Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
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

A myHIVteam Member said:

Keep going gray things will be ahead

posted 8 days ago

hug (1)

Recent articles

If you’re living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), you’re already aware of the impact the...

HIV Awareness: How To Get Involved

If you’re living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), you’re already aware of the impact the...
If you’ve been diagnosed with HIV, you may wonder how drinking could affect your health or...

Alcohol and HIV: Your Guide

If you’ve been diagnosed with HIV, you may wonder how drinking could affect your health or...
What Is Lipohypertrophy? Lipodystrophy syndrome is an abnormal loss or gain of fat commonly seen...

Hard Belly and HIV

What Is Lipohypertrophy? Lipodystrophy syndrome is an abnormal loss or gain of fat commonly seen...
When a person has drug-resistant HIV, one or more HIV medications or antiretrovirals (ARVs) do...

HIV-1 Drug Resistance: What You Need To Know

When a person has drug-resistant HIV, one or more HIV medications or antiretrovirals (ARVs) do...
To determine how you can reduce your medical expenses, myHIVteam sat down with Susan Null of...

How To Reduce Medical Bills: Top Financial Expert Shares 10 Tips

To determine how you can reduce your medical expenses, myHIVteam sat down with Susan Null of...
Maintaining a healthy weight after being diagnosed with HIV can be difficult. Gaining weight is...

Maintaining a Healthy Weight With HIV

Maintaining a healthy weight after being diagnosed with HIV can be difficult. Gaining weight is...
Breakthrough treatments like antiretroviral therapy (ART) help people with HIV live longer,...

The Importance of Self-Care With HIV

Breakthrough treatments like antiretroviral therapy (ART) help people with HIV live longer,...
Because the physical impact of HIV can be all-consuming, you may be dealing with psychological...

How HIV Can Affect Your Mental Health

Because the physical impact of HIV can be all-consuming, you may be dealing with psychological...
Billy Porter is the latest celebrity to publicly discuss a diagnosis of HIV. By taking this...

What Billy Porter’s HIV Diagnosis Does for the Rest of Us

Billy Porter is the latest celebrity to publicly discuss a diagnosis of HIV. By taking this...
Many people diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) experience weight gain after...

How To Talk To Your Doctor About Weight Gain and HIV

Many people diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) experience weight gain after...
myHIVteam My HIV Team

Thank you for signing up.

close