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‘When my doctor first told me I was undetectable, about two weeks after being on effective treatment, I was so emotional, I burst into tears.
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Their reply was ‘you’ll probably live longer than me’.’ ‘Now, two years on, I look back at that time and think how surreal it was and how much has changed, for the better.” Chris is now a peer mentor for Positively UK, where he supports others who are recently diagnosed to come to terms with HIV. ‘Attending a newly diagnosed course was fantastic – I was meeting other people in the same position as me, and, to my surprise, they weren’t all gay men.
‘When I was first diagnosed I did worry about the reaction from my friends, and I was unsure what my life would be like,’ he said. There were straight men and women, young and old, which proved that HIV can and does affect everyone.
‘My first instinct was to laugh, because I thought I had misheard or it was some sort of joke,’ he said.
‘I left the doctors that day catatonic and numb – life as a HIV positive man – and found myself crying down the phone to a friend, just managing to utter the word ‘positive’.’ He now realises his first reaction to fear the worst was not how things needed to be.
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Chris said he went to the Mortimer Market clinic after finding out he was positive, and ‘cannot thank them enough’ for the support an education they gave him.