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HIV Life >> I Just Tested Positive

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Anonymous
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Recently tested positive in Toronto
      #275 - 03/29/00 03:44 PM

Recently Tested Positive in Toronto:

On April 3rd I found out I am HIV+. I am writing this posting to
let people out there know what has kept my attitude mostly
positive and how I have been getting through this difficult time.
I went back to school last year, but before that I was very
involved in the gay community on a professional and social level.
My links to the community, and my awareness of the services
offered, have allowed me to keep a positive attitude and get
access to the services I need. I strongly recommend that people
out there feeling alone or needing support try to get in touch
with their local groups. After visiting the doctor at a local
clinic to get my test results, I walked right over to the AIDS
Committee of Toronto (http://www.actoronto.org) and saw a
counsellor on duty. I am so thankful that ACT was there for me
when I really needed it. My partner was out of town, and I can't
tell my parents. I am now seeing a counsellor every week or two,
and it has been extremely helpful. The doctor at the walk-in
clinic has been awful, however, and again I am thankful that ACT
put me in touch with some doctors who are up-to-date on
treatments, etc. The walk-in clinic doctor was clearly upset by
my test results and CD4 count of 100. His reaction really scared
me, and I left convinced that I had only a year to live. I was a
wreck. But my new primary care physician, who is a member of the
AIDS/HIV doctor's group is more hopeful and aware. I am on new
drugs, and despite other complications (they also think I have an
inflamatory disease called Sarcoidosis) I am feeling pretty good.
The only downside right now is the side effects of the drug
cocktail, such as fatigue and an unhappy stomach, but hopefully
those will wear off in a few weeks. This summer I plan on
attending an information workshop retreat arranged by ACT,
learning yoga and meditation, and enjoying life. I'm even off to
Disney World with my partner, who has been more supportive than I
ever could have imagined. He still smiles at me across the room,
and has told me over and over that he will stick by me. I can
only hope I will be as strong if he needs me when his test
results come back. I will most certainly try. It's only been
three weeks or so, but I made a commitment to myself to do
whatever it takes to stay healthy and happy. Yes, the pills are a
drag, but each one is another dose of life, another day, and
another smile. I am staying in school (even though I have three
years left), am keeping my part-time job, and am just learning to
truly enjoy what I have. The people on this group have really
touched me. I know that I am lucky to live in a big city with
lots of supportive services and people. I hope that in some way
my story can help others, too. I have found that talking about
this and writing to my friends has been helpful. I am happy to
correspond with others at bv838@torfree.net.




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