Today's post is a video interview with a person living with both HIV and neuropathy from 1html.net (see link below). Even though everyone's story is different, personal to themselves and reveals different experiences of HIV; it will strike a chord with many people if only because of the effects stress can have on your well-being. The transcript of the video is reproduced below.
Pamela Curry: Hello! My name is Pamela Curry. I became HIV positive via sexually transmitted means. I was going to a hospital to go about a procedure and they tested me for HIV and that's when I tested positive and of course I remember where it came from. Because I most of the time practiced safe sex, but he was so unpleasant that he was playing that slide and so the time over I got it from. At first I was angry, upset and that got even worse when I lost my job two weeks later because the company I worked for was self insured and unfortunately this is a right to work state. So when the paper work got to the home office, they found a reason to terminate me. Now because I want a fixed income, I have to seek out housing that will accept housing assistance for persons with HIV AIDS. And a lot of companies won't take that. So that means you have to live in somewhat less lower standard than you what may have been accustomed to before. Since testing positive -- to mention the word stress I break out into shingles. I have very severe attacks of shingles. In recent years I have felt personal neuropathy that I started at beginning. So then there are mornings where I can't get out of bed and I have to crawl to the bathroom. I was trying to compose myself and get myself to a position where people will not notice before I go venturing outside. Female Speaker: You take a number of medications?Pamela Curry: A little -- this pill twice a day. I have my medicine carrying it right here, here is about 20 pills. Some of them are -- one in particular typically causes nausea, sometimes frequent diarrhea. The most severe it comes over you just like that, but it is medication related and I know what meds call it, but I have to have them. So you deal with it the best you can. When you are HIV positive you are more susceptible to lots of infections and that includes common infections that 20 like -- Herpes, 20% population has it but not all of them, because it is not active. When you are HIV positive your immune system is compromised and you are going to have outbreaks more frequently and that will also -- I have the shingles more frequently. I have to take a higher dose of Valtrex to try to prevent it and even with the higher dose of Valtrex that doesn't mean you are not going to have a break out. It means you have to go to specialist instead of just your general practitioner and always use a protected sex. I know the current -- Administration's guidelines are to teach abstinence only and you are supposed to talk about the failure rate of condoms are 14%. But a condom only fails 14% and abstinence only, only works a 100% when it is practiced to 100%. And reality is 80% of teenagers do not continue to practice abstinence a 100% of the time. They are going to have sex and if haven't provided them with the tools to protect themselves, that become a risk.