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Author Topic: How has HIV changed you?  (Read 8534 times)

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Offline GemInEyes

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
How has HIV changed you?
« on: August 27, 2008, 04:23:59 AM »
Many of us at one point or another have struggled with news of being infected, what that means to us, our families, etc...and have tried to figure out what we should do with our lives now.

Anybody have some good stories to share regarding what they have done since becoming positive?  Have you changed careers?  Gotten married?  Had children (or adopted)?  Volunteered more?  Created something special (something you may never have done if you weren't positive - for example, a community garden or wrote a piece of music/play)? 

Do any of you have special stories of times when you just decided you weren't going to take the BS any more...and stood proud to advocate for yourself as an HIV positive person?

This is a little self-serving - I'm preparing a presentation for newly infecteds and thought I might included a few snipnets of stories as motivational pieces.  But, this forum seems like an ideal place for those who have been positive for a while to tell their story and maybe give some hope and inspiration to folks who are still struggling with their diagnosis.

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Posts: 12,244
  • Ninja Please
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2008, 06:31:18 AM »
It's made me more sensitive to the feelings of my fellow man.

MtD

Offline ANGEL42

  • Member
  • Posts: 40
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2008, 07:57:16 AM »
    Having been HIV Poz for 11 years now I have finally realized in the past year or so that I`m not ashamed of my status. The shame is in those who choose to judge those who are. My friends and family have know about my status from the begining. I have on a small level educated them about the virus.In the beginingIi was angry, bitter and convinced I only had a few years to live. I know now with the advancement of HARRT medication I have a chronic illness that is managable and I can and will live a long life. As long as I take care of myself and I am compliant with the meds, there is no reason that life can fullfilling.

  Now that I`m almost a 1year and 2 months in remmission with HIV related cancer. A two time survivor, I`ve decide to go out back int he world and give back to the comminutiy. I plan on meeting with a organization here on Long Island known as "Ligaly". Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth. A center for the young community that have a place to gather and feel safe. I would like to educate the youth on HIV. With the latest stats from the CDC showing an increase in the Virus with the 30 and under crowd, I`m worried that we about to enter a new wave  or epidemic with the Youth. I look forward to sharing my knowledge as a LTS and hopefully help them inderstand that HIV is still relevant and very dangerous.

Great thread, thanks for starting it.
ANGEL
" My Body Might Be Broken, but My Spirit and Soul are Alive and Well " my personal mantra

Offline atlq

  • Member
  • Posts: 518
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2008, 08:07:59 AM »
It's made me more sensitive to the feelings of my fellow man.

MtD


My dreams will now be haunted by visions of the the pre-plague Matty....
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline GSOgymrat

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  • Posts: 5,052
  • HIV+ since 1993. INTJ
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2008, 09:26:50 AM »
How has HIV changed you?


Offline atlq

  • Member
  • Posts: 518
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2008, 09:31:37 AM »
GSO,

So you are saying it made you hotter?.... :)
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline BT65

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2008, 09:54:53 AM »
I was pronounced "clinically" dead twice and had to go on disability (in the 90's).

Now, I've returned to school and I do volunteer work twice a week at a local homeless shelter. I have to agree with the Damned One; it has made me more sensitive to other people and their feelings. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline dixieman

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  • Posts: 889
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2008, 10:14:04 AM »
HIV has made me appreciate everything and everyone around me... I am more aware how fragile life is... it has brought a more spiritual, intellectual, experience and has humbled my existence. I do not take anyone, anything for granted... I now understand life on many levels...

Offline Lisa

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2008, 10:24:47 AM »
What dixieman said AND, I now live my life all the way out there. No holding back, no wincing behind the scenes. I love life every day, and laugh big, play big, and mince no words. Our Dame Jan, used to have this really cool byline that spoke to ending one's life sliding into home exclaiming "Whew, what a ride", or something to that effect. That is how I'm living it.
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have.

