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Stories of inspiration

Wow, I felt a burden being lifted off of my just be reading these stories of inspriration. Stories I can relate to and completely identify with.


I am a 24yr old homosexual male. I live a great life with amazing family and friend. I have a great career that allows interaction with wondferful people. Like many people, I have downfalls. I choose to be abstinent or 13 months after being remembering what its like to have to go and get tested. The fear, anxiety, stress, obsession. Why would I want to put myself and the people around me through that kind of horror.


Well, I found myself craving sex. So I decided to hook up with someone I have only spoken to a few times. He is very much older than me-perhaps thats why I felt more comfortable with him. It was like a fatherly safety thing. Anyhow, I performed oral sex on him for a few minutes, but was extremely paranoid and just proceeded to jerk him off instead the rest of the way.

A week after that incident I began stressing about the situation. I have General Anxiety Disorder and used to take meds, but havent needed them for over a year. But this was causing lots of stress and depression. I would wonder and come home every day and just go to sleep. Wouldnt eat or drink because I was nervous and kept thinking horrible thoughts in my head about contracting HIV. SO I decided to get and HIV test which came back negative-which i assumed becuase it wasnt adequate time for antibodies to be produced.


The same day I found out it was negative I began to have a fever, night sweats, and my testicles were slightly swollen and painful. I was panicking. I was up all night. I could feel my face flushed, my body numb, my heart pounding-among the other symptoms. THe anxiety alone was intense!


The next morning I called my sister crying and asked her to take me to the hosptial becuase I didnt want to go alone and thought I had an STD. The doctor thought it was epididymitis which is an infection of a gland near the testicle. He didnt think it was STD related. But I was nervous becuase everything I read about it said it is most commonly cuased by an STD-which therefore, would increase my risk of contracting HIV.
He put my on CIPRO-a very strong and harsh antibiotic that clears away everything including the good and bad bacteria your immune system needs.


I took off work for four days becuase I couldnt get things out of my head. I was scared, I was anxious, I was depressed. I stayed upstairs alone in my room becuase i didnt feel worth going downstairs. I had already convinced myself I had HIV. I was already walking around as if i did. I would cry, and look at pictures, and wonder how my life was going to be from this point on. I talked to friends and family who would tell me this is not HIV.


When I finally decided to get out of bed and fight whatever I did have, more symptoms came. I dont know if it was coincidence or if it was the initial sickness you experience when the HIV is seroconverting. I had only drank water and gatorade for a week becuase i was rehydrating my body. I then decided to drink apple juice and surely enough I have lots of diahhrea. I couldnt tell if this was from the apple juice or the strong meds or if it was HIV.


I was nauscious and coulndt tolerate much food for the next two or three days and more work missed. I think my anxiety and the trauma it was cuasing to my body was intensifying everything. I then got over that and started coughing, runny nose. I went to my doctor and explained everything that was going on. He said it was probably just a viral infection. He prescriped me some anti anxiety meds as well.


I am starting to feel much better-my spirit and all is back. I am still scared as hell inside that I may have it, but the stories I have read give me hope. They say the possibility from oral is not as risky as anal or vagianl-but there is always a risk. There could have been pre ejaculatory fluid or cuts or scrapes...you never know...and I can almost visualize it happening to me. I am still convinced I didnt luck out this time.


The person I hooked up with has just gone and got tested today. We are awaiting his results as well. He hasnt had any symptoms or signs of anything-or maybe hes lieing. I go back to my doctors in 3 weeks. I am hoping to ask her that I want a the HIV test that checks the blood for the virus not the antibody which shows up much sooner-a few weeks from the exposure.


The hookup guy seemed clueless as to what steps he should take, making me think he hasnt been tested before although he says he has. I am scared. But my friends and family have been so supportive and I realized that people are living with this disease just like they are living with cancer and many other diseases.

I take from this experience, which isnt over yet, a handful of knowledge. I realize the important things in life. The relationships, the emotions, the memories. No matter if it comes back negative or positive-I know that I must move on. I still have to get up every day-not only for me, but for the people who supported me and love me. I know it would be hard- and may take a while, but with God's amazing blessing and strength, I will get through it.

I will keep everyone posted as I think reading these stories as a positive or negative individual is essential in preventing the spread of the disease. It is enough to make a change or difference.

Thank you to all the people who have shared their stories. It is inspiring, brave, and have made me think much differently in my thought process.

God Bless and best wishes.



Sent via Email February 9, 2006, from Pennsylvania, USA.

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