Would you want to know if a fellow classmate or someone you sat next to on the bus were HIV positive? Would it matter?
It has been 4 days since I started college, anyone who follows my Twitter or Facebook accounts might have seen that I was pretty much terrified of heading back into further education. Let’s face it, HIV can be a socially diminishing condition at the best of times, and as sad as that really is, it’s what I do expect a lot of the time. Except this time, I’m stuck with these people!
It would be fair to say I’m the type of person to cut out the bad people from my day and I usually won’t see them again, that’s the way I deal with things and If there is no hope in educating them, then I’d rather not have them near me at all. Age has a lot to say in this matter, most of the people on my courses are fresh out of high school. Without trying to be judgmental on age, you do form an opinion that these teenagers might be a little less knowledgeable, particularly due to the fact HIV is rarely noticed or acknowledged by young people.
Everyone seems very nice and friendly, no one has approached me about my condition, so I generally do not think they are aware, everyone is still in that awkward ‘getting to know everyone’ stage and obviously It’s not something I would say in an introduction but obviously something I do keep referring to in my own mind. So, is it right to tell these people? Is it appropriate? Would you want to know if a fellow classmate or someone you sat next to on the bus were HIV positive? Would it matter? