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My name is Blod; I am a woman now pushing 70. I am white British middle class and heterosexual. I was 53 years old living in rural middle England when I was diagnosed. My world fell apart then and I have trod a long and lonely road back to normality. Ordinariness is something I as a poz women envy. With the HIV diagnosis befall a treble whammy of abnormality. I was already handicapped by a physical disability resulting from a road traffic accident in 1973. In l995 I was diagnosed with HIV and the crown of thorns for me was the identification of HIV brain impairment in 2002.
The stories you write are poignant and so many of you sound young and beautiful and normal. They make gripping chronicles.
I could tell stories of London HIV professionals, both male and female behaving badly towards me. An example is a rookie HIV consultant disclosed my status to my GP without my knowledge or my permission and against my precise documented wishes.
Living with HIV in a rural area having to travel hundreds of miles for HIV healthcare was ghastly so alone I moved to Brighton which is a city with a prevalence of HIV and have a community specialist team supporting me.
Moving forward I have recently appeared anonymously in an investigative article in the Sunday Times magazine entitled “A bitter pill – what doesn’t kill you makes you older” about antiretrovirals which I have been taking since my diagnosis of brain impairment. After an initial breakdown I am well, and do not look or feel my age so personally the meds have not aged me. Made me fatter but that’s not the end of the world.
1. Live a full live alone as a pensioner who has taken up painting as a hobby, and have some paintings in a local exhibition.
2. Am a member of the local federation of disabled people where I attend peer group support meetings,
3. Belong to a local Poz Women’s group
4. Try not to let HIV take over my life.
I wish you all love and light.
AVERT.org. To read Blod's contribution to the Sunday Times, please click the following link. ' A Bitter pill - what doesn't kill you make you older'.