Where do I start....?
First things first, I suppose. I was diagnosed as having HIV in October, 1985 at the tender age of 17. Yes, I have just had my 30th anniversary! I was one of the unlucky ones that told of their illness when it was all bright, shiny and new...oh and before any medication. During those 1st years of the late eighties many of my friends died. Some horribly. Some without any contact from their own families, who had cast them aside. Some committed suicide, the shame of having HIV , being HIV too much to bear. 10 people that had helped me on my journey to become the person I wanted to be, died in front of me - IT WAS A HARD SPELL IN MY LIFE. In all, up to about 1992 I lost 32 friends and close acquaintances.
I always decided that I would not let it define who I am. Don't get me wrong, there have been some dark days along the way. There has been illness, depression, suicide attempts over the years but nothing that I haven't been able to overcome. Some things have taken longer than others but I am still here. Still healthy. And outlived my early expectations by many many years.
Do I have a secret? No not really. What I will say is that I haven't let it be the driver of my life. An irrelevance that I can't can't do anything about. It only raises its head when I've been looking for a partner, going on holidays, filling in medical forms etc. I would just say to you - live your life. Keep safe and keep your partners safer! I always promised myself that it would not get passed on from me - all my partners have been negative and remained so. There seems to be a notion amongst some that having risky sex is ok with the advent of medication - all I say is think again. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life taking pills for 10 minutes of fun? We are now in the realm of having lots of treatment options available that doesn't give you the right to start playing Russian Roulette with your life and that of others.
If any of you want to get in touch, please drop me a line. I'm more than happy to pass on my experiences on many subjects - if I can help I'm more than happy to.
Well, that's a little about me for now...
KEEP HAPPY - STAY SAFE!