First off, I'm a gay male (35)!
Secondly, back in October of 2005, I finally decided it was time to have an HIV test, after going for about 8 years without having one, the stress was really beating me down to the point where I was making myself sick, of worrying that I was infected with HIV. I based this theory simply on the fact that I had gone 8 years without being tested, and in that 8 years, I had A LOT of oral sex (who uses a condom with oral? lol), and every now and then I did engage in unprotected (bareback) anal sex, both as a top and a bottom. My primary care physician evalutated me, said he was doubtful that I had it, did a CBC on me, everything came back normal and then he sent me to a infectious disease specialist (because I kept feeling like I was sick all the time). The infectious disease specialist basically told me the same thing..."I seriously doubt you have it but it's been 8 years buddy...you need to do this now"! I agreed, blood was drawn that day, I was tested for both HIV and herpes.
I purposely decided to wait a full week to get my results...I wanted to have one last weekend to do whatever I wanted (not sexually) without knowing for sure, it was just something I needed to do for myself before I found out the results. The blood was drawn on a Monday, and I was going back in the following Monday for the results. This is where things start to get complicated...
During this week, I became SO STRESSED out, I basically diagnosed myself and convinced myself that the result was going to come back positive, no matter what anyone else had told me, I was absolutely, 100% positive I was going to become another statisitc, in about a week. I became very depressed, and became incredibly destructive (immediatly)! During the whole week why I waited for my results, I had unprotected sex (as a bottom) a few times during that week, I just wen't nuts! Anyways, the following Monday finally is here, I go in, the nurse callss me back and takes me into one of the patient rooms and tells me the Doctor will be in shortly (she gives me no indication as to what the result was and I tried not to look at her in her face for any possible signs). The wait was terrifying, I must have sat in that office alone for a good 15 minutes before finally...the door opened fast...as he walks in he looks at me and says "NEGATIVE"!
I swear, I thought I was going to fall out of my chair, I was absolutely stunned at the results! Then I said to myself...why am I excited??? Look at what I just did this week, I really don't know if I'm negative, what have I done? Of course I didn't share this with the doctor, he was so excited that I was negative and I was afraid of disappointing him so I just kept it to myself. When I left the office, I told myself I would NEVER have unprotected anal sex (bareback) again! I would pray that what I had done during this past week, would be ok and I would retest myself in about 3 months. That never happened...
Ever since October of 2005, I have just been totally out of control when it comes to bareback sex. I'm going to assume there are gay guys on these boards as well, and some of you probably can relate to what I'm about to say here, even straight people can probably relate (because I believe "bareback" is a term that is used no matter what your sexual preference is, as long as it's unprotected it's called "barebacck")? Anyways...I hadn't realized it yet but soon after my negative result I realized I was addicted to the bareback sex, I couldn't get it out of my head, the addiction is absoslutely AMAZING, not to mention scary at the same time!
So for the past 1.5 years since my negative result, I have had numerous bareback sex partners (probably more being a top then being a bottom) but it could be as close as say 50/50! I know the risks, I don't want to die, but at the same time, the addiction gets a hold of me and I just can't control it! Back in February of this year, I finally started coming clean with a therapist I have been seeing (for other issues) and I told her what had been going on. She told me that she wanted me to get into some kind of group therapy with others who have this addiction because it was essential that I stop this behavior NOW. She even said even if it is too late and you are infected with HIV now, you still don't want to continue this kind of behavior, there are other things you can get besides HIV...very true!
I have attempted to make contacts with gay organizations in my area (I live in the DC metro area) and we have a huge organization called "Whitman-Walker Clinic", they are basically an HIV/AIDS non profit company that deals with HIV/AIDS patients in the entire DC area, they have everything from support groups, to free medications, to free HIV/STD testing, you name it they have it. Yet I haven't been able to bring myself to join a group yet, I guess I'm scared, I dunno.
I have also been put on "Welbutrin" AKA Zyban, Bupropian, etc to help with my depression, smoking and my destructive, uncontrolable behavior. The medication seems to have put a significant dent in my urges to have unsafe sex, not to mention my sex drive in general. But don't get me wrong, I still have the urges, I still want to bareback but I'm finding it a bit easier to say "NO, I'm not going to do this"! And so far, I have been sucessfull...I'm so proud of myself for this. But getting back to the point at hand...
It has now been since October of 2005 when I get that last negative result! I know I need to go get tested again, but I am absolutely TERRIFIED! I stress out daily about this, I have made myself ill at times, I don't know how I would handle a positive result (I'm guessing that everone says the same thing about that) but I have a bunch of other issues (that's why I am in therapy) and I just don't know...if I got a positive resuslt on top of everything else that I'm dealing with, I think I would go insane and flip out or something, and it just scares me to death! I know it's my fault, nobody forced me to continue this destructive behavior, I have only myself to blame and I'm ashamed for what I have let myself do, I never use to be like this. The really hard part iss over the past year and a half, not so much when I have topped but when I have bottomed bareback, I get the most incredible 'high' of my life, and then after it's over I sit in a corner and just cry and I'm so depressed, I'm just like why am I doing this? Keep in mind this was BEFORE I started the Welbutrin.
So the bottom line here is I know I need to get tested. I've slowly been inching myself towards doing it. I've had another CBC which shows normal for everyting (I know that doesn't tell you if you are HIV positive or not but it's still a good sign if everything is in check). This is how I did it the last tim, I did little tests, leading up to the 'big one', that was the only way I could handle going through the actual process of having that HIV test in the first place. Yes, I have had symptoms of HIV (but who hasn't) so once again I'm finding myself self diagnosing myself all over again. Anyways I dont mean to go on and on here about all of this, but I just wanted to give my 'story' so you all could understand where I'm coming from.
I think right about now I could use some really good advice, some coaching and maybe some hopeful words that everything is going to turn out ok. If it does turn out ok, I realize without a doubt, that it would be because God or someone, has been watching out over me and that I'm being given a second chance here and that if I blow it again, that's going to be that!
Also if any other guys here (or even girls) have kinda gone through this self destructive phase and can relate, I would love to hear from you, it might help me get though this a bit more easier.
Thanks and I'll try to keep you posted. I don't know when I'm going to push myself to finally do this again, but I'm hoping it's soon, rather then later. I'm pretty much planning on going back to that infectious disease specialist who saw me back in October of 05, I really liked him, we could talk about anything and he just seemed like a great doctor over all, not to mention he is one of the highest, respected infectious disease specialist in the entire DC area and his speciality is HIV/AIDS.
Pray for me!