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Author Topic: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend  (Read 4286 times)

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Offline WindySkies

  • Member
  • Posts: 113
  • Tested + 10/11/12
My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« on: January 29, 2013, 01:08:00 PM »
So I finally decided to get a tattoo I have been thinking about since I first tested positive.  I finally decided that it was going to be something to give me complete acceptance of being HIV+, and that's what convinced me to do it.

So I emailed a few places asking if they had an issue with tattooing Someone who is HIV+, and didn't hear back from any of them.  I decided to walk in to a place and ask them in person.

I showed the guy what I wanted, he quoted me a price, and he started to draw it up and get his station ready.  I filled out the paperwork and one of the verification boxes was that I would agree to let them know of any infectious diseases before they began.

When he was ready I handed him the paperwork and told him about my HIV.  He paused and said that shouldn't be an issue and walked me back to his station.  He then changed out some of his tools to what I suspect were tools he wouldn't mind throwing away just incase.  What I did find strange is that he was ready to use these little wood cups for his ink, but instead switched to disposable plastic ones.  The strange part was that regardless of my HIV, using wood as something he is continually dipping his needle into seems completely unhealthy since wood is porous and can hold all sorts of stuff in it.  In that case I actually felt more safe with the plastic cups!

For the first 15 minutes or so he didn't say much but finally opened up to ask the meaning of the tattoo I was getting.  I told him and he said that he always asks because every tattoo has a story.  He asked me how I got HIV, and how long ago.  He then told me that he was completely terrified that 'tonight will be the night I finally mess up and poke myself'.  I told him I'm in very good health, and undetectable so his risk was extremely low.

He had no clue what undetectable meant so I explained it too him and he seemed amazed that there were tests that could do that sort of stuff.  He was also amazed to learn how effective the current drugs are today, as well as how expensive.  He is a diabetic and has a hard time paying for $40 worth of test strips per month, so I told him to try paying $60 a day for one pill!

He did admit that I was the first HIV+ person he had ever tattooed, so I corrected him and told him I was the first one that was honest, and knew about my HIV status that he had tattooed.  He then realized that the chances were pretty high he had already tattooed someone who was HIV+ and didn't know it, and then realized he was more at risk with them since they were untreated. 

After he was done I could sense that he was still trying to process everything but he did thank me for opening up his mind to a new way of thinking, and said if I wanted another tattoo in the future to give him a call, he'd be happy to work on me again.

The tattoo is healing just fine by the way!
10/11/2012 Journey Started
10/17/2012 First Labs: VL=57,645  CD4+=730  37%
10/31/2012 Started Complera
11/30/2012 Labs: VL=80  CD4+=929 40%
12/24/2012 Started Stribild

Undetectable since 1/15/13 CD4+= Over 1,400 and 49%

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 01:18:38 PM »
great story! and great work you did as an educator/prevention specialist!

now where's the pix of this tat??  ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline britchick

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  • Posts: 444
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 02:36:56 PM »
WindySkies!

Cheers for your story and your honesty too re disclosure at the Tattoo parlour.I wanna see a pic too!!!!!!!!!!

Britchickx

Offline Raf

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  • Bald by choice
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 02:43:00 PM »
Congratz windy! This is one of the things I wanna do again someday...before my Dx, I was a total tattoo fan (I have both arms fully tattooed) but after that I didn't wanted to get one again.

Show a pic of the tattoo later, eh?
Dx: 05/14/2008
Latest HIV Meds combo I've been taking:

Kaletra + Combivir (since 05/16/2008 - today)

Offline WindySkies

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  • Posts: 113
  • Tested + 10/11/12
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 04:53:31 PM »
I'm sure some people won't agree with my choice of design, but it means to me what I want it to mean:



It's on my right hip/pelvis area and is pretty much covered up by my swimsuit for the gym, and completely covered up by the normal underwear I wear.  I'm wearing that style for a few days to keep the tattoo from being covered.

