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Hi all,

I thought I would just introduce myself to the forum since I have been posting on and off in this forum without ever telling my story.

I was working in a country where HIV testing is mandatory to get a renewal of the work visa. Failed that test, got booted out of the country and am now looking to go somewhere else for a change. I was struggling with my sexual orientation before I tested poz so taking steps to protect myself from STIs was last on my mind. It had seemed that by doing so, I had to acknowledge that the 'gay thing in me' is here to stay. Of course now being gay is the least of my problems but I certainly wished there wasn't all this stigma and taboo around being gay, in my country at least. Maybe I wouldn't have gotten the bug (wishful/wistful thinking.... :P) And yes, I spent the first few months of my diagnosis blaming society for what had happened to me. Not entirely justified but it helps me live with my own mistakes.

The first year has been a roller coaster ride emotionally. Sometimes I feel optimistic that I will outlive the disease, that I can live with this for 20+ years until they find a cure. Other times I am convinced that I will die of depression when I refuse to take my meds after getting rejected for the n-th time by some ignorant HIV- cutie.. There have been changes to my body as well. my weight has gone down. Slowly but surely over the months. Diarrhoea is slightly more common now but maybe it is because I am more sensitive to any problems with my body. And maybe that is a good thing!

In all of this, I had the support of this friend of mine. When I told her I tested poz, the first thing she did was to give me a badly needed hug. We talked all night, as she reassured me that everything will be alright (even though at that time she had no clue what will happen to me). The next day she started googling for more information about HIV and told me that I will be fine once I got on to ARVs. The day after that, she took me to a local beer fest and shared a glass of beer with me. I nearly broke down crying after that. I read stories on this forum of friends freaking out once they hear you test poz but I can only thank the gods and power that be for such an awesome human being in my life!

So! 1 year done, 100 more to go, and we'll get that beer to toast to the good times soon!

Andy Velez:
Welcome, Yellow. Glad you spoke up and filled us in some on where you've been and where you're at after your first year. HIV is not something to do alone. You will find a wealth of information here and members who are generous and thoughtful with sharing what they have learned. So feel free to ask questions and to talk about anything that's on your mind.

You're blessed to have such a loving friend to support you. What a treasure you have.

Stigma and prejudice maybe harder to solve than finding a cure. We just have to keep working on those issues which make life so much harder than it needs to be. That's where the support of others can be so important.

As you continue to reach out and fill your life with good and nurturing people and things, you can be a part of the solution to those problems.

In your need we're glad you found your way here. Again, welcome.

Yellow, wanted to welcome you to the forums.  I hope this finds you well.  It is great you have at least one person to confide in, and who is supportive. 

Keep in touch.  I look forward to hearing more from you.


Hey, I'm new around here too.  Glad you've got a positive attitude.  Sharing with friends and family has helped me the most so far too, but I'm still just getting started.  Haven't even thought about dating yet!

I'm sorry about losing your job, but from what I've found so far, experiences like this tend to open up a million other exciting new doors.

Why resurrect an old thread?? Well it is my second anhiversary today :) Still alive, still without meds, a little more scarred but generally glad to be alive. I know 2 years is not a milestone for those who have live with this for 30 odd years but hey, no one ever stopped kids from celebrating their birthdays....

I've seen it written many times on this forum before "I have HIV but HIV doesn't define me". I'd like to think that is true but in reality, it weighs in on my mind more often than I like it to be. I spend much more time reading news related to HIV. Heck I spend quite alot of time this forum....(troll.. :P ). I know I don't need to tell anyone about my status, but my diagnosis was a major disruptive event to my life. I had quit my job, leave the country, move back to live with my parents amidst the curious relatives and neighbours before finally finding my way to where I am now. So when people ask me in a casual conversation "What brings you here?". I am reminded about my diagnosis and the miserable 36 hours from when I was told I have HIV to when I surrendered my company badge....

Who knows, maybe one day people will realise how stupid it was to criminalise or stigmatize people for having a disease. But until then, I'm glad I got to know a small circle of pozzie friends in the past year who help make life seem abit more normal. And in that sense, whenever I'm with them, HIV surely doesn't define me...


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