Sebastian (known full name of the editorial team) found HIV infection only a few weeks after the virus was exposed. Because of such an early diagnosis, he lives normally, does not feel healthy living and infection. Regular tests are crucial, stress.
How do you feel?
It's a little chilly today, probably because of the weather. But if we speak in the context of a beehive, I would say with one word, I say hello, because in fact I do not have any health problems.
None of them?
None of them What I have to do from a health point of view is to go twice a year to control my extent of prescription drugs. They look at my blood count, liver and kidney function. It's more or less a routine review.
How long has it been since you were diagnosed with an HIV infection?
It will be three years. At that time, I was 26 years old.
How did this happen? Did you go to the test, had problems or was it a regular test?
I also regularly tested every three months as a recommendation, by myself and for a prevention issue. This was only an intermediate period, in the fall all results were negative. Soon after the new year, there were symptoms, from high fever to malaise, I was very tired, I could not do anything, I was exhausted …
… you suspected a hive?
No, I did not think about it. I thought it was winter, it was cold, I have a flu or some kind of virus. I went to the doctor who performed the tests and when he looked at the results, he was sent to the infectious clinic because of unusual results. They did a hive test there, which was positive. They started treating me the same day. The diagnosis was only a matter of time, if I did not do it two months later when I had regular control. In any case, the infection would be detected.
According to the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) in Slovenia, there are approximately 1,000 people infected with urticaria, of whom about one third do not even know about their infection.
. Confidential testing by the insurer (at no additional cost) is possible at the request of a patient with a selected family doctor. Also available in many other places in Slovenia, you can find the list
Was the diagnosis a shock?
Yes, of course, there was a shock in the beginning. When they began to explain to me, I was not the most present, I also suffered from illness and, at that moment, did not fully understand what was happening. After the time I preloaded with myself and my body, I realized that it was not the end of the world and that it was normal to live with it. Besides, I always try to look positive because I think things happen in my life for some reason. That's why I'm trying to get something positive out of this so that people living with HIV can give voice, in the sense that we're not just a group about which we're talking a lot, but we've never met.
Who knows about your diagnosis?
I told my mother that he knows a lot of kinship, most of his friends and colleagues.
How was Mom?
It was initially shocked, but when I explained to her what it meant to a more advanced life and that it was no longer a death sentence, she understood and today it's okay.
How is after notification of an HIV virus to someone the notification of the former partners is in progress? Does the health unit or the patient himself care about it?
I even informed my partners, which is also advised by doctors. Alternatively, the health facility may notify the partners anonymously. When they get the information, they are informed that one of their partners is HIV-positive and advises them to come to the test.
I believe it is each individual's responsibility to inform everyone that they need to know if something like this happens to them. After all, this can happen to anyone.
Do you know when you got infected?
I conclude … At a high percentage I think I know.
Do you think this is important?
No. This is not information that would change anything. It is what it is. I will not be better for it, not worse.
Do not be mad at this person?
No, no As I say, this can happen to anyone.
How many medications do you need to consume daily for infection?
I get two medications, two pills. Once a day, I usually set the alarm at lunchtime, reminding myself if I forget what can happen quickly at this fast pace of life.
What happens if you forget medications?
If this happens once, there is no fear, but if therapy is interrupted for several days, the virus may mutate and become drug resistant.
What is your prognosis, will you take these two medications or will the amount of medicine need to be improved?
Earlier, I would say that the amount of medicine would be decreasing as they went up. Depending on the ingredients of the drug, but I think I will end up coming like many others, for one pill a day. An injection of drugs is also being developed, replacing the tablets for a period of one or three months. Science is evolving in this direction.
Do they have the medications you are taking, side effects?
For now, I do not notice them. Initially, there was more fatigue, nausea, but this is on hold. At the moment, I do not feel any side effects, I do not have medical problems, I tolerate therapy well.
People who live with leukemia and are being treated are not transmitting the virus to others because they reduce the virus to an undetectable level. When does this effect occur?
