U=U Bring It On, But I'll Never Forget

I'm in total support of the U=U message and the science behind it (Undetectable equals Untransmittable). Now we can stay healthier and not transmit HIV thru sex if we have an undetectable viral load. But to truly end this epidemic, all people need to know their HIV status and if they test positive must get on meds right away for this to work effectively. There are people out there who don't know their status and are still transmitting HIV unknowingly, and many already diagnosed are still not undetectable because they are not adherent with their meds and that is not good!

So what concerns me as a long term survivor is remembering all of the pain, trauma and the long term side effects that those of us who have been living with HIV for what seems like a lifetime and still are dealing with, may be discounted and not given the awareness that is deserved and needed. Aging with long term HIV is not easy. I've been living with HIV more than half my life now and I'm 60 years old. Long term HIV accelerates aging and brings a lot of mental and physical baggage with it. We have a virus living in our body causing constant inflammation every single day, 24/7. Anyone who has been living with this for three or more decades like myself, I hope will understand where I'm going with this.

So I choose to not be so blasé when it comes to living with this condition. I'm grateful for the advances in the medications and that I'm still here to educate, advocate, help fight stigma and not have to worry any more about transmitting this virus to my HIV negative partner, but we must never forget. And to those of you who are too young to remember what the complications of AIDS can do to one’s health if it becomes out of control if one is off their meds, buy an HIV history book; there are many. Or talk to a long term survivor. HIV is still a serous health condition and problem, never to be taken lightly.

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Great to see you at the summit

Lovinglife101's picture

Nancy,

It was wonderful to see you and the summit as you are an inspiration to many.  Wish we had more time to just hang out and talk.  U = U is so powerful and really does change how we look at prevention and treatment.  And by the way, you do not look 60 at all.  I hope I age as beautiful as you have.

Love you,

Vickie

 

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Dear Nancy

MariaHIVMejia's picture

Thankyou for this Nancy !

I agree ! We must never forget or erase our history ! At the same time i never thought i would
See the day that we were not seen as a biohazard #uequalsu all the way. Love you warrior

Wow we have come q long way

Love and light

Maria

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