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Author Topic: Introduce yourself and meet others!  (Read 64334 times)

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Offline Cliff

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,645
Introduce yourself and meet others!
« on: June 02, 2006, 08:56:19 AM »
They say the first rule of conversation is to know who you are talking to.  So hopefully this thread will serve as a place where we all can introduce (or reintroduce) ourselves to the forum.  Possible information could include where you live, where you are from, your background, interests, likes/dislikes or whatever you want others to know about YOU!  Since this forum has been jazzed up, if you're so inclined, you can also include pictures, links to video, etc..

Offline David_CA

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,246
  • Joined: March 2006
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2006, 09:02:17 AM »
So Cliff, are you going to reintroduce yourself?  Just kidding; I think it's a great idea.  I notice a lot of users have no info in their profiles, which is certainly their option.  It is nice to know a bit about the people we're talking to, though.  I'll post a reintroduction a bit later.  I'm at work and need to get something productive done! 

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Cliff

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,645
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2006, 09:53:38 AM »
My name is Cliff and I live in London.  I'm a 30 year-old American, born and raised on the Texas Gulf-coast, (previously was known as Texman in the forums).  My day job is helping European companies go public in the US or London as well as helping American companies buy up European companies (which probably explains why I tend to be pro-business and a free market person), that is when I'm not surfing on Aidsmeds.com, (which oddly enough seems to be one of the only few places I go to on the internet anymore).  Prior to London, I lived in New York, (for a little over a year), and Houston.  I also lived and worked in South Africa (Joburg, well really Sandton/Sunninghill) for almost 2 years.  I hope to return to New York (or Johannesburg) after London.

I love traveling for both work and pleasure (as of last count I have visited Argentina, Aruba, Austria, Bermuda, Botswana, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Gabon, Greece, Ghana, Japan, Jamaica, Lesotho, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Swaziland, Spain, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, Vatican City, Italy, Zimbabwe and Venezuela).

This year I will probably add Kazakhstan, Ireland and Iceland to the list.  And next year I hope to start adding more Asian and Middle Eastern countries, which are lacking on my list.  I should also take a trip to the former Yugoslavia republics (there must be like 15 of 'em), that will be an easy way to bump my mom from the top spot.   ;D

I've been to just about all 50 states (except for Idaho, New Hampshire and North Dakota....and I can't think of any reason to ever go there, unless it's for work or maybe to get married in NH.)

I also love Rocky Road and Pistachio almond ice cream, Sushi/Sashimi and steaks (medium rare please).

I've been positive since July 2003 and am treated at the very fine Mortimer Market (Bloomsbury) HIV clinic in London (thank you Matt).  My GP is in Soho.  I live in WC2 (which the London folks should understand).

I love the US and thinks the country (and its people, who are generally lovely and down-to-earth folks), get a bum rap.  Oh and I love Oil companies (the bigger the better), so I hate it when folks pick on them in the forums.   ;D  Both my parents, (as does like 70% of the people in Houston), work for oil companies.  I'm more like my mom (also a CPA), than my dad (a Geophysicist- which is just a fancy way of calling someone who studies, errrr licks and sniffs, rocks for mineral deposits, errr Texas Tea).  Both my parents (but especially my mom) love to travel and have been to more countries than I (well my mom has, but I'm catching up woman!!!).  My parents were very hard on me growing up, but it's only now that I can appreciate why.  Both grew up poor in small Texas towns (quite near each other....too close for my grandmother's liking), and I actually have pictures of them picking cotton, (probably in the same fields that our ancestors did as slaves), during the summer months to help pay for college and graduate school.  So yeah, I got the "we walked uphill to school both ways" a lot.

My funniest family moment, is when I was looking at a photo of my parent's wedding sitting on my grandmother's piano.  I was just asking typical questions kids ask, when something dawned on me but I couldn't quite figure it out.  My mom asked what was the matter and I started counting the months backwards, starting from when I was born (ultimately passing up the marriage month), to finally get to the month I must have been conceived, which was clearly before the wedding month.  My parents just looked at each other and laughed and my grandmother told me that was what they call a shot-gun wedding.

I have one younger sister (who is in the midst of a very painful divorce, but at least didn't have a shot-gun wedding) and a very adorable (and a know it all, like her uncle) niece and a very handsome (who loves to smile then tackle you) nephew.

I have a boyfriend, soon to be immigrating to the UK, who is actually coming to visit me in a few hours.

And I hate all things soy, except for soy sauce.

That's me.

P.S.- I guess I should have done it all in one note, but I hadn't thought about my own introduction when I posted it...LOL.

P.P.S- I love gadgets and electronics (addicted even).  And I'm taking motorcycle lessons so that I can get one of these bad boys!!!!

[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: June 03, 2006, 08:52:14 AM by Cliff »

Offline david25luvit

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,409
  • Member since March 2005
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2006, 09:54:34 AM »
Hey Cliff...Good idea buddy!  Especially since we seem to have so many new people.
As you know my name is David and I just moved to Theodore Alabama...  As most of
you know the last year and a half has been very challenging for me...  but thanks in
large part to this forum body, I have managed to pick up the pieces and began again.
I enjoy surfing the net, photography, potting flowers, watching movies and reading a
good book.  Just recently I began to date again and although I haven't met anyone
particularly special I am convinced that if I get back out in the world again perhaps someone
special may come along...

It is my hope that with the beginning of this new forum that we might put the past behind us
and support one another despite our differences.  There have been a lot of changes since I came
on board in March 2005 but I believe we can make this new forum a very special place for all of us.
Cliff...I commend you on starting this thread and hope others will jump on board


Modified /Update.....Now living in Mobile Alabama with a boyfriend who spends most of his time
at my new house.  ...and thanks to a certain pharmaceutical company life is pretty good again
« Last Edit: November 08, 2006, 10:30:14 AM by david25luvit »
In Memory of
Raymond David McRae III
Nov. 25, 1972- Oct. 15, 2004
I miss him terribly..........

Offline Teresa

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,753
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2006, 09:56:21 AM »
Hi all im Teresa. Im 48 have 2 great kids Daughter 23 and son 21. Hubby and i will be married 4 years July 1. We live in Kansas . Three years ago we moved in with my brother. He has a big house on 2.5 acres out in the country. He was diagonised with lung cancer and had his left lung removed. That happened the first year we were here. Then last year about this time they found a brain tumor and a tumor behind his left sinus. He went through radiation and it worked. Killed both tumors. SO far he has had 3 sets of scans, MRIs, pet scans, the works and no cancer has showed up. He isnt married so I went to every dr appointment, every treatment with him. Made sure he ate, fussed at him, he fussed back, but we all made it thru.

So this summer i was looking forward to having a stress free summer. Then hubby got sick. My whole life was turned upside down for awhile, but with the help from all of you i think im getting a handle on it. Hubby wanted my brother to know about his HIV since we are living with him. My brother asked me questions and when i answered them best i could he gave me a hug..told me he was glad that i had tested negtive. Said as far as he was concerned it was life as usual around here. Hubby had a home here. This was our home too. Always would be.

So most of my days are filled with taking care of the house and the yard. I love mowing...get to ride on a little john deere tractor. Kinda like riding a go cart...LOL BUt damn i had to learn the hard way to duck going under those trees. Tree limbs dont give much when u run into them.

This has been my life for the past 3 years. Im just so thankful that my brother is still here,  hubby is getting better and stronger everyday(NO MORE FEVERS!!!) and that i found this place.

Love
Teresa
aka kansanwife on old forums
« Last Edit: June 04, 2006, 07:06:06 PM by Teresa »
Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
CD4:320
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)
 

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2006, 10:10:31 AM »
I'm Alex, also known as Monsieur Numbskull. I'm into nutrition, aromatherapy and all that jazz  8)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2006, 08:52:28 PM by allopathicholistic »

Offline Moffie65

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2006, 10:19:04 AM »
Well Folks, and Cliff,

I am going to do this the easy way, due to the fact that my history lives right here on this site, and I am way to foggy these days to re-type the whole thing.  So, here is the link to the specific Blog here on AIDSmeds.com where you can read away.  If you go to subsequent Blogs, you will read even more about my childhood in Arkansas, Oklahoma, California, Tanzania, and Kenya.

http://www.aidsmeds.com/blogs/tim/archives/2005/08/

Enjoy, and In Love.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline EBmemphis

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2006, 10:53:44 AM »
Cliff,

What a great idea.  I feel like I know so many here, but I usually keep to myself.  I live in memphis if you couldn't tell.  ;)  I have known I am positive for two years.   Its been quite a road, when I found out I had a t-cell count of 19, but what a difference a couple years and meds make.  I am up to 230 now and feeling great.  I have a great husband that takes pretty good care of me.  I haven't worked since I found out,  but keep my self pretty busy with yard and such. I have to thank so many of you here, since I found this site I realize how many of us that are dealing with this, and realized life does go on.   :)  Take care all and have a great weekend.

Love,

Eric

Offline manchesteruk

  • Member
  • Posts: 631
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2006, 11:00:39 AM »
I'll have a bash at this i'll probably change it again later though!

My names Chris i'm 23 and I was born in Manchester.  I've since moved around several different parts of the UK with my family before settling back into Manchester to start university 4 years ago.  I've just finsihed university recently so my days currently consist of trying to find a job.  As a side note i've had more jobs than would probably be considered normal.  The amount of countries i've visited is absolutely shamefull it's something I plan to change when I get more money, if I ever get to half the places Cliff has been i'll be doing well!

I have a list as long as my arm of the things i'd like to experience yet I have no idea or ever have had any idea what I want to achieve with my life if that makes any sense.  I am working on that though.  I live with two friends being a recent ex-student my interests tend to involve drinking but I also have a huge passion for music but I won't get started on that or i'd be here all day!

I was diagnosed HIV+ in Nov, 05 and infected in July of the same year.  I'm lucky that i've got a great family and a really supportive group of friends none of which have given me any grief when i've told them.

I'll come back to this and add some more when i've had a think!

Chris
Diagnosed 11/05

"Life is too important to be taken seriously" Oscar Wilde

Offline Oscar

  • Member
  • Posts: 244
  • 20 Years POZ
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2006, 11:39:23 AM »
Thank you Cliff!

My name is Dan I was born in a small town in North West Tn called Union City. We moved to Jackson, TN after I graduated high school in 1982. In the fall of that year I went to school in Oxford, Mississippi and met my first gay love Terrell. That is also where I met my dear friend Terry who passed away on April 10Th of this year.  My friends and I stood out like you wouldn't believe in that close minded southern town so we high tailed it to Memphis every chance we could.(which was often) I left Oxford at the end of the school year and moved to Memphis to attend Memphis State University in June 1983.

