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HIV Life >> I Just Tested Positive

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Reged: 04/08/07
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Shock, denial, fear........shame.....shame...shame
      #226473 - 04/08/07 05:56 PM

Let me start by saying that I've always lived my life healthy. I had a physical ten months ago and I was considered an "ideal" patient.

I've also been in a long term relationship. I've always tested negative. Late last summer my relationship fell apart. I started dating someone else. He swore up and down that he was negative. I knew that I was since I had been tested a couple months before. Well, the second relationship didn't last. I was able to reconcile my original relationship. I had an HIV test at that time and tested negative.

I figured since I'd been sexually active for several months before I got back with my partner, I should get a 6-month test. I only had unprotected sex with my current partner and the guy I dated over the summer.

Much to my shock and horror, it came back positive. I had to wait a week to get my Western Blot confirmation. Positive :(

HIV is one of my worst nightmares. In fact, it was fear of HIV that made me decide to get in a relationship so many years ago.

My partner has been tested and turned up negative in both the Western Blot and Viral Load tests. His doctor is pretty confident that he is negative.

When I called the guy I was dating over the summer, he went into denial and refused to get tested. So now I'm pretty much sure where I got it from.

I've gone through so many emotional roller coasters I've lost track. The thing that really surprised me is that my death isn't the part that bothers me. We're all going to die sometime. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and be killed.

Life: Living with this is what scares me. My biggest fear: passing this on to someone else. The only possible bright spot in this is that I didn't (or hopefully haven't) given this to my partner.

All the emotions seem to come and go, but there does seem to be one reoccuring one: SHAME. I can't even look anyone in the eye. I'm so embarassed. I feel like I'm a walking disease and it's all my fault.

I can't even hide it. It's completely tranformed my personality. I used to be so out going and friendly to everyone I met. Now I just want to crawl into a hole so no one will see me.

I seem to be able to work my way through most of the others, but the shame just stays there and eats at me 24/7.

I know many people would consider me "lucky" because I already live a healthly lifestyle. I've been taking fish oil/flax seed oil, multi-vitamins and immunity bosters for years, but I just don't feel lucky.

I know I have a lot to do. I have all my appointments set up, but to be 100% honest, I wish I could have some other fatal disease that I can't pass onto someone else. That way, I would only need to worry about me, and not how to protect everyone else from me.

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Reged: 10/31/05
Posts: 3256
Loc: Get off the fence and live again!
Re: Shock, denial, fear........shame.....shame...shame new
      #226475 - 04/08/07 10:24 PM

Dont be ashamed, Ashamed... I think we have all moved through and got over the feelings you have expressed so well. You can either sink or swim... Sounds like you are a swimmer to me..... You have done things right by notifying your partner(s) and now are looking at yourself. Find a compitant ID Doctor and start finding out where you are with your virus so you can put that to bed. Next, just keep doing what you are doing and feel you way through..... Unfortunately, you have to feel all of this. As far as infecting others? You dont have to. And really should not.. Safer sex these days does not mean that part of your life is over... Unsafe sex sure... That should have been part of you long before. Sigh, well thats how most of us got here....

Dont sink any further than you have to sweetie.... This is hiv, its not you and its NOT your life... Dont let it take over... Everything is very dooable.... Just do it... Life is to short to shorten it further... HIV does not have the rights to your life, so dont allow it...



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Reged: 04/12/07
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Loc: Chicago, IL
Re: shame new
      #226549 - 04/12/07 11:46 AM

I could not agree more with your thoughts and admire your ability to express these feelings. I read your post in the newsletter and told myself, "That's what I feel!". I've lived with HIV for over four years and that feeling of shame is probably why I spent some time being very self-destructive. I had a very difficult time again about 4 months ago when I started anti-retrovirals for the first time and could not understand why it was so hard. After reading your post I think it was the daily reminder of my feeling of shame and disgust. Thankfully, my doctor helped me work through this difficult time and the healing continues. Loving yourself is sometimes the hardest thing to do yet is truly the most important. A big hug to you!

