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Old 10-20-2006, 06:16 PM   #1
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I would like to share my story about getting tested

Hey there everyone. I would like to share the experience I've been through over the last year and half because I feel like I need to get it off my chest and I think people can learn from my mistake.

I have lived the last year and half of my life HIV positive.

It started when one day I noticed my health had started declining. I started feeling like crap on a daily basis and all kinds of random physical symptoms started to manifest. At one point I noticed some blood in my stool and I began to freak out. I mean for the most part I had lived what I thought was generally a healthy life. I had never really been one to get annual checkups, but I never felt like I needed to. At any rate, I began searching online for what the blood in the stool could possibly be from, an infamous moment which would mark my quality of life spiraling down. As you know, searching for symptoms on a web portal like Yahoo or ****** can show you some terrifying things......... MS.........cancer......... STD's...........HIV.

I began to worry that something really bad was going on. I started stressing about a couple different sexual relations I had. The first was with a girl who didn't tell anybody she had Herpes and we didn't use a condom. There was talk that she might have had HIV too. I went and got tested the moment I recieved the news when all that went down. It all came back negative, but that wouldn't satisfy me now with all this strange crap happening. I emailed her out of the blue and she said she was still sorry about everything and insistent that all she had was Herpes. I still wasn't satisfied, thought perhaps maybe something went wrong with the testing. I remembered the unprotected sex I had a few times with a girl I would eventually find out was an escort. Called her to find out if she had ever been tested and she insisted that she wouldn't **** around with people's lives, that she tests every 6 months. But the more I thought about that the more that's still not often enough when she was a damn escort.

I finally went to the doctor, he ran a blood panel, and inspected the situation. Apparently I had an internal hemorrhoid. I explained to him some of my other symptoms but he told me that it was just stress. A couple days later I get out of the shower and am sitting at my desk when I notice this massive discoloration on my left arm near the puncture site of where the doc took blood. I started freaking out. I remembered reading about bruising on an HIV website. I turned on the television and Nip Tuck was on and wouldn't you know it the very scene playing was of an HIV+ man showing off his bruising and a woman being told that she wasn't infected. I don't know if you can imagine where my head was at at this point but it wasn't good. I didn't sleep a wink.......just layed petrified all night. I went to work the next day ready to just break down and cry, but I couldn't. I got a text message from my sister later in the evening and it read...

"Hey listen there's something you should know. A girl you slept with recently found out she has AIDS, but don't worry..... I saved money by switching to GEICO."

Oh man. This was a nightmare evolving before my eyes. A few days later I'm sitting in my room when I notice that my roommate is talking to a friend about some girl who dated a guy with AIDS. I started hearing alot of songs, by the rapper Eazy-E who died of AIDS and Queen who's lead singer Freddy Mercury suffered the same fate, wherever I went or so it seemed. Commercials always seemed to be about viruses, whether computer or health related. I noticed alot more of Magic Johnson on television and would see an infomercial of his come on all the time late at night. I was watching "Hogan Knows Best" and he asks this guy his daughter likes if he's ever gotten tested for HIV. I was in Las Vegas. We went to a club and the song they were playing was a hip hop song and the lyrics literally went, "Your dick got the HIV"........... HIV HIV HIV HIV HIV.....it was everywhere............

Physical symptoms I was having were getting out of control, ones that matched the symptoms list I had read online. My life was over. I had HIV. How long could I go on trying to run from the truth? I spent days on end on the internet, hiding from the world, reading story after story and symptom list after symptom list. I had offically become a cyberchondriac. All the while my life around me started to crumble. Have that much anxiety built up inside me just tore everything down. I began lashing out at people. I got fired from my job. I got arrested for a DUI. I began acting impulsively as if my life was soon coming to an end. No matter what it was I was doing, I had in the back of my mind that I was HIV+. I pushed away somebody I really cared about thinking that if she ever knew I was HIV+ it would be devastating.

