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When my doctor saw that today was my birthday she asked whether I'd prefer to get the results of the HIV test another day... no way. There couldn't be a better birthday present than walking into her office at 9am and hearing the words "it's negative". It was the most likely result -- the rape was (physically, at least) non-traumatic so, even though given where I live the chances of my rapist being HIV-positive are about one in four or five, I'd have been unlucky to be infected. I did the whole prophylactic antiretroviral thing anyway --AZT and 3TC definitely make a person feel like shit -- so my chances of seroconverting were even lower, but it still feels good to have the official word.

It's a strange business: I hadn't even realised I was all that worried until she told me. I still don't know exactly what seroconvert means, even, or quite what the difference is between a virus and a retrovirus. I don't know much about the pharmacological action of any of the drugs I had to take, and why it was a good idea for me to take them. I don't know what it would be like to live with HIV, even as a chronic and controllable disease rather than a death sentence, which it could be for me since I'm (just) rich enough. All I do know for sure is that I'm glad not to have it, and even though the cloud is low on the mountain outside and it'll rain a few more times before sunset, it's a beautiful day...

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