Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The day after

**  If you have no read the previous entry "A weekend I'll remember", please read it before reading the current entry.  **

Monday morning, I called work to say I wouldn't go because of an unexpected situation.  I drove to Montreal to go to the specialized clinic.  I arrived there at around 10.  I told them I thought I may have been infected by HIV 24 hours prior to that.  They arranged a meeting with a doctor to see what are the risks for me and if I could start tri-therapy to kill the virus when it's not too late.  Apparently, within 72 hours of infection, it is possible to kill all of the virus if you start taking meds.  According to the doctor I saw a bit later, tri-therapy has good chances of success.

In the waiting room, I tried to keep my tears because it was just so crazy.  Before meeting the doctor, I saw a nurse who asked me a few questions and then he took a blood sample from me and I also gave a pee sample.  After that, I saw the doctor and we talked about my situation.

I explained how the possible infection had occured and he said that since there was no ejaculation and that he didn't stay long in me after the condom broke, the odds were lessened.

I explained that the guy I had sex with had unprotected sex 4 months ago, with his previous boyfriend.  I said that he is expecting his results in 10 days.  He told me that there is a test he could do that has results within 30 minutes. This test is accurate for events happening 2 months and older before the test is done. So if Flyman passed the test, we would know if there was a possibility or not that I have been infected, since he had told me he didn't have unprotected sex after breaking up with his previous boyfriend.

Flyman had offered me the night before to come with him, but I needed to be alone to do it.  So I had declined his offer.  I had not realized that we could have more informations if he had come with me.  The doctor let me call him to see if I could go get him and bring him at the clinic to get him tested.

Flyman was about to start working, but his boss agreed to let him go for the day (he told her he had to go to the clinic for an emergency).  So I setup a new meeting with the doctor for later in the afternoon and I went to pick Flyman.  But before that, I chatted a bit more with the doctor and when we talked about the fact that it was on my first time that I could have got HIV, I became very emotional.  He asked me if I had been troubled for years before finally accepting to have sexual relationships with a man. I said that it was not the case, that I am fine with my past.  I was tearful only because I couldn't imagine my life with HIV cause I'm really scared of that.  Apart from that, I had been mostly emotionnaly stable.

It was in total a 2 hour drive to and from Flyman's place.  I explained to him what I had done at the clinic and a bit of what was waiting for him.  We didn't really talk about deep stuff, we listened to a funny CD I had in my car.  Before entering in the clinic, I told him that my health was more important than my pride and it was really important that he said the truth about unprotected sex.  I told him that I didn't care if he had sex with someone else after we started dating.  The important thing is that he gives us reliable information ith which I could take a good decision about starting the tri-therapy.  He sweared that he had not.

We entered in the clinic and he started being very nervous.  I comforted him, even if I am the one who is so scared of HIV.

We rapidly met my doctor and I swear if someone saw us he would not have thought that I was scared for my own health.  I was being all caring and calming for him.  Flyman wanted me beside him while he was giving his blood sample and had a quick physical exam by the doctor.  I'm not like him.  There are times where I need to be on my own. 

After he gave another blood sample for the 30-minutes test, we went in the waiting room.  We both got very emotional and I had tears in my eyes.  Then without me asking it, he confessed that he had had an unprotected relationship 5 weeks ago.  I said: "OK, I'll take the meds.  You did good by telling me because my health is really more important than my pride"  I called my insurances to see if they cover these meds and they said yes, at 75% (the cost is around 1700$ for the 28-days treatment).  10 minutes later, the doctor came to get us and brought us in his office.  He was happy to tell us that the results were negative.  We didn't jump because we knew that it was not a guarantee that he was not infected.  I told the doctor the confession Flyman had told me (he had asked me to do it).  The doctor said that with the test done, there were about 80% chances that it would have caught the virus if he was infected 5 weeks ago.  It leaves him with a 20% chances of being infected.

The doctor summarized the situation for me to take my decision about whether to take the meds or not.  But it was clear in my mind that I would take them.  There is absolutely no fucking way that I won't do anything in my will to make sure that I stay healthy.  The doctor says he is confident that Flyman was not infected 5 weeks ago and he was also confident that I had good chances of not being infected last Sunday (if Flyman is infected).  But I don't want to run the risk.  So I confirmed my choice to take the meds.

We also learned why the condom broke:  Flyman had used an oil-based lubricant!  I said "No it's not good!!"  I knew it has to be water-based, but I never thought of checking the lube he used.  I'm a bit frustrated at myself because it seems that I have been super cautious about everything... except that.  And that's where we were not safe.  Flyman said he has both kinds of lube, but it was the first time he used the oil-based with a condom and he didn't know it breaks them....