 I lived in Memphis from 1983-1992 when I moved back to Jackson. I was a very sick puppy at that time because I didn't take care of myself then & did a lot of things to my body that I shouldn't have. I have had 3 long -term  relationships in my adult life. Terrell, Jeff & Chuck. Jeff infected me with HIV.  We were together from 1984-1986. We both found out about our status at the same time in 1986. I was 23 years old at the time. I felt like my life was over then and that I would have been dead before I was 30 yrs old.

Chuck and I were together from 1988-1992. This was my last serious long term relationship. I infected him. That was a very self destructive time in my life doing drugs and drinking. It is a period I would rather forget.

1992 I moved back to Jackson because I had lost my drivers license for 4 years due to multiple DWI's in a 12 month period. also my father's heath was failing he had a major heart attack. & my own health was in a serious state at the time.

I've been through some serious health issues through most of the '90s PCP, intestinal parasites. For a long time I refused to take my meds because of deep depression, low self esteem. I had a hard time accepting the fact that I had to take complicated drug regimens. I had a real love-hate relationship with the meds . Everytime I put a pill in my mouth it reminded me that I was different from everyone else. I felt alone & isolated.

I stopped working in Dec 2002 two days before my 40th birthday. I couldn't handle managing 200+ employees anymore and the long 60+ hours a week were killing me. I couldn't stay on my med schedule was still fighting serious depression my health was in a serious state when I left.

Then Oscar came into my life on June 9, 2001. This little tenacious Miniature Schnauzer gave me something to hold on to. He gave me a purpose for my life to get up everyday and get moving.

On March 8, 2003 PCP almost killed me. I spent over a month in the hospital fighting for my life. Another month going to the infusion clinic for IV antibiotics. Then in summer of 2003 I had one of the worst cases of shingles the infectious disease doctor's had ever seen @ Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. The entire left side of my head, face, & neck were covered. It was even  inside my left ear & had almost made it to my left eye. I spent another 3 weeks in the hospital.  & Another month in the infusion clinic.  &  the scars STILL tingle and itch to this day. I have been on disability since July of 2003.

In the summer of 2003 I discovered this  forum. I lurked for a while & posted from time to time. I didn't really join the discussions until May of 2005.

As many of you know I last Oscar earlier this year. I still haven't gotten over the loss of my little dog. He saved my life. I really believe that. Anyway I've rambled on too long.

A few more "stats" about me.

I have two older sisters.
I Love  80's new wave music, alternative, & indie British Rock.
I love POP art, mid century modern antiques.
My favorite books are In the Garden Of Good & Evil, Confederacy of Dunces, On The Road, Geek Love, Truck, & Practical Demonkeeping.
I love Japanese, Italian, & Thai food.
I don't watch much TV. Would rather be doing something else. I do have certain shows I watch. Grey's Anatomy, Boston Legal, CSI.

I was an Executive Team Leader for a major discount department store from 1995-2002. A bill collector for 3 years for a large Nashville based law firm. & now I am a part time bank teller for a large regional bank. My career was derailed by HIV. I wish I could go back to work full time and get off disability. But I am affraid to make that step. Affraid I will get sick or won't be able to get insurance to cover my meds. I like having the free time to do the things I like to do and enjoy my life doing the things that make me happy.

I mountain bike, enjoy hiking. garden in the yard & spend a lot of time working on cataloging my vast CD collection.

That is all I can think of. Thank you all for your support, & concern since I have been here at the forums. You all have touched my life in a way I never expected. I cherish each and every one of you. Now lets get to Montreal and have the time of our lives!  & Make new precious memories that I know I will cherish forever.

In much appreciation and love,

Dan J.



[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 12:53:09 PM by Oscar »

Offline Robert

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,649
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2006, 11:55:49 AM »
Let's try this again.  My first entry went POOF!

Cliff, this is a great idea but with 374 members and still counting, this could be an incredibly long thread.  Maybe we need a new forum just for this particular reason.

Anyway, my name is Robert (formerly known as RedBluff),  My partner MIchael and I have been together for 25+ years.  We met in San Francisco and lived there together until we moved up here full time 1 year ago.  I was a travel agent in my previous life and I'm not even close to the number of countries Cliff has visited and I did it for a living.  Let's just say I've been on all the continents save 2: Antartica and Australia.
  
I was born in Denver, CO and moved to Sacramento, CA. in 1974 after I had graduated from college.  In 1980 I met Michael in San Francisco at one of the local bars.  We've been together ever since.  These days you meet people through the internet.  BAck then it was at the bars.

Michael and I love SF very much and have many good memories there but after I came down with PCP we decided a rural life was more to our liking.  In 2000 we started looking for property in N. California and stumbled upon our little place here in Red Bluff, about 4 hours N. of SF,  We have 33 acres with a pond, a barn, rolling hills and lots of Live Oak.  2 dogs. (We've buried 2 dogs down by the pond)  I'm thinking of getting some sheep or llamas for grazing like Jan but right now I have enough to keep me busy.

My twin brother lives about 2 hours north of us, on the California/ Oregon border.  Another brother lives not much futher away in Oregon so we're able to visit fairly often.  I've got 3 other brothers scattered across the country.

I love gardening but what really keeps me busy and satisfied is chopping down trees and bucking them for fire wood.  There is nothing prettier than a cord of wood.

robert

..........

Offline sdcabincrew74

  • Member
  • Posts: 540
    • My Manhunt account
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2006, 12:06:56 PM »
Oy Vey...

I live in San Diego, CA.  Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA.  I am currently a flight attendant.  I am based in Phoenix, AZ and usually only get to spend 3 days a week in CA with my partner cat and dog.  My partner and I have been together for 8 plus years.  He is neg and I was diagnosed POZ in March of 05 and had PCP and MAC.  I am currently healthy (VL <50, CD4 = 650ish).

I have a supportive group of friends and a great family.  My partner and I travel a lot since we fly for free.  There are too many places to list but the oddest is probably Kuwait City (which is actually very nice).  I have a BS in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh and have also gotten my MBA from San Diego State University.

I guess that is it, I will be 32 this year and that does not seem as old as I once thought it was.  I live my life day-by-day because who knows what tomorrow will bring.  I have an online journal, which is actually kind of boring ... the address is http://jmm8111jr.journalspace.com/

I guess that is it for now.
The difference between an overnight and a layover is luck!

Offline The Canuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 628
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2006, 12:10:28 PM »
Hi ya'll !

My name is Claude and live in the French part of Canada nearby Quebec City ( 2 1/4 hrs East of Montreal for those who don't know where it is located. I was raised in French but manage in English although this is far from being perfect. I'm a 49 years old gay male ( single ) and will turn 50 soon ( ouch!!!). I consider myself as a 25 years old guy with the maturity of a 40 years old, still young at heart and intend to remain as such. I'm basically shy but not so much since I reached about 35, and could be totally nuts sometimes.  :o

I have a Master degree in chemistry ( told ya' I was totally nuts !!! ) and work at home as a freelance / consultant for about 15 years now. I wouldn't want to go back and work for someone else. I prefer to be my own boss and do as I please, and besides make more money as a consultant than when I was working for the government and private companies.

Unfortunately I was diagnosed HIV+ in early September 2001 with a VL = 183,000 and CD4 = 167. I was referred to a great clinic over here and just love everyone working there. I was put on meds right away and after 8 months I became undetectable and remained as such ever since. My CD4 kept increasing as well and now at 958 ( 38%). This is a bit lower than my previous results but CD4 of 1020 or 958 is about the same so I consider myself extremely lucky of not having to worried about this.

I enjoy to see my friends, good music, food and wine. I also enjoy visiting other countries and excepted for several places in the USA & Canada I went to several European countries ( The Netherlands, Belgium ( Brussels ), UK ( London ), Germany, Denmark, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria. My next trip will be to France. I'm looking forward to meet several persons from this forum during the AMG06 in Montreal.

Regards,

The Canuck
(Who isn't very good for talking about himself...but nevertheless gave it a shot)

Edited : I forgot to mention a few things and just added it.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 12:20:00 PM by The Canuck »

Offline heartforyou

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,105
  • I must be a survivor in many ways...
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2006, 12:31:59 PM »
Hi everyone, all newbies now,

My name is Herman and I am 50 years old. I am officially married to Patrick (who remained negative since we met) and we have a Wellness Center in the coastal town of Knokke, Belgium. My dog is called Lola and she is a darling Jack Russell of 5 years old.
Being a sportsman I spent most of my free time in life on my surfboard and snowboard, two sports I trained other people in.
I attended medical school at the age of 17, pretty young and inexperienced. After that I became an airline steward with Lufthansa.
That job  brought me around the world including the US, where I got infected in the early eighties when nobody knew about AIDS.
For almost 13 years I went on flying and refused to take any meds, beside homeopathic drugs. After 18 years of working for the airline I suddenly got PCP and that was the beginning of the end.
I had to stop flying, my t-count dropped to 17 and I was told I had a couple of months left. Well, I started meds, changed combos 10 times and veered back to 950 t-cells. I am undetectable since 9 years now, have a lot of energy and am still working.
I came back from a severe depression this year, thank to my AM family.

My hobby is languages: I speak seven of them and speak some Arabic, Greek and mandarin Chinese.
I love oriental food, nature and people. I play the piano and love Bach.
I have one sister and both my parents still are alive , both 82. Dad was a lawyer and banker and still is  active. Mom is french and a darling mother.
I am a fighter, with a good heart and known to be very patient. But I can't stand injustice.

Belgium's capital Brussels,  is known as the heart of Europe. 60% of the population speaks Flemish, 35 % french and 5% German. Good food and chocolates is what we are known for.

I hope you got to know me  a little better now.

But let me finish by telling you : it really doesn't matter where  we come from or what we are. We can only walk this HIV path together and that is why I am here to stay.

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

Happiness is the freedom of breathing fresh air every day.

jerry

  • Guest
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2006, 12:47:47 PM »
Hi I'm Jerry aka: jccj34 from the old forums.

I became Hiv positive in December 2004. My first counts were CD4=1. My CD4=112 as of Feb 06. I'm 34 and soon will be 35 and living a healthily life at the moment. Not sick anymore and take my meds everyday which at time's are very hard. I have to get my blood work done next week hopefully my numbers will be up.

Not much to know about me on here I try too keep to myself and visit this site regularly. This is my home away from home the people on here are my true family and only friends that I can relate too.

To read more about me go and visit my page.



Offline MoltenStorm

  • Member
  • Posts: 477
  • Poz & Fabulous
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2006, 12:49:58 PM »
Howdy All,

I am a white, gay male who was born in Savannah, GA, in the lovely year of 1984 (22), so I'm a certified southern belle. My name is John. My dad was in the U.S. Army, so I was able to explore Belguim, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, England, Georgia (state), and finally, Texas. He retired in 2001, so I have since been to Washington, California, and New York. The list isn’t as impressive as Cliff’s, but I’m working on it!

I love gardening, but I hate Texas summers, so I haven’t gardened in quite some time. I moved to Texas in August of 1997 (San Antonio, specifically). I plan to someday leave Texas for a cooler climate, but I tolerate it for now. No offense to native Texans, but I can’t deal with the heat. I’m a red head, and we do NOT do heat.

