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Author Topic: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....  (Read 5502 times)

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Offline jlrvinton

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Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« on: September 01, 2006, 06:52:02 PM »
     Where to Begin......?

      I am a long term survivor of HIV.....and AIDS.....(17 Years)......and often I wonder.....WHY?
I found out that I was HIV+ on Dec 31st, 1989. I had been dating the same guy...Though I fought it, I found myself kinda falling for Him..... and dropped my guard as a result of my emotions and later found out that he had a whole group of friends that really resented the fact that He and I seemed to be going in the direction of a relationship....and several of them were in Love with him.  I had been single for about a year and a half....and I was open to the possibility of getting involved.... GAD! was I a DOPE, I still remember seeing a round red spot on his C**K.....and being backed up by it....He told me that he had "dropped a lit cigarette" by accident and burnt himself...and DUMB/KINDA IN LOVE ME fell for it.... About 3 weeks later, I noticed that the soles of my feet had red streaks under the skin...I researched the symptom....and found that it was one of the first indicators of Syphilis...and one that most people don't notice. I made an appointment with a Doctor.....and he agreed with me, and took a blood sample to be tested......He asked if I wanted to be tested for HIV also, and as it had been about 1 year since the last time (I came back HIV-) I agreed.....

The tests took a while....and my biological Father (read: sperm donor) was hospitalized with kidney failure (at age 53) and wasn't expected to live. I flew out to Dallas (I lived in Atlanta) and for the 3rd time in my life....met my Bio Father..... I told him that I Loved Him...and that I forgave him for all the YEARS of silence.... I don't know how he took it....BUT...Doing so SET ME FREE..... I guess Forgiveness really is a gift you give to YOURSELF.... He got better in about 4 days...SO...I returned to Atlanta.

The Next day, My Doctor called....and wanted me to come to his office. Filled with dread, I did so. YEA you guessed it....! Not only did I have Syphilis...But I was also HIV+......To say that I was devastated would be to understate where I was.....Suddenly I was MORTAL...... and that was on 31 Dec 1989.
After crying my eyes out at home for about 4 hours....The Phone Rang. It was My Bio Fathers Wife calling to let me know that he had just Died.....and would I please call my Mother and younger Sister and let them know...... Remember, this was in the era BEFORE ANITVIRALS....back when Doctors were  feeding HIV+  people with MEGA doses of AZT....because they needed Human Lab Rats to find out what the correct dose should be....HIV+ people were taking AZT every 4 hours....1000-2000mg a day in some cases....Never mind that Long term use of AZT often led to Lymphomatic Cancer.... I had already lost count of the number of Beautiful, Intelligent, Talented....people I called friend that I had buried. Most of them died within 6 months to 1 year of finding out they were POZ...MAI(wasting syndrome) reduced most of them to walking skeletons...CMV made many go blind.....

My Mom was my best friend.....I was her "Golden-Child"...( I have 3 older half siblings ((two Sisters, and a Brother....)) 1 Sister ((1.3Years younger)) and a baby half sister ((13 years younger)). I was the one she trusted....I was the only one that never got into trouble....She once told me that she had 6 children....and 5 times she had found out she was pregnant and given birth....That the Love of her life was my Biological Father....and He had asked her to give him a Son.....Only once did she WANT to get pregnant and have a child.... And I was that child. She Loved ALL of us.....but I was kind of special to her.  The hardest thing I have ever done (other than her death many years later) was Call my Mom and tell her that not only had the Love of her Life just died....But that I had also just tested HIV+....
To her credit, and after many long nights of both of us crying.... She picked herself up, dusted herself off and tried to educate herself about HIV.

I Would trade the balance of the rest of my Life for just ONE MORE DAY with her.....But that's another story for later....

I am a Veteran.....3 years as a Military Police Officer....Married.....Divorced after 1.6 years.....then 3 years in Military Intelligence... and 4 years in the Inactive Ready Reserve. I was 2nd out of 345 when I graduated from The Military Police Academy.....and Honor Graduate for my class in Intelligence School.