Offline sharkdiver

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2008, 10:55:59 AM »
Changed me?
Well, truthfully,  I have nothing to compare it to other than my childhood. I was infected when I was a teen in the early 80's. I think the fear of being "outed" with it and almost dying from it a few times certainly affected my attachment to people.

It didn't stop me from going to school and getting multiple degrees.
It didn't stop me from pursuing a terrific career that I am passionate about.
It didn't stop me from dancing with a company and becoming a choreographer
It didn't stop me from traveling and exploring around the world (above and below the water)
it didn't stop me from falling in love with a wonderful person, only to hold him as passed on 2 1/2 years later (just a little over 3 years ago)

 I've always been curious, passionate, creative and sensitive as long as I can remember. (oh yeah, sarcastic, stubborn and a little weird and childlike)

AIDS, for me, just is. It kicks me in the butt every once in awhile but I just deal with it. I know I have wonderful support around me in my life, including here on this forum.

Sharkie

Offline hivsweden

  • Member
  • Posts: 81
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2008, 04:09:07 PM »
I can't really say hiv/aids has made me cherish life more or altered my approach to life.

However, since I received my aids-related PCP diagnosis I have led a quite normal life. I have gotten married AND stayed married since then. We can't have children so we have foster children. I have been working full time since I recovered from PCP and got on meds I could tolerate (which took 5 months).

Volunteer work is something I've given up because I was too tired to work and continue volunteering at the same time.

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2008, 07:42:44 PM »
Employed

Unemployed

Offline BlueMoon

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  • Calling from the Fun House
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2008, 08:57:36 PM »
I'm more lonely and isolated than ever, thanks for asking.
...................VL.....CD4.....%
-----------------------------------------
08/10-- ......<40.....290.....42
05/10-- ......<48.....290.....46
02/10-- ......<48.....481.....44
10/09-- ......<48.....277.....46
07/09-- ......<48.....300.....38
05/09-- ........51.....449.....39
03/09-- Added Isentress
02/09-- ........65.....299.....34
11/08-- ........62.....242.....40
08/08-- ........66.....212.....29
05/08-- ......202.....217.....27
03/08-- ....5210.....187.....21
02/08-- Began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
12/07-- 273,000.....157.....22
11/07-- 229,000.....209.....22
10/07-- Diagnosis

It's a complex world.

Offline leatherman

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2008, 01:15:03 AM »
HIV/AIDS has seriously changed my life; and not in a good way. However, I have taken away a motivational/inspirational lesson from it all.

Twice in two years, I was hospitalized with pneumonia (first time was PCP) and was told I was going to die. That changed a lot about how I felt about my life - it made me GLAD to be alive! It also weakened me, forced me to quit work, put me into poverty and onto disability. It then took 10 long years of sickness and med side effects, going from 28 pills a day down to only 7 now, before I ever reached an undetectable viral load.

Twice AIDS has taken a long-term (10 yrs) partner from me. My first partner died (5/25/94), less than two yrs. after we got our HIV/AIDS diagnoses, which forever changed my future plans. Almost exactly 14 yrs later, my second partner suddenly took ill this Feb, was admitted to the hospital (Mar 1) for 50 days, diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and passed away back in our home (5/1/08).

However, through all the grief, depression, despair and desperation (losing my last partner has already cost me the car, some of the utilites, and soon the house), I learned to be so much more appreciative of being alive (even if my health isn't the greatest) and having my friends.

I also learned what I consider to be the most valuable lesson of all - death is the ONLY problem that can't be fixed, or at least made better. Every other problem I've had has eventually been improved by some patience and some effort. Sometimes it's taken a lot of hard work (which is never fun when you're puking from the meds), and sometimes the patience (waiting for the solution to work out) has been a hard pill to swallow.

Taking this lesson to heart, tomorrow I'll take my morning meds, try not puke, and spend yet another day (there's the patience part) trying to find a new place to live (and there's the hard work) before the bank, the taxman, or the hospital comes to claim my late partner's house and toss me (and my dogs) out onto the streets.

