Time will tell

I was devastated when I got the news that I was HIV-positive. But I was lucky to have such a supportive GP. It was thanks to her that I had an HIV test in the first place – I had a wart on my face that she thought looked a bit funny and recommended that I go for a test. It came back positive in March. My GP made me the appointment at the GUM clinic in Edinburgh within a few days and the staff were so helpful and friendly. I got my bloods taken and I started to get counselling. I was told that, looking at my CD4 cell count and viral load, to expect to be on treatment within a year.

I started the treatment in August. I was ill for the first week and was vomiting morning and night before meals but I stuck it out. I got my bloods done a month after being on treatment. My viral load went from 198,000 to 1840 copies/ml and CD4 cell count from 244 to 304. I started to feel much better as the weeks went by and have never missed my doses, which I take twice a day at 7.30am and 7.30pm. Military precision!

My work was a different matter. At first I was supported and then a woman claimed I forced knowledge of my diagnosis onto her and caused trouble. I was taken in by my manager and personnel and was treated like a school child. I had to take ten weeks off work and let everything settle. They never called me once to see how I was getting on. I went back to work and was very wary of all the managers and that dreadful woman.

I do my job but find I get tired and stressed now, so I am thinking of looking for another job.

My mother, sister and her partner have been fantastic about my diagnosis and my close friends too.

I feel that I cannot go out and meet a potential partner as I'm scared of  the reaction when they find out what I have and how I would feel if I was rejected again.

I still see a psychologist which has helped me immensely over the past seven months and my consultant has been a big help too.

I hope as the weeks go on that I will improve, but time will tell.

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Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.