One Friday I got a few missed calls late in the afternoon from the GP. She stayed on after 5pm to see me when I came in - she said she had some bad news for me and explained that I was sero-converting, that my body was reacting to very recently having contracted HIV. It's unusual to have such a strong reaction, so many other people that have HIV would never have had reason to know because they’re not aware of any symptoms or anything. Because it was Friday afternoon I couldn’t be referred to the specialist services until Monday but I had a hell of a weekend, it was just worse than ever, headaches and shivers. On the Monday, they admitted me into hospital and the most amazing consultants and juniors and nurses and orderlies just took care of me for a week. They were able to explain to me that I'd been diagnosed really early, and put me on meds immediately, taking down my viral load very quickly. Many people seem to feel like getting HIV would be the worst thing that you could possibly imagine. That fear is preventing a lot of people from getting tested. They’re exposing themselves and others to harm as a result and by not testing they're missing out on the opportunity I had to get diagnosed early and get on top of it from the very outset.
I suppose the reason I was keen to share my story is that I want people to know that that having HIV isn't always about life stories full of disaster and woe. For me, I’m not letting this get me down, I’m glad I got tested. I just wish everybody would, because it’s so discreet, so confidential, so professional. Anyone that’s sexually active should be getting tested. "