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Reged: 06/18/09
Posts: 303
Loc: Georgia
25 Years And Counting
      #273979 - 09/20/13 12:04 AM

It was 25 years ago today that I got the result back from my first and only HIV test. After a week waiting period I went back to AID Atlanta. The nice person took me back into one of 2 rooms and started by telling me "I'm sorry, but...." I said "Thank you" and went back to dinner a block away.

There was no treatment to speak of. AZT was just about to be released on the open market. (Would probably injure or kill as many as it helped due to a lack of knowledge about HIV meds and the lack of the existence of others.)

I had heard what the general knowledge was. HIV came from using drugs or poppers. I had never used either. People with HIV had a life expectancy of 3 to 5 years. (In many cases that was the truth.) People with HIV would get repeatedly sick and then very thin before dying. (I had a roommate who was in and out of the hospital, but he never appeared to loose too much weight.) People in the town where I live then and now had to travel nearly an hour and a half every week to get complete blood transfusions. (May have given them fresh blood or may have given them more contaminated blood. Either way did nothing to help.)

I can't count the numbers of friends I've lost to this disease. The numbers of friends I left behind as I moved from one city to another who were infected and I know must be dead by now. The number of people I've known in the past 14 years since I've been home who have died. I still see people every week who have advanced HIV who are in the late stages and suffering dementia. The people who died from what we can only assume are AIDS related illnesses but will never know for certain, because they aren't on the government official list. (Who has lived with this disease for more than 20 years but isn't feeling the pangs of old age coming on more rapidly than it should?)

I do occasionally get survivor's remorse. Why do I live while so many of my friends died? I try to not let it get me down. We each choose our own road to travel through life. Some of us make better choices.

Am I glad I'm alive? ABSOLUTELY! Growing up I always said I was going to live forever. I'm just trying to not make a liar of myself.

I happened to have blood work done today. I'll get the results at my next clinic appointment on Oct. 9. The last time I went my doctor told me I was healthier than he is.

The meds we have now are wonderful! The treatments we have now are wonderful! The people caring for us we have now are wonderful!

I grateful I can continue to live my life as a normally operating human and not have to jump through hoops to get anything. The people who were active in the ACT UP groups get much of the thanks! The people who attended both the marches in Washington in the 1980's get much of the thanks! (I was there for the second.) The people who hounded their congressional representatives get much of the thanks! The late Elizabeth Taylor and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy get much of the thanks! Thank you to them all and so many more who have worked tirelessly for us! I couldn't have done it without you!!!

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Reged: 01/29/13
Posts: 15
Re: 25 Years And Counting new
      #273987 - 09/20/13 10:40 PM

Great to hear your story and for people to know that we are in a better time.

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Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1895
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: 25 Years And Counting new
      #273994 - 09/21/13 01:53 PM

Yeah times certainly have hanged. I too been pos for going on 23 years. I refused to take any meds in the beginning and to top it off I was pregnate and there was no meds anyway if your were expecting. Things have come along way but for some who didn't change their lifestyle of drugs and drinking , it has stayed the same. I count my blessings very day for all that has been restored in my life, inner being and outer being. I never imagined it would ever be as good as it is now. Praise God . My heart goes out to those still struggling , trying to make sense out of their chaotic life. I am done with the roller coaster and revolving doors . Definition of insanity is ..."Repeating same behavior and expecting different results" Life goes by quickly so take the time to smell the roses .

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

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