The only way I know how to talk about hope is to share my experiences of living with HIV. I was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and felt as if my life was over. At that time there were very little treatment options. Basically in 1991 it was a death sentence. I had a doctor tell me I had 4 years to live at best. I would have been ok if I could have just died that day. For the next several years I hoped I would die soon and it would be over with. I tried to find my own cure. Reading everything I could to learn more about HIV. I was willing to try anything. At one point there was a rumor that eating lemon peels blended with Virgin Olive oil would cure you if you did it for a week. I did it needless to say I wasn’t cured. There was a drug from China called compound Q I ordered this drug from a buyers’ club in Texas. I had to go to New York to have it administered. My doctor here wouldn’t do it. So off to New York I went and took the drug. It made me turn as red as a lobster for a week. I was so desperate I did this twice. Both time it made me extremely sick.
Finally I became sick from the HIV. But I had also gotten lucky they had approved some new HIV treatments. I was able to start taking medications. I had become so sick I had to go on disability. But now taking my medicines my health slowly started to improve. I was able to get my health back. I returned to work and learned how to help other people living with HIV. I have been back to work for over ten years now. I am able to go into the hospital and meet people that are newly diagnosed with HIV. I am able to help them get into care and see the change and improvements in their health. There is nothing more amazing then to see someone that was so sick in the hospital to be able to be up and running around full of life. To be able to move on and try to fulfill their dreams. The best part is I have seen this miracle in a lot of people!!!
We are all affected by HIV and we can all be a part of the fight against the HIV crisis in our communities. Watch videos of clients' experiences with HIV and how people are living well with HIV/AIDS.