I feel compelled to tell my story to all who are worrying they are HIV positive, to those who are Googling symptoms, to those who have just givin up hope. . .
My story starts about a year ago in March of last year. I woke up to a tingling arm that i had been sleeping on and looked at it to discover i had small Red and black dots on my follicles. thats wierd i thought.. Must have been from the long winter and wearing alot of clothes or something. I dismissed it, but i remember thinking God, i hope that's not HIV..
I am your typical worry case, but i had some REAL legitimate worries. I was an intravenous drug user for about 5 years, this wasnt a simple case of i messed up with a loose girl. I have been clean now for 2 years. I had been careful most of the time, but there were a couple of times i "borrowed" a needle from a friend that i trusted. . Now that i look back i know that statement is ridiculous, but to a heroin user needing to get well, the brain can rationalize a very irrational thought . I bleached the needles, singing the happy Birthday song as i was instructed by a instructional video i saw on the internet. Please don't take that as a safe thing to do! It is by no means safe, but it it was better than doing nothing.
Anyway, over the next year i developed almost every HIV symptom imaginable.. Thrush, wierd rashes that would come and go, nausea, bouts of stomach trouble, dry skin, sore lymph nodes in the neck, canker sores in my mouth, a palm rash, man you name it, i had it. I would Google my symptoms almost daily.. reading forums, and well known, respected websites. The information would say you need to be tested if you have these symptoms.. OMG i had them all..
I convinced myself that i had not just HIV, but late symptomatic HIV. Basically AIDS. Whats even stranger is my girlfriend developed many HIV symptoms as well, and i truly thought i had given it to her. How can you tell the girl you love that you have given her AIDS?! I thought many times about taking my own life, it would be easier than facing the fact that i had gave my Girlfriend a death sentence and i myself were going to die.
I educated myself about HIV/ AIDS more than any human being should ever know, positive or not. I learned every symptom, every medication, and had already picked out the ones i thought we should try. I learned that AIDS wasnt any longer a death sentence and that people lived long lives like anyone else. I learned so much in fact that yesterday i finally got the guts to get tested.
I got them all back a few hours ago along with hers and were all HIV non reactive. HIV 1, 2 Hepatitis C, Syphillis, or any other life threatening disease or disorder. So please, listen to the people who do have HIV on the boards. Symptoms mean absolutely NOTHING! Trust me you could never have more symptoms than i did without being positive. Your one time mess up with a girl that a condom broke doesn't mean you need to worry yourself to death! Go get tested! You might be suprised at the results.. And if you would happen to be positive, delaying your treatment can only hurt you, so don't put it off like i did. I probably took 10 years off my life with stress and worry over nothing but anxiety! Weather you were / are a drug user, slept with h****rs, or just are in a normal relationship, you need to know your status.
This whole experience has changed me forever.. I will help anyone in any way i can. I would like to help anyone positive or not. Maybe someome could point me in the right direction weather it be answering emails, to volunteer work. Thinking i had HIV made me fear how others were going to treat me. I know how people think about people who Are actually positive. I have had talks with freinds and the things they believe about HIV are so off the wall and just wrong. I had to be educated the hard way.. Thanks for listening, and i hope this post helps someone.