Today I finally did something that I have been putting off for several months. As some of you may remember, back in August last year I was spiked with a drug known as PCP by an unknown male and then sexually assaulted. A week or two after it happened I went to the local sexual health clinic and had baseline bloods taken for the HIV/Hepatitis/Syphilis tests but I was told I would need to wait for three months before the HIV test could confirm whether or not I had become infected as a result of the assault. All of my initial blood tests and STD checks at that stage came back negative (so as of August 2012 I had all negative results) and then I was supposed to return to the sexual health clinic for the HIV test to be repeated, three months later, in December.
I didn’t go.
I have regularly had the thought pop into my head that I needed to get my bloods taken again but for some reason I just kept ignoring the thoughts. January, February, March, April and May all went by and I still didn’t go back to the clinic. In fact, any time I have found myself thinking about it recently I work myself up into such a state, convincing myself that these results are going to tell me I am HIV positive. I know the chances are extremely low but it only takes one time and if he is the sort of guy to drug rape a girl who knows what his sexual history is? I can only hope that he might have thought ahead about what kind of trouble he could get into and have used a condom at least so he didn’t leave his DNA trail behind.
Our sexual health clinic is only open on a Tuesday morning and for the last three Tuesday’s I have had my alarm go off at 8am, got ready to leave the house by 9am and then had the panic set in… I’d then change my mind about going and end up staying at home. This morning however I finally went. The doctor was really nice and I explained I hadn’t been back at the three month mark because I have utterly terrified myself that the test is going to be positive. She calmed me down by explaining that I was relatively low risk as all my tests done in August 2012 were negative and as I haven’t slept with anyone since the assault then there is only one person who I have been exposed to. And even if he did have something nasty it still doesn’t mean it would definitely have been passed onto me. Then she explained a bit about the HIV virus and told me that even when people do get a positive result it no longer means a ‘life sentence’ for them, that it can be managed very well with actually quite a small amount of medications and people still lead long and fulfilling lives.
So my bloods have been taken and I get the results at 9.30am next Tuesday. I am absolutely terrified, I can’t lie. Don’t get me wrong when I was younger I have had a few one night stands which weren’t always protected and then took myself off to the sexual health clinics in a panic in the days following it but my worries were never about things so serious as HIV or Hepatitis, I was more concerned about catching Chlamydia or something equally as treatable. The couple of times in my teens and early twenties where I had HIV tests done as part of a sexual health screening I never even gave those results a second thought, I always just (ignorantly) assumed they would be negative. Now, into my thirties, everything is the other way around. I’m terrified of the big ones and don’t give a second thought to anything which would be symptomatic because I know I don’t have any ‘symptoms’. But then it’s the quiet ones that have the potential to be the deadly ones…
I have a feeling it’s going to be a long seven days until I go for the results. I’m trying so hard not to think about it but I am thinking about it on every level and I can’t seem to stop. Even when I don’t think I’m thinking about it, somewhere at a subconscious level I am because I drift back into reality and there will be yet another article/story/video/forum to do with HIV or Hepatitis open on my laptop. It’s the ones that talk about their diagnosis coming as such a massive shock that really get to me. Their diagnoses shocked them so much because they were feeling so well and so healthy and had only exposed themselves by having unprotected sex just a couple of times. It just goes to show that it really can happen to anyone at any age and at any time in their life.
So now I guess I just have to wait and hope. I have debated whether or not to tell anyone that I’ve had the test done, I never imagined it to feel like such a massive weight on my shoulders and I fear I might drive myself crazy if I keep it all bottled up. Yet at the same time I don’t want to tell best friend or my Mum or anyone close to me. Maybe I will tell my Rape Crisis support worker when I see her on Thursday, I have talked about my fears of having the test done and she knows I’ve been putting it off for the past 5/6 months. She has offered in the past to come with me to get it done so maybe she’s the best person to get it all off my chest with. I might ask her if she can come with me next Tuesday morning to get the results as I kinda don’t want to be on my own even if there is a 99% chance of them coming back negative… I’ve convinced myself in every way possible that I will be that 1% who gets a positive result :(
Anyway… I guess there is nothing I can do to change things now, the results will be what they will be…