“Dear Daddy Kenneth, I’m afraid while I was living in Tucson I was donating plasma not for the money but the knowledge that I was helping others out in life so much of my identity in life has been being the shoulder to cry on and the helping hand but back in April I got a call from CSL Plasma that I was HIV positive. I went to a HIV center in Tucson to get tested again and that came back negative I believe I don’t have HIV but since April I have lost me I’m afraid to help others out I’m afraid I will screw up I want to know if you can give me some advice to help me find me again that sweet guy who wasn’t afraid to help.”
Donating Plasma is only one way to help those in your community who are in need. Most communities have programs where you can help feed the homeless, mentor youth, visit elderly shut-ins, or provide clothing and school supplies for those in need. If your identity is based on your ability to help others, diversify your charitable portfolio. Sitting in a chair with a needle in your arm for 30 minutes every 3-4 weeks, and getting paid for it, is not the only thing that you have to give to your community. Many of the options I listed above don’t involve exposing others to potentially deadly blood-born pathogens.
Those in charge of the nations blood supply are hyper aware of contaminants in that blood supply, so if their preliminary tests suggest that there is a dangerous contaminant, they probably investigated fully and retested the sample to make sure that their initial findings were accurate, before they called you. After all, they paid you for a product, and you already cashed the check. They are not going to throw out that product, unless they are absolutely certain that the product is not good. Conversely, the tests used by the HIV clinics are limited. This is why a clinic will tell you to come back and get tested again after three or six months if you believe you might have been exposed to HIV. The initial test may register a negative result, but that does not mean that you are in fact, HIV-negative.
If you would like to assist others in life, look into volunteer options. Talk to your local drag queens and ask if they need assistance with their next benefit. You could sell raffle tickets, or jello shots. Talk with your local HIV Clinic and find out if they need someone to assist with on-site testing when they go out into the community. Speak with your local pride board to find out if there are any volunteer options that you can pursue. Speak to your local food bank and determine if you can assist there. Join a Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization and spend time with a young person who needs adult guidance. Your life of service is not over simply because you cannot donate plasma anymore.As for your HIV Status, I advise you to go back and get tested again. As it’s been 5 months since your last test, you should get pretty accurate results from that time period. Of course those results won’t be accurate if you’ve engaged in any high risk behaviors since your last test, but at least you’ll know if the CSL Plasma result was accurate. I always advise negative people to do what they can to stay that way, that means knowing your status, knowing your partner’s status, and knowing what options and tools in the fight against the spread of HIV work for you and your partner. The simplest and easiest method for most people is a condom, used properly, every time you have sex.