After my family doctor confirmed my pregnancy, he referred me to an OB/GYN. My husband and I were so excited. A mere three months after being married, we were pregnant! I went to my first OB/GYN appointment, with my proud husband by my side. The doctor performed the standard tests, including an initial blood workup, in which I was tested for hCG levels and STD's (like HIV and syphilis). I had no concerns whatsoever. After all, my husband and I had just been tested for STD's before we got married. We knew that we wanted to have children right away and had gone to the doctor together and requested to be tested for “all STD’s.” We didn’t know that you specifically had to ask to be tested for HIV and assumed this was included in the standard screening. About a week after my appointment, I was sitting at my desk at work and my phone rang. It was a nurse from my OB/GYN’s office. She asked if I could talk. Over the phone, while I was at work, she proceeded to tell me I was HIV positive. I was shocked. I immediately burst into tears and became hysterical. Since I was at work, the other girls came over to my desk to check on me. I didn’t know what to say, so I told them the truth. I also told them what the nurse had told me: it could be a mistake due to the pregnancy hormones and I would need additional testing. I left work and cried all the way home. My family came to see me and tried to comfort me by assuring me that it was a “false positive” due to the pregnancy. I was so scared. I prayed more than I had ever prayed in my life. I cried more than I had ever cried in my life. I went back to the OB/GYN’s office for additional testing to confirm the HIV. This time, I was given an appointment to come in for my results. I will never forget the drive to the doctor’s office for the results. My stomach was in knots and I spent the entire ride crying and praying. They brought me into a private office, not even a medical exam room… I knew. I knew that it was not going to be ‘good’ news. The doctor told me… I was HIV positive. I again became hysterical and began to hyperventilate. This could not be happening to me. I did everything right. I never used needles. I was not promiscuous. How did this happen?!? At this point, my husband and I knew this meant that we were both positive. He would have to be tested, but we already knew the answer. We were both HIV positive.
Not only learning that your are HIV positive, but at a time when your are supposed to be most joyous and blessed at growing a child would be incredibly sad. I admire you for sharing with your co-workers your status upon finding out. I don't think that I would be able to for fear of the stigme they might have against me. You truely have a unique story because you are a college educated, young woman who has contracted this virus. It proves that ANYONE can get HIV/AIDS, not just the poverished, malnutritioned, drug users, or homosexuals. It proves that unlike us as humans, HIV does not discriminate. Thanks for sharing :)
thanks for sharing.. got diagnosed recently...pregnant..not married but a with a long term partner of 10years who has tested negative....its only been 8weeks ...and I am 25weeks today...just started meds to stop transmission to baby 4 days ago and so far so good. The early days of diagnosis were the most darkest of my life but even through it all I knew the sun will definitely rise again. And what a humbling experience its been....HIV is not discriminatory of class or sexual habits... in that I am a highly educated woman with a PHD from Oxford.. ...I never thought I was at risk...I am not promiscuous...i have only had two sexual partners in my life....but I have no regrets of the past and no fear of the future..I am living now.....I have my baby to live for....this post resonates with me so much...its the first time i have cried since diagnosis...because it mirrors my story too...thank you Kate and I look fwd to more wonderful posts in the future...all the best...much love...xx
Ashanti - I am so honored by your post. You are certainly not alone and you are right that HIV does not discriminate.
I understand feeling scared. I remember how terrified I was when I was first diagnosed. Fortunately, it sounds like you have a support system and that certainly helps. Remember that we are all here for you!
thanks katie....much love...i am 28wks 2day!!!...so far so good on meds....no major side effects apart from tiredness which could be due to the pregnancy and also I had been anaemic during pregnancy so difficult to pinpoint...I went to see doc today to check VL and significant improvement!! I am so optimistic about life in general....I have booked myself a holiday:-)...just to chill out, meditate and be thankful for all the blessings in my life...there is defn' life after diagnosis....I dance with life and dances right back at me..:-)...xxx
Hi Katie and Ashanti, your words let me know that I'm not all alone. I would never believe I face it. I graduated, then had a really great job and everything was good. But then I met a man,whom I really like and would never think he has HIV. He was from really good family and cared so much about his relatives. That time he didn't know it too. But after I got sick after some time,I asked him to make the test...At that time we didn't even see each other often, because he said he doesn't want anything serious.
For now I can't really forgive myself. In some time I will need to go back to my parents house. And I don't know how to tell them about me having HIV. My mother is very sensitive and sick. But I am alone with my diagnosis. That's so good you have men you love!
I know we are strong! But it's so hard for me to realize this new fact about my life...I would really appreciate if either of you would like to communicate more. Let me know if you are interested.