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HIV Life >> Living With HIV

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New User

Reged: 09/03/12
Posts: 4
Loc: North West, UK
I'm Positive- Get Over It, I Have To Live With It, You Don't
      #266051 - 09/03/12 10:28 AM

I apologize to anyone reading this for the senseless rant that is to follow (I'm already irritated because the dictionary on here is American and thus i'm seeing a lot of colorful red underlined words already.)

Even at the young age of 21 I already feel like I have lived far more than many people will live in their entire lives. This is not because I am HIV positive but because of experiences growing up.

My mother died when I was 2 and my father took his own life when I was 8 years old- My fathers death was the thing that shook me most because that was when my life started to turn:

The last thing I said to him was 'Please don't die papa.' I do not blame myself for what happened nor do I claim to know why I said that. The next morning I found him hanging in a spare storehouse on the fringes of the garden.

This left me stranded in Africa with an abusive step mother whose scars I still carry around with me today.

Being mixed race I was always considered 'White' and thus an outsider in Africa. Going to an expensive private school did not help either because we were not well off though we were far from poor- We were the poorest of the rich; living in a society I did not feel I belonged to entirely.

There are many experiences that I will not talk about in this post as they are not that important to where this is going. In short: those experiences broke my older sister who has now wasted away her potential and is living from day to day working for survival and angry and bitter at the world. However, it did not break me, it merely served to mold me into a person who derives great pleasure from making the less fortunate happy and thus the line of work I am in now.

At 18 I moved to England to finish my education amongst other things. 3 weeks into the stay I developed a swelling in my neck which was unexplained and to cut a long story short: I was found to be HIV positive with a CD4 count of 11 and a viral load of a number so high i cannot count to without taking my socks and shoes off and breaking out the abacus.

Anyway, It didn't really bother me even though I was a virgin at the time because instantly many questions were answered about my mothers death and the stern refusal from my step mother to ever give blood. Further investigation indeed revealed that I was born HIV positive. And to think, I always though my mother gave me nothing. Gifted from birth, thanks.

I started to plunge into depression but quickly snapped out of it (2 days later) when I realized i'd never been negative and all through my life I had excelled academically and had been in several sports far more talented than most of my peers and even competed at a national standard in one of them. I was happy yet again.

My doctor, although very understanding and supportive, has always insisted that I see a Councillor every few months with the argument that although I appear to be a very strong and interdependent individual HIV will find a way to come around and bite me in the rear when I least expect it. I consented to it but these meetings consist of a brief cup of coffee and a discussion about the weather or politics as the Councillor has come to realize that he will not get anything whatsoever out of me.

In the last few months I've come to realize that I am madly in love with my best friend and the feeling is mutual. We were already living together and she has always known about my status and has stood by me through some vicious hate in which HIV has been used as a weapon against me by an ex-girlfriend who I will sum up as a big mistake.

In the last 2 months however I have come to realize that HIV is indeed breaking me. Not the virus itself but the stigma attached to it:

I can understand the negativity and difficulty I have received from the gf's mother: She loves her daughter as do I and wants her to be looked after and remain negative. Although she refuses to read any information on HIV unless it ends with my early death and remains steadfast on the fear mongering beliefs that were spread by the media in the 80's, that is fine, i can deal with that.

What I can't deal with is the constant attack I receive from the gf's doctors. It all started with a cold 2 months ago that gradually got worse and the doctors requested she have a HIV test (Fair enough, best keep her checked up due to my status i guess) which came back negative. The symptoms went away and the doctors not finding HIV decided that it couldn't be serious and thus left it alone. This month the same symptoms returned accompanied by herpes. Automatically it was assumed that it was HIV again and ignoring the gf's rather promiscuous past it was assumed that I was the cause i quote "Just because he hasn't cheated on you to your knowledge doesn't mean he isn't sleeping with whores." This coming from an NHS Doctor/Nurse who specializes in sexual health. Great, Just because I was born HIV positive automatically means that I slept with a whore. Thanks. Another HIV test for the gf and a herpes test for me come back with the conclusion that she isn't positive and I have never had herpes and do not have it- At this point I expected the Doctor to appologise for her out of line comment but instead I got a look of utter disappointment that both were negative. Mystery illness forgotten again- Its not HIV so isn't worth investigating?

