Long Description for What a Difference A Year Makes

Title: What a Difference A Year Makes

A: Hey sweetie, I’m back.

B: How did it go today?

Good ...

A: Did a few tests. Still undetectable- six months and counting.
Had a great chat with the social worker and I’m feeling really supported and much better about treatment ...

Only took a year.

B: Well happy almost treatment-aversry. What a difference a year makes eh?

Tell me about it.

A: Earlier in the waiting room I saw this guy, he looked terrified. He looked like me a year ago. Like he wanted to just run out the door. Like he would implode if the clinic staff said his name out loud.

Like his life was over?


B: I wanted to go over to him, put my arm around him and tell him I was once him, and that I remember how fucking terrifying it was.

A: I wanted to say that I never would have believed a year later that I would be walking into this place greeted warmly by people who all know me by name and who actually care about how I’m doing.

That I would actually care about how I’m doing, and want to be at the clinic.

B: I wouldn’t have been ready to hear that from a stranger though. So I didn’t say anything.

I can’t stop thinking about him though ... thinking about me at the beginning of it all.

A: Ugh, I remember it well. I was so scared for you when you First got your results.

I was scared for us. You were in such denial.

You didn’t want to follow anybody’s advice, never mind listen to a doctor. All the science and advances in knowledge and treatment. You weren’t open to hearing any of it. You were so attached to the weight of the stigma and the shame.

B: Oh my goodness, I know.

When I walked into that clinic) my confidence was shattered. I thought my life was over - literally. Never mind my career or my social life, and I thought for sure you’d leave me.

I can’t believe how much I didn’t know about HIV. I really didn’t think that people could be positive, healthy and happy too.

A: I didn’t know about the possibility of being undetectable, or the fact that meds could make my HIV so undetectable that it would be un-transmittable during sex.

I never would have believed that could be my reality - our reality, but it is.

B: Finding the right doctor made such a difference ... and talking about HIV and my feelings with that social worker really helped me figure things out.

A: Ah, I can’t shake the visual of that young guy in the waiting room. I hope that guy finds his way to a good place faster than I did.

Me too, me too.

B: You hungry?

A: You know I’m insatiable!

I was talking about dinner.

I wasn’t.

A: Haha ... well in that case dinner is served!

If you’ve become HIV positive, reach out and find support. If you can, start HIV treatment early - soon after diagnosis. The medicines have come a long way and they can help you live a healthy life with lots of the sex that you want.