I am Positive...

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    Jul 01, 2009 1:27 PM GMT
    There I finally said it. On 5/20/09 I went to the Dr. to get my cholesterol checked because of heart disease in my family and my mother would not leave me alone about it. I had not been HIV tested in about 7 years, I know you dont have to say it. I figured what the hell, while I am here and your drawing blood anyway....so I got tested.

    I really had no thoughts or fears about it. I was in a monogamous relationship for 5 years and married before that so I knew I was ok. No worries.

    2 days later I get the call to come in....my heart was racing....I figured it must be the cholesterol or something....she lays out the paper work in front of me and pretty as you please says "your test came back positive"
    I was in complete and utter shock....no emotion whatsoever. They did a 2nd test to be "positive" or "sure" and again the next day over the phone this time she says "your positive".

    Since then my life and world have been torn upside down. I have told some of my best friends and of course my bf and he has not been tested yet. He wasnt tested for about 7 or 8 years before we met either.

    Was he all along? Did he get it while we were together from someone? These are questions that race through my mind....but it doesnt matter now...I have it and have to take care of myself. It does no good to wonder and worry now.

    I finally went to IDC and had my first appt. My blood work finally came back and the hits just keep comin.....my #'s are terrible. My cd4 is 94 and my VL is 380,000. Another big wammy that I just cant believe. I feel absolutely fine. I workout, bike ride, run, hike play with my kids and etc...wtf???!!

    So I have to go in on the 16th and be put on meds. Do I blame my bf? I want to but I cant....I blame myself for being so stupid to think this would never happen to me. I blame myself for being naive enough not to use protection to protect myself. I blame myself for allowing this to come into my life and cause so much strife. I blame me.

    One thing about it is, it has made me value my life so much more. Everyday I am noticing things I havent before. I am finding time to do things I wouldnt have before. I want to learn new things that I am completely terrified of like swimming.

    Life is to short for any of us...but now I have to fight to keep my life healthy, strong and productive. I have decided to live with HIV, not die with it.

    Why am I writing this you may ask? Honestly for my own peace of mind. This is the first time I have admitted in a public type setting of my status. It is so difficult, demeaning and excrutiating because I know I am looked down on by others, especially other hiv- gay men....and that hurts.

    I am also stating all of this to let others know....trust no one but yourself...no matter what your relationship status is, single, open, monogamous, play together....whatever....trust no one, only yourself...no one is going to protect you but you.

    Since having been diagnosed I cant tell you how many guys I have read about in forums or chatted with that got their hiv from their partner. Some are still together. I am still with my partner and when he is tested, no matter what his results I will stand by him as he has by me...because I do love him.

    Would our life be easier without this disease? Hell yes. Would I want to leave him and try to be with someone else? Hell no. We have our own set of problems, but I love him and believe he loves me. It is so hard in our world and time to find real love and I believe he does love me, wether he may have made a mistake or not.

    thanks for listening to me and bring on the criticisms and judgements...I am ready...I am owning my disease, I know its my fault and I will live my life to fullest with love, pride and dignity....will you?


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 01, 2009 1:35 PM GMT
    that is an amazing story. heart goes out to u and u seem like a smart guy that i believe has the strength to get through this. chin up.
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    Jul 01, 2009 1:36 PM GMT
    No Judgements from me- Take care of yourself and know that everyone here is supporting you..
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    Jul 01, 2009 1:37 PM GMT
    Why do you feel anyone would criticize or judge? I'm sure everyone will say we wish you the very best on this new path you must now walk.

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    Jul 01, 2009 1:39 PM GMT
    I am sending you copious amounts of the Aloha spirit from San Francisco! You will be fine , and you will thrive.

    love, hugs, and warm fuzzies from me,

    xo,

    Patrick :-)
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    Jul 01, 2009 1:42 PM GMT
    MadeNUSA saidWhy do you feel anyone would criticize or judge? I'm sure everyone will say we wish you the best.



    Not really meaning guys on this site specifically...I am referring to people in general. There are a number of men on this site that are pretty critical and judgemental but over all I think everyone would be supportive.

    HIV still has such a stigma attached to it, like we are all whores, gang bangers, drug users or whatever. I have been married, then in mongamous relationships and have raised 2 of my kids and am raising my youngest child now.

    I want people to know it can happen to you...to anyone if you dont protect yourself, thats all.
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    Jul 01, 2009 1:47 PM GMT
    Very best wishes - and thank you for sharing your story.

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    Jul 01, 2009 1:53 PM GMT
    judging you would be wrong. Thank you for laying out your angst I hope it helps in the healing. Good luck, you seem to have a good grip on what needs to be done. Moving forward and enjoying everyday is a good idea. No reason to dwell on what is done or how it came to be.

    much love and hugs!

