HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

My Story – For all those living in fear and anxiety of possible HIV infection.

(1/1)

youique:
To all those in fear and doubt,

(Long read but worth it - hopefhully!)

Written below is my story about the possibility of being infected by HIV. I want to share the story with you all because I realise how awful and traumatic it is to live everyday with the constant fear and anxiety in your heart of being infected. How it takes over your thoughts every minute of the day, how your entire life becomes one big irrational mess and how in the end of it all, your most likely healthier then you’ve ever been.

My names Sach and I’m 23 year old male from Sydney, Australia. I’m a working professional for a large IT company and I’m also an ex heroin addict who was had a $400 a day heroin habit, shooting up 3 – 5x a day to stay from being “sick” and going into “withdrawals”.

I had also been an addict who kept well. I was never a street junkie and I NEVER shared needles or equipment because I knew very well about the risk of being infected by HIV, or more so, Hep C.

One day, I was desperate to score my fix. None of my dealers were on and I decided to visit Kings Cross in Sydney, a large drug area with many addicts and dealers. I met up with a lady who said she could help me “get on”. Being so trusting as I am, I allowed her to help me. I gave her my money and 5 minutes later we had our gear. Unbeknown to me, she had bought cocaine instead of heroin. I took a huge hit of cocaine and became very edgy and panicked. I hated stimulants and was very very high because I had no tolerance to cocaine.

I begged the lady to help me score heroin to bring me down. My mental state was a complete mess. I was in no mind to think properly or make rational decisions. She bought me to a dealers house who had heroin for sale, however, normally, when you
Buy drugs, you buy the powder and mix it yourself, but this dealer had the heroin made up in syringes already. I had no idea if the syringes were clean or not, but stupidly I shot up the heroin and went on my way.

Later on that day, I saw that lady who had helped me. She then proceeded to tell me that the dealer I had bought the pre-made heroin from was also HIV+. Shocked, I couldn’t believe it, but then I remember looking at him and gee! He did look gaunt and quiet sick looking… What had I done!!!!! The guilt and foolishness hit me like a freight train…

Approx – 2 weeks later, I became quiet sick. I had what seemed like a bad flu. My throat hurt, my body ached, I was so tired, I felt nausea, hot and cold sweats, sick in the stomach, my neck glands hurt, everything pointed to HIV infection and this continued on for approx. 1 – 2 weeks and then cleared up.

I was scared to death. I was in complete denial. I would not take a test because I already knew the results, I convinced myself I had HIV and that I would not test and live life to the fullest whilst I could. Soon I realised though that I wasn’t really living, I was living, but always worrying. Every little thing I felt I related back to HIV. It took over my life but I told no one and did nothing. I couldn’t test; I already knew I had HIV. I didn’t want to face the doctor and test results confirming it.

Then the DAY came. I’m on a Methadone program to help me stay off heroin and as I went to dose I saw this big sign in front of me which made my heart race and scared the living shit out of me “Clients, This Monday and Wednesday, Blood tests will be happening. It’s compulsory that all patients attend and have blood taken for their half yearly tests”.

Instantly I went into the doctor’s surgery and tried to talk my way out of being tested. I tried everything but these doctors don’t negotiate. If I didn’t take the tests, I couldn’t dose and would be removed from the program. This means I would become very sick from going into withdrawals and life would be hell for me. What choice did I have?

In a way, I wanted to be tested. I was so sick of living in fear, living this half life, always quietly depressed. I was so damn sure I was HIV+. I had no doubts about it at all. How could I not be? I kept thinking of that sickly looking dealer, and then how sick I become 2 weeks after, it repeated in my head constantly… I thought about how sometimes I feel hot; sometimes I get headaches, why was all this happening? It never happened before that day I took such a stupid risk...

And so It happened… blood taken, 3 days of anxious waiting and then I was back at the doctors office for the results. As soon as I walked in he smiled and said “So, your HIV negative, I don’t know why you thought you wouldn’t be?” a huge relief fell from my shoulders. I knew the test was correct. I hadn’t taken any other risks and it had been over 6 months since the date of exposure.

What I’m saying here is… I was a clear cut case of someone who developed anxiety and irrational fears related to HIV. Once you believe you’ve been exposed, your mind will begin to really trip you up, and things begin to happen because your mind is constantly thinking of it… The mind is one powerful too, if you think your feeling hot, you’ll probably start feeling hot. If you think you’re sick, you’ll probably start feeling sick, if you think you have thrush on your tongue, your mouth will most likely go dry and make it look like you have a white tongue.

It’s all extremely mental. Anxiety, fear, irrational thoughts, worry, it makes you feel sick. Anxiety can be really damaging to your mental and physical health. Worry is wasteful.

I really urge everyone to be tested. Try not to worry before you have the results, whilst I know it’s easy to say but not easy to do, you do need to realise that you cannot do anything anyway before you see the results. HIV isn’t an easy virus to catch. I was in a very high risk category of blood to blood contact and was luckily clear.

Whatever you do, be tested. I really wish I didn’t waste 6 – 9 months of my life full of worry. Yes, it was wasted time because I really wasn’t living to my fullest. I was constantly worried, scared, sick, my partner begin to think I was crazy and became annoyed with me. It’s just not worth it.

I hope this helps someone who might be worrying.

Stay happy, stay safe, have the test and move on.

Goodluck!

Sach…

fred:
Thankyou for sharing your story.... and good luck.

GM1987:
Thanks for the story mate. A lot of people here are very helpful and I pray for them. I had a similar experience (I just got poked by a needle) and Mr. RapidRod gave me a lot of support. Thank you all.

youique:
Hi All,

Thanks for the comments.

Please, stay strong and remember that Aidsmeds is a fantastic support network of fabulous people with a wealth of information.

Don't jump the gun before you truly know the result, because as I mentioned, your mind is so very powerful. It can make you feel and think things that may not be reality. I saw it happen to me, it consumed me completely and in the end, everything I had felt and thought was all in my mind.

I worried myself sick for many months. I had an inability to rationalise my situation.

Please - don't let that happen to you. Take the test, re-test at 3 months, when you recieve your negative, move on, don't think about it again, don't question the result, simply live life and stay safe in the future. Educate yourself better about HIV infection and Aids and ensure you stay healthy and always practice safe sex, etc.

God bless.


Sach.

Navigation

[0] Message Index

Go to full version