Not sure on status - Should I pursue a relationship or wait 6 months to get HIV test?

Question

I'm 29 and I really want to get back together with my ex-girlfriend. Since our breakup, I kind of started drinking a lot and sleeping with random strangers from the bar. There have been a few close calls and I am worried I have picked up HIV from some of these incidents.

I need some advice if it's worth it trying to get her back, or I should just wait 6 months and be sure I am negative after taking an HIV test. This is stressful because my number one concern is her. I don't want to lose her, yet I don't want to feel like I am a cancer in her life - as an example we get back together and she finds out I picked up HIV since being apart... I still love her, but if I knew I had HIV I wouldn't be able to confront her and would force myself to let her go.... Right now, it's up in the air - should I even try to get her back.

Answer

I don't see this as an "either/or" situation. You clearly have feelings for your ex-girlfriend, in which case you should explain to her how you feel. You also need to be honest with her about your "close calls" so that she is fully informed when deciding what she wants to do with regard to your relationship. In the meantime you should get tested - the majority of positive results occur within three months, although a test at six months is considered the final confirmation of the result. Until you know your status you should have protected sex with any partner and take a close look at your drinking. Substance abuse can be deadly and will continue to put you at risk for HIV. Check out local resources or support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or SMART Recovery.