My apologies for taking so long to write but I set myself a project back in August and this was to go one step further with my ‘GrenAIDS’ I created last year. Those were ready-made Toy Grenades which I adorned with handmade HIV medication and jewels to represent three of my HIV regimes that I have updated and constantly adhered to since diagnosis back in 2002.
I nearly lost the War against HIV/AIDS with a CD4 count of 40 and a Viral Load so huge that there were far too many zeros so I fail to remember the exact number? I nearly lost the war as I didn’t have any inkling that there was a battle going on in my body, a battle so violently attacking my immune system and weakening my whole body that I ended up in hospital for three weeks and with an AIDS Diagnosis!!!
I have been on HIV medication since Day One and it has saved me and continues to save me from what is a truly ugly debilitating death which can be avoided!!!
I have always been outspoken about my status and have had some Negative Emails and films from people in denial about HIV telling me that I don’t need the medication and that HIV is all fabricated!!! I know differently, I know where I was back in 2002 to where I am now in 2013. I can’t say it’s been easy, but it’s been a hell of a lot easier having medication and the right mindset keeping me alive and giving me the strength and courage to keep fighting and raising awareness about this disease.
Back to my Project. I said I wanted to go One step further from the Original GrenAIDS, I wanted to be able to make the main body of the Grenade myself so I could make many to represent my medication. This was a long process of mould making, painting layers and layers of Latex over toy grenades and once dry had to be removed from the toy. I became like a surgeon cutting into the mould so as to release it. Once released I had to paint more Latex over the cut or the scar and let it completely dry.
An arduous task. Many moulds and lots and lots of making up plaster of Paris and then the patience of waiting for each individual grenade to completely dry before I could go any further. Then came the sanding down of each piece and trying to mix the most appropriate colour for each tablet. Kivexa being Orange and Viramune being a slightly off white colour? I have used the appropriate medication packaging to represent the handle and the pin of the grenade.
I was hell bent on making at least 62 that would represent the month of August. One of each tablet a day. A War that I am not alone in fighting but one I go into battle with each day. I would love to make a year’s amount of 730 to show the impact of this daily battle but know now that after making 62 that it’s going to take some time!!!
I have attached an image of some of the GrenAIDS marking out 730....
I will make the 730 but it’s going to take time and a lot of patience.
Please adhere to your HIV medication and don’t give any of those HIV Denialists a second thought as we are the Survivors.......