Sorry, having this deadly, sickening disease hasn't made my life any better or given me any good stories to share. What it did teach me was that life can be very short, so you better enjoy and appreciate what you do have; and as long as you're not dying today, some effort tempered with some patience can make anything else a little better.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Patrick

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  • Posts: 86
  • Where the determination is, the way can be found.
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2008, 02:45:56 AM »
People always told me I was full of shit.  It wasn't until I started taking Kaletra that I realized they were right!   ;)

On a more serious note - being HIV+ has made me a much more compassionate person.  I'm also less selfish and a good bit more spiritual than I used to be. 
Seroconversion - late October 07
11/14/07 - CD4 190   VL >750,000
11/14/07 - Started Truvada & Kaletra
12/5/07 - CD4 851     VL 710
2/19/08 - CD4 604     VL Undetectable
5/8/08 -   CD4 829     VL Undetectable
8/12/08 - CD4 915     VL 80 (blip)
11/11/08 - CD4 967    VL Undetectable

Offline LordBerners

  • Member
  • Posts: 415
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2008, 05:42:33 AM »
So far not much.  My outlook has always been pessimistic and cynical, regardless of hi.  Due to my main opportunistic infection - TB - I have lost a great deal of weight.  I was about 195 pounds, went down to maybe 145, now up to maybe 170 (I'd like to stop gaining).  Oddly enough I think I look much better now than when I was chubby.

I do fear the changes it is likely to cause down the road of course.
Please, just call me Berners.. or Baron.

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2008, 06:44:54 AM »
Don't forget that 2 year old fungus.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

tendai

  • Guest
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2008, 07:17:53 AM »
i cant stop thinking im repellent to potential partners if they kne. been proved wrong a couple of times but the feelings always there. so i guess its shaken my confidence a bit

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2008, 07:22:27 AM »
HIV caused me to kind of ruin 3 good jobs that I couldn't have networked into greater things while living in New York City.  Sucks, but that's what is is.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Queen Tokelove

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  • Smokey the Smurf
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2008, 12:53:46 PM »
HIV has made me appreciate everything and everyone around me... I am more aware how fragile life is... it has brought a more spiritual, intellectual, experience and has humbled my existence. I do not take anyone, anything for granted... I now understand life on many levels...

I couldn't have said it any better. But I also agree with Matty too, it has made me more understanding and a nicer person.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline OneMansTrash

  • New Member
  • Posts: 1
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2008, 01:10:54 PM »
I was affected by HIV without being diagnosed.
I was fired from my state career for complaining about years of public supervisory harassment to “straighten up, get back with the Roman Catholic church, and get married,” and “not touch (other people) because (I) might have ‘the AIDS’.”

This cost taxpayers LOTS of money.

For more information, see YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MY0i3ILOHA
Contact PA Labor and Industry Human Resources Director Jim Wildeman.[/b][/color][/font]

Offline PRMike

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  • Posts: 175
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2008, 06:27:56 PM »
Hi Everyone, well i first found out that I was infected when I went to join the Army and it really blew my mind,,, I had been clean (OFF DRUGS ) for 8 yrs but right before I got the news my then Wife turned me on to Crystal Meth so I used the news of being infected to use more drugs thinking that since I was going to Die anyway I would go feeling what I would call GOOD and it took a long time ( 1988 to 2002 ) to realize that I was trying to Kill myself,,, I ended up sick with a T-cell count of 6 and a Viral Load of 400,000+ and PCP pneumonia and after I was released from the hospital I just got into the state of mind that I did not want to live any more so I took about 100 pills and shot up a gram of Crystal meth and I walked out of my Apartment,,, that's the last thing that I can recall because I awoke from a Coma 14 days later in a hospital where they told me that it was a Mircale that I came out of it and I will not Lie I was really Pissed off that I was still in this World but after a few people and my daughter kept telling me that GOD had a purpose for me to live I just gave it up to GOD,, I also have to let you know that I was wanted by my PO so I was facing some Time in Prison which I know was also another reason why I deceided to go into a Rehab Program which I thank GOD I did because I just Celebrated my 6 years of being Clean ( OFF DRUGS ) and for thwe last 5 yrs I have been Undectable and my T-cells are between 350 and 500 I do not know why they keep going up and down but I would guess it's because of a lot of Stress that I have been going through,,, I now want to live and I have hopes that I'll meet a woman that will Love me... I have been trying to date only women that are HIV+ because I'm scared that I might infect her,,, my Ex-wife Thank GOD never got infected and we did have unprotected sex which to me is another miracle...
So there you have it a quick version of my life with HIV/Aids
thank you for listening to me as always your friend PRMike