No apology, yet again because I am HIV positive and have a very laid back demeanor people seem to think that it is OK to walk all over me. It isn't just this instance though- Whilst dealing with the ex-gf who assaulted me, made up stories that got me suspended from work and also caused over £2000 pounds in damage to my property, the police were very helpful in getting her to leave me alone- until they found out I am HIV positive at which point it was suddenly forgotten and deemed to be all OK. After all, she remained negative and its therefore not serious?

Where this has lead me today? I can feel myself starting to fall apart. I didn't even get my five minutes of fun to contract HIV but it still seems to be my fault that I am this way- Even if I had contracted it sexually would it justify being treated this way? Its a virus, get over it!

I am now travelling 4 hours to London to see my old and supportive Doctors rather than having to deal with the nonsense up here. Its expensive and time consuming but better than the alternative.

I used to be happy to pay the high taxes here but now every month when i see how much i pay to the NHS every month i get more and more bitter about it. Hate and discrimination from the general public and people who are HIV ignorant i can understand; But from so called healthcare professionals who are paid with money from my wallet? That is unacceptable, perhaps some re-training is in order or better yet, I don't use the NHS (Private Insurance) so just give my money back and leave me the #@£k alone!

Rant over

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Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1895
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: I'm Positive- Get Over It, I Have To Live With It, You Don't new
      #266065 - 09/03/12 11:30 PM

Yes it does suck , all that you were made to endure. The ignorance of people , not caring about you felt, the cold callousness of the nurses and doctors should be reported, The police that are suppose to protect basically kicked you to the curb. The ex gf whos bitterness used you as an outlet , and the new gf that has to endure all this crap cause she loves you. And You don't deserve any of it. I'm sure you'd love to take a big dump on all of them. Then you can say that they really are shitty. BUT GUESS WHAT....... you also have the tools to teach and educate all those idiots. They have made you a strong person.You ar equiped with many tools, more than you realize. Find that power within my friend. Turn your anger and bitterness into enery that is filled with the power youposess. Think outside the box my friend. The answers are all there. I sure hope your not mad at God. He is your biggest ally. Open your eyes , heart and soul to see where you can go.

Look up to the Heavens for the answers to Lifes questions .

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Reged: 09/03/12
Posts: 4
Loc: North West, UK
Re: I'm Positive- Get Over It, I Have To Live With It, You Don't new
      #266344 - 09/07/12 02:22 PM

To be honest I am not really bothered about those people. what is really hard is seeing the gf have to go through all this solely because she is in a relationship with me. I can deal with things that are about me but it kills me to see her suffer for it.

Thank you, I do feel empowered and able to to anything with my life; Life hasn't been kinda but I still feel privileged thanks to a farmer with no hands or tongue who I met in Africa- But that's a different story.

As for being mad at God; I am not really but that being said I did lose my faith a long time ago but that was long before I found out I was positive.

I used to be a strong Malthusian (Believe that nature regulates itself and reduces population etc and there isn't much we can do- The strong survive.) However, it was a big eye opener to learn about my status and thus be grouped as one of the ones selected to be removed so life can continue on earth. I do know that HIV will not kill me and I'll most likely live a long and healthy life provided I don't kill myself climbing or something.

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Reged: 09/10/12
Posts: 1
Loc: Virginia
Re: I'm Positive- Get Over It, I Have To Live With It, You Don't new
      #266421 - 09/10/12 10:18 PM

So sorry to hear about the stress you have to constantly deal with. Keep strong and I wish you and your girl a great future together. Virginia, USA is rooting for you!

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New User

Reged: 09/03/12
Posts: 4
Loc: North West, UK
Re: I'm Positive- Get Over It, I Have To Live With It, You Don't new
      #266678 - 09/17/12 12:34 PM

Thank you.

Its much appreciated and it helps a lot to feel like I am not alone

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