I started withdrawing from my girlfriend alot. We had been together nearly 8 months when all this started happening. We never used condoms. I began to worry if I had infected her.........to the point where I was monitoring every single weird physical symptom I thought I noticed on her or she complained about. I had to lie about why I couldn't have sex with her and you can't imagine the kind of scrutiny that comes from that.........such a weird lie to lead. I worried that eventually it would start getting talked about. That she'd confide in a friend and then it would sweep through like wildfire. Yet, I slipped up on a couple different occasions where the pressure by her to have sex was so great. I decided I'd do it, to try and take the pressure off this nightmare situation. I decided I would not ejaculate no matter what. I couldn't very well introduce condoms into this mix because a red flag would go up for sure. My plan didn't work and I ended up ejaculating in her as I was trying to get her off of me but she wouldn't stop. While we were out one night with friends, I wasn't feeling well at all and my girlfriend looks over at us and starts complaining about random bruising. This was seriously getting worse with each passing day. And this is a girl who I cared about alot, wasn't sure if she was the future for me, but I couldn't end it now like I had previously started thinking about.......... who else would want to be with an HIV+ man? I would need to be there in case she was infected, which I was convinced she was. Furthermmore, I most certainly couldn't let her date again and pass this on to some other unsuspecting person.

I should note I was constantly trying to translate all the CBC's I had gotten. I was waiting for the various doctors I had seen to finally say maybe I should get an HIV test............but nothing in my CBC's seemed to indicate this and none of them ever brought it up. I prayed that we would find out something else was wrong with me......... diabetes........thyroid.........anything but HIV. Recently I finally worked up the courage to get an HIV test.

The earliest I could find out was this past Tuesday. I wasn't feeling well that day. I had alot of anxiety about bills coming up that I don't know how to pay for since I'm broke and currently without a job. I hit my breaking point. I went into the bathroom, grabbed the phone and called my doctor. My heart was beating louder than any bassline produced on the loudest, most amplified stereo system ever created. "Hello doc this is so-and-so........are the results in?"

........................................ ...I am not HIV positive. I tested negative for both HIV1 and HIV2 antibodies. I cannot begin to tell you what running from this thing did to my life. Not that I had been enjoying the happiest of lives, in fact I was a very stressed out young man prior to all of this so imagine how much worse it got for me. I'm ashamed at all the times I had risked infection by having unprotected sex. I'm ashamed of the high risk women I slept with. I spent so many days literally making myself sick and aggrivating existing physical problems because of my fear I was HIV+. I ruined alot of friendships. I lost my job. I have made things weird between my girlfriend and I. I also pushed away somebody I really cared about trying to save face from something I didn't even have to begin with.

I know it's not easy having to come to grips with the idea that you MUST get tested. Who really ever wants to open up that pandora's box? I thought I could run from it.........that if I played my cards right, I would eventually get myself so far removed from my former life and secluded from everybody I knew that I could committ suicide or die from the disease quietly without anybody noticing.

I was running from the inevitable. We all are when we don't get tested. Don't put anybody else at risk. Have protected sex or no sex at all. Get tested on at least an annual basis. It's not a game anymore. You think you're invincible but you're not. It's just too bad that false belief of "it can't happen to me" factors into so many lives.

I hope somebody finds my story helpful. I just had to get it off my chest. I have a life I have to piece back together. In my heart of hearts I hope I help somebody with this.

Last edited by zonaguy; 10-10-2007 at 01:04 PM.

