It felt really tough when I first was diagnosed. I felt like it was a punishment.
I did not want to seek treatment at the time because I didn’t know what that looked like.
I think what changed my perspective is when I saw other people living with HIV and being amazing, like dope people. And I realized that they look like me, they had the same background as me.
It’s a blessing to have this medication that works as well as it does.
It lowers your viral load and it increases your CD4 count which is your white blood cells which is what fights the virus in the first place. You want that to be up and want your viral load to be down, which is the amount of HIV inside your body.
An individual who’s living with HIV, if they take their medication as prescribed, every day they can reach something called viral suppression or undetectable.
Which means that if you have sexual contact or sexual relations with any other person, you are putting them at no risk of getting the virus from you.
Viral suppression isn’t a hit it and quit it type of thing.
I have to continually work towards maintaining and keeping up just like you would do anything in your life. I take this pill every day because I like to be virally suppressed and keeps me feeling good.
I consistently work with my doctor to check my numbers to see where they’re at.
It’s also a reminder that, hey, like keep doing that. And if it’s not working, let’s find something else that works.
I thought of HIV as this thing that was going to kill me. But HIV is a manageable health condition.
I’m a person who is all of the things that he was before and just so happens to be living with HIV.
For more information about HIV care and treatment, go to treat.greaterthan.org.
“I thought HIV was this thing that was going to kill me, but it’s a manageable health condition.”
Let’s Talk About HIV Treatment!
Antiretrovirals, the medications used to treat HIV, keep you healthy and prevent the spread of HIV to others.
Even if you do not have insurance, or are underinsured, there are options to get the care and medications you need to stay healthy.
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Care Program offers support services for people with HIV, including mental health care, housing assistance, and more.
The AIDS Drug Assistance Program to help individuals with financial need get their HIV medications.