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Time will tell, by Paul
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 on 29th March 2005. My GP made me the appointment at the GUM clinic in Edinburgh for the 31st March 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 on 18th August 2005. 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 1,840 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.
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.