Kyle Dallape, a marketing director from California, US, posted on TikTok that he thought he had a sore throat but that nothing was wrong.
He was later diagnosed with strep throat, a bacterial infection, by his doctor.
The 27-year-symptoms old’s worsened, with weight loss, oral thrush, swollen lymph nodes, and the bacterial infection reappearing twice.
After losing 30 pounds, he realized something was wrong.
He had been tested for HIV a few weeks prior to his initial diagnosis, and the results were negative, so he didn’t think his symptoms were related.
In June 2018, he was diagnosed with the virus after additional testing, which devastated him.
Kyle exclaimed, “My worst nightmare had come true.”
“My parents, friends, and now-fiancee all played important roles in getting me started on treatment and realizing that my life wasn’t over.”
“I started Biktarvy, a once-daily HIV treatment pill, a month later, and by November of that year, I had reached undetectable levels of the virus.”
“Since then, my T-cell count has continued to rise, and my viral load has remained undetectable.”
He decided to share his story on TikTok in order to raise awareness and break the stigma surrounding HIV.
Kyle discusses how he lost 30 pounds and could barely walk before having further tests to determine what was wrong in a video that has received one million views and over 163,000 likes.
In the final video, the word “HIV” is written in the center of the screen against a dark background.
“Get tested regularly and ask your partners what their status is!” Kyle captioned the post. “Information is power.”
“HIV is not what it used to be, because modern medicine has come so far – but society has a long way to catch up,” Kyle added.
“I hope that by putting a face to this, I can demonstrate how treatable this disease is and that those who are positive can live long and healthy lives with treatment.”
“It’s time to put an end to the stigma.”