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Not worth the risk

Im wrting this in hopes of reaching those who may put themselves " at risk " in the future. Without going on witha lengthy lecture ( somthing even i hated to hear ) about HIV/AIDS, I'd like to tell you all one thing...NOTHING IS WORTH THE RISK OF CONTRACTING HIV/AIDS ! I had unprotected sex years ago and thought nothing of it. I was one of those teens who thought AIDS only happened to other people and peole who had it were noticably sick, so the thought of contractig the virus never concerned me, as my partners never looked sick and I never felt sick. Later as the years went by, for some reason or an other I surfed through some websites by the CDC and other sources just out of curiousity. I had then come across the FACTS. As i began to go through the info of symptoms, i began to notice phrases that stood out such as "swollen glands" and "a-symptomatic" ( the period in which no visible symptoms are noticable ). Then i began to worry. A few months after having unprotected sex a few years back i had swollen glands under my armpit. At the time I over looked it, being that I had no prior knowledge of HIV or its signs. A few months later I had a realy bad case of the flu. All this came back to me 4 years after as I began to do my research. I struggled with the fact that i could have HIV. I had at this point had a handful of unprotected sexual encounters with girls who i no longer was in contact with. At times I said to myself I wouldn't get tested, that if i was HIV positive I would surely show signs of infection. At other times I told myself i needed to know, that i needed to put my mind to rest. This was the most painful 3 months of my life, wondering constantly what my fate was. I asked myself " would i actually die over a few nights of meaningless sex with girls to this day i couldn't care less about? " My days could actually be numbered. I finally got enough courage to force myself out of bed and go get blood drawn for the HIV antibody test. The next day I was to call to get my results. this was to be the longest night of my life, I was really going to know for sure. Morning came and half-asleep I stumbled my way to the phone with my code number in hand. The nurse answered and i felt first an unbelieveable weight lifted off my shoulders and then a burst of energy to this day i can't describe....I was NEGATIVE. Many thoughts went through my mind afterwards, mostly those of how thankful I was to not have th disease and also of how stupid i was to ever put myself at risk in the first place. Nothing is worth the risk, not to mention the constant worrying of possibly being infected. To anyone out there that thinks it can't happen to them, you need to think again. Many people infected don't even know it yet and continue to spread the virus. If your going to do ANYTHING in life...just BE SAFE, your life may depend on it

Sent via email from San Antonio, Sept. 2002.

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