Let There Be Blood
By Brooke Davidoff
June 19, 2011
My last column sparked an e-mail to me from a doctor in my state who helped me get in on a weekend to get my labs done. She organized for me to actually get on board with a doctor I had been referred to months ago. I go in to see her June 16th.
I no longer have AIDS! Woohoo I have been downgraded to HIV positive. That only took a year and a half. Still symptomless other than night sweats; I'll take it.
I got a refill of my meds called in and just picked them up. I will get to pay for them later. My new medical insurance has a $1,500.00 deductable. I had six vials of blood taken for my labs and got a bill in the mail the other day for over $1,000.00. How are people supposed to be able to afford that? C'mon; we're on one income for three people, a cat and a puppy.
I do care about my health; I do want to live for my son and husband, my friends and family. I want to be a better person. To help educate others so they do not have to join our HIV club. I want to be a published author. I want I want I want.
Maybe I am afraid to go to the doctor. I'm sure most of you didn't go to get your results thinking you had HIV. I expected to be told they found pot in my system. We smoked the week of our wedding. I expected to be informed not to change litter boxes anymore because the toxins were bad for the baby.
I did not expect to go into the doctor's office and be told I had a incurable disease.
I watch True Blood addictively and know the vampires would not date any of us. We don't fit into a category on that show, or anywhere else. We are truly unique. You can't catch cancer. People who are married to cancer patients don't fear sleeping with them. We need a TV show; we need a movie other than Philadelphia. We need representation; there has to be at least ONE famous ALIVE Hollywood-type woman with it. Where in the hell is she? Where are our voices? I was invited to go to D.C. for the 30-year AIDS anniversary to speak. I could not make it based on financial reasons. I will have to go next year. Maybe my book will be done by then and someone will want to publish it.
I feel like I'm locked in a box with all of you. We scream at the passersby who have no idea HIV is lurking, but they cannot hear us. They have no idea they are at risk, and we are the only ones who can save them. The more people who test positive, the more we have failed them.
Voice of ONE
Brooke was diagnosed HIV positive in January 2010 -- two months married and 11 weeks pregnant with her first baby -- and has already begun to educate others about HIV. She lives in Seattle, and her poetry has been featured on TheBody.com. Her son was born on July 15, 2010.
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