Wednesday, March 23, 2016

That Time I Nearly Died Of HIV

Dear Zach,

This incident happened one month ago when I was still dating Chris. It was a Sunday afternoon, where we were in a hawker shop, having our late lunch. At that time, I let down my barrier a little to share some story of my flings - since he was so into getting to know about me, especially my sex life. I don't bother to hide either. I told them whom I slept with. And then he told me about his exes - the story of heartbreak and dramatic incident. He told me his exes were so dramatic to the extent that you could imagine a guy would jump out of window just because he broke up with him, trying to cut his own wrist to end his life, ended up having two scars marked on his wrist. I seriously doubted what he said. Then he told me about his non-dramatic breakups - four out of eight, they cheated on him by falling for someone else. I didn't get it then; I'm clearly I got it now. 

He told me about this one ex of his, who is diagnosed with HIV positive, cheated on him multiple times - mere time he found out from his friend that his ex blowing someone in the gym sauna. But he didn't leave him then, still care for him, paid for his medical expenses. I felt sorry for him then; I felt stupid for him now. Until one point, his ex had sex with a fellow one night. Somehow he found out, and forced him to confess to the guy he slept with, that he's a HIV carrier. He said if he didn't confess to that guy now, he would tell the whole world about him. He did anyway. The confession. 

Then we talked about playing safe sex and stuff. I told him I had sex with this doctor one time last year, there was some occasions he tried to penetrate me unprotectedly, but I refused to let him. I spilled out the name of this doctor, he realized that there's a doctor who has the same name is a HIV positive carrier, who is having it for 10 years. I don't believe the coincidence.

The next morning, this thing irked me for the whole night, I quickly snapshot a pic of the doctor and send to him. Minutes later, he confirmed my worst fear. At the moment, my whole world crumbled and stop. I excused myself from work, and called and told him the truth. I was so assured that I didn't fuck with him raw. This was my safest bet. But still. It irked me throughout the whole morning. I applied for emergency leave and went to the pharmacies around my place to get the HIV Rapid Test kits. After an extensive search to no avail, I stopped my car at one side of the road, feeling so emotional and frustrated, I hammered my fist on the steering so hard, and yelling like no one else in the world. 

After much contemplation, I came across a blogger's blog saying about this HIV Rapid test kits thing he used. So I quickly texted him and, thank god, he told me that he would get one for me. Later that night, we met up and carried out the blood test in his car. We waited for 10 minutes for the result to show. It was my most longest and dreadful 10 minutes ever. While waiting for the result to show, I told him about the incident. And he reassured me that everything will be fine since I didn't have bareback sex with the doctor. I can't make myself to believe a single word. My mind was numb and couldn't react to whatever he said. Without realizing it was already 15 minutes, I looked down at the test kits, it showed one band - negative result. I let out a huge breath and my mind came back to life. 

I had sex with the doctor in last November, so within  the three months window period, if I were to have it I would have symptoms by then. And it's already 3 months since, so the result is pretty much accurate. 

Oh Lord! I am so thankful for the whole new chance given to me! 

xx


23 comments

  1. Glad you turned out negative! Although I'm rather surprised a HIV positive individual is still allowed to practice medicine. I was under the impression that the profession would have barred him for the status.

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    1. I had the same thing in my mind too! Having it for 10 years was such a long time and I was beginning to wonder if there's any HIV carrier could live longer than 5 years, given the fact that the medical invention wasn't that advance yet to have a drug that could sustain a patient live longer than 10 years.

      And I highly think that Chris was lying about this doctor thing. It can't be that coincident.

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    2. there are people who live with HIV for more than a few decades. As long as you adhere to the treatment plan and regime properly, you can live your life like any other normal human being. You don't die from HIV. You die with HIV. More often people die from a single flu rather than from the HIV infection itself.

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    3. @CY: Doctors, mostly surgeons and Obstetricians, may get infected since it is a work hazard for their kind of profession. However, having HIV does not bar one physician from practicing his profession.

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    4. that's quite an interesting debate going on around here. I really wonder how they couldn't be barred from their profession? Is it because they didn't mean to get infected at the first place?

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    5. I guess if they are adhering to the meds and keeping their symptoms under control, they are able to practice their profession. Maybe there are certain procedures that they might refrain from doing such as those that involves blood. Correct me if I'm wrong.

      Health professionals have a higher risk of contaminating diseases such as TB, hepatitis, flu etc due to the nature of their work and I know a few that have contracted TB or hepatitis from it. The problem is the stigma associated with HIV is so great that sometimes people overreacted.

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  2. Beware of a few who purposefully spreading it.
    Known of someone by the name of Sherman who is Pos, not under med and doing BB while CF. Always use condom even with your bf to protect yourself. You will never know a mistake can change your life forever. One may just cheat even after years of monogamous relationship.

