I will always remember how I felt the moment I was told of my diagnosis as HIV-positive. It was 4 July 2016, and I thought that was it for me. I thought I was a risk to others, and on a countdown to death. I’m not alone in those views – a new survey shows nearly 40% of the public would be uncomfortable going on a date with someone on effective HIV treatment. And one in three would be uncomfortable giving first aid to someone living with HIV, even if they are on effective treatment.
Now I know that I – and everyone else who believes this – could not have been more wrong.
A year ago, I was terrified and anxious that I could, and would, infect someone. Meeting a new partner was now out of the question. With every action I took, I though about every possible scenario that could result in me injuring myself. The thought of seeing my own blood terrified me to the core.
I thought my doctor wouldn’t be able to help me any more, and dentists wouldn’t be able to treat me. All because I thought I was walking around being “infectious”.
Being around people was one of the hardest things to cope with, especially my nieces and nephews. They know I am a big kid at heart, and as normal they kept running up to me wanting to play, but I kept finding myself putting them at arm’s length and saying: “Not now.”
I began to do a lot of research on HIV and came across articles mentioning the word “undetectable”. It was not a cure, but this seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel: effective HIV treatment controls that suppress the virus, so the traces of HIV in the blood can no longer be detected. Read more via the Guardian