Stories Of Promise - Knowing My Status was the First Step to a Healthier Me
I was only a freshman. It was my first year at UCF when I tested positive for HIV. Growing up, I was the healthiest kid ever, so getting sick in my first semester of college was really weird. I’m talking drop dog sick. I’ve been sick before, but nothing like this.
Deep down I knew something was up and getting tested only meant confirming it. So I didn’t. For 4 months I put off getting tested. I would see my doctor a few times over at the campus clinic and each time she became more concerned for my health, insisting I take an HIV test. It took me a while to overcome that fear of knowing but one day I couldn’t deny it. My health was getting worse so I finally agreed.
I’ll never forget, it was April 14, 2006 and I had been waiting in the room for my doctor on my test results. She finally entered the room but something felt different. Like I said, I had seen this doctor a few times before, but this time her whole procedure was different. She shook my hand. She never shook my hand before. And at that moment she didn’t have to tell me, I already knew. I started breaking down crying when she said, “Yes, you’re HIV positive.”
It took quite some time for me to come to terms with the fact that I had HIV, but when I finally did I was able to get medical care and start my first treatment. Knowing my status was the first step in taking care of my health, seeking treatment and starting my journey to self-love.