An Australian woman has narrated how she was given a wrong diagnosis which forced her to discover that she was HIV positive on google.
Abby Land found out on Google that she was HIV positive
A 24-year-old has narrated how she discovered that she was HIV positive by checking her symptoms on google. The woman identified as Abby Landy, from Australia, revealed that she decided to have a sexual health screening after starting a new relationship.
According to ABC, Abby noticed she had a fever and an outbreak of cold sores, which she thought was unusual and got checked out and test came out that she was negative.
“I was given some anti-virals for the cold sores and [the test] came back all clear – everything was negative,” Abby said.
Still not convinced and feeling that something in wrong with her, Abby Googled her symptoms out of desperation and found that they were “terrifyingly similar” to those of HIV.
At realizing this, she went back to her doctor and told her straight that she wanted to be tested for HIV, but was met with the response that as a straight Australian woman it was unnecessary.
The doctor told Abby: “It’s probably not necessary. You know, you’re an Australian woman, the chances of you having come into contact or contracting HIV are so slim that doing the test probably isn’t necessary’.”
Instinct told Abby to insist that the doctor performed the test and it came back positive. Luckily, her HIV was diagnosed much earlier than most other women, who realise they have the disease in the late stages when it’s already done significant damage to their immune system.
Abby is now calling for HIV tests to become routine and to eradicate the stigma surrounding women with the disease. She asks that people don’t assume they are sexually promiscuous or have multiple partners – and that HIV isn’t just a “gay man’s disease”.
“I felt a great deal of shame initially, and I was terrified. I was never going to tell anybody,” she said.
“But I started engaging in private women’s groups with other positive women … I just felt like my situation really allowed me the privilege to speak about my experience.
“After diagnosis you’re still the same person. You have a virus in your body, but you still have the same heart and soul and mind.”
Most common symptoms are:
fever (raised temperature)
Other symptoms can include:
swollen glands (nodes).
The symptoms usually last one to two weeks but can be longer.