I'll be 65 in a month. I've been poz since 2003 - tested poz in April, think the seroconversion was in January.
For me the 3 major challenges of being poz have been the fatigue, which forced me to retire in 2004, the "huge" abdominal fat gain, which happened in the first 3 to 4 months and I have not been able to get to budge since, and peripheral neurapathy, which has been getting steadily worse in the past year.
I started meds in Oct. 2003. I never adjusted to the AZT component of my 1st regimen, so at about 6 months I was switched from Combivir to Truvada. My life has been a lot better since then - I handle the meds well, I'm non-detectable, my CD4 is about 700 and I've never had an opportunistic infection.
I didn't come out as gay until I was 49 although I'd started having sex with guys when I was 9. Coming out meant ending 20 years of a really bad marriage. Hiding and getting married were things a lot of us did back in the dark ages, pushed by our families, our social situation and our religious communities.
One of my fears that held me back from coming out sooner was the image of the lonely old queen. But I quickly discovered that you can be as lonely or as involved as you care to be. I am so much happier since I came out, in spite of dealing with HIV and the death of a partner. My relationship with my 2 children is so much better than it had been before the divorce (especially better since my ex died several years ago).
I am a gay leatherman. I have been very involved in the Master/slave lifestyle and for many years headed a national organization for that lifestyle. I started that path among gay men but have come to have many heterosexuals friends in the lifestyle as well. These are friends located all over the country, many of whom are now like brothers and sisters to me.
Personally I have had two live-in slaveboys for most of the time since 1996. My first slaveboy died of AIDS related PCP in 2001. It was a huge blow to me and the other boy, but we pulled together and moved on. I too quickly added another boy to the household but he didn't work out well. After 3 years he was asked to leave. After that we (that mostly means me) cooled our jets for a while and then I added another boy who has worked very well.
I didn't set out to do it, but I have ended up with slaveboys who are much younger than me. The one who died after 5 years with me was 21 years younger; the surviving boy, who has now been with me for 12 years, is 19 years younger; and my "new" boy, who has been with me 4 years, is 35 years younger. Being surrounded daily with younger men has encouraged me to keep young in mind and spirit even if my body doesn't always want to cooperate. Among the three of us we are a mixture of HIV statuses and we work hard at keeping it that way.
Like many who are poz in our era, I fully expect that it will not be HIV/AIDS or one of its opportunistic diseases that will kill me. I know that I will not live forever, but I am very confident that to the end I will not be alone. I know that my boys will care for me, but I have long term care insurance in case my care becomes more than they can handle. I have tried to structure my estate to provide for my boys, as well as my children, when it is my time to be called so I will have no regrets of not having cared for them or providing them a home even at the end of my life.
My life is rich and full and I am enjoying myself. HIV causes some inconvenience but it is not who I am and it is not the center of my life.
Life is a sexually transmitted disease and it is invariably fatal. No one gets out of this alive!