Talking about home testing for HIV

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BBC documentary "The truth about HIV"

I came across the BBC documentary “The truth about HIV” and it gave me a real push to get tested.

My story is that I had unprotected sex with someone from a very high risk country several years ago. I’m straight and this was a typical holiday romance in a country with a very high rate of infection.

I hadn’t been able to contact this girl since the trip ended and several things she’d said and the way she’d acted after our night together gave me real concerns. Being a typical male though I buried my head in the sand and tried to forget about it.

I’ve haven’t had unprotected sex since and have avoided getting close to anyone “just in case”. I couldn’t bring myself to get tested as I didn’t have the strength to face a positive result. Several years on and after many periods of fear, denial and sleepless nights I finally realised (why did it take me so long) that I had to act.

The BBC program was the push I needed, seeing the poor lady whose partner had passed away from a simple cold (he was living undiagnosed with HIV) and the other lady who had suffered brain damage from the disease drove me that evening to order the self test kit.

I opened it after work today and took the sample of blood straight away after washing my hands. I had to do this before I could convince myself to avoid doing it.

I went for a shower for the 15 mins the test takes and again went straight to look at the results without thinking too much. I’m really pleased the result is a clear negative and after all this time should be relieved. Truth be told I’m more disappointed I left it so long and was so weak all that time in denial. I put myself at so much risk when drugs are available to suppress the infection if the test was positive.

If anyone has any doubts or concerns just ask yourself which is worse – being severely disabled and possible passing on the infection or testing positive and having to take medication to make you well again and avoid and injury or even death.

Please, don’t be like me. Don’t waste years of your life because you’re scared. There is so much help and support available and this can be treated so easily now. Don’t risk your health and your life for the sake of a simple test.

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