I was diagnosed as HIV+ in April of this year, so I’m really new to this. I was infected in late July or early August of 2005 since my acute infection symptoms kicked in late August.

I’m a bit of a devil’s advocate, and I have to fight off the tendency to ruffle feathers. I find it quite humorous and enjoyable. However, I read the forum rules, and that’ll get me banned, so I’m being good! I want a gold star and a chocolate chip cookie. I enjoy asking questions, and there are times where I will go where no one wants to go. (i.e. Asking a drag queen if she’s pre-op or post at dinner, asking my parents if they’ve ever 69ed at the dinner table, and asking a bunch of straight men why they wouldn’t let their girlfriends/wives play with their prostate.)

I am single as of early May. The person I was seeing didn’t want to deal with his fears of HIV, so he opted for finding someone else. I can’t blame him as that’s his choice, but I had hoped he was bigger than that. I’m not really interested in jumping back into the dating scene just yet. I have more important things on my mind right now. However, if I met a nice person when I wasn’t expecting it, who knows…

That’s me in a nutshell except for the part of where I love reading philosophy.


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"Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful nor conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, adaptation in A Walk To Remember

CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 7 Nov 2006
CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 5 Feb 2007

Offline Ronald1958

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2006, 01:16:01 PM »
Re intoduction to Ronald1958 ;D

 

I was diagnosed with the PML (Progressive Multifocal Leucoencepholapathy - a mouth full  :o - look it up on the Internet)  in Nov 99.  I probably was positive since 1992 – the best I could figure.  I didn’t want to know so never got tested until everything started falling apart and by then – too late.  In the end of October 99, I was beginning to lose my handwriting and my speech slurred and my balance seemed off.  So, in I went to the hospital Nov 1 and by Nov 5, walking was shaky and I needed a walker. The PML was confirmed by a spinal tap.   A brain biopsy was considered redundant and an unnecessary risk.  I was living in NYC then with a lover and just got progressively worse until Feb 2000 when my sister came and took me back to Pennsylvania – I was sure I’d die soon.  My balance was gone, my coordination – no fine motor skills, my voice was a croak – I was bed-ridden by then.  I even told my sisters, I wanted to stop taking the meds.  But, Arlene made me swear to keep taking them until the next results of my blood work – my t-cells climbed maybe to 50 and VL dropped tremendously to like 50,000.  Before that, my lover left – ahhhhhhhh.  Oh, well!  At the diagnosis, my t-cells were 10 and VL 500,000!  Well, Arlene won so now my t-cells are 563 and VL undetectable (has been since July 2001)

 

My therapies and exercises take up a lot of time Monday through Friday.  80% of my therapy I have created on my own.  I have limited therapy sessions on my insurance too – 30 hours a year.  I basically go to make sure what I do is the right way.  The therapists are amazed at the things I do!  So, I learn some things from the therapists but most have been on my own and Arlene’s help.  I have a schedule I follow for things like the stationary bike, parallel bars, free weight dumb bells, mat or bed calisthenics, etc.  I break them up during the day between household chores and my hobbies, so I am not a fanatic about them (not a gym bunny, but fit).  I stick to my routines during the week and on weekends, I only do the bike, reading aloud and my handwriting practice, so my weekends are free time.  I am proud of my muscles from all them – I think I am in better shape than 20 yrs ago!  As of June 1, I am adding "Windsor Pilates" and my Nordic Flex weight system into my routine.  I have been doing regular Pilates, but the new version has a lot more exercises.  I am going to go back to the Nordic Flex - a weight system with pulleys.  I haven't done it since before getting sick at the end of 1999 and even then - not very focused then.  Now, I can easily do chest and shoulder presses and look forward to it.  I'll have to send my routine soon! 

 

I read aloud every day to help my diction and it gives me a reason to read a lot of books and novels (probably over 75 books now)  A few pages every day and everything from romantic comedies, horror, thrillers, Sci-fi, gay, religious, HIV related….  Maybe, 5 years ago, a speech therapist said I’d never improve – Arlene and I canned him immediately and Arlene went over lists and phrases with me and then I started reading books – 4 to 6 pages aloud for diction and volume.  Now, I am on the phone with family, friends and for personal business.  I am a writer, so I tend to like my LONG e-mails!  HA HA

 

I practice my handwriting every day too.  I write very well now, but I keep it up and so I don’t get bored, I write out my language lessons.  I have been teaching myself Spanish and French and stagger them each day.  I am on Spanish III and French I.  I started with just Spanish, but decided to branch out.  Entiendo que tu sabes!

 

I like writing or in this case typing – I wrote a book and it is at a literary agent now since 10/1/05 in hopes of finding a publisher soon.  7 have it and 2 have turned me down – 5 more for now.  I have always wanted to write and since having the PML from the HIV, I figured, “Why not?”  The first book is autobiographical from High School until recently – covering 30 years maybe.  Another agent suggested some changes which I am doing now in hopes that will help to when I re-submit it to her!  I did start book #2, but have shelved it for now with the re-write of #1.  ...busy, busy, busy….

 

My big love is my hobby of painting.  I like sketching too.  I haven’t really done anything recently, but am painting a wood sculpture for my sister and her husband.  I have started another painting, but haven’t worked on it lately. 


I live with my sister, Arlene and her husband.  They have their own freight expediting company with their own truck, so I am their house sitter 4 weeks at a time, then they come home for 3 days and then they are off again.  I like the alone time.  I also baby sit their 2 white shepherds – Shadow, the 5 yr old male and Shiloh, the 3 yr old female.  I love them dearly.  They are sweet, playful and goofy.  Shadow is 90 lbs and Shiloh, 100 lbs.

 

I am nutty about cowboys – so, I have a collection of 8 cowboy hats – all different styles and colors.

 

I also collect crosses/ crucifixes – 7, so far.

 

I love E-mailing and writing letters.  If friends have no computer (Egads!), I write.  I go nuts on sending Christmas cards.  I try to send birthday cards as much as possible.

 

Christmas – I go overboard with decorations and I enjoy most all Holidays!

 

I like being active doing day to day things like raking leaves, shoveling the walk, gardening (veggie).  I love being outdoors.  In the summer, I love sunbathing.  September is my favorite month.

 

Music is all kinds – Country, Pop, Rock, Oldies, 80s, dance, disco, salsa and even polkas!  Country is my favorite now. I do like the new Madonna and Shakira though!

 

Movies – romantic comedies, comedies, Sci-fi, thrillers, horror (not gory).

 

TV – LOVE Desperate Housewives, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Surface, Invasion, Ghost Whisperer, Will & Grace, Joey, George Lopez, Freddie.  Some HBO series!

 

I like cooking and baking.  I like baking pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, Christmas cookies, carrot cakes, chocolate cake!  I can cook anything like roasts, soups, spaghetti, etc., etc.

 

I am spiritual, not religious.  I do not believe in organized religion, but use my Catholicism as my guide to spirituality.  I read everything I can like Gnosticism, Kabbalah, Judaism, etc. 

 

I used to work in the garment industry in NYC too!!  I lived and worked in NYC for 12 years until 6 years ago.  I worked in the Children’s accessory market – backpacks, handbags, totes, etc.  The first 5 years with Mischief Makers (a division of Holiday Fair), then Dover Kidz for a year (part of a huge int’l corp), a year at Pacific Connections (started a Children’s division from nada) and then finally I finished again with Mischief Makers for the last 5 years.  MM was a good company and over the last 5 years with MM, I had worked my way up to president even.  I enjoyed working with Holiday Fair.  I had my pick of house accounts and took Walmart, Target, Mervyn’s, Sears, Kohl’s, JC Penney, Macy’s, Toys R Us and Dillard’s.  I traveled to them all the time and accompanied other salespeople to theirs too, if I felt the need to go.  I always seemed to be traveling all over the US at least every 2 weeks, but concentrated of course on my accounts first.  Dallas, Chicago, Arkansas, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Milwaukee.  I did go to Los Angeles a lot too, because during the last 3 years I was at MM, Holiday Fair got very heavily into licensing and Warner Brothers was the largest.  The others were in NYC.  Also, I went to Las Vegas twice a year for the last 3 years for M.A.G.I.C. – the big fashion convention (which I enjoyed).

I miss NYC and my friends there - <sigh>

 

Before I moved to NYC in May 1987, I lived north of Philadelphia (New Hope – LOVED it!) for 5 years as a retail manager for a department store, then a buyer for them.

 

Prior to Philly, I lived at home until 1982 and worked my way up in a department store until they moved me to Philly.

 

I am sure I gave you a lot to mull over.  I have to save some things for later!

 

Hope you are amused!

P.S.  All of this is now done from a wheelchair!  I like being active and enjoy being fit!
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 01:47:52 PM by Ronald1958 »
diagnosed PML Nov 1999

was t-cells 10 and VL 500,000+

as of 11/15/06  - t-cells 789; VL undetectable again and has been since July '01

Offline doyourowndamndishes

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2006, 02:41:21 PM »
CRAP!!

I was half way through my entry when I was called away from the computer and then I timed out and so have to do this all over again!!
CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP!
OK, here I go AGAIN!

Hi all, my name is Alan Grozelle.  I was born downtown Toronto, Ontario.  Approximately 10 months later me adoptive family kidnapped me to Scarborough <YICK!!> where I was unfortunately raised for far too many years!  I was able to briefly escape for a short stint while I pursued my undergrad at the University of Western Ontario.  Upon graduating with Honours History I returned home for about a year and a half till I had enough money to get me the hell outta there and move back down to the city proper where I've lived ever since.  About three years after finally moving out I was accepted at OISE/UT (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto) where I received me Bachelor of Education.  Yes, presently I am an elementary school teacher, specialized in teaching children predominately with learning disabilities.  This year I've been assigned to grades 6-8.


I am single and live alone except for the company of me Grandma's bequeathed cat Blackie.  At this point in me life I don't think I could ever go back to the room mate thing.  I love me privacy far too much. What do I like?  Well, I have very eclectic tastes and dear friends have always called me an enigma.  Whether I should be flattered by that or not I still don't know!  I'm a total gamer: strategy board games, video games (can't live without me XBOX360 and PS2 soon to be replaced with the PS3! WOO HOO!!), card games, board games (I still LOVE Mouse Trap!).  I love many genres of music; I've been told that I'm a fantastic chef, my specialties are Asian cuisine, mainly Chinese but I do a mean Thai and Japanese as well (okanomi! MMMMMMMMMMMMM).  I love working with energy and am presently working towards me Reiki Level 1.  I'm not sure if this is where I'll end up with regards to energy work but I do want to pursue energy healing and I figure Reiki is a great place to start. 