And here it is pretty much covered up by my swimsuit:



« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 05:02:13 PM by WindySkies »
10/11/2012 Journey Started
10/17/2012 First Labs: VL=57,645  CD4+=730  37%
10/31/2012 Started Complera
11/30/2012 Labs: VL=80  CD4+=929 40%
12/24/2012 Started Stribild

Undetectable since 1/15/13 CD4+= Over 1,400 and 49%

Offline darryaz

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Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 05:18:33 PM »
Wow, it matches your undies AND your swimsuit!!!

Offline WindySkies

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  • Posts: 113
  • Tested + 10/11/12
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 05:35:35 PM »
Wow, it matches your undies AND your swimsuit!!!

Ha, I noticed that after I took the pictures!  I actually have several different suits (and underwear for that matter) in different colors, mostly black.  The chlorine wreaks havoc on material when you swim 6 days a week.  In the water the blue ring seems to stand out more, but the blue suit does make it stand out.  I'm sure in a week or so when the skin is back to normal it wont look wrinkled.
10/11/2012 Journey Started
10/17/2012 First Labs: VL=57,645  CD4+=730  37%
10/31/2012 Started Complera
11/30/2012 Labs: VL=80  CD4+=929 40%
12/24/2012 Started Stribild

Undetectable since 1/15/13 CD4+= Over 1,400 and 49%

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 06:30:52 PM »
looks great! ;)
I'm sure some people won't agree with my choice of design, but it means to me what I want it to mean:

Welcome to the club! :D  there are a few of us around here with the biohaz symbol,
so you're in good company and made a great choice.

tat on my lower back
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline WindySkies

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  • Posts: 113
  • Tested + 10/11/12
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2013, 06:46:19 PM »
looks great! ;)
Welcome to the club! :D  there are a few of us around here with the biohaz symbol,
so you're in good company and made a great choice.

tat on my lower back

Even been asked about it by a stranger?  I noticed a guy at the gym looking at it, not sure if he saw the entire thing or not.
10/11/2012 Journey Started
10/17/2012 First Labs: VL=57,645  CD4+=730  37%
10/31/2012 Started Complera
11/30/2012 Labs: VL=80  CD4+=929 40%
12/24/2012 Started Stribild

Undetectable since 1/15/13 CD4+= Over 1,400 and 49%

Offline leatherman

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  • Posts: 6,322
  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2013, 07:11:00 PM »
Even been asked about it by a stranger?  I noticed a guy at the gym looking at it, not sure if he saw the entire thing or not.
yep, I've been asked and I just tell them that it's a biohazard symbol. end of story.

while I'm not shy at all about my status and at times feel like I'm the SC HIV poster boy ::), usually when I'm out and about and undressed enough for peeps to see this tat, it's just not the venue to get into the whole disclosure/education thing.

Besides when they show interest in that tat, it's just an opening for me to show off the other 3 tats that I have. LOL
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline mikeyb39

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Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2013, 09:02:23 PM »
I haven't gotten one of those tatts yet like Leatherman has, but want one.  I went to the tattoo place i got my other ones at and showed him what i wanted.  He then said I hate to ask you, but does this toxic sign have meaning to you, if you know what i mean.   I told him yes.

He said quite a few folks come in to get those tattoos just because they look cool, but don't realize the meaning behind them.  He just wanted to make sure i wasn't getting something i would regret after finding out the meaning of the sign.
11/02/2010  cd4-251, vl-591000
12/09/2010  started Atripla
02/18/2011  cd4-425, vl-800
06/10/2011  cd4-447, vl-70
10/10/2011  cd4-666, vl-80
01/05/2012  swiched med (prezista,norvir ,isentress, )
02/10/2012  cd4-733, vl-UD  Viread removed
06/10/2012  cd4-614, vl-UD
12/14/2012  cd4-764, vl-UD
09/01/2013  cd4-785, vl-UD
03/06/2014. cd4- 1078, VL-UD
09/05/2014  cd4-850 , VL-UD

Offline WindySkies

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  • Posts: 113
  • Tested + 10/11/12
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 09:22:24 PM »
I haven't gotten one of those tatts yet like Leatherman has, but want one.  I went to the tattoo place i got my other ones at and showed him what i wanted.  He then said I hate to ask you, but does this toxic sign have meaning to you, if you know what i mean.   I told him yes.