While stationed in Germany (before reunification) a rumor lacking any evidence resulted in the Army attempting to court-martial me for "un-suitability due to Homosexuality"....which I fought.....and WON.
I fought because I wanted an Honorable Discharge...not a Dishonorable or General Discharge....

I Got out of the Army in Feb 1986.....Moved to Atlanta (mom was only 90 miles away) and learned to Bartend.....I worked as an Executive Secretary for a short time at Coca-Cola Headquarters for a female executive....then requested to be transferred to the Word Processing Department....which I hated in spite of the great per hour pay.....Then Worked as an Executive Courier for a Bank....handling sensitive and valuable data.....BUT the pay was CRAP.

Eventually, I worked my way up as a Bartender....and Life seemed OK......That's when I met Mr.syphilis/hiv...... I got sick for the first time in 1996.....PCP......My mom stayed by my side for 5 days and slept in a recliner by my bed everynight. She carried alot of burdens.....and I knew that I was one of the few "bright spots" in her life.... I had given up caring if lived or died, until she arrived...The look in her eyes told me that if I gave up and let go...it would be the straw that broke the camels back to her.
Something inside me rallied... and....in spite of a T-Cell count of 4 (four) and a Viral Load of 730,000....I somehow was up and well 4 days later....

She was crushed to death by an 18 wheeler on 5 Dec 1997......and I spent the next 6 years fighting to retain control of her Land and property....against my stepfather and his children from his 1st wife. My Mom and her siblings made up the 5th generation of ownership, my siblings and I are the 6th. I was her executor.....and despite the stress and financial burden.....We did manage to retain control. But the battle has taken its toll on me.....and now I find myself with nothing but Time on my hands....and frankly..... as of late I've been feeling a bit lost......Whats next? I stopped making Long Term Plans or commitment and focused on my role as Executor.....Now the job is done.... Had I known it would take 6 LONG YEARS, I may have decided to reject being Executor....But I made my Mom a promise...and
come Hell or Highwater.....NOTHING could have MADE me turn my back on her and break that promise.

So...............................Here I am...........SIGH............. I wish I knew what to do now that I've completed my task.....   
« Last Edit: September 01, 2006, 07:00:35 PM by jlrvinton »

Offline angels4kelly

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  • IT JUST IS!!.....OKAY!
Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2006, 07:46:04 PM »
I have been poz for 16 years and a whole lot of the others have been poz 20+ years!
There is so much knowledge here amongst this family and we care about and support eachother like you won't believe!







Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
Failure is not in falling down,
but the staying down

Offline Nadine

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  • Member since: August 2005
Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2006, 07:57:29 PM »
Nice to meet you. Your introduction was both heart warming and sad. Thanks for sharing.

You will find everything you need here, this place is awesome.

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2006, 08:10:04 PM »
WOW!  Glad you have found us.  Welcome to the family.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A

Offline Eldon

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Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2006, 08:16:56 PM »
Hello Jlrvinton, it is Eldon. I wish to extend to you a warm WELCOME to the forums where you will find the love, encouragement, understanding, support, fun, and many of your questions answered relating to HIV/AIDS.

We have a great group of individuals and there is a lot of information on this site. I read through your story and I was deeply touched by the way you handled things. My hat is off to you for being ever so brave by accepting your situation and turned around and you did something about it.

Feel free to come and visit the forums from time to time and express your concerns or frustrations. Also, if you are already doing so, take your medicine as your Doctor has prescribed it to you, drink plenty of fluids, eat a proper diet, get some exercise, and most of all get your proper rest. 

Again , Welcome!

Have the BEST Day.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2006, 08:58:12 PM »
« Last Edit: October 31, 2006, 10:59:02 PM by emeraldize »

Offline anniebc

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  • AM member since 2003
Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2006, 09:00:17 PM »
Welcome to the family..what an incredible story, I'm glad you are here today to share it with us.
It seems you are not only a long term surviver of HIV but a  surviver of all the other stuff life has thrown at you..it always amazes me the strength people show in the face of adversity.

