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Introduce yourself

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OzPaul:
Hi Everyone

It's really good to have this forum for those of us who have been been positive for many years, survivors all.

Even though many of us here know of each other and many are friends too, I thought it might be good as a means of introduction to share some basic information. There will be many folks reading this forum who would like to know about us long term positives/survivors. I'll kick it off.

I'm 48 years old. I tested positive in 1985 though likely became infected in 1981 while living in NYC. I am not on medications for HIV though I am for bi-polar disorder.

I am American, though I have been living in a small coastal town outside of Melbourne, Australia for 4 years. I have been a ballet dancer and chef and have written poetry and essays as well. I also create environmental found art. Last year I started a Farmers Market in our town. My partner (who is negative) and I have been together for 5 years.

in Peace and Love
Paul

RapidRod:
Howdy all, My name is Rodney, I'm 51, was diagnosed with HIV in 1984, a long term non progress-er until 2005. Hospitalized with Disseminating Histoplasmosis. Started meds in April 2005. Still fighting Histo. I'm a retired firefighter/paramedic and truck driver.

J.R.E.:
Hello All !,

My name is Ray. I am 55 years of age. Originally, I am from Western New York, just north of Buffalo. I now reside in west central Florida.

I moved to Florida in May of 1980. I met my current partner( Ed )in July of 1980.  In 1985 I was diagnosed HIV positive. Ed remains HIV negative.

I was also, a long term non-progressor. I began medication in October of 2003. I probably should have started medication around 2001. I remain employed at this point in my life, and hope to continue, with my employment for some time... But, it can be a struggle at times.



Ray

DanielMark:
Iím Daniel, and I live in the capital city of Canada - Ottawa.

I'm 47, and tested Poz in September of 1988. My doctor called me into his office and said: Well this isn't the kind of news I like to give anybody, but .... He then proceeded to tell me I was looking at a life expectancy of six months or so.

I had clues for a long time that I was likely infected, so although I was sort of prepared, it still shook me up. Especially that prognosis. This was of course still the 1980s.

I very stupidly declined protease inhibitors for years, until November of 2002 when I collapsed in line at a checkout of a grocery store. My viral load was more than 500,000 at that point, and HIV had hijacked me, as my doctor likes to put it.

I ended up spending two days in a hospital emergency department. I donít remember the collapse or much about my hospital stay except that I woke up and saw this "thing" in my hand (IV) and promptly removed it. My ex Ken says I also went wandering outside one night, upsetting the nursing staff even more. I wonder where I was going? When they started talking about putting me in their psychiatric ward, Ken signed me out and took my home to the condo and stayed with me a week to make sure I got on my regime of meds properly. Afterwards, he also made me phone him every morning and evening to report I'd taken the pills.

Iíve been taking Kaletra (lopinavir and ritonavir) with Combivir since then.

Iíve been in love with a man for almost three years now - Jim - who is HIV negative. And prior to that was with Ken for ten years (also HIV negative.)

I took early retirement not long after my diagnosis and am busier now than when I worked I think. I am never ever bored. Life is too full for that.

Daniel

mark54:
hello, my name is mark and i live in new hampshire.  diagnosed in '83 when i was 29.  being young and fairly intelligent i asked the doctor what he felt my prognosis was.  well, he blurted out 'you will become very ill and die within one year.'  so fast forward 24 years, i'm 53 and just had to renew my drivers license last week.  so with the balding and hair cuts too short to dye any longer i had to be honest and put my hair color as gray.  to think i could have died young and left a beautiful corpse.

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