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Your reactions to testing poz: the first three weeks

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I have just finished my first three weeks as newly diagnosed. What a rollercoaster. Today is good.

I am wondering about how other people took the news, how they shared it, and most of all, what they FELT.

For example, (for those of you who don't know my story, posted elsewhere on aidsmed), my GP told me in his office. I took it well, and was in a bit of a daze. I had a lunch date with a close friend / colleague, whom I told, as I was so distraught. Then I went to a friend's house and burst out crying. But I kept my life going as it was: I kept working as normal, working out at the gym, seeing people, meeting obligations, and so on. The hardest part was that a few days later, I told the guy I was dating (as I couldn't reach him sooner), and he has as much abandoned me. I wept, and wept, for the loss of both him, and less so, it seemed, for my health. I am doing my best to come to terms with it all, but losing him was quite the blow. I am working on my anger and disappointment, and hope to move soon to forgiveness.

But each day is like a rollercoaster: one minute it's ordinary, another it's despressing, another I'm thinking about the lost guy, then about how I've lost myself, then I'm okay and happy and looking forward to the future, then ...then....then....You get the idea.

When do I get to get "normal"? How long did it take you to get a semblance of a more routine emotional life?


I just passed the 5 month point of my diagnosis.  Like you, I was told by my GP in her office.  After being told on the phone the Friday before that the test was negative, I got a call the following Monday asking me to come to her office as soon as I could after work.  I knew something was up and I actually kind of had it figured out.  Like you, I took the news pretty good initially.  I cried a bit on the drive back home but did pretty good. I called a firend who had been diagnosed almost exaclty one year earlier and we talked for a while.  Then I called my best friend and told him.  But that night, just as I was about to drift off to sleep, panic hit. I was up, pacing the house and in tears, feeling so abandoned and lonely.  That night I logged onto The Body site and began doing some reading.  That led me to this site.  Over the next weeks it was very much a roller coaster. It was always there in the front of my mind. I didn't feel like I could tell anyone (I did reveal to everyone I had been with in the past six months).  Some of them I had considered friends and several of them expressed initial support, but then just kind of faded away.  So I can understand a bit of what you are saying with the guy you are dating.  Give him some time. He may come around.  And if he doesn't... then move on. You have your life to live.

Over the next few months I had a really bad bout with anxiety that lasted a couple of weeks.  Then I got through that.  Basically, at 5 months I don't think about it nearly as often. I've opened up to the people who are most important to me and told them.  It took me two months to get to that point though.  And they have been supportive.

Time will help, and I hope you are getting in to see a good Infectious Disease Doctor.  The Aids Services Organizations (ASO) can also help direct you to resources if you need/want anything like a support group or counseling.

It is a roller coaster, but I'm finding the ups and downs begin to smooth out some and I'm told that eventually it will be smooth sailing again.  Not that you ever forget about it, but that you adapt and move on.

Hi Cal,

I just passed my 2nd month mark after finding out I was positive. I had a similar situation to yours in that I was newly dating a guy when I found out. He stayed with me during the beginning and cried with me (the first 3 days straight). It wasn't until about a month later that he decided he couldn't handle dating someone with HIV. By 3 weeks, I was back to a normal emotional state with only a few moments of fear or sadness popping up every now and then. During those three weeks, I would cry periodically. Most of the time, my emotions were stable.

I went out and purchased a few books on living with HIV, and I began to read them. I also signed up on this forum shortly after. I focused on getting the ball rolling as far as meeting my case manager, doctor, etc. Life got back to some resemblance of "normal" rather quickly.

It wasn't until I got my first test results that my emotions took another plunge. They weren't as good as I'd hoped, and it really brought the situation home for me that I have HIV.

2 months out now: My emotions are back to normal. Life is continuing on. I'm getting back into things, and I'm taking it day by day still.

Panic. Thats the word. I wasn´t sad I was scared to death. I felt sick, weak and about to die the following minute. The next day after my diagnosis I had to flight Caracas (very depressing city and hotel). Imagine the flight...I was like a zombi.
Now its 8 months from that and I feel completely different. I feel stronger than ever before, I feel in control of my life (its just a silly feeling but a good one), I feel special, I feel transgenic, I feel as if I was a scientific experiment every time I have an appointment with my Dr...Weird feelings but not bad at all.
The first three months it was my first thought in the morning and I needed sleeping aid and meds for  anxiety.
Now I sleep deeply and happily and I think of it every day but I forget it most of the time.
You will feel much better with time.

I found out in the hospital, at 6 a.m, after 6 hours of blood tests and waiting.
I started to shiver.... and feeling dizzy. Then, as my sister was driving me home, i had to tell her. She somehow "knew" already, due to the symptoms in the 3 weeks before.
Then I had some weeks taking bromazepam to help me sleep.... and during the day i couldn't stop thinking that i was HIV+ and would die soon.
After the first appointment with my HIV doc i started feeling better.
Things went a bit "down" again in the next month when i was counselled to start taking meds, due to my VL. And then, it went OK again after the first results of the blood tests, after starting meds.
Nowadays I feel fine, i live my life normally and don't think about "it" constantly.
The thought is always there, but not in a self-destructive way...


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