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bradford
Fanatic

Reged: 01/15/04
Posts: 66
Loc: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
25 years later I'm still here
      #248950 - 12/31/09 03:27 PM

I don't recall the exact day I found out I was infected with HIV, it was sometime in 1984. The day that stands out most for me is November 28th 1985.

On November 28th 1985, I was told by my doctor to inform my family, arrange my finances and funeral, I had six months to live!

Soon after, I left my job, friends and family and moved far away so that no one would see me get sick and die...but I didn't die. Twenty-five years later I'm still here.

The point is that I missed out on so much during those years when I hid my HIV status and lived far away from family and friends. Years, when I could have been close to those I love but instead I lived in isolation.

Years that I could have been close to my father (my mother died when I was young), brothers and sister, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and all my friends. All of whom when I did finally disclose I was HIV+ asked, "Why didn't you tell us? We love you!"

What was I thinking? I was deciding for others; deciding what others could or could not handle, what they could or could not know, instead of letting people make up their own minds!

The truth is that people infected with HIV can and do live normal lives. They go to school, have careers, marry, have children and much more!

Don't waste time worrying about what could or might be. Be present NOW!

Enjoy all life has to offer. Learn about HIV. Learn what you can do to stay healthy!

Fear will undermine every aspect of your life if you let it. Don't let HIV occupy your mind. Don't let HIV take away your JOY for living!

Do everything you love to do and spend time with people who you care about and who really care about you.

I must say that once I decided to no longer be afraid of people finding out I was HIV+ and since coming out about my HIV status...my life has been rich and full!

Yes, there have been health concerns, sickness, HIV/AIDS medications and side effects with HIV affecting every area of my life, but there is so much more that has made my life worth living!

You have one chance in life; make the most of it.

Bradford McIntyre
www.PositivelyPositive.ca

--------------------
Bradford McIntyre

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Mondo
Regular

Reged: 04/26/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Australia
Re: 25 years later I'm still here new
      #248952 - 12/31/09 08:58 PM

Good on you Bradford for sharing this with us. It is nice to hear a glass haf full story in these uncertain times. Doctors and clinicians are great and perform much valued service but we need to boost each other up from the perspective of the patient. I will certainly have a closer look at your website when the new year madness calms down.
Have a healthy and happy 2010.

Mondo

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dmdprman
Newbie

Reged: 11/11/09
Posts: 9
Re: 25 years later I'm still here new
      #248961 - 01/01/10 11:36 PM

your testimony is what i needed to read. Thank you so much for sharing this. I was jsut diagnosed october 5th of 2009 and it has been horrible, constantly doubting i will live a long life. i quickly started atripla because my count was 237 and v-load was 33000. I also havent told any family members or certain friends. My best friend and my pastor are the only ones that know. God bless you Bradford.

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ScotCharles
Legend

Reged: 05/06/05
Posts: 924
Loc: Los Angeles
Re: 25 years later I'm still here new
      #248971 - 01/02/10 07:30 PM

I received my diagnosis in a letter from the Red Cross on the Saturday prior to Labor Day 1984. You are right on the mark as to the secret of living with HIV decade upon decade. All I can say in response to your post is "Amen".

In the dark days before PIs, we all lived under the constant threat of a horrible death whose details we knew from watching friend after friend succumb to AIDS. There was no way to survive but to learn to live in the moment.

I am now afflicted with the effects of long term infection with HIV. As I watch my mental and physical faculties decline, the lesson of learning to live in the moment helps me to live each day to the fullest I can manage.

ScotCharles

--------------------
Life is a river.
Carpe diem.

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iNvisible
Member

Reged: 12/21/09
Posts: 14
Re: 25 years later I'm still here new
      #248985 - 01/04/10 07:30 AM

This post..and the responses are all things I needed to hear..well read. I was diagnosed at 19 (which was nly about 4 months ago) and since than it has been harder than i ever thought it would be. There are days when I think i can't go on but reading things such as this gives me strength and hope...

--------------------
iNvisible

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