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Sense of community

Hello everyone,
I have been reading anything and everything I can find about HIV infection, symptoms, support, etc, for the past few weeks. A little over three months ago, I had several unprotected sexual encounters with a woman who is white, upper-class, and otherwise of very low risk for HIV due to having only one previous partner. Still, I got sick within the two-week time frame...flu like symptoms and all that (I am sure that anyone who is reading this page has, as I have, read every site under the sun regarding early symptoms of HIV.) I have been absolutely and utterly terrified. The anxiety, the madness of it all! I have a very busy schedule and there are few anonymous testing facilities in my area of the UK, and they offer only very limited walk-in hours, so it may be a while yet before i have a chance to be tested. In the meantime, I have been engaged in the most paranoid and feverish research on the internet. This site, however, has been the most helpful. The personal stories have given me a profound sense of community, a bit of light in this bleak shadow world of fear found in every facet of this pandemic, evil plague. I realize that anyone who is indeed HIV-positive will find all of this conjecture to be pointless and insignificant in the face of their obvious suffering. That said, my own experience so far (and hopefully no further) with HIV has traumatized me. If I am HIV negative, I swear to God that I will never never never again engage in unprotected sex outside of marriage, or otherwise totally monogamous and fully tested relationships. Thank you everyone who has written in. Even my worries pre-test seem to have many many sympathetic listeners.

Take it as you will...I am terrified, but I am not alone. None of us are. God bless every politician, health professional, researcher, charity member, or concerned citizen of the world who dedicates any portion of their lives to the support of people in any sort of contact with HIV, and especially those who use their talents in the war to end this disease forever, and ease the pain of suffering millions. Thank you. Goodnight, and good luck.


Sent via Email, January 25, 2005 from Edinburgh.

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