Willem (42)

partner: 6 years
children: none
HIV+: 1 year
HIV meds: a half year
viral load: undetectable
CD4-cell count: 480

I got my HIV sorted within a short time
A year ago I was having problems with a burning sensation when I urinated. I went for an STI test at an STI outpatient clinic in the hospital. They also tested me for HIV. I assumed that everything was okay, since I didn’t have it six months before. One morning a week later, the doctor rang me up. I was in the office so I walked outside. ‘Could you come back for another visit? You have chlamydia. And you also have HIV.’

I could feel death approaching. What was going to happen? What side effects would I have? How would my family react? They are in fact very religious. I said to the doctor that afternoon: ‘Are you out of your mind to tell someone their test results on the phone?’ They wanted me to come to the hospital that same day. After that phone call, I had to just return to the office like nothing had happened. I even had an appointment with a client. When I think back on that ... that’s why I chose another hospital for my treatment.

I rang my husband and he came right away. We went to the hospital together. I was worried about him but luckily he didn’t have it. That weekend we talked a lot. We became even closer than we had been already. He said: ‘It’s not the end of our relationship.’ I have driven myself almost crazy trying to figure out how I got it. I’ve given up because it doesn’t do any good. We sometimes have a threesome but I hadn’t done anything unsafe. I think something went wrong with a sex toy. I had been very ill a few months before I was tested for HIV. I had a serious case of the flu and started waking up at night in a sweat.

I got my HIV sorted within a short time. HIV has become part of my life. I can manage with it just fine. Imagine if you had diabetes, or cancer! I feel privileged; that’s due to all the information I’ve read, the support of my partner and friends and all the good care I’ve received at the hospital.


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