Sep 21, 2006
This may not be the forum for where I neeed to post this, but I sincerely wanted your opinion on my question.
I'm 27 and I've been positive for about 2 years. I've recently started my meds in May. I've recently decided to go back to college and get my degree in IT. (I'm a computer geek). I've started my new classes and I'm doing well so far. It's just my generals so it's really boring right now (essays, etc). Anyway... My question... Well... I don't know how else to put this so I'm just going to say it. I know it sounds morbid, and I appoligize.
Considering that the supposed average lifespan for an hiv positive person is 10-15 years, I keep thinking that I may be wasting my time trying to get my college degree. Considering I've been poz for 2 years, and the degree I'm going for is going to take me 4 years... That's already 6 of my 10 -15 years. I feel like I'm living on borrowed time. And the last years of my life, are they going to be spent tired and runned down and sick so I won't be able to even work?! Am I going to get myself in more trouble with finanaces since I technically won't life long enough to pay my school loan? I know this all sounds horrible. And I know that "there are people that live 20+ years". But the odds are against me and I feel like I've made a decision to better my life through school..... a little too late. I'm still young, I have a couple drinks every now and then. I smoke a cigarrette on occasion. I quit crystal meth 2 years ago. So I feel like I've already had my wild experiences, and I have no desire to go down that road again. I want to make the most of my life, and I'm thinking like I made a decision to go back to school---but ... I guess, should I be sitting back, enjoying the time I have left?
Thank you Dr. Bob. :)
Response from Dr. Frascino
The average lifespan for an HIV-positive person is 10-15 years????? Yikes!!! Considering the virus found me in January 1991, I should be dead as dial-up!
Dude, the 10-15-year figure was generated long ago and relates only to HIV pozitoids who do not get treatment! Left untreated, yes, HIV will probably put you six-feet-under in 15 years or so. But with potent anti-HIV treatment, the odds are now swinging back in favor of old age ultimately doing you in rather than HIV.
The three most important things you can do to make sure you'll be joining me in the old folks' home are:
1. Work closely with a compassionate and competent HIV specialist and adhere strictly to your medication regimen.
2. Quit both cigarettes and crystal.
3. Have a positive attitude about being positive.
I see no reason why you shouldn't stay in college and ultimately become part of the "Geek Squad," if that be your dream. Geeks can be hot! Don't let HIV steal your dreams.
Take a read-through the information on this site, including the "inspiring stories," not only for inspiration, but also for a more realistic picture of what life as a "virally enhanced" individual really means.
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