My name is Jessie I. Snyder, I am 38 years old. I have been HIV positive for 24 years and had full-blown AIDS for 17 years. I contracted HIV in 1987 through a blood transfusion, when there was very little known about the disease. I was only 14 years old and told by my doctor that I probably wouldn’t live to see my 18th birthday. Yet here I am still alive and healthier than I have ever been.
I am going to share with you five easy steps to deal with being HIV positive.
First, remember that being HIV positive does not stop you from being who you are. You are the same person you were before you tested positive for HIV.
Second, get involved in a support group. Associating with other people who are HIV positive can help you cope with your diagnosis. They can also help you learn how to disclose to HIV status to family and friends.
Third, seek medical treatment. Getting on the right combination of medicine can help you live a productive, healthy life. Get involved with you medical treatment, ask questions, know what your CD4 counts are and what they mean and know your viral load and what that means.
Fourth, accept that you are HIV positive. Acceptance is the key to living a long, healthy life with HIV. When you are in denial you tend to not take care of yourself as well as you would if you accept that you are HIV positive. Keep a positive attitude and talk about your disease openly. Trust me you will find that this will make you feel better about yourself and be able to cope with your diagnosis.
Finally, take care of yourself. This means eating right, exercising, taking your medication as prescribed, and taking precautions when around someone who is sick, because what just makes a healthy person feel bad could ultimately kill you. Remember to keep a positive attitude. You will find that if you follow these five easy steps you can live a long, healthy and happy life with HIV.
I have been an AIDS advocate for 13 years. I have worked as a first person speaker for Nashville CARES, and appeared on two talk shows about HIV and AIDS. I just want to spread the word that AIDS doesn’t have to be a death sentence, that there is life after an AIDS diagnosis. I also tell my stories so as to put a face on this deadly disease.
I am a 38 year old, web article writer, poet, author of two books-TRUE INSPIRATIONS and SLEEPING WITH THE ANGELS; and a colllege student at Nashville State Community College where I am pursuing an Associate’s Degree in Office Administration-Medical Professional Concentration. I have been HIV positive for 24 years and had full-blown AIDS for 17 years.