LGBT Community Issues, life stories, Love

World AIDS Day 2016

I have been HIV positive since at least 1992 when I tested positive. That’s over 25 years now and counting.  This makes me what they call a “long-term survivor.”–for which I am very thankful. Today was World AIDS Day 2016.  I, like millions of others, stopped to remember those who have been lost as well as those who are still courageously living and fighting this virus every day.And tonight I watched as they turned Niagara Falls red in remembrance. It was very cool.  I watched live on Rise Up Against HIV ‘s live Facebook broadcast.  I liked that I got to participate like that too. It’s always been such a somber day for me.  Many years ago I stood up in front of a large  crowd at the local church, holding my year old niece in my arms, and spoke about living with this virus and wondering whether I would live to see her graduate.  Well, she’s almost 23 now and a marine biologist in Florida.  Not only did I see her graduate high school but cover as well.  I have been blessed for sure.

I know I am one of the lucky ones. I was infected in the late 80s when the drugs to combat the virus were not that good or available.  My treatments early on were horrible. I often suffered with side effects from them and it was miserable.  But I lived. I lived to see this day where I now take 4 drugs once a day to keep myself undetectable.  Which means that no virus can be found in my blood at this time.  My treatment is working.  My t cells are in the mid-600 range and I am healthy as hell.  I’m certainly one of the lucky ones and I know it.  I don’t take this life for granted; I know I have been given a second chance. Today I remember all of those I lost.

I have been blessed with the love a d support of my wonderful family and friends.  This is another respect in which I consider myself very lucky as so many don’t have this kind d of support in their battle with this disease. I feel for them.  I don’t know how I would live without the support and love I get from my family especially.  They have stood by me solidly all these years.  Yes, I am one lucky Butch.

On another note…I am trying to write every day now.  It’s something I have challenged myself to do from now on.  I am in need of topics and questions from you my dear readers!  I want to know what you would like me to talk about in these blogs; what interests you, what can I write about?  Please leave your comments below or email me directly at Mainelybutch@yahoo.com at your leisure. 

Peace.  MB

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life stories, News trending, Personal Thoughts, Photos and videos, Politics 2016

Last of November

It’s that last day of November, wow has this month flown by!  It feels like just yesterday it was early September.  It’s raining here in Maine and it’s cold.  I am just thankful that it’s not snowing!  I know that snow is inevitable but the longer we go without it the happier I am.  

I’m off from work today and not positive of what my day has in store just yet.  It’s very early and I just got up about an hour ago.  Yes, I am a very early riser!  My body just won’t allow me to sleep past 5am. Sleep is overrated in my opinion anyway.  I feel like I am wasting time if I sleep too long in the mornings.

I have been watching the news reports of Trumpy’s cabinet choices and nominations.  It’s been a virtual who’s who of straight white men parading across his golden carpet.  Sickening  to think that the alt-right is going to gain so much MORE power in our country.  It angers me and makes me want to find a group of like minded people around my area to gather and discuss strategies for us all to be of support to each other and to react to the outrage I am sure is yet to come.  I feel the real need to be prepared to protect myself and others from things I can only imagine are in store for us all.  

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day 2016 around the globe.  The theme this year is Hands Up for #HIVPrevention. I was reading that the new push for self-testing will help to give people better access to testing and information on accessing treatment and prevention.  I don’t know about self testing…mitt seems to me that having a test done by someone who understands the ramifications should that person test positive.  And taking someone with you when you get test results is a good idea.  I went alone 25 years ago.  I remember it like it was outlast week.  It was the day I felt like I had an expiration date stamped on my forehead.  I didn’t hear mush after the woman who told me I was positive told me.  I started immediately to think of how I was going to ever tell my girlfriend and my loved ones. And I asked for a retest on the spot.  I had to make sure that there was no mistake. But there was no mistake and I have been living with this virus in my blood for over 25 years now. In the first few years I did a lot of outreach and prevention work trying to get others to not make my mistake and to protect themselves.  Nowadays I keep up on thing and concentrate on keeping myself healthy and happy with my second chance at life.   Before the availability of the medications that I take every day to stay healthy and virtually HIV free, I lost a lot of friends to AIDS.  At the height of the epidemic there was no good  oh gmail like there is today. If only we had moved faster when this started they might all still be alive.  I’m one of the lucky ones. I managed to stay alive, suffer through many failed treatment options and live to see this day where we now have the potent drugs needed to sustain a healthy life living with HIV.  

SO…I am truly thankful for my life and for all of the support I have in it. I feel like I am certainly blessed in so many ways.  Tomorrow I will pause to remember those who weren’t so lucky and those who we have lost, but I will also remember that this fight isn’t over until we find a cure and make it accessible to all of those who need it.  I shall light a candle of remembrance.  And I will thank God for giving me a second chance and a chance to make a difference in the world.  

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