PRMike

Offline PRMike

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2008, 06:43:53 PM »
Hi How did you do this  ?? 

Posts: 1,647


Hey!


 

   Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 09:26:50 am »   

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How has HIV changed you?

 
 
 Report to moderator   

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you are what you eat than I'm fast, cheap and easy.
PRMike

Offline tash08

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2008, 07:26:10 PM »
It made me realize that all things in life are temporary and how to better care for myself. I don't know about nicer but I won't let anyone to step all over me ;), and I got to love me first.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2008, 07:27:48 PM by tash08 »
01/04/06-HIV-
03/09/06-HIV+
05/07-Atripla
04/01/10 CD4-681, VL-UD
07/10/10 CD4-450, VL-UD
10/10/10 CD4-473, VL-UD
01/21/11 cd4-522, VL-UD
05/02/11 CD4-638, VL-UD <20 copies Hell yeah!
08/3/12 CD4-806, VL-UD

tendai

  • Guest
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2008, 08:22:23 AM »
It and I got to love me first.

amen to that..

Offline StrongGuy

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2008, 10:06:12 AM »
Made me realioze that I am a lot stronger than i ever knew I could be. And also made made me quickly prioritize what is important and move away fast from those things that are not.

Mike :)
"Get your medical advice from Doctors or medical professionals who you trust and know your history."

"Beware of the fortune teller doom and gloomers who seek to bring you down and are only looking for company, purpose and validation - not your best physical/mental interests."

"You know you all are saying that this is incurable. When the real thing you should be saying is it's not curable at the present time' because as we know, the great strides we've made in medicine." - Elizabeth Edwards

Offline heartforyou

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2008, 06:51:08 PM »
HIV has put a stop to my life as a sexaddicted whore. Plain.

It also ended my career, made me go through hell, made me loose many friends and made me poor.

Good side effect : everybody knows he/he will eventually die, but HIV made me realise it.

Hermie
Diagnosed in 1987 and still kicking
Viread, Kivexa (Epzicom),Viramune once daily

Happiness is the freedom of breathing fresh air every day.

Offline madbrain

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    • My personal site
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2008, 07:12:37 PM »
Anybody have some good stories to share regarding what they have done since becoming positive?  Have you changed careers?  Gotten married?  Had children (or adopted)?  Volunteered more?  Created something special (something you may never have done if you weren't positive - for example, a community garden or wrote a piece of music/play)? 

Do any of you have special stories of times when you just decided you weren't going to take the BS any more...and stood proud to advocate for yourself as an HIV positive person?

This is a little self-serving - I'm preparing a presentation for newly infecteds and thought I might included a few snipnets of stories as motivational pieces.  But, this forum seems like an ideal place for those who have been positive for a while to tell their story and maybe give some hope and inspiration to folks who are still struggling with their diagnosis.

Well, my first year with HIV was downright terrible. I had just started a new job the day before I got the news on 11/1/2006 . My bf tested positive also 2 weeks later, diagnosed not just HIV but with AIDS despite a neg test 6 months earlier. I became sufficiently depressed to go on disability. I lost the new job while I was on it - the first time I had lost a job involuntarily.

Fortunately, I was able to rebound. A few months after, I went back to my old boss with the news that I wanted back in. At first he offered me a contracting job. I said that wouldn't do because I had some health issues, as did my bf, and I volunteered what they were. He understood that we needed to get insurance, so I started working part time at the old company 3 days a week in mid 2007, with full benefits for myself and my bf. Then 4 days a week. And earlier this year I went back to 5 days a week.

