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Fisher - all those years and years you were researched DID help the fight against HIV. 

Also, are you sure you will no longer be of interest to science?  Just wondered on that point. They said, oh go away, you're of no use to us anymore??

They fly my down from Maine and put me up.  But I think that as I am now on medication I no longer can be considered as part of the LTNP cohort.  Maybe other studies.  You would think being so steady for so long then having an almost overnight viral control collapse could help the sceintists in their knowlege as what changes in the blood or immune system when viral escape occurs.  Will know in a few months whether or not I am invited back down to NIH.  Too "deflated" right now to call and ask. I doubt it.


A long, long time ago, for an unrelated health issue, I took an HIV “phone test.” When I called, a recorded voice said, “we are now switching you over to a counselor.” I hung up immediately. This was just when the first success with triple-drug therapy was beginning to be reported.

Learning I was infected with HIV kind of drove me a bit crazy.

Then, I learned how to use the Internet and tried learning all I could about HIV.  I realized that something was very, very, wrong, but very, very good, something very strange was happening with my CD4+ and VL.  Having been in a monogamous relationship for 12 years and my partner ending up negative, I should have been very ill by then.

Finding out I had immunity made we twice as crazy, feeling special and gifted. I quickly connected and plugged into the researchers, first at Mass General, then at NIH.

And I’m in the same situation again. Like I just discovered for the first time that I am HIV positive.  Finding that I am vulnerable has once again made crazy.  And all my Internet research now points to new things that are very scary.

I am 56, not a cute cub anymore. Well. Maybe still a little cute. . . And what I read is that HIV can make older people age faster and have other types of normal aging problems, just quicker.

Getting my first CD4+ and VL since starting meds on Tuesday.  Not sure if the meds are working or if my body is tolerating the meds or having other issues. 

After that hurdle, if all goes well, I hope for “smoother times” and the disciplined “long haul” of drug taking to continue to defeat this enemy of mine.


Maybe you need to step back from the Internet research if you are "learning" things that, from a distance, sound alarmist if not also downright inaccurate.

Also, you are not "immune", you were from the get go HIV positive. There are some people who ARE immune but if you are positive, you are not one of them.

Going forward, you can think about your many years contributing to the science as your big contribution to the fight against HIV and AIDS.

HAART is very effective. I don't know what you are reading but you should probably look forward to a normal life this year, and the following years, and a normal life span. 

I hope when the crisis and fear wears off, you can find value in your uniqueness and your specialness and that your worth doesn't have anything to do with this stupid virus.  Find something about your life, your work, your friends or family, your projects, to see as valuable and your special contribution to the world.  Something that does not have anything to do with HIV - either being just another HIV+ person on HAART, or having once been a long term non-progressor. 


gracias mecch!



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