Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About myHIVteam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About myHIVteam

Member Spotlight: HIV Is a New Way of Life

Posted on September 17, 2019

When I think about what HIV means to me, I think “HIV means a new way of life.” Every day I must take medication to stay as healthy as possible. I never thought much about my health before being diagnosed, but HIV changed that. HIV used to mean knowing CD4 numbers and status. Today it means knowing if I still have an undetectable viral load or if I’ve become detectable again.

I didn’t know much about HIV before I was diagnosed. I didn’t know when I was first diagnosed with HIV that things would be alright. I wish I knew then that having an undetectable viral load meant I wasn’t going to pass HIV to others. Today, I am more educated on HIV than I was then.

Living with HIV is a rollercoaster ride. Some days I feel like I am at the top of the rollercoaster enjoying the view from the heights without a care in the world. Then I go on that steep plunge and try to keep myself from panicking. Then I’m at the low point of that coaster and the ride ends. The low point and end of the ride is the depression setting in. What I wouldn’t do to get back to the top of that rollercoaster again. I go through these feelings days, weeks or months on end.

Up until this year, HIV hasn’t impacted my main obligation, my job. I’ve missed a lot of work because of doctor appointments. Sometimes my feet bother me at work, so I have to take some extra breaks. Other times, my methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection kicks in and I can’t go to work. Then everyone else has to work harder to cover my position.

I recently asked my family and friends what HIV means to them. They didn’t have much to say because they don’t know much about HIV. I asked them what would they like to know about HIV. They wanted to know what we deal with on a daily basis. They also wanted to know what we went through physically and mentally when we found out we have HIV.

It is easy to explain what we go through to friends and family but it is hard when they do not understand when you are actually going through it. It’s like everything you taught them went out the window. I wish they would understand the pain, numbness, depression, and the need to talk to someone who understands. I wish they understood the treatments better and how treatment can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to another person. One thing I want my friends and family to know is that I may be HIV-positive, but HIV doesn’t have to control me.

If you are diagnosed with HIV, it is not the end. You can lead a normal life and do what you dreamed of. We do not have to fight alone. We can fight together. Supporting each other makes us stronger and more determined!

This article was written by myHIVteam member Xavier as part of the Member Spotlight Series. Xavier likes to lay in bed and listen to relaxing sounds like thunderstorms, a river flowing, or birds chirping in the forest.

Do you want to be a part of the myHIVteam Member Spotlight Series?
Let us know here: support@myHIVteam.com

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

Related articles

I was diagnosed with HIV in 2007, but I contracted the virus in 2003 from a former partner....

An HIV Diagnosis — and Journey to Acceptance

I was diagnosed with HIV in 2007, but I contracted the virus in 2003 from a former partner....
Greetings teammates, I’m Mike!I’m living, in fact thriving, with HIV here in Pittsburgh,...

HIV Member Spotlight: On the Bright Side

Greetings teammates, I’m Mike!I’m living, in fact thriving, with HIV here in Pittsburgh,...
What do I know now that I wish I would have known when I was diagnosed?That you can have a life...

Member Spotlight: There Is Life With HIV, and I Am Proof

What do I know now that I wish I would have known when I was diagnosed?That you can have a life...
What does HIV mean to me? I don't know where to start. This is my first time in 32 years to share...

Member Spotlight: What HIV Means To Me

What does HIV mean to me? I don't know where to start. This is my first time in 32 years to share...
Being raised Catholic and educated in all-boys religious schools, I was conflicted between who I...

How an AIDS-related Form of Cancer Changed My World Forever

Being raised Catholic and educated in all-boys religious schools, I was conflicted between who I...

Recent articles

If you’re living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), it’s important to remember that an...

7 Incredible Athletes With HIV

If you’re living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), it’s important to remember that an...
If you’re living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), you have a higher-than-average risk of...

Lymphoma Risk With HIV: 9 Symptoms To Watch For

If you’re living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), you have a higher-than-average risk of...
Skin changes can be common among people living with HIV. As many as 9 out of 10 people living...

6 Signs You May Have an HIV-Related Rash: Images and Characteristics

Skin changes can be common among people living with HIV. As many as 9 out of 10 people living...
When HIV spreads to a new person, it infects their immune cells. This process — called the virus’...

HIV as a Retrovirus: Life Cycle and How It Infects a Cell

When HIV spreads to a new person, it infects their immune cells. This process — called the virus’...
If you live with someone who is HIV-positive — whether they’re a partner, family member, or...

5 Ways To Support an HIV-Positive Person You Live With

If you live with someone who is HIV-positive — whether they’re a partner, family member, or...
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a viral infection spread through sexual contact or exposure...

HIV-Negative Facts: Can You Get HIV if You and Your Partner Are Negative?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a viral infection spread through sexual contact or exposure...
myHIVteam My HIV Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close