We took an appointment for March 7th, after my therapy ends and also by that time, Flyman will be able to pass the test again to be sure of his own health situation.  So this means that I will know if I took the meds for nothing only a few days after I will have ended the treatment.  After that I bought the meds, the pharmacist repeated what the doctor had told me about the treatment and the side effects (I will explain that in a later post).  Finally, we left and took the road again so that I would bring Flyman back at his place.

On our way, we stopped at a restaurant and I took my meds for the first time.  It is important to start the treatment as soon as possible in order to kill the virus when it has not multiplied too much.  So I started the therapy 31 hours after my possible infection, which is still good (within the 72 hours limit, but a bit off the 24 hours that is even better).  After that we hit the road back and by 6:30 we were at his place.  We didn't talk much on the road and at his place, we cuddled and hugged a bit.  We both needed some warmth.

I left at 7:30 and was back home at about 8.  We chatted a bit again on Skype and by the time I went to sleep, I had not experienced any side effect yet.


I've been trying to remember in what mood I was for the day, but it's been difficult, somehow.  I think the doctor got me in a good mood and that allowed me not to stress too much about it.  Of course I was still in shock, but I was not in a desperate state.  Anyways, now there is nothing more I can do than take my meds, wait and hope for Flyman the he was not infected.

One last thing.  I've been avoiding to read stories about tri-therapy on the internet because I fear to read some bad stories.  So, please, it would be very appreciated if you don't feed me with bad / horror stories. 


  1. I'm a bit surprised that Flyman didn't know that oil-based lubricants break down condoms. Glad his results came back negative. I'm with the doctor. I think it's pretty likely it'll stay negative when he gets retested in a couple months.

    1. Nothing surprises me anymore... (not that I try to be sour) I think I'm more confident than before and it's patly because of you, thank you :)

    2. You're welcome. I've been in a somewhat similar situation. One of my previous partners turned out to be positive.

  2. JF, what has happened here is a series of unfortunate circumstances that are so upsetting and unexpected. While I do feel that your chances are very slim as far as infection, I agree that for your own peace of mind and your health, you cannot take too many precautions.

    Please take care and know that my thoughts are with you. I wish you the best.

  3. I wisn you all the best. I`m sure you will be fine. Yes, it is surprising about him not knowing about the oil-based lubricant.

  4. You will be well. Am encouraged to see how you have fought for your health.

  5. I just want to offer two things, JF:

    1. I'm struck by how good a job you did in going through this very scary and painful and emotional experience. You let yourself have all the emotions you were feeling AND you kept a good head on your shoulders.

    2. I like how you not only made your own health a priority, but you also included Flyman in this whole process and how he was feeling. You seem to be a really caring human being, even though I already knew that already.

    Brad and I both send you our love and hugs.

    1. Matt and Brad, thank you!

      I have to say that I am surprised at how some of your perceptions have come up. What I mean is that at first, I was really preoccupied by my own health. I went to pick Flyman because with his own tests, I would have a better idea if I needed to take the meds or not. There was nothing I could do for Flyman since if he is infected, he cannot be treated like I am at the moment. Yes I was comforting him and I suppose I forgot a bit of my own pain.... but I don't know, maybe I needed to forget about my own pain.

      About letting myself have my emotions.... I've been thinking since yesterday the exact opposite. I feel that I have not cried enough. I fear that I will explode at an unexpected moment. But yeah I think I managed to keep my head on my shoulders. I'm a rational guy and I think I can keep my nerves down when a panicking situation arises. However, I feel that the panicking moment is gone now, yet I have not broken down....

  6. JF -
    It totally seems unfair that you have had all this drama, and you really haven't even had sex yet! I hope you feel better, and I hope that there are not bad side effects to these drugs you are taking.
    Take care, and hang in there. You are such a positive, giving person, I'm sorry you had to go through this, but you will be a better prepared person after all this hooplah.

  7. *crossing my fingers for both you and Flymann* I'm sure you'll both be fine though, really. The odds are in your favor :)

  8. It's unfortunate that this happened for your first time. I wish it was a more pleasant experience. It seems the risk would be near zero if he didn't ejaculate.

    Flyman had unprotected sex five weeks earlier? Why would he have unprotected sex? That should give you some reservations about his judgment.

  9. I agree - it is really unfortunate that this scare happened for your first time. I hope the rest of your experiences are so very much more pleasant than this.

    As for your post - I am awe at how you have written it. It is very practical to the point of being very clinical (when I write my posts about something which I am really emotional about - specially about my fertility treatments, I tend to do very clinical posts too). I hope writing this post has also help you release some of the tension and frustrations.