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20th year anniversary

Wow, just on the off-chance I did a google search for HIV+ info/people whom I might relate to in this odd chapter of my life. What I found caught me off gaurd completely. The first story I read was from a fellow in Austraia. His words could have been my own, me being in the Los Angeles, CA area of the United States.


As I draw closer to my 20th year anniversary from the time I was first diagnosed with HIV (June 9, 1988), I find myself lost in life and in my survival in this life. My biggest question is, "what else is there?", "what do I do now?", "is it all over?", "what next" and "can I go on?". Like the story of that young man in Australia I read, I too had a long prosperous life. Since technically becoming "disabled" I have been unable to work regularly and do not live in a part of town I care to. I take advantage of what's called "Section 8 voucher" here in Los Angeles. Basically I only pay 1/3 of my monthly disability benefits for a one bedromm apartment. It's a nice place with mountain views and very comfortable. I am very fortunate to have this, not many people receive the voucher and I won it randomly in a 3 year study I did with the NIH.


My dilemma is that I have grown so bored with my life. I recently turned 43 and technically became disabled 3 years ago. Before that, for some 20 odd years, I had a very successful career in entertainment/biz management. I worked in upper management in everything from modeling agencies to publishing, tv & film production, post and multi-media, music and technology. I had always planned on retiring in my mid 50's, but at 40 because of my condition? Over the last few years I have exhausted my insurances, forced to cash out many assets for medical and so on, lived off dwindling savings, still fighting with the IRS (who still garnish my SSDI benefits $210/mo.), etc.! I have had a few illnesses but thankfully nothing life threatening!


I am not angry with my HIV/AIDS affliction, the whole government system, not angry at life, etc. I am extremely grateful for all that I have and feel very fortunate for what I have been blessed with. I cannot imagine who I would be without having this affliction, being positive 20 out of my 43 years. I truly feel that I have been blessed. My problem is this, what do I do now? I have always been a very active and passionate, career oriented person but am at a quandry now. How do I survive from this point on? I feel I no longer have any direction in my life. I have way too much time on my hands these days. Yeah, I too have car repair problems and am unable to drive much so I feel my freedom has been compromised but I manage to get through my ego.


I don't know what my future holds. All I can say is that it was just very nice to find this site and have to chance to read others' stories. Thank you all so very much, I look forward to finding my way through you and your survival stories.

A friend in Sun Valley (LA), CA,


Sent via Email October 29, 2007 from USA.

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