Picking Up and Learning to Make a Better Life With HIV

Part of the Series Day One With HIV

Michael Mersinger
Michael Mersinger

On May 26, 2015, I went to the doctor to find out that I am HIV positive. Before having the test, I was extremely sick. It was like having the worst flu ever. Once the doctor confirmed I was HIV positive, I felt this empty feeling inside. It felt as though my whole life was gone in a flash. I started to tear up at the doctor's office but stopped myself. I asked him about the next step I needed to take. He referred me to a wonderful doctor 45 minutes from my hometown. I received the information that I needed and was placed on the correct medications.

I never thought that I would have to tell my boss one day that I was HIV positive. However, when I did tell my boss, she was very supportive and told me that I would be okay. I had been taken off work due to being so sick and I wanted to just go back to work and get my life back together.

On day one, I also needed to pick up my adopted daughter. Since she is 14 years old, I was not really sure how to tell her. I figured the best way was just to come out and tell her. I don't like to hide things from her. When I did tell her, she thought it was cancer. I tried to explain it, but she still thought cancer.

I was scared, alone, and afraid. I came across this website and found hope for living with HIV. I know that I am not alone in dealing with this. I hope my day one story helps others understand that we all have downfalls. It does not mean that we can't pick ourselves up, learn from our mistakes, and make life better for ourselves.

Want to share your own "Day One With HIV" story of finding out your diagnosis? Write out your story (1,000 words or fewer, please!), or film a YouTube video, and email it to editor@thebody.com. In the coming months, we'll be posting readers' "Day One" stories here in our HIV/AIDS Resource Center for the Newly Diagnosed. Read other stories in this series.