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Readers Respond: HIV Testing: The Fears, The Realities, and The Stories

Responses: 18


Updated February 23, 2010

Getting an HIV test can be terrifying, even if you know you are at very low risk for HIV. Whether you make it a point to go once a year or only head to the testing center after you've done something that puts you at risk, HIV testing is an experience that is hard to forget.

This is a place for you to share your stories about HIV testing. Feel free to talk about when and why you decided to get tested, as well about what it was like going for the test itself.

NOTE: To answer anonymously, log out of your account and post as a guest.

Very Risky

Hi, I'm a 39 year old male. I recently had unprotected sex with a women that I found later has sex for money. I always practice safe sex, but my condom broke. When I came close to climaxing, that's when I notice that the condom had broke. I know that the condom hadn't been broke long because I kept checking it. 9 days later I had flu like symptoms, chills and a 104 fever really bad. I have to get tested in one more month, I am scared sick. I think about it everyday , I think that I have it. Since that day, I read alot on HIV , this diseases is very scary, I wish that I would have read about this disease a long time ago, I didn't know all of this information about this disease. I don't want to have to go threw all of the doctor visits, medication, etc.... If I make it pass this , I will be a different person when it comes to sex. I have learn my lesson, I just hope a pray that I haven't learn it the hard way.
—Guest Kelivin

Best decision I ever made

I had a risky experience two and a half years ago. For whatever reason, I was horrified about the idea of getting tested and just knew that I was positive. I spent the last two and a half years of my life waking up and going to sleep thinking about the fact that I was HIV+, even though I'd never been tested. My relationships suffered, as I was too afraid to get very serious due to my self-diagnosis. My work suffered, as I burned bridges frantically trying to find something with better health benefits. I literally changed my entire life because my fear of getting tested. Yesterday I did the scariest thing I've ever experienced and went and got tested. It was negative. I wasted two and half years of my life based on my own fear of having HIV! Getting tested doesn't change your status. Your test isn't about your present situation, it's about your future and the future of those you love. Get tested and learn from my story-it's better to know, either way, than to live in fear!
—Guest Denver


i always thought id get married before having sex but that isnt the case. ive had 4 partners. im so scared about HIV and for the padt weeks ive been so worried i cry every night. i decided to get tested. my first partner told me he was disease free ... we used a condom but it broke... i used a condom with my 3 other partners at all times... im still so scared... i met a guy and i love him.. i think he's the one... i hope the test is negative.. i dont know what to do
—Guest roxanne


I was tested today and i have to wait until Monday until my results are available. I feel in my heart that I am ok, but just having to wait is killing me =(
—Guest guess


I had possible exposure and had lots of fear..because i feared i was h.i.v +. I was so so scared to have the test until 4months,10days after exposure i had a test and came NEGATIVE... Please use a condom or don't try because the fear/anxiety alone can bring u down. Peace!
—Guest Bogoha


I am waiting on a test result and I have never been so nervous! I'm more scared to become ÷ and have to tell my love of my life that I am and it will break up our relationship! I had partners in the past but never got tested because the fear of getting tested which is dumb, now that I'm older I'm just waiting on an result and it should be coming today,wish me luck
—Guest e

Just plain stupid

Had a sexual encounter with a pro about a year ago. Used a condom all the time, but she put th condom on with her mouth, meaning the condom could have been covered with her saliva. Didn't notice anything before the eighth week after the incident. Got a running nose, swollen glands and fever, was away from work for two days and then back. Everyone else was sick at the moment so I reckoned this was a normal cold, until I stepped on a weight and found out I had lost 4-5kg. After this I was sure that I was positive until I almost a year later decided to have the test. It came back negative. The thought of my life going down the drain kept me from doing it. It was easier to keep on then to go take that test. In the end I was totally exhausted and bought a hometest on a local pharmacy.
—Guest Douchbag

Stupid me

In the past I was very promiscuous and had unprotected sex quite often. Until I came down with herpes. I decided to get tested since I was in a monogamous relationship. I kept thinking what if I had it and gave it to this innocent man that I ended up marrying!! Well I turned out negative so I thought that was the end until we separated and I yet again had unprotected sex with this guy whose close friend had it and i found out. Worst three months of anxiety all over again!!! but I made myself get tested for my husbands sake when we got back together, I was so worried I would give it to him but luckily I got my results back negative. Never again!
—Guest Vanessa