I've been hiv+ for about 8 years now, and other than having a blip in me numbers not too long ago, I am  still healthy (vl: <50; cd4s: 600s).  Next lab results come in this Tuesday.  My present combo is Kivexa (Epizcom) and Atazanavir.  Since switching Atazanavir from Kaletra (which REALLY buggered up me cholesterol and triglycerides) 6 months ago, the decrease in the lipid profile has been astonishing.

Well, I know I wrote more the first time but I'm now brain dead so I'm stopping here.  So here be some parts that make up me!

Cheers!
"All that we are is theresult of what we have thought." -Buddha

Offline cubbybear

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  • Joined August 2005.
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2006, 07:20:25 PM »
Hey guys.

I'll reintroduce myself to those who don't know me (or very well).  I'm 35 years young, born on April 22nd and I'm a typical Taurean (Stubborn, Possessive, Jealous, Creative, Passionate, Earthy, Security/Comfort Whore).  As much as I hate stereotypes, in the gay culture I identify as a Cub, which is generally an outdoorsy, masculine type generally with facial hair and more than his fair share of body fur and like the same.  I was born in Croydon, Surrey in the UK, but have lived in Australia since I was 3 years old.  One of my two brothers remained in the UK with relatives and I have not seen, nor spoken to him since I was 3 so I have a missing brother somewhere.

I lost my remaining brother when I was 14 to a motorcycle accident, one that was a short distance from my home and my school bus drove past.  Not a very good experience to say the least for a 14 year old on his way home from school.  I recognised his mangled bike & helmet when we drove past.  I had worked as a Vet Nurse since leaving high school, but quit when I was 25 to look after my parents as both had terminal cancer.  Life sucks right.  Anyway, we move on, and I started in the Heathcare field looking after people who were terminally ill and those who had aquired brain injuries as an Assistant Nurse, I've since been to university to study nursing and now I am a Registered Nurse in Melbourne, Australia.

I have been in 2 serious relationships.  One with my first partner of 13 years I met when I was about 18 (he was/is negative), and my current partner (of 4 years, also negative) which has been more of a rollercoaster ride than dealing with HIV.  Still not sure what is happening with that relationship, only time will tell.  I picked up HIV somewhere after my first partner and my current one.  I was pretty reckless and had a lot of unprotected sex with people of whom I didn't even know their names, and at the time, I really didn't care.  My bad, I was just enjoying some self destructive behaviour because my 13 year relationship ended and I thought my life was over.  I was wrong.

I found out I was HIV positive in September 2005, with a cd4 count of 35, and a viral load of 293,000.  I also had PCP, and pancytopenia (very low counts of all types of blood cells) as well as oesophageal thrush.  Several weeks in hospital and meds soon saw me return to the land of the living.  I was initially put on Combivir & Sustiva but had a bad reaction to the AZT and needed a blood transfusion.  Today I am healthy again and sitting at cd4 of 197 (and steadily getting higher) and viral load is undetectable on Turvada and Sustiva (Efavirenz).  Dealing with HIV hasn't been easy, but I m still here.  I no longer think about it all day every day, and most days I forget I even have it until it's med time, and then it's usually out of my head again.

I love computers and the internet and I am a total role playing game nut, both online (Guildwars, D&DO, WOW, Diablo2, NWN) and offline (Dungeons & Dragons).  I love dungeons & dragons (been playing it since I was 14) and similar games, and find they have always been great "escapism" from real life when I need to unwind.

I also love listening to music, and aspire to have my ipod surgically attached.  I love all types of trance music, especially floaty female vocals, chillout, industrial, tribal and progressive.  I don't mind some club/dance remixes also and some ballads/alternative tunes especially james blunt and evanescence.

I also love animals of all types, and this is the first time in my life where I have not really had many pets.  I am hoping to get another boxer puppy soon.

Thanks for reading and getting to know me a little bit better.  I love you all, but you knew that already.

("")("") <--- my symbol for cub paws (cubbyhugs).
Matt
There's a bear in there!
Positive since 2000
Diagnosed 17/9/2005 CD4 35 VL 293,000
Meds 23/9/2005 Sustiva/Truvada
Currently CD4 232 VL Undetectable

Offline newt

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2006, 07:43:19 PM »
Hey, I started it, see my thread

-matt

The NEWT
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Life

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  • Member 2005
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2006, 07:49:34 PM »
You know how you get use to something in your home and your husband moves everything around while your at work.  That's what I feel with this new system.  Crap!!!  I gota start over and learn shit again.....  Oh well....

Hi Gang..  I got my hiv card 10 months ago along with my husband William.  We both live in Aspen Colorado and have a little home on the Roaring fork river.  I am the accountant the EMT guy and my husband is in higher Education and makes people smarter than me.  It has been a exciting ride of discovery these past 10 months and you guys got me through so much crap, I am forever grateful.  This is a long term relationship with all of you..

Where do I mail my 10 bucks to get the owners manual for this site?  lol  

Offline parquenord

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  • My boy Zachary!
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2006, 08:07:14 PM »
I am new to the forum and new to HIV.  My status was confirmed May 24th (Last week).
I was born and raised in Long Beach, California.  Good kid, honors student, Eagle Scout, President of Junior Republicans, and a sissy. I hated sports! I was so glad to graduate high school and leave behind the humiliation of being athletically challenged.  I went to college at Cal Poly University in Pomona and graduated 4 years later with a degree in Landscape Architecture.  Spent the summer between junior and senior years driving a Renault station wagon throughout Europe with my buddy Claude. Lived in Long Beach after graduation and worked in Orange County (couldn’t live there…too red-state).  Obviously my politics changed dramatically and by 1980, I was campaigning for John Anderson (anyone remember him?).  I went to my first gay bar, The Silver Fox in Belmont Heights, in May of 1982.  I remember them handing out pamphlets at the door warning of the “Gay Cancer”.  I threw mine away thinking that’s someone else’s problem.  I was more interested in getting all the sex I could.  I had a lot of time to make up for. I was 28 years old and still a virgin!  I was going to the bars almost every night, coming home at 3 or so in the morning, and going to work the next day.  I don’t know how I did it and don’t know how I avoided catching the “gay cancer”. On Halloween of that year I met Mike, another Long Beach native who was a grad student at the University of Oregon. I brought him home with me that night and we have been together ever since.  In 1984 we moved to Seattle.  Lived in a loft in Pioneer Square and loved it.  We would walk to the Pike Market every Saturday morning, have breakfast at the 3 Sister’s and then buy ingredients for dinner.  I loved it there!  A fellow landscape architect and I opened our own landscape architecture firm with a fledgling company named Microsoft as our primary client. But I didn’t like being my own boss, so I sold out to my business partner and found a new position in Columbia, Maryland.  We moved to Baltimore in December of 1988.  I hated it!  Hated the weather, the job, the east coast snobbery, and the gay community. Mike worked in Bethesda and commuted by train every day.  I lost my job two years later and we hightailed it back to the west coast and ended up in San Diego.  We bought an 80 year-old tudor bungalow ten years ago and just finished a major remodel this month.  We have two Jack Russell Terriers, Zoe and Zachary (Mother and son). I work as a landscape arichitect for the state (Governor Arnold is my boss) and have excellent benefits and health care…I thank god for that.  We are both very close to my family. They’ve always been very supportive of Mike and me.  I have four siblings all within a 2 hour drive. I've told my younger sister, who is also my best friend. My mother passed away from COPD last year and my father lives an hour away.  I enjoy following politics, design, travel, reading, cooking and gardening.  I still hate sports!  My life was going along pretty well until last Wednesday.  I got my first lab results this week. My  CD-4 is 1280 (50%), but my Vl is 498,000!  Have the first appointment with my HIV specialist on Tuesday. Mike will go with me. He has been very supportive and I thank God that I have him to help me get through this.  Right now I’m scared as hell to what lies ahead and so g’damned angry with myself for getting into this mess. What have I done? That’s me, Neil, in a nutshell.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 08:09:54 PM by parquenord »
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt"

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

Offline Christine

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2006, 08:11:45 PM »
Hi Everyone!
I am Christine from Pennsylvania, USA. I am 39, turning 40 in September. I have been married for 12 years, and have 4 dogs. My husband is negative, and has been very wonderful through all of this, as has been my family and friends. I am pretty sure I was infected in '92( i had a really bad flu-like event for about three weeks, and I am pretty sure that was when I converted) from my then boyfriend, although he never admitted he was +, or that he was not being monogamous. I received a phone call from another woman who he was with, and she told me to ask him about their life together. I asked her directly if she was +, and she just said I had to ask him. Which I did, and he did not say a word-just sat there in his chair. Would not say yes I am, no I am not, didn't even apologize for cheating. I was done. I called it quits, and moved on with my life.

I was in denial for about a year, and during that time I met my future husband. I told him all about what had happened, and we went and both got tested, and received our results together. I was +, and he was -. He said he still wanted to be together (this was before we were married), and that there were no guarantees on how long any of us have together, and he would take what time he was given. He is a really good guy.

I am very fortunate to have a fantastic doctor and nurse coordinator at Penn State University Hospital. I have not been as lucky with my meds or my response to the meds. Right now my t-cells are at 17, and vl around 20,000. My vl has never been undetectable. In 2001, I was in the hospital for a month with a bacterial infection. And this October, until presently, I have had a series of problems. I had Serotonin Syndrome from a reaction of Norvir and Effexor, then while in the hospital they found food poisoning. Then I had horrible nausea, and vomiting from Lexiva and Invirase, then PCP, and finally C-Diff from the antibiotic for the PCP.

But, I am still hanging in there. Some days can be pretty rough, and I feel so blessed that I have found these forums. Everyone is very kind, and it helps to know that I am not alone.

I like to read, watch movies, do rubber stamping. I used to work out pretty regularly before October with weights, and yoga. I do clicker training with my dogs. I like to cook, bake mostly. I used to work in the hotel industry as a convention coordinator until the hours and stress started to effect my health. I went to Penn State, and have a degree in Sociology, although I never used it because I could not find a job where I could pay my bills, and student loans. Give your case workers or social workers a big, they just don't get paid enough for what they do.

Well, that's my story. Thanks for reading it. I hope it was not to long, I tend to ramble sometimes...
Christine

Also- thanks so much for the list owners for adding spell check. I think I am the worst speller in the world, and it really helps!
Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Posts: 7,276
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2006, 08:16:49 PM »
Hello Cliff,

 Thanks for starting this thread. After reading Matt's reintroduction, I also thought it would be a great idea for people that may not have introduced themselves, to go ahead and do so, if they felt comfortable enough.

 So, I will also reintroduce myself here to everyone. My name is Ray, I am 54 years of age. I will be 55 in December, and can't wait to be officially declared a "senior citizen". Maaannn, that sounds old. Everytime I see that number written down, I cringe a little. I don't consider myself as being 54 years of age, I still very much feel like I am in my 30's.(although at other times, I can feel like I am in my 80's)-- Depends on the day/ week / month...
I was born in Western New York State, About 7 miles or so, south of Niagara Falls. It was a great area to be area to be raised in. Decent schools, always something to do. We never got bored when we kids growing up.