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    1. I heard stories about people trying to spread the disease to the innocents just to avenge for people who transmitted to them. Especially the masseurs in massage center.
      Knowing this thing kinda put me off in sex. And I am never an advocate for monogamous relationship.

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  3. Yeah like the comment above, it's the golden rule to play safe, if you're with someone who hasn't got tested together with you, and you've seen the result with your own eyes. I have heard stories of some positive guys just fucking around BB hoping to spread it to others... super disturbed mentality...

    Anyway, I slipped once recently this January and magically "forgot" the condom because I was so in the moment LOL.. And I'm totally beating myself for it, years of precaution can be worthless with a single mistake.. So yeah, I'm gonna get tested soon :/

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    1. oh dear. I can never experience such slip-off since I am bad being a top. lol.
      Take extra cautious while having sex. My next test would be in May for my STD/HIV checkup.

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  4. If accident do happened, make sure to go for Post Exposure Prophylaxis within 72hrs. Available at UMMC and few other government hospital. Contact PT foundation for more details. Be safe ;)

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    1. PT foundation provides anonymous testing which is much safer for people who want to keep it low profile even if he's infected. I heard the fact that PT foundation will never provide or leak any infected patient profile to the government unless upon patient's request. Because when you get tested in either private or government hospital, if you are tested positive, your results will be directly sent straight to the record of Health Ministry, and you will be barred from leaving the country. And they would come after you and your family to extensively search the source of infection. This is what I heard. It's kinda creepy though.

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    2. This is not true. No travel restriction or comming after the family. In fact i think they r quite good as compared with other country. Once detected, will need to do a confirmation test again. Will be referred to some counselling or to PT. Best is to have a support system so that one would not be overwhelmed. Once confirmed, the dr will request for a baseline test to get your CD4 count and viral load. Nowadays dr will advise to start medication disregard of CD4 count as compared with last time where the patient only start if fall below 350. First line of medication is provided free. Second line med can cost RM 600 per month and third line around RM 1200 per month.
      After first HIV scare, i read n make friends with a few HIV specialists to know more. I believe that everyone should be armed with some basic HIV knowledge in order to achive Lower HIV rate.

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    3. there's always 2 sides of story. Thanks for sharing though.

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  5. That was pretty close. Good to hear you're in the safe zone. Keep up the safe practice :)

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    1. I'm glad too! I read about your encounter. Beware of guys who wants to have bareback sex. Sometimes they are not as clean as you would think of.

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    2. Oh.. did i left my encounter somewhere? *memory loss... rebooting* Haha....

      Have a great weekend and a great week ahead!! Love yourself more!

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  6. There's a reason why HIV rapid test kits are not available in pharmacies like the urine pregnancy test kits. People who undergo screening test need to be counseled, before and after taking the test.

    Oh, and window period may range from weeks, as much as 9months. Practice safe sex, if one cannot abstain, then retake the test in 3 months time.

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    1. you mean HIV rapid test kits are not available in PH? It does make sense that people avoid going to the counseling out of embarrassment. Counseling doesn't change one decision made - but it could avoid. But there's always pros and cons for it. At that moment, I was so desperate to get tested I don't give a damn about the counseling.

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  7. You can go to any Klinik Kesihatan (http://jknkl.moh.gov.my/klinik-kesihatan) for confidential and annonymous HIV and STD screening (they do rapid test) for minimal charges or foc. I sent a friend of mine there recently, they asked a few questions and gave some advice. No name and IC recorded.

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  8. no one shall be barred of any profession he/she wishes to pursue in spite of the fact that he/she is an HIV carrier. that would be a case of discrimination.
    HIV people are protected by Law in the Philippines.
    if found guilty by the court of Law for intentionally spreading the disease, i surmise only then his license might be revoked or suspended.
    but that would be painstakingly hard to prove.

    there is a reason why counseling is being done before and after taking the test -- it needs consent. just like any sensitive major or minor medical operation, a patient consent must be secured.
    compulsory HIV testing is prohibited by the Law.

    i agree with @tuls.
    there are cases whereas people living with HIV (PLHIV) live for more than a decade. i can attest to that for i personally know a few.
    but, if you want a public figure, Magic Johnson i guess would be a good example.
    he was diagnosed HIV positive around 1991, living up to now.

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  9. Honestly, I kinda winced when I read this title. There are quite a few people that are poz and have lived lives much longer than five years post seroconversion. I know a few of them. And the reason I wince is because, in a way, it inadvertently perpetuates this notion that HIV is an automatic death sentence and therefore perpetuates the stigma. The side effect of the stigma is people not talking openly about it and therefore not openly disclosing status. But I applaud you for knowing the risk levels you're comfortable with.

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© Dear Zach
Maira Gall