- I would like to start out by going back 5 years ago when you first found out you were HIV positive.
- Patient: Oh God, 5 years ago; what would you like to know?
- The initial feeling; the way you felt when you heard.
- Patient: The initial feeling was straight fear. I can’t describe the initial feeling the way your heart pounds and how you can hear the blood rushing through your ears. You don’t think you are going to hear “yes,” you know, “you do have it,” your heart is racing and then as soon as he does say “yes,” it’s a state of shock that doesn’t leave you for months.
- Did you get several opinions?
- Patient: Of course. When you are first told that you are HIV, you think that everyone is crazy- or there is some kind of mistake. There is no way that this can be possible. Even if you do know, you are still hoping that someone will tell you “no.” Even if it is a mistake, you can at least use that to go on and get it off your mind.
- How many doctors did you see?
- Patient: At least 6.
- So now you have gotten 6 opinions and you know that you have this disease. Can you take me through the first month- you know, it is not a mistake and it is confirmed.
- Patient: The first month- if you’ve ever had something really bad happen to you where your heart is in your stomach, that is how it was for months. I couldn’t sleep. You don’t know where to go- I didn’t know anyone who had this disease before me.
- Now you have had it for 6 months. Can you take me through that?
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