No, we have not gotten married yet, though we talk about it.
I have gone back to playing music. I played recording engineer for my piano teacher and recorded a CD for him earlier in April.
In July my bf and I visited my family in France, and spent a bit of time in Amsterdam and London.

As for someone else who mentioned sex addiction, I think mine will only die with me. The HIV news stopped it only for a few months. But last month on the trip, my bf dragged me to practically every bathhouse around. He prefers to watch, but when I pay the entrance fee and I'm around hot guys, I like to play also, and I had some fun (safe, and with disclosure of course) . I had never visited a bathhouse before my HIV diagnosis, so in that sense I'm certainly not getting any less than before.

You might not want to include that last paragraph in your presentation. LOL.

Offline BT65

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2008, 08:51:20 PM »
It also ended my career, made me go through hell, made me loose many friends and made me poor.

Hermie

Preach, brother!
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline aztecan

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  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2008, 11:26:33 PM »
It has been 23 years since I tested positive.

To tell you the truth, I have a hard time remembering what it was like before I was poz. I have random images, but not much else.

At the moment I have a delightful hump, a crix belly and lipoatrophy of my arms, legs and head.

But, not so bad I want to hide in the closet. Never been one to be in the closet anyway!

I managed to make it to 51, which many of my friends cannot say. Wish they could.

What has changed for me? I no longer care what others think.

I do as I please, but wouldn't intentionally hurt anyone.

I greet each day, welcome each night and say to hell with those who wish to tell me how to live.

So, this weekend, I am going to the clothing optional hot springs in Southwest Colorado.

It scares the hell out of the straights. ;D

HUGS,

Mark
« Last Edit: August 29, 2008, 11:30:35 PM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2008, 11:20:42 AM »
It hasn't really altered my personality; I was this fabulous before hiv. ;D  Seriously though, I suppose it has made me more tolerant of others who also have health related problems, whether that problem is hiv or not. It's also made me much more INtolerant of bigots and other judgemental arseholes. It's made me a hell of a lot more proactive where my health is concerned.


It also miraculously made me computer literate. Never bothered with computers before my diagnosis and I somehow think I never would have.

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Texan38

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2008, 11:07:53 PM »
I have more compassion and tolerance...and I don't know if this sounds unusual but I always want to give a friendly hug to people after I meet them.
In Hollywood an equitable divorce settlement means each party getting fifty per cent of publicity.
~ Lauren Bacall

Offline joemutt

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #32 on: August 31, 2008, 03:15:35 AM »
I have realised my fundamental goodness and so I can be better with others too.
(that's on a good day lol)

Offline weasel

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2008, 12:13:51 PM »
i got the chance to BAIL out of the rat race of the big city ,move to the country
25 acres of trees , possums , racoons , dear !

 I now am on SSD and i am getting used to not having  so many places to shop and buy
things I do NOT need anyway !

 My life changed , and  IT IS  FOR THE BETTER !

  My partner and I , 28 years ,he is NEG .  are doing OK !

 I no longer am being controlled by  bosses or bossy people .

 I just live life in a odd little blur !

  life is flying by .
 As they say in Missouri : you may NOT live to be one hundred, but it will have felt like it . :o


 life is good , I don't get concerned with self centerd people !

                                        lets all just live long heathy lives ,

                                                             best to all ,   Karl
" Live and let Live "

Offline DanielMark

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  • Posts: 1,475
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2008, 07:06:09 AM »
I was diagnosed 20  years ago this month and can't believe it's been two whole decades since then.

I wouldn’t say that living with HIV has really changed me much. It has however helped me to separate what is important in life from what is not. And that which is not, I no longer waste my time on. Life goes by fast and the older I get the faster it seems to go.

Having said that, the quality of my life is more important to me than the quantity of years I may or may not live. When all is said and done it will be love that mattered most.