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    Jul 01, 2009 2:10 PM GMT
    Wow! It's seems that you have taken complete stock and responsibility and thats great. I have no judgments only well wishes that you stay healthy.
    It's wonderful that you have such a great support system.

    Stay Healthy.
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    Jul 01, 2009 2:14 PM GMT
    The fact that you won't allow this disease to cripple you, your family, or your perspective on life is empowering. I'm sure others like myself are encouraged by someone who exhibits such a healthy approach to an otherwise terrifying situation.

    I'm glad to see that this world has people such as yourself in it, to be open and unashamed when discussing such a private issue--as a cathartic measure and PSA.

    I hope for the best, cheers.
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    Jul 01, 2009 2:22 PM GMT
    Thanks for sharing. Wish you the best.
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    Jul 01, 2009 2:30 PM GMT
    I am sorry for your situation but very inspired by your willingness to share your story. I wish you nothing but the best. I do not know what kind of services are available down where you live but if you need help finding local services do not hesitate to ask. I have contacts here that are connected all over and are always willing to help people make connections, get meds, counseling or whatever.

    All the best.

  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Jul 01, 2009 2:33 PM GMT
    I can't imagine what you have been going through, but I know you are right. It could happen to any of us. No need to judge. You have my empathy and respect for having the courage to step forward and declare your status in a public forum.

    Glad that you are seeing how special and precious life is through your experience. Not that I would want you to have to go through what you're going through to value each day. You provide us all with a great reminder that we should not take anything for granted and that we should appreciate all that is wonderful in our lives. Thanks for sharing.
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Jul 01, 2009 2:41 PM GMT
    MadeNUSA saidWhy do you feel anyone would criticize or judge? I'm sure everyone will say we wish you the very best on this new path you must now walk.



    Not to be overly blunt, but there is plenty of judgement and ostracism in this community, on this very site in fact. This is the mother of all dealbreakers apparently. This being a no longer fatal disease, you can probably guess what the problem is...
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    Jul 01, 2009 2:41 PM GMT

    I wrote a LONNNGG message brow beating you, but I erased it. As these are behaviors that get one black listed in social forums, I decided against it....even if I am already black listed. icon_razz.gif



  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jul 01, 2009 2:42 PM GMT
    I commend you on the tact and adult demeanor you have taken with this, as it would have been very easy to fall into a self-deprecating, blame all game. Glad to see you're fighting.
  • Matia79

    Posts: 215

    Jul 01, 2009 2:44 PM GMT
    My heart and best wishes go out to you. I found out a very close friend of mine was diagnosed just last week and he's struggling with the news. I'll be sure to show him your story so he realizes he's not alone.
    Your courage and spirit are commendable and I wish you nothing but the best.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jul 01, 2009 2:48 PM GMT
    I'm certainly behind you... sorry you've had such a time over the last month.

    I certainly respect your attitude at this point with the whole situation,
    sounds very responsible and reasonable given the emotional circumstances.
    Thanks for taking the time to share such a personal experience with us...
    We should all learn from what you have said....
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    Jul 01, 2009 3:07 PM GMT
    It is totally awesome for you to be willing to share your story. Although for you it's probably on way of dealing with the news, it's also typically you, a guy who thinks of others and show care and compassion by sharing. We all benefit from your story as a reminder to hardships we all could face and encouragement of how we can control how we deal with them. Thanks!
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    Jul 01, 2009 3:12 PM GMT
    You're doing the BEST thing possible by staying positive about the whole situation. No medication or therapies work better than positive thinking. Continue to work out and stay healthy.

    Best wishes. And im sending you good vibes icon_wink.gif
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    Jul 01, 2009 3:14 PM GMT
    Words of wisdom and a solid reality check for us all!
    Persevere my man, persevere!!
    And thanks for sharing you thought, comments and an insight!
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    Jul 01, 2009 3:15 PM GMT
    I just hope the guys in relationships who don't use protection read this and take it to heart.

    Sorry to hear about it. But it sounds like you are coping well. There are lots of wonderful, healthy POZ guys on this site to look to.
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    Jul 01, 2009 3:19 PM GMT
    Thank you for sharing the story with us, nobody would judge you.
    I wish you the very best and good luck with walking the new path of your life!
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    Jul 01, 2009 3:20 PM GMT
    Well wishes...
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    Jul 01, 2009 3:23 PM GMT
    I cant tell you what all your words of encouragement mean to me. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. I wrote all of this not knowing what type of response I would get, especially with all of this being so new to me.

    I had thought of deleting my profile awhile back from here, but now I am so very glad I didnt. All of you guys are proof there are great guys out there!!!

    I am so thankful to you all for taking the time to write your responses, they do not go unnoticed! Thank you so very much.