Stay Sober, Take Your Meds
I found out I was HIV positive last year; I went with a friend. They were going to get tested, and I figured, “I'm here, why not get it done?” It was my birthday, so it’s only been about a year and a couple of months now since I found out. Before that, I never really thought about it. It had been a few years, like about five years prior to that, that I had been tested. At the time of that test, I was negative for HIV. I was actively using drugs, and I wasn't concerned about my health. I didn’t practice any safe sex. It was just random people sometimes, and you know, whomever I was getting drugs from. There was no protection or safety. At that time, I wasn’t concerned about it. My drug of choice was methamphetamine. I used and shared needles too.
At first, I was just in disbelief. I ignored it for the first week. I had to stew on it. I was angry and I didn't know what to feel. Then I went to see my doctor and he was like, “You know, it’s not a death sentence.” I finally came to terms with it. It was nerve-racking disclosing my status to my partner. He takes PrEP consistently, and he’s sober. In my head, I was thinking, “I'd be heartbroken if I found out I gave it to you.” He was like “Babe, I love you, and it’s my choice to be with you. I love you no matter what. Just take your medications and stay on top of it.”, so he’s great.
I’ve been sober now for 5 months, 2 weeks, and 6 days. Before that, I think the drugs just got more out of control. I started taking my meds, but when I was in active addiction, I’d miss a day or two. I’d forget about it when I was off to the races and just didn’t care. I started taking it consistently maybe in the past, like 7 months now, so now I’m undetectable, which is great. My doctor is amazing, so walking in there is like seeing family. My doctor just stays on top of me to make sure I'm on top of my medication, and I need that.
Definitely go get tested. I know it’s nerve-racking at first. It’s scary but go get it done because you’ll regret it in the long run. The way it affects your body without taking meds and not taking care of yourself - you’re killing yourself by doing that. I’m in the best shape I've ever been in. I work out every day and eat better. I go to all my appointments. I’m in the best shape mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. If you’re HIV positive, it ain’t the worst thing in the world. Just take your meds and do what the doctor tells you. Getting sober was the best choice I've ever made in my life. I have 3 amazing daughters, and they’re happy that I'm getting sober now. It’s great. Stay sober, take your meds, and stay on top of your game. Don’t let it slip away because life’s short.