 
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:21 PM   #2
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

thanks for writing this!!!!

im pretty much at the same point that u were before getting tested. the difference is im still paranoid, stressed to maximum, full of anxiety and fear. i cant sleep and freak out becasue i still didnt get tested (im waiting for the test to be delivered and then another 7 days to get the results).

during the month of september i had protected sex with 3 girls that i didnt know too much. i talked to them recently and they say they are clean and hiv-. it was all protected sex so im talking to my self that i should be ok (especially after reading so many posts here about ppl having unprotected sex and getting negative results) but then i discover all sorts of symptoms related to hiv. the more i read about it the more i see. just cant stop this paranoia.

the last time i slept with one of them was on october 4th and since that day im not the same person.
i got cold and my doctor made a clear statement - it's bronchitis. then he gave me antibiotics (that probably caused my white tongue) but im still coughing so i went to see him again and he told me i might have asthma. and that might be the case cause along with the coughing came pains on the sides of my rib cage when taking a deeper breath (ive had this breathing problem since i was little). you dont even know how much i want to have that asthma right now!!!!!

i cant really sleep now (no more than 4 hrs of sleep)!!! and that makes me so tired during the day - but then i see those web sites and all of them had "fatigue" and "lack of energy" as the main symptom of hiv infection.

im so scared to take those tests. should i be really that worried???? i mean i used condoms that didnt break. everytime i had sex with them we did it 2 times but every time with new condoms. i didnt even give them oral sex (which, to my knowledge, is more risky than protected vaginal sex).

should i be really that worried????????????
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:39 PM   #3
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

If you used condoms, then no.........and all the experienced vets on this board will tell you the same.

I'm familiar with the white tongue experience. I remember at one point i noticed that about mine and started watching everybody else talk to see if their tongues looked like mine. I was OCD about it. At one point I scrubbed my tongue to the point where it made it hard to eat food. That whole orally hairy leukoplakia or "white fuzzy tongue" thing had me trippin' out. What I've come to learn is that it's a term grossly misinterpreted by people when they observe their tongue.

But again..........I know what it's like my friend. Living in that state of fear and panic. In regards to the fatigue, which is another symptom I felt as well, I'm willing to venture a guess that it's just your adrenal system which chemically controls your body's ability to manage stress. If you stay really stressed out about something over a sustained period of time, your adrenals can no longer function properly and that's that burnout you feel. I too felt it.

What's really bad about reading those HIV symptoms list is that all of those things happen in sort of a cascade. They're not directly symptoms of HIV, but symptoms of a condition that HIV can induce........does that make any sense? Like the adrenal thing. Many people can have adrenal problems. Thyroid problems go hand in hand with them. And yet, sometimes HIV patients develop thyroid issues so "technically" speaking, that whole fatigue thing can be HIV-related........... with "related" being a way better word to describe it. At least that's how I've come to understand it.

Either way. I hope perhaps you don't feel so alone knowing my story. Stay strong.

Last edited by zonaguy; 10-20-2006 at 08:10 PM.

 
Old 10-20-2006, 08:09 PM   #4
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

Wow, what a story. I'm so relieved for you that you're not HIV+. I'm just curious, did you ever tell your girlfriend that you thought you were?

 
Old 10-20-2006, 08:11 PM   #5
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

The SAME exact thing happened to me. Word for word of your story is what i also went through. My family almost fell apart. The brain is a very powerful thing. it can make you feel anything and think of anything that may be wrong with you.

Unfortunetly my troubles didnt end. mine all started when i was on a medication for migraines called topamax. The dr told me it may cause a bit of anxiety. Though i have never dealt with anxiety and depression the surprise of it starting was awful. i had no idea what was wrong with me. i tested twice. once was not good enough for me. dr finally checked back and realized the topamax was causing all these thoughts and pure fear and i stopped taking it. and still when someone is talking about an illness or i see something on TV. i automatically think i have it too. ive gotten alot better lately. and im still trying to fully get my life back and its tough.
thanks for posting this.

Theres also so many nice people on here that stuck by me and helped me through when everyone else thought i was crazy. no one here thought i was though. they knew i had fear and it was tearing me apart and they all helped me. i am still thankful for that i will never FORGET it.

