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https://www.thebody.com/article/positive-life-interview-gary
Gay MenPersonal Stories

This Positive Life: An Interview With Gary

    "\[Larry Kramer\] said, 'Living with HIV is like living with a monster in your house. Sometimes it's quiet and asleep in the corner. And other times, it's going crazy and trashing and destroying everything in the house.' For some reason, that really struck a chord with me and helped me learn how to deal with living with HIV."
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    "There was ACT UP, which was the radical arm of the HIV movement and really did help bring about a lot of awareness and a lot of faster-track approval of medications. Thank God that they were around."
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    "The doctor came in and said, 'You're positive.' When you find out something's 'positive,' that's normally a _good_ thing, you know? But it was just a brief second, and then I realized, no, that's _not_ a good thing."
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    "One of the women came up and said, 'My daughter's very sexually active and she just got an STD. Should she be tested for HIV?' I said, 'Well, she's having unprotected sex. _Yes,_ she needs to be tested.'"
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    "At one point, I never thought I'd live to see 2000. I blew past that and then I thought, 'Well, I'll never live to see 50.' I blew past _that_. \[Laughs.\] Now I'm 60. And it's 2009. My T cells are at 400 and viral load's undetectable. I should be around for another 10 years. \[Laughs.\]"
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    "I was only 51 years old when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Most men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their 70s or 80s. They're older and they do exactly whatever the doctor tells them to do. Well, I wasn't that kind of patient anymore. \[Laughs.\]"
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    "He was used to his regular patients just saying, 'OK, yes, doc, whatever you say.' I would question him and challenge him and say, 'Why do we need to do _that_?'"
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    "When I find out that somebody was just _recently_ infected, in my mind, I'm going, '_Why_ did you put yourself in that position? You _should_ know about it. Why weren't you being careful? Why weren't you practicing safe sex?'"
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    "You deal with what you have and you live with your circumstances. That is what your reality is. I don't know what I would have been like without HIV in my life. I would much rather _not_ have it in my life. \[Laughs.\] But it's part of what I am."
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    Olivia G. Ford

    Olivia G. Ford

    o_g_ford

    Olivia Ford is a contributing editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.