My podcast show ‘Vita Positvum’ has been on the air now for 13 episodes with new episodes every Friday (shameless plug). It would seem that this is new and the idea just popped into my head one day. But the fact is that I have lived with HIV on my brain since I was 20 years old.
That first time I got tested and never went back to get confirmation on my results then lived for 10 years not knowing or wanting to know. Until I got very sick and had to be tested at the hospital. I guess when you’re Gay, an addict, and sexually active you are screaming for an invitation to the club.
This of course is a club that despite it being around 30 years and killing many, still takes hundreds of members daily. I wouldn’t recommend it anyone, don’t take it personal, there are just too many of us and it’s not as fun as it may sound.
The club calls for you to surrender your blood. Sounds very dramatic but that‘s how it works. We are like ‘Blood Brothers’. We share a virus that bonds even if we have never had sex together, shared drugs, or even met, but we are bonded.
We will forever, as long as we live, have to take medication to keep our immune system going. There is really, as far as I can see, no other way to do it. If you know how I can continue to survive everyday without them, please let me know.
You see there are days that I forget to take them or don’t want to. There are days that I push it to the very end of the night when I have to go to sleep. There are days that they make me so nauseous that I just want to roll up in a ball and disappear.
I think that’s the word ‘Disappear’. I just want to go to a place, which I hardly remember, where I don’t have to take any more pills. Where my body doesn’t do weird things caused by medication. A time when the word ‘cocktail’ brought images of ice filled glasses with little umbrellas and yummy drinks.
I miss that time when I didn’t have to worry about my weight or that new bump or the growl in my stomach. A time when I didn’t get migraines that blind me or joint hurting, wishing my fingers would just fall off.
A time when going to the doctor was a numbers game, when Positive wasn’t a negative thing. When I didn’t have to be concerned over ‘viral load’ and the only viral load I knew were those dirty socks that I had to wash. A time when that joke wasn’t as funny as it is in my head, did you get it?
I often wonder if I sometimes I miss a pill because I’m self sabotaging? Do I do it on purpose hoping that one day they won’t work anymore and I can just stop and go back to a time when I didn’t have to worry about me so much? When I won’t have to worry about T-cells, Cocktails, and Blood Work!
A time in my life when HIV wasn’t a constant partner in my life but something I heard about every 1st of December for World AIDS Day and then went on with my life. A time when it wasn’t such a tough pill to swallow, I miss those times.