Tuesday, July 5, 2016
My husband took an HIV test today.
This coming March my husband and I will have been married for twenty-nine years. This isn't his first test. To err on the side of caution, I ask him to take an HIV test every few years. In case you didn't already know, I'm HIV positive and my husband is not. I often say that it's not the people with HIV you need to worry about, it's the ones that don't know their status that are cause for concern. Why? Because not only is knowing your HIV status vital but also the best way to prevent the spread of HIV. In fact, HIV is totally preventable.
It gets better. Did you know that taking an HIV test can be as easy as going to your local drugstore?
It's true. It's never been easier to test yourself for HIV and you can have your results in as little as twenty minutes, in the privacy of your own home. Really. READ DIRECTIONS, SWAB GUMS.
AND Twenty minutes later...
My husband's result is NEGATIVE!
So what if your result comes back positive, you ask? A positive result is not the end of the world. Today, antiviral medications drive the virus to undetectable levels. I'm proof that with good medical care you can live a normal, healthy life and pose no risk of infecting your partner. Yes, you can have sex. You can even have a healthy child, if you choose. The only thing better would be a cure, and even that's not as far fetched as we once believed. So be brave. Take the test.
To learn more about mixed status couples, HIV prevention and pregnancy visit: https://www.avert.org/learn-share/hiv-fact-sheets/mixed-status-couples
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
I counted the years yesterday and it's mind-blowing. I've been a mom for over half of my life! And the real kicker? I'm almost fifty and have a fourteen-year-old. Enough to make your gills quiver, isn't it?
But seriously, every child needs a parent, biological or adopted, to love them unconditionally, and I knew I could do that. I've always loved being a mom, and a wife. That's what makes me the happiest in life.
The thing that makes me the most unhappy is the worry that came with being a parent. Even before I was diagnosed with HIV, I remember feeling this sense of urgency that I just HAD to survive, HAD to be there to raise my children. Then there were the dark years, after my children and I were diagnosed, where I just hoped to live long enough to see them through--whatever God's plan.
HIV was quite the curve ball. Good thing I have the husband, family, and friends that I do. They carried me through those difficult days and for that I'm forever grateful.
So what do you do when life throws a curve ball? I'd like to think that I'm an expert by now. I'm not. But I am a good study, and I have picked up some valuable tools along the way. They are:
1. In all things be brave, honest, and kind.
2. There is no substitute for prayer.
3. A little laughter goes a very long way.
4. Love will conquer everything.
5. Don't sweat the small stuff.
Today, I aspire to see my children through to a cure and science is backing me up. I will, one day, see my babies (now 25, 20, and 14) HIV-free! This calls for a high round of cardio, am I right?
So long for now. Putting on my snazzy Nikes and off to conquer a hill or two... Whatever it takes.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
There is more hope than ever before that a cure for HIV is on the horizon.