 
Old 10-20-2006, 08:12 PM   #6
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiea
Wow, what a story. I'm so relieved for you that you're not HIV+. I'm just curious, did you ever tell your girlfriend that you thought you were?
No. I told nobody. I carried it around like an 800 lbs gorilla on my back. It was the hardest thing I've ever done and even saying something to her would've been even more devastating. But again, I wasn't in the right mind. I was running scared.

And I definately don't want to tell her now. Given the nature of the situation, I mean we had sex those lone few times when I thought I was infected.

But that's why I came to the board. Because I had to get it off my chest to somebody.

Last edited by zonaguy; 10-20-2006 at 08:16 PM.

 
Old 10-20-2006, 08:14 PM   #7
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*Michelle*~
The SAME exact thing happened to me. Word for word of your story is what i also went through. My family almost fell apart. The brain is a very powerful thing. it can make you feel anything and think of anything that may be wrong with you.

Unfortunetly my troubles didnt end. mine all started when i was on a medication for migraines called topamax. The dr told me it may cause a bit of anxiety. Though i have never dealt with anxiety and depression the surprise of it starting was awful. i had no idea what was wrong with me. i tested twice. once was not good enough for me. dr finally checked back and realized the topamax was causing all these thoughts and pure fear and i stopped taking it. and still when someone is talking about an illness or i see something on TV. i automatically think i have it too. ive gotten alot better lately. and im still trying to fully get my life back and its tough.
thanks for posting this.

Theres also so many nice people on here that stuck by me and helped me through when everyone else thought i was crazy. no one here thought i was though. they knew i had fear and it was tearing me apart and they all helped me. i am still thankful for that i will never FORGET it.
Glad to know you were able to come out of it. See it was the nervous breakdown I had when I noticed the weird coloring on my arm that I think started the tumble downhill. I have always fought anxiety and depression, but that particular situation put me over the deep end.

 
Old 10-20-2006, 08:14 PM   #8
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

I was actually referring to afterwards, once you found out you didn't have it. I'm guessing not though.

Your story really sends across the message of how important it is to use protection and get checked.

 
Old 10-20-2006, 08:18 PM   #9
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiea
I was actually referring to afterwards, once you found out you didn't have it. I'm guessing not though.

Your story really sends across the message of how important it is to use protection and get checked.
Ya I updated my response. I still haven't told her. It's one of those things where it would cause more problems and since I'm not HIV+, there's no need to bring it up. I can imagine she'd become furious to know that if I had in fact been positive, I would've been putting her at risk......... It's going to be private lesson learned.

I just hope people read this and understand what can happen if you don't get tested. It's no picnic.

Last edited by zonaguy; 10-20-2006 at 08:19 PM.

 
Old 10-22-2006, 10:06 AM   #10
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

I understand about the mark on your arm. I did the same thing. The one day i was so stressed about it i actually watched my arm break out in to little red bumps i was told were hives from so much stress. and when those showed up i panicked even more.

My daughter was about 9 months old when i went through this and one night under her neck broke out in a rash and i was running through the house like a wild woman thinking i gave her something.

i think i became a bother to all the drs and i even contacted her dr now that i look back on it i really think that they all thought i was crazy. In PA they dont test you for that when your pregnant. you have to ask for it and i never knew that. i thought i was and wasnt. the rash on her neck was gone in 10 minutes and it was from her drooling because she was teething. i lost a total of about 15 pounds in that 3 weeks because i couldnt eat and all i did was walk (escaping my family). I even went through the thing of calling EX Boyfriends to find out information and that alone caused more problems because then THEY started to worry. I had only had a couple long term relationships but i didnt know for sure what their status was. I was obsessed also with my tongue. i would call people and ask them to go look in the mirror and tell me what theirs looked like. i brushed it so hard it bled. i was worried about my glands and actually messed with them so much they swelled from me poking at them and then went to the ER because i thought they were swollen. it was like i couldnt talk right because they felt so swollen but they werent at all. The brain is such a powerfull organ. i cant believe that it made me feel all this when it was not really going on.

