I’m a 37 year old gay male who was diagnosed HIV+ in November 2013 after having unprotected sex and catching syphilis. I went to the doctor to treat the syphilis but they wanted me to also have an HIV test, probably because I had no medical history (I had recently moved to Germany).
Being my first HIV test I was aware that there was a high chances of it coming out positive due to the wild lifestyle I had lived since the age of 18, involving lots of clubbing, drugs, and periods in which I was very sexually active, and not always practicing safe sex.
After taking my HIV test (Elisa) on a Friday in mid-November, I was informed by my GP that she would have the result by the middle of the following week and for me to come in on Wednesday or Thursday. However, on Monday I received a call from my GP which I didn’t pick up nor return because I was terrified of what I was going to be told (I was thinking, “Why on earth is she calling me on Monday if I don’t have to go in until Wednesday?”). Tuesday I received another call which I also did not answer and shortly afterwards I received an SMS asking me to come in to talk about the results. By this point I knew the test had come back positive. I was anxious, nervous and panicking, but I knew I had to come to terms with it and go in for the results.
Friday that week I went in and was given my results, and funnily enough, I felt relieved. I had had the whole HIV thing in the back of my head for too many years, wondering if I had the deadly virus or not.
My GP diverted me to the HIV/STD clinic in my city and I calmly walked in after receiving my diagnosis to ask for an appointment. Once at the clinic, the staff were quite surprised by how calm I was and my positive attitude despite just receiving a HIV+ diagnosis. They gave me an appointment to meet a doctor to have another follow up test (I believe this was the Western Blot test) and a PCR Viral Load test.
I returned the following week to meet my new doctor and to get a treatment for the syphilis, in addition to having some blood work done. We had a chat about HIV and what I knew about it, the medication currently on the market, etc. I’ve always been interested in nutrition and supplements, of which I informed my doctor, and all he said to that was, “The CDC in the US says that taking vitamins and supplements has no effect on your health when it comes to being HIV+”. I just nodded my head and said “OK” (Of course they say that, they don’t want people staying healthy on their own. There’s no economic benefit for them!)
Two weeks later they had the results – Viral Load 140,000 copies and CD4 count 650. My doctor said I was in good shape, what they classify as ‘A1’ (Asymptomatic, Acute HIV, or PGL with CD4 Cell Count over 500 cells/µL.). I was relieved to hear I was in good health! I had been offered treatment at the first meeting with my doctor, he said I didn’t really need to start but it was recommended to avoid the progression of the disease and also to avoid the spread if the virus. I opted not to start any medication as I was feeling perfectly normal as I had always! I was scheduled to come back 3 months later for some more blood work.
So, after 3 months in which I had done plenty of research on HIV, discovered who Peter Duesberg was, the alternative theories on HIV, I had my second visit for more blood work. The results were a Viral Load of 77,000 copies and CD4 at 550. My doctor even joked and said, “I guess it must be the vitamins you’re taking!”. Again I was offered treatment, which I refused, and I said I would prefer not take any medication that would give me more side effects than actual symptoms I had (which were, and continue to be, none to this day!).
I haven’t been back to the HIV clinic for 2 years now and have no intention on going back, for the moment. I haven’t had any more blood work done. I haven’t been sick. I feel great and I don’t even think about HIV, to be honest. My thought on all this HIV story is quite simple:
No symptoms = No disease
And we must not forget, everyone gets sick! My health now at 37 is better than it was when I was 20. I also take better care of myself nowadays. I take plenty of supplements which include antioxidants, curcumin, green tea capsules, vitamin B complex, vitamin D, vitamin C (1000mg daily), lactobacillus, selenium, black seed oil (Nigella Sativa) and Omega 3-6-9. Even if I didn’t have the diagnosis I would take take supplements.