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Bright future

I am 23 years old, and I am currently living in Arizona. I am single and pregnant, within 2 days of my due date. I have been sexually active since I was 16 years old. I've slept with almost 40 men. I am not proud of that number. I used to drink a lot, and most of my encounters were one night stands and drunken. I had never heard that any of the men I was with were HIV +, but I never asked them either. I was young and wreckless. I met who I thought was the man of my dreams when I was 19. We were together for almost 3 years, minus a brief break up. The entire time we had unprotected sex and once in a while the thought of my possibly having HIV would climb into my mind, but I still never got an HIV test. The relationship eventually ended, and months later he told me he had tested for STDS and they all came back negative. It gave me a small sense of relief, because I believed that if he didn't have anything, I didn't. I still went on to have sex unprotected with two other men. Drunken encounters again. I ended up pregnant. I was so terrified that I MUST have HIV by now that I didn't even go to the Doctor in fear he would give me a test and I would test positive. I was so afraid for me, and almost in denial about my baby. The father of the baby wasn't going to be a good father, and he made that clear by making no attempt to improving his life style. he won't be a part of the baby's life.

 

My father was SO supportive during all of this. He was so caring and reassuring. He was always there for me. He finally convinced me to go to a Doctor, and I was sure the Dr. would give me an HIV test. Only, he didn't. I was hoping he would so I wouldn't have to ask. I was too afraid. I have been more terrified of this disease than anything else in my entire life. I couldn't let anyone else know how scared I was. I mean, I just HAD to have HIV. About 15 of the 40 men I spoke about having sex with were unprotected. How could I not I not have HIV? Hadn't they slept with lots of other women unprotected too?

 

Last month, my father died a week after a sudden stroke. My hero, my best friend, my biggest supporter, the one I would run to if I found out I had HIV was gone. I was/am devastated. But it gave me the kind of strength I had never felt before. The strength that I had to really take control of my life. I knew I would have to take an HIV test. I HAD to put my mind at ease to deal with everything else I had on my plate, and I had to know before my baby was born so that I could warn my doctor to do a C-Section and give me HIV drugs during the birth, and to not breast feed. It took a ton of courage, but I finally ordered the only FDA approved Home HIV test. It is called Home Access. It came quickly in the mail, I took the test (which took a ton of courage) and I sent it back the next day. Most people can't wait until they can call and find out the results, I just put it off. I could have had the results last week, but I didn't call. I was too scared. This morning, I woke up and HIV popped into my head. It is always the first thing to pop into my head. For years. Well, I just couldn't take it anymore. I wrote a letter to my father (something that I do almost daily to still feel close to him), and told him I was about to call and get my results. My heart pounded, and I said one last prayer to God. I called for my results, and.... NEGATIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I literally burst into tears screaming "OH YOU GOOD GOD", I have been given a second chance.

 

I have been combing the internet for months now, trying to figure out my chances of having contracted the disease, studied all the statistics, read all the stories. Somedays I would find comfort, and other days I would read things that would terrify me. I read the words of the stories on this site, and the biggest thing people said was "Get tested, it is so much better knowing." And I always thought, yeah, but they tested negative. Now I have gone through the same fear of finding out that they did, and I know that if their fear was even half as large as mine, then it took extreme courage for them to take the test, and it will take YOU the same amount of courage. But you can do it, and I plead and beg with you that you do go get yourself tested. Having this peace of mind has just changed my life, I feel like a different person. I can't even being to explain to you how my heart has lifted. The future looks so bright now. Please get yourself tested, and also,GOD BLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Sent via Email September 17, 2007 from Arizona, USA.

 
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