I was an idiot in college and now I'm freaking out
So I'm going to get tested for HIV tomorrow. And I'm terrified, and I could really use some support. For the past 2 years I have had random days (few and far between) where I get a few hours of total HIV paranoia, but about a week ago, for the first time I really sat down and thought about it. I really accepted that I have seriously put myself at risk. And now I can't stop worrying about it.
My back story: I was a virgin until I was 19. When I lost my virginity, I was very drunk (but it was definitely not date rape-- I really wanted to lose it and I liked the guy, I got drunk because I was crazy nervous). He didn't use a condom, that time or any time afterwards. What can I say? I was stupid. I was inexperienced. I believed him when he said he got no pleasure from sex when using a condom, and I liked him so much I risked my own health for his pleasure.
Well, after things fell apart with him, I didn't have sex with anyone else for about a year. Then, in my junior year of college, I fell into a horrible depression. I didn't care about anything, including my health. I had lots of unprotected sex. I slept with a total of 11 men, 8 of them unprotected, and two of them multiple times unprotected (in a friends-with-benefits situation). Almost all of the time I had whatever guy I was with pull out, except for two isolated incidents (one with my permission while I was on birth control, one without when I was not on it. Thank God I didn't get pregnant.)
That period ruined my life in a lot of ways, and I'm still dealing with the fallout of my mistakes 3 years later. I lost my scholarships and had to drop out of college, I wrecked my credit, I destroyed my social life, and I lost my job and was unemployed for almost a year.
Now things are finally getting back on track. I'm back in school part time, and I have a great job. I'm rebuilding my credit and close to buying my own car for the very first time. I have an absolutely amazing boyfriend. So how do I deal with the fact that I might have given him HIV?
I'm so scared about this. I don't think I've had any symptoms, except a mono-like illness I got while with the guy I lost my virginity to, but he was also sick and I was living in a dorm so that really could have been anything. I was recently diagnosed with chlamydia after a pap smear, but my boyfriend thinks he got it from his last girlfriend and gave it to me (but of course, there's no way of knowing that for sure, and I could have picked it up anywhere from feb 2010 to feb 2011). I've never had anyone tell me that they were HIV positive. The last guy I was sleeping with before my boyfriend got tested for HIV while we were together and it came back negative, which is slightly reassuring until you figure that a guy catching it from a girl is less likely than the other way around. I'm not so much worried about my own health (we all have to die from something is my philosophy), but having HIV would take away so many of the things I want. I want to marry my boyfriend and grow old with him, but what if I gave him HIV and it turns into AIDS? I really, really want to have kids someday, but how can I put them at even a small risk of having this disease?
I don't really know what I'm looking for here... just please don't tell me I was stupid. I know I was stupid. Grasping the facts of just how stupid I was has almost been enough to put me in ANOTHER depression, for crying out loud. I know that some of this fear is just my anxiety being a jerk, but I also know that a lot of it is probably justified. I've already talked to my boyfriend about this a little bit, but I don't want to come off as crazy or make him super paranoid, so I've tried to keep it mostly to myself. I just need to tell SOMEONE, even if that someone is just a person on a computer that I'll never meet. My work is suffering. I've totally lost interest in sex. I can't sleep. I can't eat. I can't stop googling things. So yeah. Any support would be awesome. Also sorry for the overuse of parentheses.
Also I should note -- based on what I've read, I think I had a high risk of getting it from four people (two men I had 10-20 unprotected encounters with, one bisexual man, and one man who had spent time in Africa, though he was a nurse and surely took precautions), low risk from five people (one-time hook ups and my current boyfriend), and no risk from five others. Of course any risk is still a risk so this is really only slightly reassuring.
Hiya, well i can understand your situation and beassured we have all been in your shoes. There really is only one solution to end this and that is for you and your partner to take HIV tests. The speculation as you know will drive you insane and will never give a definative answer to your situation.
You both need to talk about this and get tested to end this stress that your currently going throu.
Just one thing: Have your boyfriend tested as well? because the only way to know if someone has been infected or not is by being tested. He needs to be tested before you continue having unprotected sex with him.
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