I was once a young man among young men with a normal life and no aspirations of anything particularly greater than any other. My daily activities were going to school, playing video games, swimming, hanging out with my friends, enjoying my girlfriend, doing various hallucinogenic drugs (no stimulants etc, I was looking for my purpose, I still am) and the usual college teenager things. I stand 6 foot 3 inches tall, 180 pounds. And as cliche as it sounds my average life changed quite abruptly, ultimately for the better on a single day.
I was 19 and I had gotten an HIV test because my relationship was getting to a sexua| point where we wanted to be sure of what was going on. I expected nothing; though I had never had a test before. I had a previous incident getting a girl pregnant when I was 17 and since then I used condoms for any sexua| experience. I never engaged in any "risky" behavior and I basically was doing the HIV thing because I "knew" the outcome. How wrong I was.
I was in the room talking with the Planned Parenthood worker for 45 minutes, until after they closed actually; I was mostly just staring at the wall with a mind full of fear while the worker talked at me. At the end of her speech I asked "So now what, do I die?" and the woman replied, "That depends, but you have got to fight honey, many people turn to God, but whatever you do you have to fight." I didn't even know what that really meant or entailed. When I got out into the lobby my girlfriend (I will call her M for anonymity) M saw that I was very shaken. I waited until we got outside to tell her. I don't know why, maybe I didn't want the other workers to see my weakness. She broke down crying in fear of her own diagnosis. Immediately she wanted to get a test there. But the place was closed so we were beating on the doors and windows in the rain until someone came out 10 minutes later. We got her inside and her blood was taken, but it would apparently take nearly a week to get the results. We left.
I crashed the car on the way home, I was so stunned by the traumatic events at the Planned Parenthood I rear ended someone less than 5 minutes out of the parking lot. They shouldn't have let me drive, but what were they going to do anyway, take my keys? When the accident had been taken care of, an hour later or so my mom picked me and drove us home. I was biting my lip the entire time we rode, M and I were both so upset. My mom kept saying, "don't be so upset, it’s just a car." When we got home M left the room and I told my mother. It was one of the worst things I have had to tell her. Right up there with the previous pregnancy, only more permanent or so I thought. The experience left me quivering and crying on the floor holding onto my mother. I was so scared and confused at the time I couldn't do anything else. We just cried. Cried and cried and cried.
Eventually we took M home. She lived about 20 minutes from my house. We made sure she was ok for the night and left. Her parents were flying down from Northern California. On the ride back my Mom was trying to cheer me up. We were driving, in the rain back home and she wanted to buy me something to take my mind off of my terror for a few minutes. I agreed and asked if I could get a CD or something to listen to. Sadly it was around 10 o'clock at night and no one sells CD's that late! Funny, sorta. So after going through a Wal-Mart / Target complex and both being closed we started back home.
After returning home my mom and I had another hour or so of talking and crying. I have never told my mom so much about my sex life. For some reason I gravitated towards the computer after that episode. The Internet has always been my turf. Something in me said “search for a cure, this isn’t the end” so I started the search. HIV cure, AIDS cure, HIV info, everything I could think of. The first information that I came across was the virus myth website. I am so grateful that I had access to that information at that time or I may be on an entirely different road than I am now. I was alerted to many of the issues related to the HIV problem now. The faulty tests, misdiagnoses, the ultimate lack of a virus isolate, Kary Mullis’ statement about his PCR and HIV, the vicious controversy between dissidents and MD’s, all of it was there. The entire story started to unfold that night, though it wouldn’t be understood for another couple of days. We decided I needed another test to be sure and then we went to sleep.
We woke up Saturday only to find no clinics are open on the weekend. We would have to wait until Monday. Saturday was full of loneliness. I slept in my bedroom, in the dark, most of the day and into the night. The day’s events before had left me lifeless and depressed beyond anything I had known previously. M’s parents had arrived that morning and apparently went to Planned Parenthood to speak with the same woman I had spoken with. They apparently “worked out their anger” or some other %¤#&!§-like that. M’s father is an overbearing %¤#&!§-while her mom is a wonderful woman. He’s also much bigger than I am physically. But regardless I haven’t seen him personally since I met him about 6 months prior to this incident.
I forget what happened on Sunday, it was mostly full of reading. Lots and lots of reading and searching. However I felt that glimmer of hope. I saw it in everything I read. That night I went to the beach and asked my long since deceased grandfather for some help. I felt so alone, so desolate, how had this happened, but more importantly, why?
The next morning I got ready to go to the clinic with my mom. M and her parents were separately going through their own hellish day of clinic jumping to get tests taken. We arrived at the clinic, they pricked me and then I waited. 20 minutes later I was once again positive. My mind was screaming f*** at the top of its lungs. Terror set in. We left 30 minutes after we came. Disappointed, crushed, but I still knew something with the HIV thing was not right. M got more tests, she was again ELISA negative. We went to another clinic that was did PCR viral load testing and both of us. Eventually about 4 days later all of the test results came in and I was still positive and she was still negative.
My starting stats are ~700CD4, ~1200CD8 , ~40k Viral Particles.
M was less than half of that, with ~200CD4, ~400CD8, and no viral particles.
She was negative and home free! Thank you God! If she had been infected with whatever this is I would be in a much different place now. So that was that. It really is true what they say about the first 48 being critical. It was critical during those first few days that I saw the information that I saw. Had I not I might just have bent over and taken the information they fed me like so many unfortunate people on are doing every day.
Edit: I was thinking about this story all day today. I just wanted to add this. What sticks in my mind was the terror, fear, confusion, sadness, pain, embarassment and anguish of my first few days that extended into months and years. I have had to stay quiet about this whole incident because of the misconceptions that are perpetuated in the media and literature. All of these overwhelming reactions to this one acronym that science basically knows nothing about, but claims to know so much. That is what they want it to be. It is purposely represented that way to give them statistics to literally scare you to death . During the first 5 years of AIDS people were withering in months. Then a few survived, people started to last a few years when they felt hopeful. Then more survived and people started to last 10, 15, 20 years. Whats their explaination? This sickness is fear driven and that is the way they want it. Take your pills, your MTV commercials and your lies and shove them up your ass. When I told my friends at the clinic that I was going to fight they labeled me and told me I was in denial. Sad for them that they have no hope and I do. I wish they would let me share some with them. But that is their choice, not mine.
I would also like to thank you for reading this. I really appreciate it because we (M and Myself) feel so alone in our battle.