He said quite a few folks come in to get those tattoos just because they look cool, but don't realize the meaning behind them.  He just wanted to make sure i wasn't getting something i would regret after finding out the meaning of the sign.

I guess it could have multiple meanings, but seems to be primarily one.  At least the guy sounded willing to do it for you!
10/11/2012 Journey Started
10/17/2012 First Labs: VL=57,645  CD4+=730  37%
10/31/2012 Started Complera
11/30/2012 Labs: VL=80  CD4+=929 40%
12/24/2012 Started Stribild

Undetectable since 1/15/13 CD4+= Over 1,400 and 49%

Offline mikeyb39

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  • Posts: 948
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2013, 09:46:57 PM »
yeah he had no problem at all with it.  The tattoo place is right in the middle of the gayborhood here in dallas, so its not a big deal for them.
11/02/2010  cd4-251, vl-591000
12/09/2010  started Atripla
02/18/2011  cd4-425, vl-800
06/10/2011  cd4-447, vl-70
10/10/2011  cd4-666, vl-80
01/05/2012  swiched med (prezista,norvir ,isentress, )
02/10/2012  cd4-733, vl-UD  Viread removed
06/10/2012  cd4-614, vl-UD
12/14/2012  cd4-764, vl-UD
09/01/2013  cd4-785, vl-UD
03/06/2014. cd4- 1078, VL-UD
09/05/2014  cd4-850 , VL-UD

Offline oksikoko

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  • Writing the congressman again
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2013, 09:57:35 PM »
Haha! Just after I tested positive, I got the same symbol, and I also had a weird experience finding someone willing to work on me. I'll post the pic I took right afterward.

The tattoo is the only good thing that's happened in a long time, and it helped me close the initial can't-think-of-anything-but-HIV phase of my HIV experience. If only getting out of the current phase were so easy. :)



Code: [Select]
2014-11-14: CD4 Wars Episode II: Return of the Stribild (released in Europe as Stribild II: Werewolf Bitch)
2014-11-06:                ☣ VL (→) 12,627      ☣ CD4 (→) 639
2014-??-??: off treatment  ☣ VL (?)              ☣ CD4 (?)
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

If no one complains, nothing will ever change.

Offline mikeyb39

  • Member
  • Posts: 948
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2013, 10:06:55 PM »
nice pic oks.   sexy guy too i must say.   
11/02/2010  cd4-251, vl-591000
12/09/2010  started Atripla
02/18/2011  cd4-425, vl-800
06/10/2011  cd4-447, vl-70
10/10/2011  cd4-666, vl-80
01/05/2012  swiched med (prezista,norvir ,isentress, )
02/10/2012  cd4-733, vl-UD  Viread removed
06/10/2012  cd4-614, vl-UD
12/14/2012  cd4-764, vl-UD
09/01/2013  cd4-785, vl-UD
03/06/2014. cd4- 1078, VL-UD
09/05/2014  cd4-850 , VL-UD

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • Posts: 24,511
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2013, 10:19:42 PM »
There's been a heavy metal/hardcore punk fusion band around for 25 years and I've seen people in that scene with that tattoo.
"Ive slept with enough men to know that Im not gay"

Offline britchick

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  • Posts: 444
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2013, 10:26:41 PM »
It looks good!

Britchickx

Offline tednlou2

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Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2013, 10:57:37 PM »
Looks good.  I have been thinking of getting a tat.  I've heard some say the pain was no big deal, while others said they had to stop and take breaks, due to the pain.  I did get both nips pierced.  That hurt like hell.  It was that pain that is so awful, but also gives you wood.  I guess I am turned on by pain, so a tat should be no problem.  TMI?

