Catch It Early
HIV and undetectable are two different things. I try to tell people that. You can’t pass HIV if you stay undetectable. People hear HIV and think one thing, but I’m undetectable. You got a lot of men that don’t take care of themselves. If you catch it early and take your meds, you live long. I know a lot of men that don’t go to the doctor, and they die, and people wonder why. When I go to the doctor, I get everything checked – liver, kidney. The medication can affect them, so it’s good to talk to your doctor about it. I got one pill a day that I take. Back in the day it used to be three pills. When I go get checked out, they say my liver looks good, my weight looks good. I found out I was diabetic because I went and got checked out. Just go to the doctor.
It’s been so long I never remember when I was diagnosed. It’s been twenty to thirty years. It’s hard to say. It was after Hurricane Andrew, and I had moved from Miami to Fort Lauderdale. I have been taking my meds since the day I was diagnosed. I just listen to my doctor. They said I have to take these pills, so I do. I think I’m doing pretty good. I work-out to take care of my health too.
I found out I had HIV because a girl I was messing with didn’t tell me she had it. She finally told me, so I went to the doctor and got tested. I had a lot of girlfriends back then. I was having a lot of unprotected sex. I wasn’t feeling any different. I wasn’t feeling bad. I didn’t know I had HIV until I just went and was checked. After that, when I did meet up with somebody, I would tell them I had HIV. They don’t react no different or nothing like at. They don’t act any kind of way. I just started to use protection. I haven’t had to tell anyone recently because I’m not seeing nobody. I just keep to myself.
Some people don’t take their meds. They think they’ll die from taking them. I tell them “I have been taking my meds all these years and I’m still here.” They won’t hurt you. I had a nephew and a cousin die from HIV. If you aren’t taking the meds, it’ll just hit you. People just be standing up talking to you and then they fall - out of nowhere. Then they take them to the doctor, and the doctor says “It’s because you aren’t taking your meds.” They keep coming out with new meds too, so it’s not even the same pills as before. They’re better. Now they got one - it’s just one pill a day. They have a shot too. I just don’t like needles. I’m living proof. The pills work.