Yes, living and surviving with this disease and being able to be blessed that I’m still and feel great. Health wise……! This is truly a great story of life, that never really ends. I must have contracted the disease from some hot Puerto Rican in 1981, he was hot and the sex was great. It was a one night stand. How do I know it was him, well you almost just know when you get tested and think back. I got tested in 1987 because a new partner ask me to and I felt okay with it. And I was almost comfortable with what whatever the outcome since up to that point I had lived a great life.
So I get tested and the result came back positive, almost like I’d figure it would. Soon after testing I developed a really bad case of shingles and then all the other opportunists infections followed. I never really had time to think what just happened until about 10 years later. When I had survived the makers 6 months, one year, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years. I beat all the doctors odds. All thru that time I had 2 forms of cancer (karposi sarcoma) (lymphoma), a half a dozen times of shingles and many bouts of pneumonia. But I always thought I would see it thru because my genes were good. I know it had nothing to do with it. But I held on to that theory to get thru and it help.
During the 1st case of karposi sarcoma, ( internal ) the chemo was so difficult that I went out on disability which changed my life forever. Disability was never enough because you see I was only 30 and my prime had been cut short. But I persevered and took my meds and fought my way thru to the 15th year when things actually started to calm down and I knew I’d be around for awhile.
Telling the folks and friends was in the 5th year. I was strong enough and felt I had a good handle and confidence for the outcome. I had this great friend that stood by side when I told most including my parents. Thank God for him (my mother adored him) he helped hold it all together. And we kinda convinced them all was good, and I’ll be okay. Knowing fair well, who knew at that time what would happen. That friend is still very special to me even though we don’t communicate much.
I’m still on disability and time is passing by surviving and getting by with help of many friends, I thought they felt in back of their minds I would not survived. Hey I proved everyone wrong.
Here at 57, 27 years later and feeling great, some mental health issues that stem from the past and putting things aside, but happy for life.
I will not say it wasn’t rough it was, and it still is because income didn’t go up much but the cost of living definitely has. But I’ve owned beautiful homes and great cars, traveled as best as I could, along with being so grateful to friends and family. Some of them made it all possible, you know who you are and I’m blessed to of had you in my life. During this time I had lost so many friends and went to so many funerals it was numbing but you always pushed ahead.
With all the health problems in the beginning, my blood work always was good and I rebounded well, I had an angel watching over me as I do now (my mom). I continue to thrive with all the loss and challenges life has, along with the achievements I had.
There are many of us long term survivors that aren’t going to die of aids but just old age, isn’t that great! But we are left behind, not many want to hear these good stories because they have a happy ending. Not that it’s the end, just that we made it thru the toughest time in our lives. And there is so much more to live for.
Now we have the medicine’s and treatments that we can help others to let them know it’s not the end. It will be hard work but they can do it by staying healthy and taking care of their bodies. God Bless us all………..!