Justin's HIV Journal

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Trouble with HIV Meds Part II

Hello Everyone,

This is Justin B Smith from Justin’s HIV Journal. As most of you can recall I was put on the HIV medication regime that incorporated Norvir, Truvada, and Rayatez, it took a while for my body to adjust to these medications.

HIV Medications Problems Video Part 1 of 2

The Rayatez medication made my eyes yellow, which means that it was affecting my Liver functions. I first noticed this about a week after starting the medication. I was so self conscience about my eyes. Everyone was going to know that I was sick and there was nothing I could do about it. I told my doctor at the next appointment. He told me that it might occur when first stating the medications. I believe in what my doctor told me. After a few weeks went by my eyes were still a little yellow.

My second visit to my doctor was a good one. I voiced my concerns and he listened. He instructed me to go to the lab and get my blood work done.

HIV Medications Problems Part 2 of 2

As I sat in my chair having my blood work done I thought about the events of the future. I thought about then candidate Barack H. Obama. I thought about the many struggles that this man had to endure. That was the moment I posed a question to myself, “What was this man’s drive to become President of a wounded country?” My second thought was, “I’m wounded, but NOT dead”.

The third visit was the reading of my blood work. It turned out to be a surprise to me. My eyes have since been better. I have been feeling so much better and the election in November gave me a lot of hope.

I had the fortune of witnessing history first hand when I went to President Barack H Obama’s Inauguration on January 20th in Washington DC. I’m originally from Washington DC, by way of Silver Spring MD, so it felt like home.

President Barack Obama's Inauguration Video

The Washington DC area was energized by this new President, one who has given people joy and hope. He has made people think a little differently about how they treat others, how they treat themselves and hopefully how they treat people who are living with HIV.

The people of the world have now been given a more positive outlook on life by a man who came from meager beginnings to become the leader of the free world.

Only time will tell if we as a people can keep this positive energy up, only time can tell if the health care promises of President Barack Obama will be kept. Only time will tell if HIV positive people will be given a more optimistic out look on their own lives because of new found light in America’s leadership.

President Barack Obama’s Promise on HIV and AIDS:

According to the White House Website, in the first year of his presidency, President Obama promises to develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President promises to support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception and STD prevention. His promise includes combating infection within our prison population through education and prevention, and distributing prophylactics through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma -- too often tied to homophobia -- that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.



Justin’s HIV Journal: Trouble with Medications Part I


Justin’s HIV Journal: Trouble with Medications Part II


Justin’s HIV Journal: President Barack Obama’s Inauguration


HIV and Hooking Up

HIV and Hooking Up

People hook up online for sex all the time, whether it is on websites like Recon, men4now.com or adam4adam.com. Whenever you go to one of these sites they have an option on whether you want to tell people you are HIV positive or negative. Clicking a box for HIV status is optional, not mandatory on many of the sites.

When I was on those websites I would sometimes disclose my status. Some people that I would want to hook up wouldn't even ask .They would just assume that I was negative. When the conversation became more candid I made sure that they knew I was positive. I would say, "Hey are you ok with me being HIV positive." A lot of men got scared and ran away from me. Some blocked or ignored me. I felt shunned. I felt like there was nobody out there that would want me because I was HIV positive.

For all the men out there who shunned an openly HIV positive man, I have something to say about all of this:

The last time you had anonymous sex or an online hook up, did you even think to ask, "Are you HIV positive or negative?" and how do you know they told you the truth? You don't.

When you are hooking up with someone do you even think about it?

When engaging in online hook ups, men rarely ask those questions of other people or rarely ask themselves, "When was the last time I had an HIV test, what is my status".

The gist of it is, if the person is HIV positive what's stopping you from putting on a condom?

I'm not trying to tell any of you what to do I'm just trying to get you to think.

A lot of HIV positive men feel rejected and it's ok. Rejection is a part of life. We all remember that first time when we saw a sexy man that we wanted that didn't necessarily want us.

If you're open about your status and are HIV positive don't feel bad because the man that you want doesn't want you. We all can take a message from President Barack Obama and "move on." There are plenty of men out there that don't care about your status, but will care about you as a human being and not as an object.

So, think about this, if you have sex with someone who doesn't tell you their HIV status and you have sex with someone who is open about their status, what is the difference if you use a condom both times?

Absolutely nothing at all


How do you know he's not lying? And is he you?