Last November, a United Kingdom man shared the story about when he found out he was HIV-positive in an effort to reduce the stigma associated with the virus. His story proved to be so moving that it has since gone viral.
Andrew Gamez-Heath shared that he took a routine HIV test three years ago as a precaution when he started a relationship with nurse Ricardo Gamaz-Heath (the two have since gotten married).
“I had given the routine urine sample and headed through to a room with a nurse for my finger prick HIV test,” Gamez-Heath wrote. “It was at that moment the nurse looked at me and said... OK, so this test has come back reactive. ‘Whats does reactive mean,’ as I stared at the two dots on the test display membrane. ‘It means you are HIV-positive and we need to do another blood test for definite confirmation.’ At that moment my world fell apart. This couldn't be happening! How? I didn’t understand. I'd had a negative test result just two months previous.”
Gamez-Heath continued, “The nurse said she was going to go get someone to talk to me and asked if I had any questions….’yes’ I said…’how accurate is that test?’ She replied, ‘More than 99 percent.’ I burst into tears and couldn't stop. I genuinely thought my life was over. I was given a lot of reassurance and facts that day. The first thing I remember them telling me is that it wasn’t going affect my life span.”
After being treated, he said, “The level of virus began to drop very quickly and within a couple of months it was undetectable. My consultant explained that once the virus was undetectable in my blood my immune system was no longer compromised and was actually very strong anyway. Not only that it meant I couldn't pass the virus on to anyone. I was, and still am, uninfectious.”
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