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Personal story: Hallie

I wanted to do the test, but I was afraid

Portrait of hispanic Businesswoman in the Office space
Photo credit: ©iStock/ferrantraite. Photos are used for illustrative purposes. They do not imply health status or behaviour.

"Six years ago, I had a risky encounter with someone. I was too afraid to get tested after that. I lived with the guilt for years. I always felt like I was suffering from HIV and each time I would feel sick I would think, it’s HIV. I couldn’t sleep at night, I had anxiety and depression. I wanted to do the test, but I was afraid of what it would mean and what life would be like after that.

One day I decided that I couldn’t live like this anymore and I went and did a rapid test. Sitting there waiting to get my test results was the longest 20 minutes of my life. When the doctor told me that I was HIV-negative, my heart stopped, and I couldn’t believe that all the worrying was over. My advice to everyone is to get tested and don’t let your fears control you. I let mine control me for six years."

What we say

It’s normal to feel anxious before testing, but it can help you put your mind at ease and take control of your health. If you’re negative, you can find out more about how to stay that way, while if you’re positive you can get the treatment and support you need to stay healthy. Find out more about testing for HIV.

Do you have your own story to tell? Click the link to share it with us!

These personal stories have been submitted to us anonymously by individuals who use our site. Some of the stories have been edited for clarity purposes and names have been changed to protect identities.

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  • Last updated: 14 November 2022
  • Last full review: 01 March 2022
  • Next full review: 01 March 2025
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