devastated, I also would have been empowered to take definitive steps to fight for my health and my life. And I would not have been alone...all of the great people here who share their experiences and lend their love and support to complete strangers is just the tip of the iceberg.

I thank God that I am negative, and I plan to repay the reprieve that the universe has given me by volunteering my shoulder and my ear to people who are positive or who haven't tested and are scared as hell. Only though working together, not as HIV+ and HIV- people, but simple as PEOPLE, can we beat this disease that affects everyone.

Signed,

Formerly terrified girl living in the dark




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