I have wondered what I would say, when asked about any infectious disease for a tat.  I don't want to lie, but I also don't want the guy all nervous.  Is failure to disclose the same as not disclosing for sex?  I guess it depends on where you live.

I was curious about the guy switching equipment.  That would have made me wonder whether that equipment was sterilized properly.  And, the wood cups.  How do they sterilize wood?  Like you, I would have preferred the disposable plastic cups.

Anyway, it looks great. 

Offline oksikoko

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  • Writing the congressman again
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2013, 11:46:01 PM »
It didn't feel great, but the whole thing was a rite of passage, so Don't compare a tattoo to nipple piercings. Those are high on the pain-o-meter - or so I've been told. It hurt less than a PA, but a PA takes a second, while this took about an hour.

I think we all have a moral if not legal obligation to inform anyone coming that close to our bodily fluids that we're positive. I know other people feel strongly the other way, but I'm not interested in debating it here. We're all adults, so make your choice and leave me alone about mine. 

So, I called ahead and asked if they would do it. If the answer was anything like "let me check, someone might be willing", I called a new place. I didn't want some scared artist poking me with needles for an hour. I also don't have any interest in traumatizing anyone with what I had intended to be a positive experience. One place made me feel like a Biblical leper, so it was not the most pleasant search, and the whole thing was starting to feel kind of sour.

The place I went with was the only one that made me feel silly for asking. Every single person from the cashier to the tattoo artist was like, "of course, why would it be a problem?" This was the day after Christmas, and since I happen to be without close friends or family right now and my employer had gone out of business the week before, I was particularly low. Their attitude meant more to me than I think they'd ever understand. I feel kinda emotional right now even remembering it.

Anyway, I got it for utility, so the look isn't really important, though I'm glad it seems to have healed OK. I'm still doing the daily Aveeno/Aquaphor thing. If you're going to get one, you should be aware that in certain sub-cultures it's seen as a sign of glorifying HIV and swapping strains and all that. Mine's intended more as a warning than an invitation. Besides, I'm a little occupied with my current strain and don't really have the time to take on a second one.
Code: [Select]
2014-11-14: CD4 Wars Episode II: Return of the Stribild (released in Europe as Stribild II: Werewolf Bitch)
2014-11-06:                ☣ VL (→) 12,627      ☣ CD4 (→) 639
2014-??-??: off treatment  ☣ VL (?)              ☣ CD4 (?)
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

If no one complains, nothing will ever change.

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2013, 12:18:52 AM »
Looks good.  I have been thinking of getting a tat.  I've heard some say the pain was no big deal, while others said they had to stop and take breaks, due to the pain.  I did get both nips pierced.  That hurt like hell.
it depends a lot on where the tat is. If they are tatting right on the thin skin over a bone (like the shin) it can hurt like hell. When I had an armband tat put on, I got reprimanded for moving around too much - but where she (the artist) was holding me and touching me with the needle on the underside fleshy part of my arm was ticklish as hell!

speaking of pierced nipples, do you remember back in April of 2011 when I accidentally ripped a nipple ring out? Well I got to wondering the other day, and bingo-bango! With a quick stab of a needle, I found out that the torn flesh had healed back up but the hole was still there! So now both my nipples are pierced again. WooHoo!
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2013, 12:22:25 AM »
don't really have the time to take on a second one.
don't fret about the boogey-man of reinfection. Your meds actually work like PrEP and PEP ;)
(all the cases of reinfection to date have been of people WITH viral loads and Non-adherent or not on meds. If there was such a thing as reinfection with all the serosorting barebacking going on, we'd be in the middle of another epidemic - and we're not. ;) )
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2013, 12:34:10 AM »
A) Tats on the muscle don't hurt and I have a shoulder to prove it.