Daniel
MEDS: REYATAZ & KIVEXA (SINCE AUG 2008)

MAY 2000 LAB RESULTS: CD4 678
VL STILL UNDETECTABLE

DIAGNOSED IN 1988

Offline revann33

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2008, 11:43:04 AM »
I tested pos in June of 87.  Yes negative things have happened in my life because of this, however, no matter how bad things seem I remember that it is life.  I can't curl up in a ball.  I know that if it was AIDS it would have been something else. AIDS has made me realize where me strengths are and what my weaknesses are.
I continue to live my life.  AIDS is not the thing that tells me how to live my life, it is only a small thing in my life.  I believe that as long as I live my life this way I can have a "normal" life.
That doesn't mean that I let things slide if I hear ignorance.  Like when I started a new job in SW MO.  There was true ignorance, things said that I hadn't heard since the early 90's.  I spoke out and freely to educate the people I worked with.

Offline BT65

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2008, 11:55:46 AM »
Revann33,

Welcome to the forums.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline nabeaster

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2008, 01:00:43 PM »
Being postive now for 2 years, having HIV has changed me in many ways. I have more frredom now - I don't fear things as much. It has allowed me to experience things that i would have previously set limits to.

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #38 on: September 01, 2008, 05:14:10 PM »
Hey GemInEyes

It put me at death's doorstep. Now I know that life is great. Even though I'm on disability, I'm grateful to wake up

Offline mahalia

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2008, 08:40:15 AM »
not really much has changed since ma diagnosis, except yes it got rid of ma gud wonderful skin i used to have!!!that one 's made me mad!!!summer is here and i just don't know how m going to survive it without ma nice dresses, bare backs, boob tubes!(i got Steven johnson's after reacting to viramune) but other than that really m cool, i've got to be more loving and appreciative to life though. i just think that life is too short not to have a blast!

Offline mpls_apple

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2008, 10:03:30 PM »
O no doubt the news of being HIV positive killed me, i died in that clinic office that day, emerged a different person....

No doubt it changed me for the better,  i don't go out partying and drinking like i did before, i value my life, the little things i took for granted.  Im a much stonger person though, emotionaly, physically, mentally.
dreams can be deceiving, like faces are to hearts.

Offline michaelman333

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    • My Facebook
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2008, 01:57:33 AM »
i am no longer the same "smile and pretend that everything is all perky and happy all the time" guy... my diagnosis made me more emotionally attached to the poeple in my life, i am no longer ashamed to be me and what i am, I have found that i am unabashedly blunt and i feel as if i am have learned to slowly take care of me as #1 and not make myself second to anyone else ...

I am phoenix and i have finally risen from ashes of my pervious self ...
06/29/09 ---- CD4- 392 (20%)   VL-Und
02/19/09 ---- CD4- 513 (23%)   VL-Und
01/11/09 ---- Switched Atripla
11/05/08 ---- CD4- 462 (23%)   VL - Und
04/01/06 ---- CD4- 274 (19%)   VL - 1200
03/20/06 ---- Started Truvada/Azatanovir/Ritonavir
02/28/06 ---- CD4- 219 (17%)   VL - 217,000
Diagnosed HIV+ 11/30/2005

You said I was lost/Wrong again
Said I had crossed that/Line again
Made it to easy to/Scream again
Made me feel queazy/Let me in
~~MLH

Offline SASA39

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2008, 01:45:12 PM »



What has changed for me? I no longer care what others think.

I do as I please, but wouldn't intentionally hurt anyone.

I greet each day, welcome each night and say to hell with those who wish to tell me how to live.