 I quit school in my senior year. Things were tough at home, and I needed to help out. After completing, the necessary courses, I received my diploma, while in the Army. I was drafted into the Army, in 1971. And completed  my two years of service,honorably, of which I have no regrets.

I moved to Florida in 1980.(western New York's economy was suffering). Met my current partner (Ed) in July of 1980. We have been together ever since.It will be 26 years this coming July. It was not an easy road, after my diagnosis.

In 1985, we were having some problems, and I decided, around the fourth of July weekend in 1985, to party, and get wild for a few days.That weekend, changed my life. It was during this period of time, That I managed to get gonorrhea, along with HIV, by a person who was already infected, but refused to disclose to me.I can only blame myself... I was the one who chose, not to wear the condom. I really thought, I was smart enough to know better, but obviously ,that was not the case. I was diagnosed positive in October of 1985, a couple weeks after the death of Rock Hudson.

I was fortunate enough, to remain healthy, and free of meds, until 2003.( I should have started sooner though) I went into a state of denial, around 2001. By the time 2003, rolled around, I was pretty sick. I had gone through a year of a 30 pound weight drop. By the time I started meds in October of 2003 I had 16 t-cells, and a viral load over 500,000. with a recorded percentage at 3 %.

I was very lucky, I pulled through. I don't like using the word" lucky". I did many things throughout the years, after diagnosis, that I felt were necessary to keep myself healthy. I gave up up, a lot of bad habits, and started taking care of myself.

I found Aidsmeds.com, around November of 2003, and joined Aidsmeds.com in December of 03. I could not get enough information, which is why I am here today. I still continue to learn 20 years later. I am not a new-one to the virus, but I only have about 32 months of therapy experience.

So, here I am 20 plus years after I was diagnosed, still kicking, still smiling (sometimes it can be difficult though). But one thing I know for certain... I am not about to give up. Not yet !! I am still managing to work every day. It gets a little more difficult as time goes on, but I continue to push myself daily. I also know my limits. I don't expect miracles, I try to live realistically, and I remain very hopeful, and I try to keep a sense of humor.   

Well, there's a little info about me.   I wish everyone good health !



Ray


Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 8/25/14,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 63 years young.

Offline Van Pelt

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2006, 08:30:40 PM »
S'up...

After taking a few years leave of absence on this site, I have returned, under a new name. Slipping into a deep depression, I had to take a "break", and since I couldn't take a break from the disease itself, I had to get away from other things surrounding it - which is why I abandoned this site, as well as the "friends" I had made on here. I am back with hopes that this could once again be therapeutic for my mental health...and I need something more productive than "MySpace".

So - that was my re-introduction. There's not much more information I can disclose, being that I'm still in the closet about my status. I can say that I lived in NYC, until I moved to California last year - and there's a huge difference in the Insurance standings....The Department of Health is not as generous, nor is ADAP, and the process is taking much longer - I'm worried that I'll run out of meds before my Medi-Cal finally runs through.

I'm also in a sero-discordant relationship, which, of course, has its problems, adding to the problems of a "normal" relationship.

But, all in all, I'm just trying to find my place in life, yet, it's looking more discouraging every day...


Offline HIVworker

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2006, 08:43:06 PM »
I am HIVworker, also known as "R". I have not got HIV but work in a research lab on new therapies for HIV. While not actually living with HIV, I do live with HIV - if you know what I mean. I come to this forum to listen and learn what is required and to gain an insight into life with HIV. I also help out with the odd scientific question and see how you all are. I've been here for 3 years now and I've enjoyed all of it. I use to post only in the FEARS section, but don't do that much anymore.

R
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline newt

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2006, 11:09:24 PM »
Glad to meet you all, you stars * * *  This is very informative.

Cliff- dont buy a BMW, real bikers will laugh at you, Yamaha is the way to go (sez the newt who misses his Yamaha).  Cliff: PS - DTPM was mashed, yr K-Swiss would've been trashed n people (tourists) were smoking SOMETHING NASTY on the podium n taking photos, some people didnt even realise there were gay men there -  4/10 + a lot of money.

- matt

(Now playing - Abba: Winner Takes it All, er no, Lou Reed : Perfect Day (10 sec fade into))
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Robert

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2006, 11:24:32 PM »
Oh Matt, you're right...and wrong.

Norton is the way to go....

http://www.nortonmotorcycles.com/

robert

(who knows all about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.)
..........

Offline thirtysomething

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2006, 11:34:58 PM »
Hello Everyone,

My name is Raj, 31 yrs old Indian male. I was born and brought up in Bombay and have been living in US for past 6 years now. I was diagnosed of HIV 3 months ago and life has turned upside down since then. I have bachelor's degree in in Computer Science and I work in Information Technology field. I'm moving to Toronto next month (thank god, I managed to get a great job there move my move!), and I'm hoping to live for a long time! I also am looking to make new friends in Toronto.. anyone from there give me a holla!


Offline newt

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2006, 12:08:00 AM »
At the risk ofgoing off-topic, Norton these days is a good brand of anti-virus software...Yamaha or a Kwak, Norton, an original ,for weddings, funerals and Sundays, yes, yes, but a "current" one no, rather have a Russian bike  8)

- matt

Now playing - Suede : Saturday Night (off ace albumn Coming Up)
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline fearless

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #30 on: June 03, 2006, 12:39:39 AM »
Hi there,

I'm Stephen. I'm 39 (nearly 40) and live in Sydney, Australia. I've lived here all my life and was born in the Salvation Army Hospital in Marrickville, a source of some angst when I was growing up as all my other siblings were born in another hospital. I have one brother and two sisters, all older. I had a younger sister who drowned tragically in our back yard swimming pool aged 22 months. I became the baby and was attached to my mother till I was 15 or so. I was a shy withdrawn child. A bed wetter, a chronic sleep walker and a cry baby.

At 15 I discovered god and religion in a big way and came out of my shell somewhat although I am still quite shy. I thought seriously about becoming a brother and spent time doing missionary work in South America in my early 20's. I visited San Francisco on my way home, discovered men and went to the other extreme.

AIDS took all my friends from the late 80's bar one, Grant who lives in the UK and is my rock. We manage to catch up every couple of years and are meeting up in Thailand in a few weeks time.

At 25 I fell in love with Bruce and we spent 9 1/2 years together. I will have been single for 5 years as of next weekend. (oh yeah, I have a crazy innate ability to remember numbers, dates, football scores. I know my telephone no from when I was a kid and the numbers from all my credit cards).
I became positive sometime around my 37 birthday.

I have a prediliction for seeking out violence and abuse. I have huge gambling debts. I often make poor choices. I am only able to keep my life on the straight and narrow by having a regimented lifestyle. Routines rule my daily life but I am constantly fighting my urges. I give in sometimes.

I enjoy travelling, gardening, swimming/snorkelling, Rugby League, my sister and her kids. I'm a bit of a loner and do lots of stuff by myself. I live with another guy, John, but I'd love to live by myself and will once I've paid some more debts off.

I'm a scientist by trade, majoring in fluvial geomorphology and botany, but I've worked in a dull but well paying public service job (media regulation) for nearly 16 years.

I've got myself in trouble more often than I care to remember. I have a good heart, I just stuff up sometimes.

Nice to meet you all.

Little Steve (cause I'm short)  ::)

ps. Matt. my mate in London used to sell his rohypnol (sp) to suede.  ;D


« Last Edit: June 03, 2006, 12:46:15 AM by fearless »
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline cph9680

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2006, 12:58:43 AM »
Ok...

I'm Corey, I'm 25, I joined the other website almost 3 years ago, but kinda dropped off the face of the earth after a short while, but I'm back now.  I live in Denton, TX and attend the University of North Texas (if you're jazz afficianado you've probably heard of us).  I'm currently a sophmore majoring in journalism.  So that means I like to write, I love to read, I like music, hanging out with my friends and family, and doing any other fun things that present themselves.  Much of my life is pretty much devoted to school right now, because I'd like to make it to grad school sometime before I hit 80, and after that I'd either like to teach or write for a newspaper.  Aside from that I'd like to think I'm a pretty nice guy, I think I'm rather amusing and so do a lot of other people (or else they think I'm funny looking :) ), and I'm just a pretty normal average guy doing my own thing...

Offline Sky

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2006, 03:57:51 AM »
Hello gang!  My AM name is Sky (cuz I think the sky is one of the most beautiful things in the world, full of emotions just like us) but my real name is Charlie.  I live in Jacksonville, FL, which is about 3 hour north of Orlando.  I've been poz since July 2003, infected in February of the same year.

Currently I go to school full time to be a RN.  Finding out I had HIV was not only one of the worst things in my life, but also, one of the best.  It has made me get off my butt and start living life...so I went back to school to help people.  I live at home with my parents while in school and have a wonderful dog Lucy, who I treasure more than anything.  Since gay men can't have babies biologically with another man (boy would that be interesting) she's the next best thing I guess.

The last three years of my life have certainly been filled with their ups and downs.  However, thanx to the family here at AM, and the support of my friends here in Jacksonville, I have nothing but a "positive" outlook at the future.
Poz since 2003.

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2006, 04:14:33 AM »
um... i'm bailey... dingoboi to you most

i am 34, still think of myself as a twink, even tho i'm not phsyically....

All I ever wanted was to be in a long-term permanent relationship... obviously that didn't work out with my first b/f of 2.5 years.  Ever since then, and maybe even before... i've been trying to fuck my way to love.   

Yah, that hasn't worked. 

Anyways, since then, i've dated a few boys... even lived with one for 8 months.... till he split for his ex (conveniently after i got laid off from work and since I was supporting him basically)

Now I'm all alone except for my puppy London, who I cherish.   She's better than any asshole b/f.   

I'm a hopeless romantic... and think I might actually meet somebody who loves me... ok.. a bit of low self esteeem here... I'm not icky but i still find the concept of hiv+ and neg to be weird.     I'm not sure I can deal with that.... nor do I want to.

I'd rather be with somebody who understands if I feel tired... if I'm cranky and why.

Not to say I'll be a bitch, cuz i won't...

I guess I just want to be loved by somebody I find attractive.... is that too much to ask in this day and age?


Offline JohnOso

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2006, 06:01:13 AM »
Greetings to everybody!

My name is John and I'm a 42-ish gay male living in the San Francisco Bay Area.  But I'm not from here originally. 

Oh no...I was born a poor girl in Butcher Holler, Kentucky....NO WAIT!!  That was Loretta Lynn, another Kentucky gal...I get so confused these days.

Seriously folks, I WAS born in Louisville, Kentucky.  I'm pretty sure we were white trash, but we just didn't know it at the time.  My Mom, god love her, was the eternal optimist (she would take my auntie and I to the town dump and make us look for discarded cereal box tops so she could have multiple entries in that week's sweepstakes, while my father shot rats with the rifle).

