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Debating the test

I'm a 20 year old male living in the US. Here's my story:

After breaking up with my girlfriend two years ago, I fell into a deep depression. The break up, along with other changes in my life caused me to separate myself from my friends and family. I started to surround myself with people who felt exactly like me, and that only fueled my confusion and desperation. Before I realized it, I was involved in activities which put me at risk for contracting HIV, as well as other other STDs.

After 1 year of living recklessly, I started to think about the consequences of my actions and then I did what most people do when they believe they're infected with HIV. I turned to the internet for answers. BIG MISTAKE. After doing hours of reading and research I was convinced I was infected. I had all the symptoms, or so I thought. I felt tired, had loose stools frequently, felt lumps in my armpits, had a minor dry cough. It was over for me, I fell into a deeper depression. I had given up on life, work, family, and friends. Thinking I could never tell
those around me the truth, I started to contemplate my own suicide. I had it all planned out. Until one day last week, when for some unknown reason, I made a pros and cons list in my mind and I sat down for hours and thought of the cost of getting tested vs. the doubt which was obviously going to kill me. I grabbed my car keys, drove over to a local clinic and told them I wanted to be tested for every possible disease/infection that was causing those symptoms. The doctor recommended me to get tested for HIV/STDs, as well as an Executive Blood Panel, which tests for diabetes, cholesterol, liver/kidney disease, etc.

This was the moment of truth, if everything came back OK, I promised myself I would turn my life around for the better, and if it came back positive for HIV, well...it wouldn't be a surprise.
Today I received a call from the doctor...

I'm HIV negative and all the results came back NORMAL.
I have never been this happy in my life. I got back my piece of mind.
The doctor told me most of the symptoms I was experiencing seemed to have been caused to stress, anxiety, and depression.

If you are reading this and you're debating whether you should get tested or not. DO IT! I can guarantee you that right you're probably living your life as if you were HIV+ when maybe you're NOT. Even if you think you have all the symptoms, get tested. Symptoms mean absolutely NOTHING when it comes to HIV.

I urge you to get tested, whether you're HIV+ or not, only after you know the truth will you be able to assess the situation clearly and without any doubt.

...and for those who are living with HIV, I have to admit you are some of the bravest people out there, and I highly look up to you.
My thoughts are with you all.
...never give up.


Sent via Email October 23, 2009 from USA.


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