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Going back in history

I clearly remember January 1994 when I received my HIV diagnosis. At the time, I was freelancing for an independent TV-production company and had been working on three projects at the same time with twelve to fourteen hour days. I had been in Berlin for two years without seeing a doctor until I suffered from a general indisposition and abnormal fatigue, a medical condition that assailed me regularly when working too much. So I looked in the phone book and found a general practitioner around the corner. Even a thorough checkup did not show any noticeable problems. So the doctor decided to order complete blood work. When he was about to tap the vein, I turned my head and told him: »Take a drop more and check the HIV status, too.« He seemed a bit taken aback, but nodded silently and went on without further comment.

[…]

One week after the blood sample had been taken, I went to see the doctor again. Everything was normal except for one result. The doctor looked at me for a while, before he quietly asked: »Why did you want to know your HIV status?« […]

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MATTHIAS GERSCHWITZ

Beyond the Virus - cover