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I have tested positive for HIV, please guide me?

Q: I am 28 year old male. I tested HIV-positive last year by ELISA test. The doctor then advised me to go for Western blot test for confirmation. I got too scared as I never expected such a life threatening disease, so I didn't get that test done. I have not taken any medicines for this. From that day I thought I should not get married and to prevent spread of disease from me, I am using separate bed, bed sheets, utensils etc. Now symptoms are occuring often - like burn appearance on the back, tiredness, mouth ulcers, ulcers at the end of penis. They remain for a week or so and then heal automatically. Sir, I am much too afraid to go to any blood testing centre for Western blot test thinking that they will ask for my identity. Since I am from a small remote town, every body will oppose my living there. Please suggest some counselling centre/testing centre which is outside Karnataka where they will not ask for my identity. It will be better if you let me know any centre in Kerala or Tamil Nadu or Andhra Pradesh. Sometimes I feel I will die soon which depresses me a lot and I am thinking of suicide.

A:Please do not give up like this, even if you are HIV positive, that is not the end. These days there are many ways in which you can have a long and productive life even if you are HIV positive. Unless you get another test, you can not be sure that you are actually HIV positive. It is not necessary to get a Western Blot test, another ELISA test will do as well. This can be done anywhere you like and if the second test is also positive you can assume that you are HIV positive. If it is negative, then please be assured that you are not HIV infected and do not need any other tests for HIV but can look for other reasons for you condition. Until you know for sure, it is a good decision that you avoid marriage. However you do not need to use seperate bedding or even seperate plates and eating utensils. HIV can not be spread by clothing, bedding, plates and eating utensils etc. HIV can only be spread by unprotected sex and blood. By all means do seek counselling. If you want to avoid Karnataka, you can perhaps think of visiting Hyderabad. The Nizam Institute is good and should have adequate counselling facilities and also carry out the tests you need for STI and HIV. Think positively, get all illnesses treated early and get counselling. You have a long useful life ahead of you.

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