"If I were the sort of person who didn't get tested, I would have continued until I got sick from the infection."


I was 27 when I got my HIV diagnosis and this was back in 1994 when the treatments were still being developed and the prognosis was pretty poor. I was not expecting a positive result and it took some time to work out the only possible cause, which had been recent. I was devastated. My world imploded in a dazzling light. I remember thinking; I need to make the next 10 years count.

16 years on and, thanks to the amazing treatments that became available just in time for me and are now readily available for all, I am in perfect health, taking medication that has absolutely no side effects. I have never been sick because of my infection and nor do I ever expect to be. It's slightly boring taking meds every day and having a check up every six months but it's a small price to pay.

If I were the sort of person who didn't get tested, I would have continued until I got sick from the infection and at that point my immune system would already have been damaged - perhaps not irrevocably but certainly I would have been in danger. I urge everyone to act sensibly for their own and the greater good, and to get tested regularly.

Tom