Well where to begin - October 2010 is the month my life changed. I should introduce myself. I'm a 35 year old married lady.
Myself and my husband were trying for children and had a routine blood test before being referred to a fertility clinic. It showed up that something was not right!
So my GP rang, I missed the call, finally tracked her down. She said I was to go the GUM clinic the next day for an appointment at 12. I was in total shock. Didn't see it coming at all. I knew that the fertility clinic only test for HIV and Hep B/C so I knew I was in trouble. I arrived the next day in bits after no sleep to be told I could possibly have HIV. Also my husband was told the same.
It was confirmed a few weeks later to me when a second blood test was done. Husband had a lucky escape as we'd been together 10 years and he's negative thank God.
I didn't fit the stereotype at all. I have never been sick a day in my life (touch wood) apart from the regular colds and flus people get. I never had a serious illness. I'm not gay, African or particularly young! I think I picked it up from an old boyfriend (who is now married with kids) but I have not contacted him.
None of my family or friends know apart from my husband. I don't want them to look at me any differently. Maybe it's the coward's way out but I would prefer they still treat me the same. Straight away my consultant was upbeat about the chances of my still being able to have kids and also that I was going to live a long life and the illness could be managed. I had no idea about the disease apart from the media hype - 1980's, Freddie Mercury, etc. As someone said it's a life sentence not a death sentence anymore.
At the start I told my husband to leave me as I didn't think it was worth him staying with me, but he's been my rock and still there for me. Doesn't judge me and has been great. I started on meds in March 2011 and they seem to be doing their job. I'm feeling a lot less tired than I was.
We have had our first round of IUI earlier in the month and unfortunately it was unsuccessful but we're going to keep going. There is a hospital in London that deals with people like us with fertility issues which was great to find out. I've met some great people on here along the way so there is a plus side to having this disease.
Also an HIV charity worker, my counsellor and all the staff at the clinics I attend have been great.
Thanks for listening.
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Glad to read your story, helps me think I'm not so odd as I don't fit into those groups either.
Various people talk about their experiences of living with HIV.
CAB - Citizens Advice Bureau
HIV Drug Interactions
George House Trust
Equality and Human Rights Commission
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