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8 weeks since diagnosis

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I have been reading many stories in this forum and it has really helped me come to terms with my own diagnosis and new reality.

I wanted to share my story, mainly because I wanted to feel part of this community rather than just looking in from the sidelines.

Up until 8 weeks ago I was a healthy single gay male who had never really been ill. I had a one night stand with a guy I met online and the rest, as they say is history. We had unprotected sex very briefly in the throws of passion! (about 2 mins lol) before I insisted he put a condom on, he did and that was that. Two weeks later I felt feverish, totally spaced out, full of aches and pains, developed a rash on my torso and developed receding and bleeding gums. To cut a long story short I got tested and was positive (warning to anyone reading this, you really can get exposed that quickly and without ejaculation) it was a complete shock as I have never been particularly promiscuous and always been very careful and practiced safe sex. I obviously contacted the guy after my diagnosis (it can only have been this one particular guy) he acted surprised but sort of shrugged the whole thing off and said he would get tested when he returned to his home country. I have a feeling he may have had suspicions of his own status but was either in denial or he knew. Anyway it takes two to tango and I am an adult who made the wrong choice but I have to take responsibility for my part, it was fully consensual.

My VL was in the millions and CD4 just above 600. I was prescribed Symtuza and Tivicay I started this medication 4 weeks after exposure, from what I have read this is a good place to start. After 2 weeks on meds my VL dropped to 140000 and CD4 rose to just over 1000. I had my bloods done again at the 4week mark and my VL had dropped to 1400, so things seem to be working and moving in the right direction. I have been lucky and had no significant side effects from meds. The only lingering symptom is my gums, which remain sore and receded. Has anyone else experienced this?

The diagnosis has hit me mentally much harder. For the last twenty years I have lived and worked in the Middle East, fortunately I was not diagnosed there (I so sympathize with people who have had the ordeal of deportation for testing positive there) however it means I have had to make the decision to start again here in Europe. This is hard as my network of work colleagues and friends are in the Middle East. I do have a couple of friends here and a fantastic brother and parents. My brother is the only person I have told (he has been great) I do not feel ready to tell anyone else and I have made the decision not to tell my elderly parents, I feel they would react like it is still 1987 and it would cause more concern and worry than needed and in no way help.

After 8 weeks I still am in the ‘shocked’ faze and have waves of real anxiety, some days are better than others. Reading people’s stories has made me feel that I am not going crazy and that I am not a bad guy and that we are all human. It seems the feelings of despair, guilt and anger are all part of the process.

My next blood work is early September, hopefully that will be good news and a turning point to get on with my life.

Thanks again for all who contribute to this forum, it has been such a comfort.

Jim Allen:

I'm on the move but just wanted to post a quick note to say hi.

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis, glad to hear you have started treatment and that you have found the forum helpful.

Regarding the gums, never had any issue myself but see your dentist when you can. My aunt had receding gums a few years back.

Anyhow take it easy and keep us posted how you get on with your journey and with any questions you have along the way.


       ojo.       Hi there!!….sorry for the dx, you don’t need to be promiscuous to adquiere hiv, if you don’t protect yourself even if it is your first time having sex, you might get hiv…well, now you know you are positive, now you treat it. I’m glad that your treatment is working, it’s just a matter of time and you will be UD and you will learn to live with the virus, the sooner you learn to live with hiv, the better, the medications will take control of the virus so you can take back control of your life…you are no alone, we are here for you…hugs

Ps. Take it from someone who has been living with AIDS/HIV for 27 years since dx, infection seven years before

Just got my results back after my 3 month check. I’m now U=U 😀🎉

Wonderful! Congratulations. Keep taking your meds and live your life! Best Matt


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