Other than that, I'm pretty sure my two brothers and I had a normal, loving home -- if not slightly wacky sometimes, not unlike a John Waters film.

I went to school at Vanderbilt University and got a B.S. degree in Molecular Biology in 1985 with visions of medical school in my eyes, but being the undisciplined lad that I am, deep down I knew I really didn't want to do that.  I was also deeply closeted, just waiting for that Right Girl to come along and show me the error of my ways. 

I never found her. ;)

After slogging along in a few graduate school classes, I finally hit upon nursing school as the perfect combination of still being in the medical field, yet being able to punch the time clock and get the hell out and get on with my own life.  So I went to the University of Louisville and got ANOTHER B.S. in Nursing (at this point you're thinking, doesn't this bastard EVER want to leave school?).

During that time I had an extended dysfunctional fling with a guy who was in a LTR with another guy.  I had tested negative during nursing school in the early 90's (my best friend's mom accompanied me to the "Specialty Clinic" to get tested since I was too nervous to do it alone -- I still get a chuckle out of the mental image of this 50 year old woman chain-smoking while watching herpes films in the waiting room).

I could write an entire book on my relationship with "my" guy -- let's just say sexually it was electric (and unprotected!), but emotionally it was pretty devastating.  And while I was reciting the Florence Nightingale pledge at graduation (or whatever nurses pledge to do -- "I solemnly swear to clean assholes gently and lovingly, so help me God?"), I nearly collapsed since I had the "flu" so bad.

The next, and I mean that VERY next weekend, I loaded up the car and moved out West to Arizona, where I had a branch of my family.  I had to get away and start a new life in a new town.  I got my first nursing job in a ho-hum ICU, where I didn't learn a whole lot -- just enough to not kill anybody.  Bought my first black leather vest about this time.  I also met the love of my life here -- except I didn't know he was the love of my life.   Not just yet anyway.   

FINALLY, after many detours I made it to the Bay Area, where I found a hospital full of vagrants, miscreants, and loud-mouthed broads....my own little piece of ICU paradise that puts up with my extremely foul-mouthed, gay rights tirades with a loving pat on the head and a "that's-nice-Dearie" roll of the eyes.  And the love of my life?   He flew up here to meet me one day on a round-trip ticket back to Arizona (i tore up the return ticket -- he had to stay here after that).  He works at UC-Berkeley as an academic advisor and I don't know what I'd do without him.

So sweet..... so fun..... so Ally McGraw and Ryan O'Neal, right?

I'd like to place the blame squarely on Shasta's finest pot brownies that I was indulging in, but in reality, this was something going on for a long time that I refused to admit to myself.  First, the cough and fever...then not being able to get out of bed....then the extreme shortness of breath.   My doctor at "La Clinica" informed me I needed to get an HIV test, pronto.  By the time I got the test results back from Planned Parenthood, I had lost about 30 pounds in under a month.   (My greatest regret in life is having AIDS.  My second greatest regret is having to pay Planned Parenthood seventy-fucking bucks to tell me that I had AIDS).

As I write this, I feel pretty good about today.  The medicine seems to be working and life is okay (albeit 70 pounds lighter).   I'm worried about being around sick people 40 hours a week, but try to minimize risks when I can.  I can't tell my family yet -- they can do nothing for me at this point.  My friends know and that's enough for me right now.

If you've made it to the end, thanks for indulging me.  And take care of yourselves.
John

Offline sealforvr

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #35 on: June 03, 2006, 09:22:54 AM »
Hi all!

Lets see, where to begin. My name is Brock, I live in Oklahoma city and work as a graphic designer. I tested POZ in 1992, and from what they can figure I was infected in 84-85, so that makes me an official long term survivor.

I think a big part of that comes from having always take good care of myself, and I sobered up from booze not long after I was exposed. I was living in Texas at the time so I had access to excellent facilities in Dallas. In addition, my sobriety group had an HIV positive meeting to provide more support.

I've been really fortunate and not had to deal with any severe OI's or side effects aside from the fact that
my testosterone collapsed, but they said that could also have been genetic, or even a result of previous alcohol abuse. Therefore, I'm on Androgel.

 I do have belly problems which were partially resolved by changing meds. However I also was in an accident on dive trip and ruptured the central connective tissues from sternum to navel. It'sfinally causing me some discomfort so I'm looking into surgery to fix that in the coming year.

For fun I weightlift, gaden, cook, read, scuba dive, cycle. My handle is in Honor of my best hetero friend in Dallas, who was a Lt in the Navy SEALs.

I'm currently on Reyataz, Combivir, Viread, and Norvir. I'd like to get off the Norvir I've been on it a loong time.

I have a great nutritionist who also runs the local Max Muscle outlet. I wrote to the company's headquarters and told them how good he's been for my health, and they ended up doing a small piece about me a year ago. I got to meet Craig Titus, the bodybuilder, which was kinda creepy/cool, since Now less that a year later he's in jail accused of murdering his personal assistant.

I decided some time ago I needed to be in charge of my health, after watching too many people play the passive victim and end up dead. I know that sounds harsh, and I guess thats part of my anger about this disease. I wholly owned it back when everyone else was calling themselves victims and demanding to be fixed. I took the other route that sobriety taught me and did everything I could to make the best of things NOW.

So now here i am in the best shape of my life and getting better, a good job, single but not minding it too much, with plans and goals for the future. Pretty surprising for someone who was told to "go home and make your plans" in 1992.

regards
Brock

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Offline Cliff

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #36 on: June 03, 2006, 12:23:59 PM »
Cliff- dont buy a BMW, real bikers will laugh at you, Yamaha is the way to go (sez the newt who misses his Yamaha).
Not the actual bike for me (assuming I pass the Nazi license exam), just a pic of any old bike.

Glad to meet everyone!

Offline kcmetroman

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #37 on: June 03, 2006, 12:28:55 PM »
Real bikers ride one and only one......

Harley Davidson

Offline Trish

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2006, 12:33:50 PM »
Hey Cliff,

Nice topic... I think it's important to know who is behind the avatars and screen names....makes it more personal.

I don't have time right now to write my intro, I will be back sometime later to do so.  I'll try to keep it short, you know like 5 pages or so ;) ::)... I talk alot. :D

Have a great weekend everyone... :)

"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is buit."  Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline Blixer

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2006, 02:28:44 PM »
Hi Cliff, this is a good idea!

I'm David and I was diagnosed Poz Jan 9, 2006.  I claim my residence as St. Louis, MO where I'm rehabbing a Victorian home.  I actually work in a small town in the Missouri Bootheel during the week so I have to rent a place there.  (The bootheel is the hangy down part).  Where I work is actually closer to Memphis, TN.  I'm in education and my entire career so far has been in the same district.   I've taught mathematics, science, and technology in grades 7-12 and now I'm in administration.  I enjoy what I do very much and it keeps me very very busy.  I work 12 months out of the year and never did understand that concept of teachers only working 9 months.  I also teach some college classes for William Woods University.  I'm well educated with advanced degrees in educational administration and educational leadership.  I was the first person in my family to get a college degree.  My goal was to complete a doctorate, which I did in 2000. 

I'm a single gay male.  I've lived in MO all of my life but I love to travel.  A couple of my favorite places are Santa Rosa Island near Pensacola, FL, and the Rocky Mountains near Denver.  I also love New Orleans.  We did lots of family vacations when I was growing up so I've been lucky enough to have been in most of the states.  I would like to travel overseas to Europe one day soon.  Closer to home, I'd love to go back to Toronto, Chicago, New York, Denver, Miami, and San Fancisco.  I've never been to Atlanta or DC but would love to check both of those places out. 

I ride my bicycle for exercise and enjoyment. It is my time to think and ponder.  My house in St. Louis is close to Tower Grove Park which is the second largest park in the city and where the gay pride events are held every June.

I enjoy eating out and like most kinds of food.  My favorite type of movie is comedy followed closely by good science fiction.  I am NOT a fan of Horror movies.  I enjoy the theatre but don't get to do that very often.  When I bought my house in St. Louis my plan was to enjoy some of the cultural things it had to offer, but over the past 4 years the house has taken most of my spare time and I haven't achieved that goal yet.

I started meds on April 10 and have had a difficult time getting some pain issues resolved.   I'll have to say the past two months have been miserable, but I've worked with my docs and it looks like we may be starting to see some of the pain issues resolved.  I wanted to get started on meds before there was serious damage to my immune system.  I have no idea when, where, or how I was infected.  I had a very low risk profile and hence didn't test regularly.  My diagnosis was a surprise and of course it has taken me a while to adapt to it.  I've found my family to be supportive although I've had to sort through most of this on my own and find most of my own resources.

At one point in my life I tried so hard to "fit in" that I got married.  I have two wonderful sons from that marriage.  One is currently attending college in Germany and the other one starts college this coming fall.  My ex and my children are aware of my status and very supportive.  Since that marriage I've not had a good track record with relationships but I'm hopeful that will change.  I dated a guy for 2 1/2 years that lived 300 miles away and I put 100,000 miles on my truck during that time.  I had a couple of other short "relationships", one with a guy that totally adored me, but he was fresh out of a marriage himself and in the "candy store mode" which I couldn't handle.  After that I had a short relationship in which I let the guy totally destroy my self esteem.  For three years after that I didn't even care to think about dating, and then, just when I thought I was ready again, I come up diagnosed poz.  That has opened up a whole knew realm of things to adapt do and a whole new set of problems.  I'm an easygoing person who just wants to get my life back and enjoy living again.  I think I'm headed in that direction.

So there you have the quick summary that may give you some insights into who I am.
David
Diagnosed 1/9/06
8/27/2007 CD4 598, 29%, VL 58 (72 wks)
11/19/2007 CD4 609, 30%, VL < 50 (84 wks)
2/11/2008 CD4 439, 27%, VL <50 (96 wks)
5/5/2008 CD4 535, 28%, VL <50 (108 wks)
10/20/2008 CD4 680, 28%, VL <50 (132 wks)
Changed to Atripla in 2012
1/14/2013 CD4 855, 35%, VL <40

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2006, 02:49:30 PM »
Cliff, let me say terrific thread. Second, let me say how much I enjoy reading everyone's bio. They go so well with a morning cup of coffee.

Now about me. My name is Hal and I am a fifty-four year old gay man living with AIDS. Diagnosed in '92, but most likely converted (sounds so religious) sometime in the early '80's. I.V. drugs and sex were probably not a wise choice for a cute newly hatched homo in NYC in 1981. But, boy was it fun...I digress.

Just a little about now. I have learned I do much better with dogs than boyfriends. I have lived with Sam (my doxie) for two years and we have yet to have one jealous fight. Though I did catch the little rascal making eyes at a very fetching Shetland Sheepdog the other day in the park....men. Sam is a joy, and my life, and I truly believe he keeps me healthy. I know he makes me happy.

