Time will tell

I was devastated when I got the news that I was HIV-positive. But I was lucky to have such a supportive GP. It was thanks to her that I had an HIV test in the first place – I had a wart on my face that she thought looked a bit funny and recommended that I go for a test. It came back positive in March. My GP made me the appointment at the GUM clinic in Edinburgh within a few days and the staff were so helpful and friendly. I got my bloods taken and I started to get counselling. I was told that, looking at my CD4 cell count and viral load, to expect to be on treatment within a year.

I started the treatment in August. I was ill for the first week and was vomiting morning and night before meals but I stuck it out. I got my bloods done a month after being on treatment. My viral load went from 198,000 to 1840 copies/ml and CD4 cell count from 244 to 304. I started to feel much better as the weeks went by and have never missed my doses, which I take twice a day at 7.30am and 7.30pm. Military precision!

My work was a different matter. At first I was supported and then a woman claimed I forced knowledge of my diagnosis onto her and caused trouble. I was taken in by my manager and personnel and was treated like a school child. I had to take ten weeks off work and let everything settle. They never called me once to see how I was getting on. I went back to work and was very wary of all the managers and that dreadful woman.

I do my job but find I get tired and stressed now, so I am thinking of looking for another job.

My mother, sister and her partner have been fantastic about my diagnosis and my close friends too.

I feel that I cannot go out and meet a potential partner as I'm scared of  the reaction when they find out what I have and how I would feel if I was rejected again.

I still see a psychologist which has helped me immensely over the past seven months and my consultant has been a big help too.

I hope as the weeks go on that I will improve, but time will tell.

Help us to support people like Paul and make a donation to NAM today. Thank you.

Subscribe now

Sign up for our free weekly news bulletin.

Find out more and sign up to the full range of aidsmap email bulletins >

Support us

We rely on donations from people like you. Every penny makes a difference.

Donate online now >