Mark

date=1220066793]


To add : I have become more determined towards decisions in my life , assuming that especially now we/I do not know how much do I have left.........wish that I was like that before
Al
Oct.     `06.  CD4=58  ?    %       VL not perform. ?!?
25.Dec.`06.         203       14        VL= 0
29.May.`07.    broken device        VL=1363
20.June`07     broken device        VL=0
25.Dec `07  CD4=582                  VL=70
14.May `08  CD4=448
29.July `08                                  VL=0
26.Nov `08  CD4=674                    VL=179
16.Mar `09  CD4=554                    VL=0
19.Jan`10 CD4=715               
03.Mar`10                                    VL=0
24.Aug`10 CD4=524                     VL=0
04.Dec`10 CD4=626                     VL=0
15.Sep`11                                   VL=93
17.Nov`11                                   VL=0
05/26 .Jul`12 CD4=713                 VL=0
28.Nov`12 CD4=916                     VL=0
09.May`13                                 VL=0

Offline adeh

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #43 on: September 08, 2008, 09:06:25 PM »
I lost my fear of dying and gained a very strong sense of my own mortality.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 06:09:28 PM by adeh »

Offline jabez

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #44 on: September 08, 2008, 11:18:19 PM »
I've become much closer to my family, and to my friends who are aware of my HIV status.  Less partying now, less nightlife, less sex.   I go to church more often.  I'm more interested in healthcare reform, and I'm more compassionate toward those who are ill.  I'm way more liberal than I used to be.   When I see the obituaries in the morning paper and don't recognize any of the names, I still see the deceased as more than just "names in a newspaper" --- I see them as individuals with unfulfilled dreams, who are leaving behind loved ones who miss them terribly.   I'm a little bit sadder than I once was.   I don't particuarly like to see pictures of myself as a child, because I would like to reach back in time, grab that little boy in the photographs by his shoulders, shake him, and tell him to please be more careful as he matures.   Oh yeah, and I spend WAY more time in the bathroom.       
Sept 2007 -- CD4 = 68; VL = 469,000
Started Atripla Sept 21, 2007
Nov 2007-CD4=217;VL=332
Feb 2008-CD4=237;VL=<50
Apr 2008-CD4=271;VL=66
Aug 2008-CD4=440;VL=52
Jan 2009-CD4=403;VL=61
May 2009-CD4=480;VL=129
Sep 2009-CD4=376;VL<40
Jan 2010-CD4=476;VL<40
Jul 2010-CD4=539;VL<40
Jan 2011-CD4=461;VL=53
Jul 2011-CD4=515;VL<20
Jan 2012-CD4=506;VL=54
Aug 2012-CD4=440;VL=21
Jan 2013-CD4=447;VL=<20
Jul 2013-CD4=406; VL=<20
Feb 2014-CD4=450; VL=<20
Aug 2014-CD4=535; VL=<20

Offline hankgaguy

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  • June2008
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #45 on: September 09, 2008, 09:45:44 PM »
In many ways the diagnosis was one of the best things to happen to me. Odd enough to say, but in many respects it is true.

I've learned to LIVE more each day and to take more risks in terms of relationships and meeting new folks.

I also don't seem to take much crap from anyone.

Now, with that said, I have to say that there was a year of fear and feeling sorry for myself, while also becoming educated on the aspects of the virus and disease in general.

After my anniversary June 8, I decided enough was enough. I've given up smoking (2 packs a day, now smoke free for 3 months); I've joined a gym again (this time with a personal trainer, and have lost over 15 pounds while gaining muscle mass); and I've started dating again, but seriously.

I would likely have never done that if I were negative. I would've remained "coasting" through life.

There are still challenges (relationship novice), but I'm also improving myself that way, too (i.e. psychotherapy). And there will always be health things over time. It's just part of life for anyone, and not just for those of us HIV+ folks.

Life is Beautiful!
Healthy, Happy, and Kickin' Butt

Offline AlanBama

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #46 on: September 09, 2008, 10:12:34 PM »
HIV is a thief.  It has stolen much from me......career, financial security, home ownership, much of my youth, a lot of my health, and a great deal of my heart.

There are some pluses, too, along with all the negatives:  I have had some wonderful people come into my life that otherwise never would have.  I learned that I am as tough as nails.   I am more intolerant of cruelty and mistreatment of others.  I am much more politically aware.  I have a lot less "stuff" but it matters less to me.  When I love someone, I tell them.   I don't take people for granted anymore, nor do I ever take good health for granted.   Most importantly, I learned the value of gratitude.  I am thankful for every day I have been given, for my life that was spared while so many loved ones were lost.
I am incredibly blessed.   Oh, and I have a cat !  (before, I considered myself to be a 'dog person').

