My Life...

Growing up I was always picked on in high school. Maybe it was because I grew up in a house full of females and no males, maybe it was because I was gay all along. But I got thru that and grew up to be a successful young man. At age 20 I had a full time job for a major airline in Atlanta Georgia, my own apartment and all that. Yup, I was living the life!

When I first started getting curious about the homosexual lifestyle, one of the major things that scared me was the HIV/Aids virus. I used to cry when I heard stories about people living with the virus and I always said "I dont kno what I would do if I contracted the virus". Well, in a few years, I was gonna find out.

Im not sure when I contracted the virus, or who gave it to me, but I do know that there was a few times that I had unprotected sex. I cant blame no one else but me even though it would've been nice if the person had let me know they had it. But at the same time, the sad part is, they may not even know they have it.

So... Im now 23. Back in October I had a staff (boil) on the side of my neck. I went to the ER and got it drained and they put me on Antibiotics and blah blah blah. So shortly afterwards I started noticing rashes on my arms, my face and my back. I had no clue what was going on. I hopped online to do some searches on the symptoms I was having but nothing really came up. 

Then I got more staffs (boils) on my arms. I went back to the ER and they drained them all and they also drew some blood. The doc asked me when I last had a HIV test, I told him I wasnt sure. To be honest, I had been saying for the longest that I needed to go get tested, but I was honestly scared of knowing my status so I kept putting it off. BAD MOVE!!!

So after they drained the boils and drew the blood they told me they was gon send me something in the mail telling me when to come back for a follow-up. But before my appointment date, my rashes got worse, so my boyfriend called the doctor and asked if they could see me that day. Thankfully they had an opening and told me to come right in.

When I got there, I told the Doc what was going on, and he asked the dreadful question. "Do you have HIV?" I told him I didnt know but I didnt think so. I then told him that they drew some blood from me when I came in last so he left to go check my blood work. Those were the longest 15 minutes of my life. I sat in that room with my boyfriend shaking from being so nervous.

The doc came back in and gave me the bad news. He told me that judging by my CD4 count, I've been positive for about 2 years. I started crying immediately. I thought my boyfriend would leave me and my life would be over. They admitted me into the hospital that day to figure out what was causing the bad rashes, and I ended up staying in the hospital for 2 weeks.

Now I can honestly say that knowing my status has helped me grow in many ways. I have such a different outlook on life now and my whole attitude has turned around. Unfortunately, I transmitted the disease to my boyfriend before I knew I was positive, but even before he knew his status, he informed me that he was gonna stick by me no matter what.

So Im telling those that are afraid... Go get tested! Its ok to be afraid, but knowing is better than not knowing!

UnderRated UnderRated
22-25, M
2 Responses Mar 19, 2009

Hello! I am a Medical Anthropologist and NP at Emory University, I would love for anyone and everyone to participate in a brief survey! the HIV/AIDS community of Atlanta and beyond will much appreciate your responses.<br />
Thanks! James<br />
<br />

I second that hug.