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Long Term Survivor/Newbie??

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Welcome to the forums, Aries.

There have been times when I wonder why I'm still alive too, but after nearly 19 years I've stopped questioning that. Obviously the doc who told me to go home and prepare to die was wrong, so Iíve chosen to live out the rest of my life to the best of my abilities.

Depression is a bummer (I know)  so it's good to see you've posted. No need to be alone anymore.


Aries in da house!!!!!   (9 April here)

I totally feel what you posted.  I hid out in plain view for almost 16 years, largely because of fears surrounding future brain surgeries for a spinal fluid shunt I had 2/80 to 12/94.  Losing several dozen friends by the age of 21 took a heavy toll on me, too, but when I finally dealt with HIV in 98 it was very liberating, and my docs were almost afraid about how diligent I was in being a partner in directing my care.  I hope that you will rally likewise in time.

If you're a long-term survivor and uninsured in ATL, you may want to check out information provided by the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta on their website:

They indicate a meds program apart from ADAP available in the area, plus there is the option to become a volunteer research subject, and people like us are in demand.  They will undoubtedly want you to have an outside physician relationship, though.

As for the whole employment and insurance thing..... You didn't indicate your line of work, but I found from being an IT independent contractor and an empoyee of a few consulting firms and "body shops" that being employed by a large firm carries fewer hassles, e.g. not pre-existing condition clauses.... and it's not like you've been treated anyway!


Andy Velez:
Aries, I'm really glad you have found your way to our site and clearly other members feel the same way. Welcome!

Obviously you can't re-write the past. But you do have now. You've already gotten some excellent suggestions. Getting yourself a primary care doctor with whom you can develop a working partnership should be right at the top of your "to do" list. Having your numbers monitored regularly to see where you're at now is essential so you and your doctor can decide whether you need to be on meds or not.

There are other active members from Atlanta who should be able to fill you in on what AIDS service organizations are available in your area. Breaking the isolation you've been in for so long is a huge thing and you've taken a good healthy step by joining us here.

Keep us posted on how it's going as you wend your way. The more you can bring yourself to continue stepping out the better I think you're going to be feeling.

And again, welcome!

Thank you everyone for your responses.

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply.  I am a slight workaholic.

I also received emails from some of you.  One was from someone right here in Atlanta and gave alot of good resources/info.  I would like to respond to the emails but it doesnt provide your email address.

I hope you read this and email me again. 

I have slipped back into depression a few times since last posting.  The only time I dont think about it is when I am working. 

I came close to telling my mother about my health over the weekend but I got chicken. 

I have realized that the cost of medicine is alot more than I thought.  I also earned over the $30k annually for assistance.  I have researched some health insurance providers. I will also meet with some of the ASOs this week to figure it all out.

This may seem strange but coming here makes me feel less alone.  Thanks again everyone.

Miss Philicia:
aries, those are PM's (private messages) not emails.  AIDSmeds requires a posting tally of at least 3 before the "Reply" function becomes available, so after your next post on the forums you should be able to reply to those messages.

Good luck in sorting out the financial aspects of your situation.


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