I don't think you will have any problem deciding where to go from here.

I hope you stay around, look forward to hearing more from you.

Jan :)
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Biggums

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Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2006, 09:12:42 PM »

Thanks for sharing your story.  I especially appreciate your raw honesty.  I hope to get to know you better in the future.  Welcome!
44 year old gay man .......just broke up with the only man I've ever really loved.

You can love completely without complete understanding.

Offline ndrew

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  • ....-.-.-.-.-.....
Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2006, 11:29:31 PM »
Hello and Welcome,

As others have said, thank you for sharing your story.  I look forward to hearing more! 

Funny how life tends to throw "tasks" at you.  My wish for you is for some wonderful, exciting and meaningful tasks to fall into your lap (or maybe you just reach out and PLUCK them!)  You are strong, you are a survivor, you succeed at everything you put yourself to...  all VERY inspiring!  Wishing you the best!!


Offline Teresa

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Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2006, 12:17:54 AM »

Glad you found us!

Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2006, 12:51:28 AM »
Thanks for sharing your story. You've been through alot of deep stuff .....  I agree when you compared forgiveness as a a gift to yourself - I think it frees up a lot of energy to put elsewhere. Welcome

Offline joemutt

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Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2006, 02:38:53 AM »
Welcome Here! You've lived through so much hardship but you're story is also very beautiful because you kept on fighting through it all
and it shws you're a very loving person. So thank you for sharing that.

Offline Alain

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  • I am.
Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2006, 07:04:52 PM »
« Last Edit: November 04, 2006, 01:57:48 PM by cowandalehouse »

Offline JohnOso

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Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2006, 02:09:57 AM »

I also enjoyed reading about "you."

Sounds to me like you have a lot of strength behind you, which always makes a person more "interesting" to me.

Don't take that as minimizing your ordeals -- on the contrary, I have a helluva lot of respect for you after reading your coming out post.

I look forward to reading your contributions to this forum.

Warm regards,

Offline Sky

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Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2006, 04:35:02 AM »
Hey jlrvinton,

What a truely amazing person you are.  Your story is proof of the strength you have, no matter what hardships come your way.  Thank you so much for sharing.  I hope that you find AIDSmeds a place you want to hang out for years to come, welcome to the family. 

Poz since 2003.

Offline houseofhope

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Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2006, 09:39:47 AM »
You are a strong guy and I know your mum is proud of you wherever she is.

We all take pride in you.


Offline IzPoz

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  • God, grant me the serenity...
Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2006, 09:57:55 AM »

I have been positive at least 13 years, found out 12 years ago, when I had to get tested after my husband tested positive. 

You have brought yourself through many trials in your life.  This is yet another trial you will face.  As soon as you find your next task, you will recognize it and put all your focus on that.

This is a very welcome place to be.  No one here is judgemental nor will they make  you feel unwanted. 


The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly. ~ Chesterton G. K.

Offline Jeffreyj

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Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2006, 10:04:53 AM »
Thanks for such a comprehensive and fascinating introduction! I am sure you will find this place very supportive and friendly. I have been poz for 22 years and often ask the same question you do..".Why ME?"  All I know is that we are here for a reason man. Looking forward to getting to know you better. Welcome!
Positive since 1985

Offline Life

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  • Member 2005
Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2006, 10:20:27 AM »
J...  Good to see you..  "What is placed in our path, makes us stronger".  You young man are a super hero!  Now since things have slowed down, no big adventure on the horizon as yet.  How about breath, and live alittle for yourself?  Notin wrong with that.  I think your Mom would like that and how proud she must be of you honey!


Offline wellington

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  • Don't sweat the little things.
Re: Here's ANOTHER Story...to Introduce Myself to You....
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2006, 11:30:29 AM »
Welcome aboard.

I've always maintained that actions speak louder than words and your history certainly proves you're tenacious. Hang in there, bud. Life has an interesting way of announcing its importance when one least expects it :)


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