If I had been told ten years ago today that I would be living in Co. Laois, married, with three cats, I should not have believed it. Why? Well, ten years ago today was the day that I received the news that I am living with HIV.
Well I remember it. I don’t remember what my viral load count was, but I do know my CD4 count was 100. Over the last ten years it has gone up and down and up again, so that it is relatively good now.
Today, I’m writing this lying on a bed in Tallaght University Hospital, whilst receiving hæmodialysis. I’m really thankful for all the support that I have received from nursing and medical staff over the years in various hospitals. They include:
- The Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast
- St Bernard’s Hospital, Gibraltar
- Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester
- The Mater Misericordiæ University Hospital, Dublin
- St James’s University Hospital, Dublin
- Midlands Regional Hospital, Port Laoise
- Tallaght University Hospital, Tallaght
- The Ulster Hospital, Dundonald
In each of the
seven eight hospitals, I have found friendly and helpful staff. In each of the seven eight hospitals, I have tried to be a cheerful, happy, and helpful patient. It doesn’t always work, but that is what I try to be.
Over the ten years, I have tried to raise awareness of HIV and of people living with HIV in various ways. This blog is the principal one, as well as being so open with people in my daily life. I particularly remember the interview I gave to GBC News in Gibraltar on World Aids Day 2014.
I’ve made great friends within the Positive community, from the months of being on the Board of The HIV Support Centre (now called Positive Life), to meeting other HIV activists in London for HIV Neutral. I should never have heard of Positive Allies founded and run by Drew Dalton in Sunderland.
Here’s to the next ten years: hopefully by then my viral load will still be undetectable, my CD4 count still reasonably good, and perhaps, I shall even have a transplant kidney.