I am a Navy brat born in Western TN and raised in Northern CA...therein lies my schizophrenia. I was shipped back to Fruitvale, TN (yes there is such a place) every summer to my childless Aunt. Long story short it was all very Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote. It ended one summer when I caught Uncle J.E. humping the help and informed Aunt Dodie.

As I get older and enter my sixth decade I suddenly find myself extremely nostalgic. I can't remember my PIN number but there are things that have happened to me over the last six decades that I am remembering with frightening clarity. If you could indulge me I would like to mention a few in no particular order. My sister basiically died in my arms when I was nineteen and she was seventeen. I was the first to reach her when she collapsed from a heart attack. Too late to help her. Third row, three seats back in Mrs. Snipes sixth grade class when Kennedy died. Mrs. Snipes was an Austrian Jew who survived the concentration camps. I can still make out the tattoo on her forearm. She taught us wonderful Israeli folk dances. Eddie Bash the neighbor boy I first kissed. The Cuban Missile Crisis. My dad was stationed in South GA at the time. Campaigning for the Black Panther Party slate of candidates in Berkeley, CA. I had a crush on Huey Newton. Seeing Janis Joplin live at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Appearing twice on the television show "Family Feud", losing both times. My brother-in-law thought Zane Grey was a world famous author.....survey says "Shakespeare".

That is enough for now. Thank you for your patience.

Hal

Offline aztecan

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2006, 05:48:41 PM »
Great idea Cliff, there are many new people here and this will help everyone get to know each other.

OK, let's see. My name is Mark, I live in Aztec, New Mexico, USA. I add the USA part because there are many people who seem to think New Mexico is part of the nation of Mexico, such as the U.S. Navy, the International Olympic Committee, etc. But, I digress . . .

I was born in Albuquerque, where it was I came out, sort of, in 1975. I attended the University of New Mexico from  1975 - 1979, during which time I majored in Archaeology. It was during this time I worked with Dr. Frank Hibben, first as a excavator on several dig sites, then later as his field school and laboratory supervisor. I met some fun people as a result, including Georgia O'Keefe, who was, well, interesting.

In 1980, I moved to Los Angeles, where I spent five years. I met my ex there, we were together, more or less, for much of that time, although never monogamous. During this time, I worked as a fish monger in Beverly Hills. (don't ask.) My clientele were many of Hollywood's names at the time, Streisand, Rock Hudson, Liberace, Rod Stewart, Vincent Price, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye, Cher, Marla Gibbs, Pierce Brosnan, and many others.

I tested positive in 1985, went into complete denial and embarked on a multi-year regimen of self-destructive behavior.

In 1992, I confided my positive status to a good friend when I was three sheets to the wind. It was the first time I had ever disclosed I was positive. I didn't even admit it to myself. My friend convinced me to see a doctor.

The doctor, Sarah Allen, was a delight! When she asked me to list my sexual proclivities, she made me stop half-way because she needed more paper. I made her blush. I loved it and had much faith in her from that day forward.

It was she who, after delving into my medical history (did I mention I am compulsive about keeping records?) who came up with the theory I was initially infected in the summer of 1980. I won't go into the particulars, but it makes sense.

Regardless, I have been positive, officially, for 21 years now. In July 1995, Sarah began doing viral load tests along with the TC4 tests (now called CD4 tests). My viral load at the time was about 13,000. Not bad for having been positive for at least 10 years.

Then, the other shoe fell. My CD4s, which always yo-yoed between 900 and 600 dropped to the 400s and then began creeping lower. The viral load, still a new thing, began rising, finally topping out in the 60,000 range.

It was January 1996 when Sarah broached the subject of treatment. There were some new drugs just coming out that were very effective, she said. After much thought, discussion, crying and lamenting, I decided to give it a go. In those days, when your CD4s dropped below 500, they started talking treatment.

My first regimen, started in March 1996, was AZT, 3TC (Epivir) and Saquinovir. For those who remember Saquinovir. it was not fun. It had to be taken with a full, fat-filled meal plus an 8 ounce glass of grapefruit juice. It tuned me into a human Hindenburg, a big bag of gas ready to explode at any time with accompanying hershey squirts. NASTY!

In May, I told Sarah I couldn't deal with the Saquinovir. She switched me to another new drug, just recently approved and so new there was a waiting list for it - Crixivan.

The rest is history. My CD4s began to climb, my viral load went undetectable in July 1996 and has remained there ever since. I am still on the same regimen today - 10 years as of last month.
My last CD4 was 1,462.

I moved back to Albuquerque in 1985 to finish my degree. Long story short (I know, too late), I switched to a major in journalism. Received my degree in 1987, just two months shy of my 30th birthday.
Two weeks after graduation, I had my first job as a reporter at a paper in the small town of Clovis, New Mexico (famous for its neolithic Clovis points, for the archaeologists in our midst.)

I then took a job as a bureau chief in Farmington, New Mexico, with the Farmington Daily Times. I remained with that paper for 16 years, working my way up to City Editor, until Gannett bought out the paper and gave all of the existing management the boot.

I am now the rural case manager with New Mexico AIDS Services. My area covers 3 1/2 counties, about 10,000 square miles, a number of Indian tribes, nations and pueblos, and is challenging, frustrating and I really like it.

I have been single for many years. I am a passionate gardener and earned my Master Gardener certificate a few years ago. I have been a practicing pagan for many years.

The things I enjoy, other than gardening, are driving my Miata on winding, curving roads (being just south of Durango, Colo., makes it easy to do this), movies, especially musicals (OK, stop the snikering), theatre, concerts, travel, rehabilitating my 1915 hipped cottage, reading, hiking, swimming, and, of course, watching men.

That's pretty much it. Kinda boring, but, oh well.

HUGS,

Mark

Who loves hugs a lot too.

Yep, that's me in the photo.




[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: June 03, 2006, 06:57:44 PM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2006, 05:53:11 PM »
i do 401k administration for our gannett account :P  mean people they are.

Offline Tim

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2006, 07:41:32 PM »
Let’s see.  I’m a 60 y/o gay man, currently single, born, raised and lived most of my life in Dayton, Ohio.  I lived in Anchorage, Alaska for two years in the army and in San Diego for a year of college.  I graduated H.S. in 1963 but it didn’t graduate college until December, 2000 – 37 years later.  The joke was, was I going to get my degree or retire first?

I began employment at General Motors in January, 1965 working at first in the factory.  Three years later I moved into Industrial Engineering.  By 1975, I had moved into Data Processing.  In 1985, GM bought Ross Perot’s firm, EDS, and I was transferred to that company where my career finally soared.  I was retired early, at only 53, in 1999 where I finished my career as the EDS Contract Manager with a division of GM where I managed the IT service contract with them worth over $70,000,000 per year.  Those were the best years of my life, career wise.  (Great money too).

Altho the word “gay” hadn’t been penned yet, and I was far too young to understand the concepts of homosexual or even sexual, I had always known, as young as 4 or 5, that I was attracted to the bodies of other boys and took every opportunity to see and manually interact with other boys sexually.  Buy the time I was 11, I knew and began more serious and frequent activities with other boys.  I lost my virginity at 15, in 1960, and never looked back.

Now, back in those days, homosexuality was officially declared a mental disorder and illegal in most states.  There was no such thing as “dating” or relationships in those days.  Everything was slinky and sleazy, mostly one night stand types of things.  Thank gawd HIV wasn’t around then.  Without a doubt, with my promiscuity, I would have easily been infected way back then.

Now, although it was kept secret, my first long term relationship started during my junior year in H.S. with a younger boy.  It lasted nearly 6 years until he suddenly announced that he was moving to Calif and no longer interested in the gay world.  I was crushed. It took me nearly 7 years to deal with it.

It was then that I went to San Diego to re-enter college.  While there, I met an angel sent from heaven.  She was beautiful in every way, yet caused me a bit of confusion.  I was gay, yet I was totally attracted to her.  In 1975, we were married and she moved back to Ohio with me.  Three years later we had a son.  Unfortunately, by 1983, her latent alcoholism raged to the surface and she divorced me and moved back to Calif.  I was awarded full custody of my then 4 year old son.   I married my job and dedicated 100% of the rest of my life to being both mom and dad for my son, forsaking ALL other social life.  Essentially, I was virtually celibate for nearly 16 years.  My son earned an academic scholarship to college, went on to law school, and is now a barrister in England.  Talk about a proud papa.   ;D

In 1999 I met a young man, Ryan, on the internet and we hit it off immediately.   At first, it was a “net romance”, but soon, frequent visits occurred until we became constant companions.  In early 2002, I visited a friend in Toronto for a week.  While I was gone, my love went out clubbing one night, got drunk and went home with another.   He insisted on use of a condom as he bottomed, but the boy withdrew, took it off, unknown to Ryan, and re-entered, tearing Ryan’s rectum in the process.  Six weeks later, Ryan was diagnosed poz.  Later, the other boy admitted to knowing he was poz but lying to Ryan about it.

I stuck right with him and arranged all his medical visits and attended with him over the next year.  At first, he would refuse to have any sexual contact with me.  He felt he was toxic.  Eventually, we resumed intimate cuddling at night, oral, and finally intercourse with a condom, but he would insist I top to reduce risk.  He never fully accepted the safer sex concept.  In spite of his diagnosis, I formally proposed to him in August, 2002 and he excitedly accepted.  We began plans to hunt for "our" place to live.  In January, 2003, after both of us drank too much and shared a LONG, 3-1/2 hour lovemaking session, highly emotionally charged, I stupidly entered him bareback.  It scared the hell out of him that he had infected me.  I tested negative on three successive tests, 3 months apart.  But, he couldn’t deal with it.  He was convinced that if we stayed together he’d eventually infect me and he couldn’t live with that if he did.  So, unannounced and spontaneously, he suddenly just up and disappeared from me, protesting that he so didn't want to hurt me but he just couldn't stay with me, at least right now.  That was 3 years ago.  I haven’t seen him since.  There have been only 2 email exchanges and one phone call since.  I haven’t yet brought closure to that.  I still hurt.  HIV cost me the all time love of my life.

Since I had retired in 1999, I had plenty of time and money to spend with Ryan and spoil him rotten. Since he left, I have been unable to even think about looking for another relationship.  I have since become employed again to occupy my time and give me some reason to get up in the morning.

I have made many good and sincere friends on this forum, having been a member since Ryan’s diagnosis in May, 2002.   I would like to pay tribute to all of them by name, but I fear I would miss listing some.  You all know who you are – thank you each and every one of you.

There is only one name I will mention here.  He has become very dear to my heart for over a year now and I am sure that many of you feel similar.  You can’t help but like this boy.  On the old forum, he was Rawr, here he is Mouse, Jaser.   What a beautiful and brilliant and refreshing young man.  I have seen him ride the roller coaster over this past year and hopefully, with other friends here, have occasionally helped and given him hope for a bright future.  It’s there for his taking, IF he’ll find the determination to do what he needs to do to manage this disease and chase after his dreams.

