Does HIV Cause AIDS? Denialism vs. Pro-ARVs: A "Debate"
January 27, 2011
It started as a simple status on my Facebook page where I just put "FOR ME IT'S VERY HARD!!! TO TAKE HIV MEDS ... IT'S NOT SIMPLE! IT'S NOT EASY ... THEY DO SAVE OUR LIVES BUT HAVE VERY HARSH SIDE EFFECTS!" Well before I knew it, I had a scientist (a good friend), a doctor, a person that said he tested HIV positive and was showing me videos of all these other doctors and scientists that say HIV does not cause AIDS, and that the medication is killing us. I also had a very nice lady from the UK that is also positive along with her husband and also takes her meds.
Well this is my opinion and only mine! I don't give a damn if HIV does not cause AIDS. I really don't care! What I care about is how the hell do I keep my immune system intact???? From the videos I have seen from people that say that HIV does not kill, they talk about keeping your immune system healthy with natural medication, drink lots of water, live a healthy life etc etc! Well, I do all of that! As I have said before, I was with NO MEDS for almost 10 years. When I found out, I left to Colombia (my country) for a while.
My story is very complex, I tested positive around 1991. It was something that was done to every teen that entered Job Corp -- we got tested for HIV. I decided to take no meds and after this is when I left to Colombia. My mom has a health food store and a vegetarian restaurant, and I took nothing but natural medication, but I still monitored everything. Again, I was without meds for 10 years and I saw the decline of my CD4 T cells ... until it went down to 39. No meds were available in Colombia back then, and I was NOT going to take the high dosages of AZT that they were prescribing back then in the United States. Lab companies were not pushing medication (we had none in Colombia) so this was not an issue!
I came back to Miami and decided it was time. You know when you have that gut feeling ... and I remember the doctor telling me, "Well Maria I can take you to the well but I can't make you drink the water!" It was up to me to start my medication. I started to feel healthier and my T cells went up! and believe me, I was against HIV meds. I have never been hospitalized and I am very blessed for that! So, you see, everyone is different. I go with my instinct and my heart and this is what is right for me. I also combine it still with natural medication, acupuncture, meditation, massage and positive thinking. This is my opinion! Hell YEAH I want to be free of HIV meds but I know that I have to take them. I told my doc even what medication to prescribe to me.
Now this is the thing, as I said I don't give a damn about HIV causing AIDS. I care about if I stop taking my meds, explain to me how I will keep my immune system intact and not with only natural medicine!? Because I have been around that all my life! So I have done it all! I also have a friend that was an ex drug addict. She used crack and didn't eat well. She is in her late 50s and didn't take her medication and has 1500 CD4 cells. Imagine that!! And I know others who have stopped their meds when they were at a good level and went down and went right back to meds. So, you see, I am so tempted to leave my meds because it's been such a freaking long time and I want a break ... but then what? As my wife told me last night, "if it isn't broken, don't FIX it!" Because you may leave them and come back feeling three times worse than you are now. And if HIV doesn't cause AIDS, then what broke my immune system down during those 10 years? Because in Colombia, it was all natural and I had the best nutrition.
I do feel we all are human and we all have a purpose. Everyone's body is different and I would never tell anyone what to do when it comes to this. I tell them "talk to your doctor." The life of people is in our hands, especially if they are recently diagnosed and scared to take their meds ... we might hurt them! WE have to be very careful and I thank god I have a strong personality and I do research. I am even going to do some research on the ones that say that that you don't have to take your meds. I want to see with EVIDENCE how they kept their immune system intact!!! I am not a doctor or a scientist! But I have a brain and at the end I know what works for me. Love and Light -Maria-
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Time to Show My Face and Take the Stigma Away
Maria T. Mejia
I am a 37-year-old Colombian female who lives in Miami, Florida. I've been positive for 20 years. Although almost all my life I've been in long-term relationships with HIV-negative men, I am happily married to a woman who is wonderful and caring. We have been together almost three years and she is HIV negative. I have no children but we will look into having! I am an activist, a peer educator, a caregiver. I volunteered for the Red Cross in education for the Hispanic HIV community and also the American community. I was a pre- and post-test counselor. I have spoken in many conferences and done a lot of outreach in the community, especially in the schools for prevention and education. It is part of my everyday life to educate everyone I can on this subject. Being HIV positive is nothing to be ashamed about! We are strong women, and we will take away all the stigmas slowly but we have to open up.
Read more blogs by women living with HIV/AIDS at "A Girl Like Me"
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