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i am a 38 year old single white male with AIDS...
      #449 - 03/30/00 05:18 PM

I am a 38 year old single white male with AIDS. I was dianosed
with HIV in 1989. I went into deep denial. I kept working and
going out like I wasn't infected. It was hard for me to let
anyone know about my condition. I was very depressed and
stressed, scared someone would find out. Especially my employers.
What brought back my attention to my condition, was feeling sick
a lot for no apparent reason. I started going to my local health
clinic. They took tests and came up with my cd4 as being about
70. This was in Jan 1995. I read up on literature and made
several calls to AIDs counselors and networks to get more
information. I suddenly found out that I had full blown aids.
This changed my life forever. I retired from my job in order to
concentrate on my health and medication schedules. It was hard at
first, but thank God my family stuck by me--their support was
tremendous. Anyway, I went on a mission to get support from
social security, which was turned down. After trying a second
time, with an attorneys help, I was approved. Through a long
process of filling out forms and making calls, I was finally
approved for benefits. I had a life insurance policy, which I
found out I could sell. This was a blessing because it helped me
pay my debts, until my benefits started. Since then, I have
purchased a car and a computer. I don't know how I managed
without it. I since came across The Body website. It was also a
blessing to have information not normally available. I visit The
Body regularly, and have learned much. I also had to accept my
condition. Through the health clinic, I've received support,
medicine, monthly doctor visits, my condition stats, counseling.
I was abusing myself with alcohol and drugs. My counseling has
helped me to come out of my self indulgence and accept myself for
who I am. I never really had a relationship with anyone, I just
partied, met one night stands and consid- ered I was gay. Now I
still have my condition but I don't hurt myself and others like I
did. I've learned and continue to learn about this awful disease
thanks to the health clinic (the good people) and The Body site,
and other information I can pickup. I also have my spiritual
beliefs which has become very importan. I try my best to cope,
day to day, with my illness. I have good and bad days, but I
haven't given up. I am also very honest about my condition. To
others, I express my thoughts openly and willingly, and try to
help others understand this very complex disease form which has
taken so many lives. I have faith that a cure is near, I pray
that our society continues to support those infected, and
continues to help us in this fight, providing the medications,
the support, the caring and the medical professionals who are on
the edge of a new discovery. I thank my God for helping me find
the strength, courage, and wisdom to live life to its fullest,
and not asking why. E-mail me at :

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