No, I am not HIV positive.  But I have been living with its effect for over 4 years now.  I guess I could be considered collateral damage.





Tim S., not to be confused with Tim Horn

Offline fearless

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #44 on: June 03, 2006, 07:50:02 PM »
Mark,
that is so true re New Mexico. Just before I went to Mexico in 2004, two mates bought me a pressie - a travel book on New Mexico. I just grinned and graciously accepted.

Little Steve
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline David_CA

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  • Joined: March 2006
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #45 on: June 03, 2006, 09:56:01 PM »
Well, I can't say that there's really much interesting to know about me, but I'll do what I can.

My name is David and I'm a 40 year old gay male.  I found out my poz status in March of this year.  My partner of 7 years also found out he's poz.  Prior to meeting him, I was married for almost 9 years and lived with my ex for 5 before that. She, my partner, and I are all good friends.  My partner and I have a lot of the same interests and are basically best friends.  Most all of our other really good friends are straight.  I work for the State in IT (information technology) and have a wonderful, low stress job with great benefits, so I'm very lucky in this respect.  We have 5 cats and too many projects and hobbies to know what to do with.  I graduated high school in 1984, moved to my current location to attend college, and have never moved.  I'd like to move out of the city, as it's growing at an alarming rate, and move to a more rural setting.  I seem to be becoming more of a recluse since finding out I'm HIV+. 

Our main fun activity is camping.  We don't do tents - I can't handle heat - and have a pop-up camper.  We generally go to a gay / clothing optional campground.  I'm converting a bus to an RV.  It's not a school bus, but is an ex-Trailways bus.  I started this project last May and have a ways to go.  The discovery of being  HIV+ made the whole month of March a blur and I didn't accomplish much of anything.  My goal is to get it converted and use it at the campground.  I also plan to travel a bit at some point in the near future and see an RV as the ideal way to do this.  It'll pretty much be a second home that happens to be drivable.  We try to get to the campground monthly, as it keeps me sane!  We've met the nicest people there and always have a great time.  We used to fight a bit and I didn't see our relationship lasting all that long.  Since we started camping, we've gotten along so much better.  This just shows me that couples (us, at least) need to get away, relax, and do things that they both truly enjoy.  The stress of day-to-day living is enough to get on anybody's nerves.  We'd both like to retire now to the campground and really enjoy life, but, unfortunately, don't get the luxury of retiring at 40! ;)  We also have a boat and two jet skis, all of which we'll be selling.  Anybody want to make a deal?  Since we've taken up camping, we don't use these toys anymore and sure could use the money for other things.  I enjoy music, especially Sirius sat. radio.  I've always loved music, and it's been a big part of my life since early on.  Sat. radio was sort of like rediscovering so much music all over again.  I really like channels 36 (dance) and 22 (80's alternative).  It's almost like being in college again but without all the studying and classes!  We work on the house a lot and play on our computers constantly.  A Wi-Fi equipped notebook and broadband internet are more important to me than TV or telephone these days.

Finding out I'm HIV+ has been a really strange thing for me.  It's causing me a great deal of anxiety and stress, but has had some good points.  It's the most humbling thing I've ever had to deal with.  It's the first situation that I've ever encountered that I really can't change; I can only modify my behavior to deal with it.  It's made me appreciate a lot of things in life and slow down some.  I've confided my being HIV+ to about four straight friends, a couple of prior sex partners, and my ex.  It's brought me a lot closer to these friends.  I haven't told anybody in my family yet, which is really bothering me.  I don't know if telling my mom is the right thing to do or if I want to do it to make myself feel better.  I know she can handle it, but I'll feel like such a shit for upsetting her so much.  On the other hand, I don't like lying and I know something will come up eventually that'll necessitate my telling her.  I'm debating on whether to talk to a counselor as a couple of friends have suggested.  I had my last Dr. appointment yesterday.  My Dr. wants me to try Prozac to help with the anxiety.  I'm sure a lot of these feelings will be resolved in time. 

I'd also like to say that the AidsMeds forums have helped me more than I can say.  Some days, just reading what others go through helps me figure out what's going on and gives me strength to deal with my own small problems.  All the 'welcome' and 'hello' replies to my first post brought more tears than anything else since finding out I'm poz.  Thanks everybody.  The lessons have given me more useful information than any other source I've found.

Well, theres my pretty uninteresting life.  It may seem kinda dull, but I wouldn't trade it (HIV and all) for anybody else's.  Every part of my life, from being a young child, to the teenage years, to the partying college days, to the partying post-college days, to the partying current days have been a blast.  The first 40 years have been great; if the next years are anywhere as good, I'll continue to be a lucky man! 

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline AlanBama

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #46 on: June 03, 2006, 11:06:32 PM »
I've enjoyed reading this thread, it's great to get to know some of you better.

It's hard for an old dinosaur like me to begin an introduction, so I'm going to pick up with some excerpts from an article I was featured in, back in October 1996, in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"Fragile Hope, Sober Realities" - a look at three Atlantans who've tried the new AIDS drugs.   HIV-positive since 1987, Alan has had a host of devastating opportunisitic infections which attack people with weak immune systems.   He's had a deadly form of pneumonia, a liver infection, bacterial infections, a 35 pound weight loss and molluscum contagiosum, a devastating skin condition that caused disfiguring bumps and scars all over his face and neck.  Too sick to work, in March 1995 Alan left his job as an auditor for the State Dept. of Human Resources.  "It got to a point where I couldn't walk, and I had to be helped to go to the bathroom.   I couldn't take a bath by myself".   When he started taking Ritonavir, a new class of drugs called protease inhibitors, his face cleared up, his strength came back, he gained weight and his body started producing disease fighting T-cells.  For the first time in years, he started to make plans; he started to hope.  "I had a wheelchair, and two types of walking canes.  They're all in the closet now.   I went to the beach this summer and to visit my family in Alabama, things I haven't been able to do in over two years."
His pill organizer contains some 280 pills each week, for AIDS, to stop infections, for depression, for sleep. But now HIV has mutated and become resistant to the drugs. Once HIV is resistant to one of them, if is often resistant to all of them.  He's taking three other AIDS drugs now plus nevirapine, a new class of drugs similar to AZT, which became available in June.  "Maybe the Nevirapine will work, he says...I just don't know."
------------------------------------------------
Fast forward to ten years later.   That article ended on a depressing, ominous note of uncertainty.   Well, I'm proud to say the Nevirapine DID work!  I'm still alive and kicking, and doing extremely well.   I was an "end-stage" AIDS patient in 1994-95, so what does that make me now???  What comes after "end-stage"?  How about ON stage!   It's time for me to get on with my life, and that's what I'm trying to do.   It's a struggle some days, but compared to those dark days it is a whole different ballgame.   When I look back and read that article, it's like a bad dream, and surely something that didn't happen to ME.  But it did, I survived it, and through determination and sheer bulldog obstinancy, I'm still swinging.

No one wants to do an article on me now, I'm "old news".   Hey, that's fine.  I'm just happy to be here.   I hope to get to know all of you better in the weeks and months ahead.   I plan for AMG 06 to be a major celebration of my life, and all our lives as survivors.

With love (and continuity)

Alan

In loving memory of Debbie Thomas-Bryan, one of the other two people featured with me in that 1996 article.

« Last Edit: June 03, 2006, 11:38:10 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 swede_dish

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Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #47 on: June 03, 2006, 11:30:16 PM »
WARNING! SOUTH AFRICAN "FREE"-MALE SET LOOSE IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN! MAY BE STIRR CRAZY!
Ah...where to start?

Name: Jennifer Alice  - often going by Alice when meeting new company..simply out of a need for change and an ever snipping identity crisis. Formally known as Lotusintheconcrete
Age: 20..21 in 3 months :)
 Location: Traverse City, Michigan (Cherry Capital of the World...horray?) I was born and raised in Durban, South Africa.
 Sign: Libra. What can I say? I like to keep things balanced....too bad I can't do the same for my checkbook!


I have been positive since I was 18. Well, two days after my 18th birthday. Of course, with my luck the first time I had sex...I couldn't just get pregnant like my sister (a direct quote from my mother) but I had to get HIV. Oh well...such are tribulations we must face in our long journeys. And yes. They will be LONG!  :)

Many things have happened in the past few years that have shapped and will continue to shape me as the adult I hope to become. My family has "dissowned" me and alienated me..(which has been subdued thanks to some good people in my family's community), I have been "outed" in a very public manner, I have been used and dumped, my brother has passed away, and my health has gone up and down like a yo-yo.

Even after all this, one thing remains.

I have love.

Wither it be from my family (the remaining part that still speaks to me), my group of lovely friends, from all of you and mostly...from myself. It's amazing how much faith in yourself can help you physically AND emotionally.


ANYWAY. Enough with that. I sound like an episode of Dr. Phil  ;D


Here are some of my <3 's
1. Art - I want to be an art teacher (elementary only!) and I am constantly painting, drawing, scultping, ect..
2. Music - David Bowie and Queen are my two favorites but I am a lover of all musical talent. A good album can change the face of a day. Freddie Mercury looks like my dad. He is the best frontman/showman of the past millenium (in my opinion). RIP Mercury.
3. My friends - They get me through things even my family can't.  They are the most accepting and caring people I know. I wouldn't be alive right now without them.
4. My family - I know they should be before my friends, but in a way...my friends are my family. I cannot ignore the fact that some members of my family and and allways will be a huge support system for me.



thats all i can think of right now!


_jenn..






"I married a German. Every night I dress up as Poland and he invades me. "
-Bette Midler

Offline cjc

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  • Sweet Girl
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #48 on: June 03, 2006, 11:48:28 PM »
Hi I am Cristy, known as cjc on both forums. I am a single 33 yo white ,heterosexual female living with my family in north Carolina. I tested pos in September of 2004. My CD4 at the time was 385. went on meds in Nov(sustiva and truvada) 2005. By then CD4 had fallen below 200. Now CD4 is 250 ,Val is  470. So i take my meds like I'm supposed to so i will be here a long time. I work at a restaurant part-time and spend time with my 3 YO son the rest of the time. I like cats , old cars, books ,food,kids, fishing. Very few people know my status but those I have told have been very supportive. I am just making it day by day trying to make sure i will be here for my son for a long time. Coming to the forum really helps me. ya'll are a wonderful group of people.     Cristy
« Last Edit: June 04, 2006, 12:01:46 AM by cjc »

Offline heartforyou

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  • I must be a survivor in many ways...
Re: Introduce yourself and meet others!
« Reply #49 on: June 04, 2006, 03:24:15 AM »
This is a wonderful thread. Thnx.

I have a strong feeling that not only more facepics are being posted, but that there is a general trend of more openness on the Forums. And I loudly and enthusiastically applaude this.

Every single story brings a different feeling to my heart.

But they all have one thing in common : a lot of IQ and emotional intelligence.

And right from the hear. I like that.

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

Happiness is the freedom of breathing fresh air every day.

 


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