I am a 21-year-old college student who contracted HIV through someone I met on craigslist.
EDIT: Due to a few thousand requests to edit this, I want to mention to everyone that I'm under the impression the condom broke. I don't know this fact for sure but obviously, had it worked correctly, I wouldn't be posting this AMA. Wearing protection (correctly) VASTLY decreases your risk of contracting an STD through sex. I was unfortunate enough to not have that happen.
In March of this year I met someone through the craigslist "men seeking men" section out of boredom with my lackluster sex life and an urge to do something exciting and erotic. We had a brief one-night-stand, using protection, and nothing interesting came of that night. The sex was mediocre. I went home and we didn't speak again.
A week later I came down with an absolutely horrendous flu/fever that reached 103.5 degrees and stayed there for 5 days. I eventually went to the ER where I was misdiagnosed with strep throat and sent home with antibiotics. The flu and fever cleared itself after a few days and I assumed that was the end of it, although I couldn't shake a bad feeling that I had contracted something from my shitty one night stand.
IMPORTANT TO READ:
This short period of sickness is not a symptom of AIDS, as a lot of people seem to believe and are asking me about. This is called Acute Retroviral Syndrome or Primary HIV Infection. It is the body's natural response to a foreign host replicating at a high level in the body.
One month ago today I tested positive, saw a specialist, confirmed the diagnosis with a CD4 of 319 and viral load of 262,000. Apparently my CD4 is particularly low after such a short time because it's still rising following the acute retroviral syndrome, according to the specialist. He seems to be relatively unworried, so I'm taking that as good news. Additionally, he's happy about the fact that I caught this extremely early on in its progression. Also good news.
I've struggled with immense image issues and depression since this all started. I feel deeply ashamed and my life feels extremely unfair based on the fact that I was using protection and still managed to contract it. Talking about this is cathartic though, so I'd like to answer questions if anybody has any.
edit: Had to go run errands for a bit, back answering questions again. Thanks for the kind words, everyone :)
Second edit: proof: http://imgur.com/J3HTUSg
THIRD EDIT: I will answer every question in this thread, it might take some time though! The amount of support and encouragement in this thread is overwhelming, thank you all so much for it.
As is evidenced by a lot of responses in this thread, there is a TON of misinformation about what an HIV diagnosis means in today's day and age. Hopefully by the time this thread is finished, I can put a substantial portion of these rumors and incorrect assumptions to rest.