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Diagnosed HIV+

Hi, I'm a 28 year old gay guy from the UK. I was diagnosed with HIV in February of this year (2008), and I must say it's been one hell of a journey so far.


I was starting to feel ill in the December, Christmas time 2007, and unfortunately for me, all my symptoms were coincidental.
I was vomiting and had an upset stomach, but there was a virus going around at the time and other people were having the same illness.

I also developed mouth ulcers, but my wisdom teeth were cutting through so I put it down to that. I had a throat infection also, which I put down to my job and not resting enough.
My head aches and eye pains, I thought, were due to the fact I needed new eye glasses.
So, because of this, I left it untill February before I saw a Doctor.
It was the two seperate occasions of "night sweats" which worried me, and I also discovered two rather large lumps. One in my neck and the other in my groin.
Within 2 weeks I had my diagnosis. Everything since then has been a huge whirlwind.
Within 5 days I was admitted to hospital with suspected Tuberculosis and a low CD4 count (171), I was there for just under a week.

I've gone through quite a bit, as we all do. From dropping even lower (148) to bouncing up again to 383 to dropping again to 155.
My most recent result showed me to have risen to 256. this is all within 4 months. My first viral load was around 600,000 and I've not recieved the results of my second one yet.
The suspected TB was put down to swollen Lymph Nodes on my lungs as were the lumps in my neck and groin. All of which are still there but a LOT smaller now. I've been told they could be there forever. This makes it a little uncomfortable sometimes on my lungs, but I've had scans and they keep telling me there is nothing to worry about yet.
I also have an inflamed spleen, which I'm told is symptomatic for some people. Which means I cannot do the job I have been in for over 10yrs. That has been a hard adjustment too as I'm now unemployed and looking for work.
It has, however, all been put down to Seroconversion. Even though they were concerned at first that I was at a later stage of infection. It just looks like my body really didn't cope that well with it all. As I guess we all go through?!

Where I live in the UK is not an easy place to live, and the "Gay Scene" is quite small. The "HIV Scene" is even smaller. So I'm dealing with that too. I know there are people who are not as fortunate as me, and who are living in dire circumstances. This does help me through things as I know that I can go to my Doctor at any time and I have a 24hr number I can call to speak directly to one of my nurses.


That's my story in a nutshell.......I know we all have our own personal struggle and experiences.

I do have an extremely amazing support network of people around me who I can talk to. Unfortunately, I don't feel as if I can discuss it with my Parents. Although I think they already know. They are worried.
My hospital are fantastic, and I have been offered councelling. Which I'm yet to take up. I feel as though I'm a strong person, and I just want to say that there are people out there who can help. Be it professionally, or personally.
You will find organisations at your hospital/clinic.


I don't really know what else to say, other than that I hope you are all doing well, and trying your hardest to fight this illness.
I'm still trying to get my head around it all, and I'm struggling to make the small changes which make a difference (diet/exercise). any info would be cool, especially if you've had similar symptoms as me.


Take good care of yourselves.
Much love to you all. xx


Sent via Email July 1, 2008 from United Kingdom.


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