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Some say 5 minutes is plenty of time to do things. As time is considered a concept, 5 minutes is a lot of time. It can range from being good to something bad. Having it be a blessing but also a nightmare.
The 5 minutes that changed my life were when I found out I was HIV-Positive. Those 5 minutes of waiting for test results felt like forever. When you think you did all you can to prevent a life-changing mistake, it was truly never enough. After those 5 minutes, new life begins with being chained to a pill every day to stop an undeniable death.
But due to constant support and research, I have found peace with my diagnosis. Since science has come so far with the advancement of medicine, this diagnosis is not a death sentence like it was branded in the 1980s. The only problem is the lack of education on this virus and the many stigmas that follow it. HIV-positive people are considered dirty or disease-ridden because it will never go away. With medicines like Biktarvy, I have reached a level of undetectability. This means that the viral load count is so low that it can barely be detected in your body. Also, you can not transmit HIV to other people when you are undetectable; henceforth, the phrase Undetectable=Untrasmitable (U=U).
A once-a-month shot has been FDA approved in a recent development, and I am in the clinical trial. This is a huge step for people like me to take a pill every day. It gives us ‘Poz’ people a sense of freedom from not being bound to a pill. Being Black, gay, and a POZ, I’m proud of myself for making it this far in life. Dealing with these three key issues has been easier for me as I embrace them. Always love yourself and be who you are.
Written by Darryl Johnson Jr.
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Featured Image Courtesy of Marco Verch’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Earl’s Flickr page- Creative Commons License