B) Re-infection is a pre-ARV boogeyman. Don't fall for it.
"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline oksikoko

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  • Writing the congressman again
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2013, 01:01:53 AM »
Re-infection: I haven't been brainwashed by whoever it is that you think is spreading misinformation, but I'm not really interested in what you're selling either. I would ignore the thread altogether, but it was my comment yours is aimed at.

I brought it up only to let the guy considering a tattoo know that the symbol has a specific meaning that he may not intend to convey. What he does with that information is not my concern.

I should probably have kept it to myself rather than get everyone's agenda's riled up. It's not relevant to this thread, so I would ask that we drop the subject since I was the one who inadvertently hijacked the thread from away from tattoos.
Code: [Select]
2014-11-14: CD4 Wars Episode II: Return of the Stribild (released in Europe as Stribild II: Werewolf Bitch)
2014-11-06:                ☣ VL (→) 12,627      ☣ CD4 (→) 639
2014-??-??: off treatment  ☣ VL (?)              ☣ CD4 (?)
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

If no one complains, nothing will ever change.

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2013, 01:37:58 AM »
you said:
Besides, I'm a little occupied with my current strain and don't really have the time to take on a second one.
and I thought I'd kindly pass on some wisdom that if you're on meds you wouldn't take on a second one (ie a 2nd strain aka reinfection).

no agenda on my part and nothing to "sell". just trying to spread some truth and wisdom to  someone that didn't seem to know. It's kinda what we do here - give support and share knowledge.

why would you ignore this thread? we're talking about biohazard tats right? ???
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


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

Offline WindySkies

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  • Posts: 113
  • Tested + 10/11/12
Re: My Tattoo Experience This Weekend
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2013, 03:11:59 AM »
It didn't feel great, but the whole thing was a rite of passage, so Don't compare a tattoo to nipple piercings. Those are high on the pain-o-meter - or so I've been told. It hurt less than a PA, but a PA takes a second, while this took about an hour.

I think we all have a moral if not legal obligation to inform anyone coming that close to our bodily fluids that we're positive. I know other people feel strongly the other way, but I'm not interested in debating it here. We're all adults, so make your choice and leave me alone about mine. 

So, I called ahead and asked if they would do it. If the answer was anything like "let me check, someone might be willing", I called a new place. I didn't want some scared artist poking me with needles for an hour. I also don't have any interest in traumatizing anyone with what I had intended to be a positive experience. One place made me feel like a Biblical leper, so it was not the most pleasant search, and the whole thing was starting to feel kind of sour.

The place I went with was the only one that made me feel silly for asking. Every single person from the cashier to the tattoo artist was like, "of course, why would it be a problem?" This was the day after Christmas, and since I happen to be without close friends or family right now and my employer had gone out of business the week before, I was particularly low. Their attitude meant more to me than I think they'd ever understand. I feel kinda emotional right now even remembering it.

Anyway, I got it for utility, so the look isn't really important, though I'm glad it seems to have healed OK. I'm still doing the daily Aveeno/Aquaphor thing. If you're going to get one, you should be aware that in certain sub-cultures it's seen as a sign of glorifying HIV and swapping strains and all that. Mine's intended more as a warning than an invitation. Besides, I'm a little occupied with my current strain and don't really have the time to take on a second one.

I actually emailed a few places and only heard back from one the next day.  I took the non-response from the others to mean they had no interest in having me as a customer.  When I went to this place, I just walked in and did my thing.  I figure he had a chance to back out, but for some reason didn't.

Anyhow I've shared the pics with a few online friends and all of them like it and understand the meaning.  I'm not looking for anything from having it other then to show myself I'm ok with my life, and I'm living it the way I want too now.

Your's looks good by the way.
10/11/2012 Journey Started
10/17/2012 First Labs: VL=57,645  CD4+=730  37%
10/31/2012 Started Complera
11/30/2012 Labs: VL=80  CD4+=929 40%
12/24/2012 Started Stribild

Undetectable since 1/15/13 CD4+= Over 1,400 and 49%

 


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