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Reged: 03/04/07
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Re: Shock, denial, fear........shame.....shame...shame new
      #226579 - 04/13/07 02:26 PM


I can feel your pain in the words you wrote and can remember feeling them myself about this time last year. The shame can be overwhelming. I can only share with you my own experience - allow yourself to feel the guilt and shame, but also allow yourself to believe that life gets better. It does! It take stime and you may not be exactly the same person you were before, but I believe you will feel better. Holding on to hope is vital and finding a few loving people to talk to is very important. Try to remember thatyou have nothing to be ashamed of. You are a person who happened to get HIV. Yes it sucks, but you are more than HIV and more than how you feel right now. All of us are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, lovers, friends, people with jobs, students. There is a whole world of other identities out there and in time those will rise to the surface again. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope some peace and joy return soon. Hang in there - it does get better!


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Update new
      #226679 - 04/18/07 05:27 PM

Well, I had my first blood work done. CD4's - 870, VL in the mid 70k range. My doctor vaccinated me against EVERYTHING. My arm feels like it's going to fall off.

Emotionally, I'm exhausted. My mood seems to change every hour. It still feels very surreal, like this just can't be right. Then - boom, yep, I have HIV. The only time I feel any semblance of normalcy is when I'm occupied with something else. I realize that's just an escape, but it's all I have.

I went to dinner with friends the other day. One of them was telling a story about how all these people got splattered with red paint and they all thought it was blood. They all freaked out because they thought they'd been exposed to HIV. I felt like someone punched me in the face.

For the last four days, I've been numb. Nothing bothers me, nothing make me happy. I just feel detached from the world.

I used to workout 6 days a week. I love to run and lift weights. Now I just can't summon up the energy to get to the gym. All I want to do is go home and rest.

I wouldn't wish this on ANYONE.

Thanks for all your kind words of support.

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Reged: 10/17/05
Posts: 1329
Re: Update new
      #226684 - 04/18/07 06:42 PM

Aw heart aches for you...not because you have HIV (well, that too) but because you are suffering so greatly emotionally now. You will come through strong. You may have to develop a thicker skin to ignorant people that make insensitive remarks...but remember that is THEIR problem NOT are the same person you were before haven't just have a little addition to your makeup! And, when you are involved in something else, that isn't an escape...that is your LIFE....get on with the business of living...the same as you did before. A wise man on this site that we all know and love, Eric, once said he would not let HIV define who he was...and don't you. HIV is not who you's something you have. You are YOU...the same YOU you have been since long ago. Tie a knot and hold on with both hands. You'll make it.

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Reged: 04/18/07
Posts: 2
Loc: oklahoma city, oklahoma
Re: Update new
      #226687 - 04/18/07 08:52 PM

Let me start by saying I know exactly what it feels like to find out at first and the emotions that run through your mind and body everyday. However, I must also say this...You are the victim! My boyfriend of over 3 years infected me and he is still living in denial about the entire situation. Much like your fling, he would not discuss it, even though he has probably been infected for at least 10 years. You took the initiative to call this person and disclose your status when you did not have to, but what I think about is all the people that came before and come after who might never know until it is too late because this person is unwilling to face the disease. It is something to think about and possibly a way that you can relieve some of the shameful feelings.
Remember, you are not at fault and now that you know you are taking the proper precautions to keep from spreading the disease. Good luck and keep your head up, you still have alot of life left and don't forget that!

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Reged: 07/06/07
Posts: 23
Loc: wa, usa
Re: Shock, denial, fear........shame.....shame...s new
      #228565 - 07/06/07 10:45 PM

Dear Ashamed,
i feel bad for you and how you feel, but i can say if you had seen me when i first found out i was a total wreck. i was beside myself and hated the whole thing. i realized i could not get mad or angry as it would not change anything. i just had to set up doctor appointments and start the healing and the process to dealing with what is now a part of me. Life is not this LABEL of HIV, but the person that defines you and has always defined you in the past. HIV may have become a new part of your life, but i can say it is a reminder of something i now live with and will live a pretty normal life. Find local HIV+ support groups and there you will see that there are many that may be new to it, while others have been living with it for 20+ years. It is good to hear you made it back to your partner and i hope he is supportive in your relationship. My partner is negative and we met after i became positive. Actually it was a result of my becoming positive that led me to where my meetings were held and met him. It was a year later we actually became partners and eventually had sex. Sex was not what defined our relationship and that is why it works.

i hope you pull through and will with time. You are a life and living it to your fullest and will do so as you always have before.


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