Ageless with HIV

At the beginning of my journey with HIV after my diagnosis in 2007, the biggest hurdle at the time was accepting the reality of being a bisexual HIV-positive man, dealing with the stigma that comes with it, and getting on medication. Since then life has been good with new challenges. I have developed arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis, due to antiviral therapy; and continual body inflammation, in my continuing immune system response, as I live with treat my HIV.

HIV and bone health

It was difficult at the beginning of having to deal with arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis, along with
HIV; as it made me feel like an old man, instead of a middle aged man. I will be turning 44 next month.

Yet, I am thankful and grateful that none of us have to endure and pass away from AIDS-related illnesses; if we take our medication. I live my life. I am happy, content, and I manage my health the best I can; while accepting any limitations, adjustments, and symptoms because of my medical conditions.

A hard road

Every person's immune system and body, genetics, response to medications, aging with HIV, and to the virus itself, vary among the HIV population. Though I continue to remain undetectable with little side effects from antiviral therapy, it hasn't been an easy road with my diagnosis with HIV, arteriosclerosis, osteoporosis, and the unmentioned annoyance and discomfort of the small potato in my life, anal herpes; given my current age.

This does call into question my quality of life, and life span moving forward; with the possibility of further health issues and complications. It's okay though, because this comes with the territory of living and aging with HIV. I am not the first nor will I be the last, but what I am is blessed.

Written by James Cotromanes

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