hiv testing

i guess i am one of the lucky ones upon whom god has smiled upon, my husband is very promiscuous, in the end we went for an hiv test, and guess what, he is positive and i am negative, but he left me with herpes vulva, which at times i get in between my buttocks, and it is sore. so i still have to live with this, we now use condom bit rarely have sex now, he is 59 and i am 51, guess that is life
—Guest the reality

hiv testing two weeks for results

Hi i had been worried about HIV for about 9 years. i had split from my wife and had casual sex with a woman i met on a night out. My wife and i got back together a few days later. a month later i went down with flu symptoms. i had read this was a sign of HIV and started thinking the worst. over the years i kept reflecting on having HIV and eventually took the test 9 years later. i was more worried that i had passed HIV to my wife than having the virus myself . in Scotland you go to a GUM clinic for the test and it takes two weeks for the results. i must say this was the longest 2 weeks of my life. i contemplated the results being positive and how would i tell my wife. i also thought of the consequences for my children. i got my results after two weeks that came back negative. i think the stress of thinking i had possible had HIV over the years coupled with the 2 week wait for results has aged me. if you have unprotected sex go get tested , but better still have safe sex or abstain.
—Guest dave

Just been tested today.

Have had a very dangerous past. Unprotected sex with partners, and strangers, me being penetrated, only ever penetrated once, that was 25 odd years ago. one everything that you should not have done, and with mental health issues, it was my way of self harming. Not been sexually active now for about 4 years, but after talking to psydocs, was guided into thinking about being tested. So I went to docs, temp doc read my notes and letter from the sex therapist I had recently seen, which recommended a HIV & Hep C test. Temp doc asked me to go to reception to request tests, I had to ask receptionist, who never heard me correctly ask for STI testing for HIV & Hep C, she nw knows what I wanted to be tested for, and now the people waiting for appointments do as well. Appointment booked, wich was ten days, then ten days were up today, I have had ten days of going over stuff, regression, worry and got it into my head, that because this was all years ago, I will not be +. So today I was tested.


Well, I was very afraid too before I got tested. My wife had her first pregnancy and now there was no option. I knew we could run... but we couldn't hide now. I was xtremely terrified by the idea mostly because although I wasn't really suspecting I was infected, i just didnt know if I could cope with a positive result. One day, as I searchd the web abt HIV testing I came across a statement in someone's posting that said," Getting tested isn't really about what's going on with you right now... it's about your future and the future of your loved ones" I was encouraged. I felt compelled to know my status more than ever. Remember my wife was pregnant and I told myself, 'If i love my baby, I am going to do this... at least for him I have to" Well that same week, I went in for the test (My wife had already been tested) and ... I had never felt the way I'm feeling after the test. I had weir feeling and weid thoughts b4 I took the test, but now i feel a million times better.
—Guest Mark

Just do it!

I too was terrified about the potential outcome of what the HIV test my reveal. I was nervous, angry with myself, concerned about if I might have transmitted the disease to my lover. On that count I decided to just do it. I spoke with my lover who was excited about being tested together. The decision to have the test done was actually a lot tougher than the act of sitting in the counselor's office for the thirty minutes it took to conduct the test. It was the best thing we could have done for our relationship. A simple finger prick and a few minutes later it was over. We discussed the number of partners I had in the past, the kind of sexual activities I participated and he suggested I retest in three months to make sure the HIV- result was accurate. The next test will be much easier. One lover at a time.
—Guest Don

Relax and enjoy life!

I think your doctors go a bit over the top with everything. I'm Australian and no Dr has ever mentioned HIV testing to me. I know there are sexual health clinics for people having casual sex or with multiple partners. I guess if you have herpes or some other STD, the Dr might suggest it. Having just returned from the States, it really shocked me how extensive your exams are...I didn't have them, and I've never had anything near as extensive at home. (thank goodness!!!) It seemed like over-kill to me...we tend to deal with symptoms or health problems and don't examine every square inch of a person's body looking for every problem imaginable. I think that sort of medical presence is intrusive and likely to be harmful. I didn't think it helped anyone...everyone seemed to be having scans, biopsies, ultrasounds, testing 24/7 and the only problems they had were actually caused by all this intervention. I think your healthcare is more likely to make you sick, than keep you well. No offense
—Guest Jill

Can't see the attraction of casual sex

I'm afraid the need for this testing and other tests turns me off casual sex. I've had one partner for 17 years and have no need for any testing. I couldn't enjoy sex if I thought the end result was being HIV+, catching herpes or some other nasty complaint. Many of these things are for life as well and of course, HIV can cost you your life. No thanks, call me old fashioned, but I think people pay a high price for casual sex/unprotected sex with a new and unknown partner.
—Guest Nadia
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