A TikTok user has opened up about his experience with HIV, a virus he was diagnosed with after a doctor initially ruled it out as strep throat.
Kyle, known by his TikTok handle @saintkyle13, recalled his diagnosis in a now-viral video that received around 850,000 views and 140,000 likes just days after it was posted.
In the video, Kyle said they initially went to an urgent care center for a “random sore throat” they were experiencing. The doctor suspected he had strep throat and prescribed antibiotics to clear it up.
However, Kyle had to return to doctors after the illness persisted along with 30 pounds of weight loss. They were also “barely” able to walk. Additional tests revealed a diagnosis of HIV.
This was some time ago, and Kyle said in a comment below the video, “I’ve been undetectable for 3.5 years and I’m healthier than ever.”
Since posting the video, the TikTok user has posted several other clips describing how they dealt with their illness and has advocated openness and regular testing.
“Get tested regularly and ask your partner what their status is! Knowledge is power,” Kyle wrote in the caption of the viral video.
In a follow-up clip, Kyle said that people are “100% within their right to ask for proof that someone was recently tested.”
They added, “If you really feel uncomfortable asking someone this, I know it’s sensitive information, but if you feel like they’re going to react in a negative way, then maybe it’s someone you shouldn’t be sleeping with.”
news week has asked Kyle for a comment.
HIV, which stands for human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system and can lead to AIDS if left untreated. There is currently no cure for HIV, but it can be controlled so people with it can live long, healthy lives and protect their partners, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). USA
In the US, HIV is spread mainly by having sex or sharing syringes and other injection equipment with someone who is infected with it.
Symptoms may include flu-like symptoms within two to four weeks of infection, which may include fever, chills, rash, night sweats, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and ulcers in mouth. More information on symptoms can be found on the CDC website here.
Prevention strategies include not having sex, using condoms correctly during sex, and never sharing needles. There are also medications known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) that can help prevent HIV.