By Brian Ledford
Personal Experience With Stigma
July 23, 2014
Often the battle with HIV is not only against the virus itself, but it is against the stigmas that surround those who are affected by the virus. We have all experienced negative stigmas surrounding our HIV status or stigmas related to any other chronic illness, and we each have stories that we could tell about how those experiences have affected us personally.
What I DO Have
July 17, 2014
I may not be the best looking, have abs of steel, be 6 feet tall, an awesome haircut, or have a wonderful partner to hold me. In truth, you probably would not even notice me walking down the street. But I do have something in my life that so many are not as fortunate to have. I have peace. Peace with my diagnosis. Peace within my life. Peace about the choices I've made, be they bad or good. Yes, at times my life gets turned upside down and I can get pretty depressed, but with everything, that too passes.
My Follow-Up Procedure
July 15, 2014
As many of you may know my doctor did a series of tests and biopsies earlier this year to test for certain types of anal cancer and those test came back showing that I had advanced precancerous tissue and my doctor recommended that I get it treated sooner rather than later.
Are You Having "Bad Sex"?
June 10, 2014
I love to watch the TV show "Bad Sex" on LogoTV. Mostly it is because I think the host Chris Donaghue is amazingly hot and I have a huge man crush on him, but also because at times it can be a real train wreck. With each episode I find that on some level I am able to relate to something most of the members of the show are going through, it can be some small aspect or it can be the main reason they are there seeking treatment.
Some "Me" Time
May 7, 2014
To start off, I apologize for it taking so long for me to write another post. I have still yet to hear back from my doctor about the biopsies that were taken at my last appointment, and all this waiting has had me kind of in a funk. Whoever said "No news is good news" didn't know what the hell they were talking about. Not knowing is driving me crazy.
HPV Tests Make a VA Appointment Awkward
April 18, 2014
First we went over my lab results from March. Still have an undetectable viral load and my CD4 count is still up around 1000 but my % went from 35% to 40%, which is great. That is the highest percent it has been in years. Usually it stays around 33-35%. Also my liver enzymes, which have been elevated for years, are back to normal levels. The doc said they were the best he has ever seen them. And on top of that I am still losing weight. I am down another 5 lbs. since January, which may not seem like a lot, but for me it is awesome.
Tattooing With HIV: A Slap in the Face
April 14, 2014
Yesterday, I contacted a local tattoo parlor about possibly getting some work done. I have 3 tattoos and 3 piercings. I not only want some new work, but I also want to get some touch-ups on a few of the ones I have. Yes, tattoos and piercings are addictive and once you get one, you always want another.
HIV and Support Systems
March 20, 2014
I received a call this evening from The Marine's Wounded Worrior group that really got me to thinking. It was great to get the call in the respect that it makes me feel like I have not been forgotten and that I am still part of the Marine family that I love so much. But this call got me thinking, which is usually a bad thing. I guess this is just part of the funk I have been in for a while now.
Four Years and One Hell of a Ride
February 23, 2014
Four years come and gone, and what a hell of a ride it has been.
Fucking Love Sex
January 26, 2014
Yes, there was a time when I wanted nothing to do with sex. It was right after my HIV diagnosis. I did not feel like even being touched, I truly thought of myself as one of those "untouchables." It has taken some time for me to get that drive back, but boy when I did it came in like flood gates being opened (no pun intended.)
This is my story of how I found out I was HIV-positive while still on Active Duty in the United States Marine Corps and how I have tried to put the pieces of my life back together through the good times and the bad. I am currently a full time student working on a degree in Information Security Technology, which seems to be taking forever. I want to help make a difference and erase HIV related Stigma in the South, where due to lack of education people still do not know that much about HIV. If my story reaches out and helps at least one person, then I have made a difference.
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July 23, 2014 - Personal Experience With Stigma: A Blog Entry by Brian Ledford
July 17, 2014 - What I DO Have: A Blog Entry by Brian Ledford
July 15, 2014 - My Follow-Up Procedure: A Blog Entry by Brian Ledford
June 10, 2014 - Are You Having "Bad Sex"? A Blog Entry by Brian Ledford
May 7, 2014 - Some "Me" Time: A Blog Entry by Brian Ledford
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