In principle, very quickly, but is highly dependent on a case-by-case basis. If doctors find out that this has not happened after half a year, they begin to wonder if the medication may be inappropriate. In principle, most for half a year, a person comes to an insignificant level and when they can not pass it on this level of the virus.
Has your sexual behavior changed since you were diagnosed with hiv?
I personally do not tell my partners that I have no problem with that. In the MSM community, awareness is nevertheless better than in the general population. I have not had any bad experiences so far. But the people who asked me how many years of my life were left. Some are less than others, but are more willing to explain things to them, research shows that prove it and then change their minds.
Last year, Žurnal24 published testimonies on discrimination and stigmatization of people infected by health professionals. Do you also have bad experiences?
I do not have bad experiences with my personal doctor, we are always talking and we have no reservations. At the dental clinic, I was initially commissioned as the last and used additional protection. Now this is not what happened, I do not know, maybe the dentist has more information.
In the surgical removal of the tooth, they told me that they still have this protocol that people with a hive order the latter and use more protection. What You Should Do With All Patients Perhaps before me there was someone who did not know about your infection.
If a person is informed and informed, there is no argument that can discriminate the patient.
Due to the low number of tests in Slovenia, a few hundred undiscovered infections. There are still many fears and concerns about the test, and the specialist recommends that each person be tested at least once.
It's good that everyone knows what it is. It is also possible to test with a personal physician. The relationship with a personal physician is very important, and if we discover our sexual practices, the doctor will be able to understand you better.
People are reluctant to talk about sex, this is still a taboo subject and therefore a major obstacle. The second major obstacle is the stigma that still exists, and the third is afraid of what will happen when I receive a survey. Although the probability is that nothing is wrong, big, a mini-voice is being heard, but what if it is?
Things are improving in the MSM community, the number of tests is increasing. Once someone enters the system, he gets that experience and sees that the test is not good, it returns.
You said you did not hide your partners who are infected with hiv. How do they react?
Very differently, it also depends on what their knowledge about the hive is. Those who know that if the virus is on an undetermined level, the transfer is not possible, it does not matter.
In the community, I'm fairly open about it and do not hide status on certain social networks. There is an option in the application to enter the information to be positive but undetectable. You can also enter information when you last tested. Those who start talking to me already have this information.
You look at yourself, what is their status?
Yes, I check, I fly, but this is not something that has an important role. I still care about this person as a man.
But if there is information about a person not going to the test, is this important to you?
Yes, he gives me some information, but if he knew that someone was not testing, he would not have rejected it. Maybe I should try to talk to him, maybe encourage him …
You belong to a generation that does not know the stigma of mentioning such fear of the grave as it used to be when it meant a death sentence. As it is today, is there a greater stigma or greater fear?
Good question. Of course, my generation and the young are no more fearful than the older generations. However, this is not a topic you would talk about everyday, read it, let me know. Many do not know how drug development is progressing. They have an image in their heads that infected people become ill, become incapacitated, become ill, and die from infection.
In younger generations, this is no longer, it is more at the forefront of stigma. They are afraid to see people if anything happens to them. However, the stigma decreases from generation to generation, as well as the disclosure of sexual orientation. The younger the generation is, the more open they are, the easier it is.
You accepted the diagnosis very rationally, you talk openly. Has that been the case?
I have a kind of schedule, first I told my parents, cousins, friends and so on. I'm talking to reporters on December 1 and I imagine I'll be back on the radio when I can talk on television, when I'm finally going to sue him myself, no matter what other people think, and that will no longer be a problem for me. me. When I am at this level, I can tell everyone without difficulty.
When do you think you will be at this level?
After a year. I think I'm going very fast on this path. Personally, I do not know anyone who agreed to a conversation, even if he provided anonymity.
The voice can change the voice, the video is blurred on the television, but I do not approve. Last year they invited me to RTV and suggested they darken the image and change my voice, I turned it down because the concealment of the stigma is even greater. When I'm at this level, I go to the TV and say it directly without having to cover up something.
* The photo is symbolic