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The Fortune Teller

By Philip D.

February 3, 2010

For-tune n. an unknown and unpredictable phenomenon that causes an event to result one way rather than another.

Two years ago, I tested positive for HIV. Figures it would happen on the longest night of the year. Actually, it felt more like the longest night of my life, and to say I was blindsided would be putting it mildly. Why else would I get tested the week of Christmas with 10 days off and no particular Holiday plans? In between grocery shopping and picking up my dry cleaning, I dropped in to the neighborhood Rapid Testing site since it had been over a year since my last results.

They took a drop of my blood, the councilor and I did the usual ten minute Q&A and while he went to fetch the results, I used the time to text the hottie that I had been seeing for the last month. Should have known something was up, it was taking way too long. At last, the novice volunteer returned to deliver the news with a look that I can only describe as a boy that was just informed that his puppy was hit by a car. My first reaction was to ask him, "Are you okay?"

Alright, so maybe I was under reacting but there was clearly a mistake made. (I was sure that I was that 1 in 250,000 false positives) After taking more blood for the more sensitive Western Blot test, they started a barrage of questions about past sexual partners and if I would like to notify them via the San Francisco Health Department. "Do we have to do this right now!?!" as my world seemed to tilt on its axis.

Although I suppose I had prepared for this moment for 25 years, I literally walked home from the testing site, in a daze. Basically, the only sex I had was safer and so I really never figured I'd ever be "poz." I've been a sexually active man since before there was even talk of HIV, 18 years of that, in San Francisco. I knew the drill and the risks involved and tested negative more times than I could count.

So maybe it's only been three years since HIV in-fected me but I assure you it's been almost 30 since it began aff-ecting me. It permeated my every sexual encounter like the buzz kill to end all buzz kills and even when I was in a monogamous relationship, it was still always there in the very back of my head.

At last, I was bit by the very monster I ran from most of my adult life. In the strangest of ways, as much as it hurt, it feels rather good to not have to run any more.

To contact Philip D., click here.

See Also
Day One With HIV: Finding Out Your Status, in Your Own Words's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for the Newly Diagnosed
More "Just Diagnosed" Stories


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A Positive Spin

Philip D.

Philip D.

After testing HIV positive in 2007, I promised myself that I would make something "good" from all that I was handed. From the very beginning, each time I was presented with an obstacle or challenge, I also received some help. Usually in the form of a person, sometimes an opportunity; but I have grown so much, it has made it impossible for me to call the past few years "bad." Although I've never written much of anything before, I have been so incredibly fortunate, I feel like I must pay it forward somehow. Maybe by sharing my experience, it will help those starting later in the game, on the fast track to HAART, or anyone that's feeling a bit isolated or "stuck" with their diagnosis.

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