Alan  ;D

PS - I will mark another milestone next year -- 10 years without being admitted to the hospital!  My last
"struggle for life" happened back in 1999, when I was battling Crypto and Giardia, and an Addisonian Crisis that left me in ICU for 14 days.  Ask anyone here, HIV has made me VERY AWARE of marking all important milestones (like birthdays!)
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 10:14:34 PM by AlanBama »
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline thenick

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #47 on: September 10, 2008, 12:31:49 PM »
Great question.

Although I'm not quite ready to join the ranks of those who say "AIDS is the best thing that ever happened to me" it has certainly caused me to re-evaluate and re-orient my life in ways that never would have happened if I hadn't contracted the illness.

I've always had a bit of an activist streak, so when I recovered from the worst part of my AIDS illness, that activist streak reasserted itself.  When I had trouble finding a support group in my area, I resolved to start one myself.  I am getting involved in the local activist groups, too.  I am now Secretary and a board member of A Brave New Day, an AIDS service organization.  I'm also a Community Advisory Board member of the Medical Monitoring Project, and a proxy to the MS Community Planning Group for HIV Prevention.  I also have become a certified HIV Prevention Counselor, and I plan to get my certification as an STD/HIV Instructor next month.

Strangely enough, contracting AIDS has brought passion back into my life.  As my therapist commented a few weeks ago, I'm "like a man on fire" as a result of my activities.  Recognizing the severe shortage of mental health professionals for helping those living with HIV/AIDS in this area, I have determined to go back to school and get a BSW and then a combined MSW/MPH.

None of this would have happened if I had not contracted AIDS.  I would still be sitting at a desk job I hated.  While I still grieve for some of the changes having AIDS has brought about in my life, I also am very excited about the new course in life having this disease has now put before me.

Regards,

Nick

PS:  I learned I was HIV-positive at the same time I was diagnosed with AIDS, December 2007.  T-cells then:  6.  T-cells now:  76.  Viral load then:  800,000.  Viral load now:  100.



« Last Edit: September 10, 2008, 10:46:07 PM by thenick »

Offline ga1964

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  • Posts: 188
Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #48 on: September 10, 2008, 04:21:44 PM »
How has HIV changed me?  Let me count the ways.

  1.  Getting out of bed....Pulling the sheets over my head.
  2.  Having endless energy....Being endlessly exhausted.
  3.  Having an appetite....Forcing myself to eat.
  4.  Eating food....Swallowing pills.
  5.  Being happy....Constant depression.
  6.  Having feelings....Feeling numb.
  7.  Going out....Staying in.
  8.  Having savings....Being broke.
  9.  Good credit....Bad credit.
10.  Vacations....Staycations.
11.  Being out of the closet....Hello new closet.
12.  Wanting sex....Scared of sex.
13.  Living life....Waiting for it to end. 

Offline isitthatbad

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Re: How has HIV changed you?
« Reply #49 on: September 22, 2008, 02:02:57 PM »
WOW on 29th june 2007 a part of me died. When the woman told me i was positive,  over the next 2 months was complete hell for me,  adjusting to having another man in my life was not easy especially as i hated him and he,  well loved me to death. This new "marriage" was NOT what i wanted but realised that he was with me now until death so i had to pull myself together and get used to it.  I decided that the clock was now ticking faster than normal and my time here had been cut dramatically i decided to quit my job in which i loathed and went to college to realise my dream which is music and i havent looked back i now produce music which i couldnt do before and although my body is still being messed around with by the new man in my life i am mentally and most of the time physically stronger than i have ever been. I now look back at diagnosis day and will in the future look at it as the start of a new life so i have 2 birthdays now just like the queen :P I now know that from something terrible has come alot of good. I am still only in my first anniversary but in time i want to help others with the virus and let them know life goes on with it inside you :-*

 


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