SOMETHING i thought would not effect me,how do i find myself here writing this,iv'e seen articles on here and the contempt they get off narrow minded people,just really need to see my story wrote down how a then 41 year old married guy with kids and grandkids getting infected with HIV 2 years ago...
I can imagine what you’re thinking reading this. I got sexually assaulted by 3 guys after a night out which totally changed my life forever – it was 2 years ago, March 5th at 11.13am 2009. Yeah, exact time and date, I remember it that well...getting a phone call from the GUM (sexual health) clinic from the nurse, while getting ready to take my wife to work for her shift. She said that I needed to get antibiotics as I had chlamydia as a result of the RAPE.
I knew I needed to get myself checked out for my wife’s health too; imagine after 25 years of marriage worrying about having sex with your own wife for 16 weeks, as I could not get a HIV result till after 12 weeks. I got accused of going elsewhere, having an affair, as in her words she knows I “cant go without SEX”. I couldn’t tell her why, as I never told anyone about what happened, only my counselor and doctor at the clinic.
Going back to the phone call: I thought RELIEF! In a week I will be FINE. Five minutes later I get another call from the same nurse, saying I really needed to come in ASAP to see the doctor. My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach; I felt SICK. I JUST KNEW I had AIDS AND THAT WAS THE END OF MY LIFE! Yeah, my own narrow-minded view too. And yes, my WIFE was still there in the room: I couldn't think straight.
I dropped my wife at work, came home, rang the clinic straight back and asked them if I had AIDS. The reply was “I’m sorry, I can’t discuss this over the phone. Come in for 2pm.” I put the phone down and fell on the bed, thumping the mattress, kicking my legs and crying, thinking “How long have I got to live?” I had just over 2 hours to wait to go to clinic, which was like forever (I cant even remember driving the 20-minute journey) but I got there. I waited 1 hour and forty five minutes to get called in from the waiting room to see the doctor. I went in and sat down. There was a female doctor who just looked at me. I said “I’m HIV POSITIVE.” She nodded, saying “yes”. I went to jelly, even though I knew already. I asked how long I had, as I thought (as people will do NOW) that I’d be dead in few years.
When she told me I could and would live a normal life and still reach my 80s and more, and had more chance of dying from cancer or a heart attack than an AIDS-related illness, I was a little relieved. I’d see my grandkids grow up and get married; that was a good thought. She also told me that it could be between 5 to 15 years before I needed to be medicated - it all depended on my CD4 count and VIRAL LOAD, which would be tested over the coming weeks and months. I got infected with HIV on 28th November 2008, which was 4 months previously.
Over the next few weeks months my bloods were monitored. It got to July: yet another row over sex as we were still not having it. My wife walked out. I cried and was really down. I wanted to end things so I got some tablets which I knew would do it, and went for walk. I ended in up in the woods as I didn’t want to take a chance on being found before it was over. I was seen walking in distressed state, and my wife was told. She then came home and found the tablets were missing. I was on anti-depressants already and so was classed as vulnerable, so the police were informed.
I eventually got found and was sectioned for 37 hrs at the NGH. After I was released I was under Edmund Road for 6 weeks with home visits as well as going to them – talking, talking, talking all about how best to tell my wife, who still did not know. I was ashamed and embarrassed: how did I get RAPED? WHY ME!!!????
Eventually I let my health advisor arrange for my wife to come in for testing. I took her, still not being able to tell her I was positive. I had taken the coward’s way out a few nights before and texted her, saying I couldn’t tell her to her face that I’d been RAPED and I needed her now more than I ever needed anyone. We’d been married at 17: how could I not talk to her about this??? When she came out after her tests I asked if she was ok and what had been said. She said she was ok. I didn't know and she didn't say whether she had been told I was HIV POSITIVE till a few weeks later.
We were alone and had a drink and heart to heart; she told me she knew. I said, “knew what?”; her reply was “You’re HIV. I’ve known since my test.” I couldn't say anything else. She said, “I’m here for you.” I told her I’d been scared to tell her; we both cried and cuddled. It felt GOOD; the weight on my mind lifted.
She came to my appointments from then on; she got her own health advisor counselor too, and we would chat at home later. By August I was advised to start taking retrovirals, which were four tablets to be taken at same time everyday for the rest of my life. I wasn’t expecting this so soon; it had only been 10 months since I’d been infected and only 5 months after my diagnosis. Eventually my CD4 count is rising and my viral load is now at ZERO.
That’s it for NOW - sorry for going on and on! xx A BIG THANK YOU FOR MrsMozzy for taking the time to sort out my post