 
Old 10-22-2006, 04:10 PM   #11
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

yeai had the same thing with the glands, i had unprotected sex, didnt really think about it than in the past week i really started stressing over it, looking up possible symptons, none of which i ever got, than i started feeling around for my glands area a few days ago, knowing this was one of the symptons, waiting everyday to see if they would get bigger, and all of a sudden the ones under my chin became bigger, increasing my stress and anxiety

 
Old 10-22-2006, 08:14 PM   #12
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Football21
yeai had the same thing with the glands, i had unprotected sex, didnt really think about it than in the past week i really started stressing over it, looking up possible symptons, none of which i ever got, than i started feeling around for my glands area a few days ago, knowing this was one of the symptons, waiting everyday to see if they would get bigger, and all of a sudden the ones under my chin became bigger, increasing my stress and anxiety
I'm starting to think that most of these sites that list so-called "symptoms" of HIV are doing a huge disservice because of how HIV actually works. There are so many other conditions that cause alot of similar generalized symptomology, but once you uncover that word "HIV" listed by them it's just too much to handle for most people ........especially if they feel really bad, the way I did.

 
Old 10-25-2006, 05:33 PM   #13
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

Interesting and informative story. I have a couple questions: How many years ago do you think you were actually infected? How long after until you started having the symtoms?
Also, can't you get HIV even if you don't ejaculate inside?

 
Old 10-26-2006, 02:22 AM   #14
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

I am so glad I am not the only person out there who obsesses over hiv. I am married been for 8 years now, but i thought my husband had an affair about 9 months ago. well I always look in the mirrior at my tounge, to see if its white, i am always feeling my neck. i feel a small lymph node in there went to the doctors said it was fine, not abnormal.i look on the internet all the time reading over and over the symptoms of hiv. to the point where i think i m having every symptom. I get scared over a bruise...my husband gets really frusterated with me, he says he never slept with this woman...but i don't know...i cry all the time, especially in the night. my doctor told me to stay off the internet, i am making myself crazy. my husband tells me if you really think i cheated on you then go get tested, that'll prove that i didn't...but i am too scared....i am always asking my mom sisters, ect to feell this or that to see what they think it is..i know i should just go get a teat, but i am terrified....plz do you have any advise for me....i am goin crazy....thank you for reading this....ps i am new to this site......

 
Old 10-28-2006, 05:55 PM   #15
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Re: I would like to share my story about getting tested

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilac Wine
Interesting and informative story. I have a couple questions: How many years ago do you think you were actually infected? How long after until you started having the symtoms?
Also, can't you get HIV even if you don't ejaculate inside?
I thought about all kinds of possible moments I could've contracted it. I had sex with a few different "questionable" women and I racked my brain trying to remember if I perhaps I had gotten sick afterwards and dismissed it as the flu or something. In one instance, the woman I slept with bled a little bit as she orgasmed ........ You can imagine as I was trying to trace my steps, stuff like that really freaked me out. On a timeline there was 3 very real, very suspicious encounters I had in the last 2 and half years which I was fixated on, having panic attacks on nearly an everyday basis as I was trying to figure out if I had HIV or not.

It's hard to say about my symptoms. The more I investigate them, the more I see this was a condition that snuck up on me and slowly progressed. But it was a year ago this month that things really started tumbling. It was after my major panic attack from the mysterious strange bruising on the underside of my arm which sent my health into the depths of hell. Prior to that I had just noticed I was a little more tired than usual and felt really light headed all the time. Although I remembered this one morning from months prior where I woke up and saw alot of white crap on my tongue and when I was researching symptoms that really helped to put me over the top with my anxiety.

You can still get and give HIV without ejaculating fully........pre-ejaculation and other various fluids I do believe carry it.

Last edited by zonaguy; 10-28-2006 at 06:36 PM.

 
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