Time Surviving HIV for More Than 30 Years

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h3″ looks_like=”h3″ accent=”false”]World AIDS Day: What It’s Like to Survive HIV for More Than 30 Years | Time
by Tez Anderson[/x_custom_headline][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_image type=”none” src=”http://letskickass.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Tez-Time-WAD-2017-1.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text id=”time text link”]

In 1986, I moved from Atlanta to San Francisco because I had fallen in love with a man who lived here. The HIV test had come out a year earlier, and he knew he was negative, so I walked five blocks down the hill to the clinic and took The Test. Two weeks later, I was told it came back positive for HIV. I immediately made an appointment with a respected HIV doctor who told me I had less than two years to live. I was 26. It would be a few years before I figured out that I had acquired HIV in 1983.

From 1981 until 1998, having HIV was considered a “death sentence.” I witness my loved one and a huge swath of my community die young — all the while fully expecting to be the next one to die. At the end of the two years, I was still physically healthy, so he said I would be lucky if I lived another two years. It went on like that for a decade. Along the way, I watched my T-cells dwindle and had AIDS-related illnesses, all signs of certain death. I lived at death’s door so long, it was all I knew.

I certainly had no idea then that I’d live long enough to be a long-term survivor, or live to be a 58-year-old man. I’m aging with HIV, and I am not alone. I am in the majority. As of 2015, nearly 50% of all people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States were over 50 years of age. By 2020 that will rise to 70%. It is a paradigm shift in the demographics of HIV. It is also another frontier that no other generation has explored.

We watched HIV go from a “death sentence” and to a “chronic manageable illness” in the late 1990s. Patients were told after 1998 they could expect to “to live a normal lifespan.” That was a vastly different experience than for those of us living who were diagnosed before.

Read the rest of the article on Time.com: http://time.com/5044760/hiv-world-aids-day/

World AIDS Day 2017 #WAD2017 #LetsKickASS #HIV #LongTermSurvivors

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