HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?


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--- Quote from: j_friend on November 18, 2006, 06:13:28 PM ---My friends at Aidsmeds - and epecially to the Worried Wells:

After three months of literally existing in a hell-realm, I somehow found the courage to purchase a Home Access Test. My last exposure was August 3rd, and I took the Home Access Test on Nov. 15th - enough time lapse for a VERY reliable result. I immediately sent it in, and needless to say, I had visions of calling in a matter of months or so. I figured, since the answer was there waiting for my simple phone call, I could muster up the courage, and spontaneously "dial" while experiencing a "Clint Eastwood" moment of courage (Ok ... maybe Richard Simmons).  I went to my doctor, who prescribed some Xanax; and justifiably so - life was becoming too difficult to even simply function.  After all, in the last 18 months, I had NUMEROUS unprotected vaginal sexual epsiodes (as well as anal sex with those women). Many of these were anonymous encounters with people I'd met over the internet.  I also met 5-6 transexuals over the internet - all of whom I had oral sex with, as well as brief insertive, uprotected anal (quite brief ... but unprotected). And finally, my last episode on August 3rd, involved a transexual briefly penetrating me -  unprotected.  It should be noted that my addiction to pain-killers (mixed with booze) assisted me in continuing to do this for well over a year without stopping to ask, "What the hell am I doing?"

A month after finally quitting Vicodin, my mind freaked - since a few weeks after that receptive encounter, I noticed some oral ulcers. Clusters of them - and I never had them before. Again, I went back to the internet - not to find sex - but to obsessively search for symptoms!  Wow - a classic ARS symptom (or so I thought) - two weeks after brief unprotected receptive anal. Next, my body began to ache, followed by slight headaches and nightsweats with numb hands.  For weeks this continued - every single night. In fact, months! My mouth was SO different, I'd have constant oral sores, burning mouth (sometimes the sores were so bad, I could hardly eat), and a tongue which turned to pure white (and was often full of sores) - in which I could scrape "gunk" off.  I was VERY fatigued and had light night sweats for well over two months - often leaving large damp stains on my pillow. I had scabs in my scalp, painful swollen nodes in my neck, back of the neck, underarms, and groin - and yes, they were swollen and they hurt (hmmm ... possibly from me pressing them ALL day long every day?). My throat had yellow-whitish spots, and my voice even seemed to change (possible candida in there? Yup - in my mind!).  ALL of these symptoms pointed to HIV infection ... and I was utterly convinced that I had it. I'd attempt to teach school, and only about a third of me would be actually present. In fact, a third of me was present, and the rest was dying into this fear that I was a man with HIV. I lived on the internet researching HIV, etc. Every time I walked by the bathroom mirror, I'd thoroughly examine my tongue and inner mouth - often with a flashlight.  I would go to bed at 5:30, with my wireless laptop and TV remote control - every night - shutting out the world and life. Every night, my friends!  I never answered the phone ... my relationships suffered greatly. I'd already considered ways to disclose to family and friends, medications I'd take, etc.   Naturally, my therapist, and a few close friends told me they thought this was all in my head. But heck, it was EASY for them to say; dammit - they weren't waking up in the middle of the night sweating. They weren't turning there head and having their nodes hurt, they weren't seeing white patches resembling oral thrush in the sides of their cheeks!  Their heads weren't cloudly and foggy all day!  I went through stages of taking long walks - alone  and weeping. I read Aidsmeds EVERY single damn day (hours upon hours) - I feel like I know the life story of some of the regulars here. I became angry at WW's who thought they were infected from finger-banging a girl with a hang-nail. I became "elite" in my head - I had a "right" to be concerned in my obsessive mind.  And, perhaps I did- but I overlooked the fact that all fear is relative -  regardless of one's exposure. I tell you, my friends, when you wake up sweaty at 3:00 AM every damn night and you have a white tongue, white spots in the back of your throat, swollen nodes, and bleeding scabs on your scalp (and you've read these can all fit into HIV) ... well, if you're OCD like me, there's no doubt you have it!

So, somehow, someway, I took enough Xanax today, chased it with a beer, and got my results today from Home Access in a rather numbed haze (not recommending this - but I truly couldn't have done it without being sedated). And you damn experts were right ... lol.  I am negative. Since my last exposure was on Aug 3, and my test was on Nov. 15th .... well, I'm DONE. In particular, I'd like to thank Ann, Andy, and especially Pleasewakemeup - who  seemed to somehow understand exactly where I was. I certainly hope I can be of some help to the Worried Wells on here.  And please, if ANYONE gets one thing from this post: The brain is an AMAZING organ - the mind can literally make us sick, as mine did.  I realize I dug a HUGE mental hole for myself; and although this news is unbelievably wonderful (I'm still in a dream-like haze), I still have some sincere work to do - some digging, if you will, to get on solid ground. I am committed to my therapy, and I've made a six month contract with my therapist to stay in counseling - I made this last week - regardless of what my results would be.  And I NEED to continue to get help - because this irrational fear is MUCH more than HIV - it's about something inside of me - and if not dealt with, it will continue to manifest in my life.

Those of you who are WW's, feel free to PM me - I'd be happy to give any feedback - trust me when I say I've been in "WW hell".  To the experts, thank you for your incredible patience ... you are doing a true service, and it does not go unnoticed. I sincerely wish all of you peace and health.


--- End quote ---

J Friend I can't say enough how much I Know what u went thro.

A mean I'm going thro the stages right now as I type :

The continously mouth sores, one right after the other, the dry scalps, the lymph nodes, a mean I live on the internet EVERDAY SINGLE day and everything just keep pointing to HIV. I have even begun to change my life to start facing the facts without a result of being POZ. And I discovered this forum yesterday I don't know where I havn't been yet on here.

But Fortunate for u u have ur results and can be grateful, I onl;y have the advice of the eperts here and the reassurance which I have much respect and convindence is seeing that THEY really know what they talking about not just "hear seh" . I was so shocked to see ppl like Rapidpod being 21+ yrs and going a mean there so much to this thing than the world make it seems that once u hav it "it''s an automatic Death Sentence!!!"

But I'm glad ur negative!, as 4 I am still gonna be a nervous wreck until i Muster up enough courage to go do it. CDuz only the test can be conclusive for a peace of mind (Like what Andy always says).



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