Our the Winter BABES Talking Newsletter Topic is “BABES born with HIV”
Living with HIV for almost 30 years, for me it’s literally a lifetime. I am living a future I never thought I would get the chance to see in a way I would have never thought possible. I have two kids that keep me busy and a wonderful person to stand with me and support me, and I am the only one among us with HIV……
Medicine and our understanding of HIV has come so far from my childhood dominated by horrible medicines with even worse side effects, countless doctors appointments and hospitalizations. We haven’t nailed down the cure (that will be able to cure everyone) yet, but we are making leaps and bounds, and surely we are not so far removed from a future free of HIV. I personally have gone from an all time high of 39 pills a day, to just one.
In fact, an outsider unaware of my positive status, looking at my day to day activities wouldn’t know that I have HIV at all, unless they specifically looked up what that one little multivitamin sized pill was exactly for. That is not to say that HIV doesn’t impact my life. It’s just not as visible anymore.
I’ve always been the grandma amongst my friends. I enjoyed going out and “partying”, but I was always the one to cut our evening short. My liver already works overtime filtering the meds, anything more than a couple of drinks here and there will certainly guarantee an “elevated liver enzyme” result on my next labs. Before I met my partner and had kids, I was afraid drinking too much around strangers would put me at risk of lowered inhibitions, not only of “hooking up” without protection, but in many states I could be charged criminally just for exposing someone to HIV.
Now that I’m a mom, I don’t have time to go out and party. Now I worry about accidental exposure to my kids, even though my viral load is undetectable and transmission risk is therefore exceptionally low, there is always that concern especially going through the “biting phase” of toddler years. Even though my partner and I use protection, I always am worried about what his next routine test will say.
Your experience surely varies as we are all unique. For now I’m so thankful for my overall health, and my family’s. There is always something to worry about; all I can do is take my medicine, try to push the what ifs away, and make dinner.
Please check out the Winter Newsletter to find out what events are going on this month and read other stories from some of our BABES that were born with HIV.
Annual One Day Retreat
Self-Care Retreat for HIV+ Women only!
Saturday, February 22nd
Join us for a day of self-care we will have games, yummy lunch provided by ViiV Healthcare, HIV education with Dr. Peter Shalit, goodie bags and more!
Please RSVP to 206-720-5566, we hope you can join us.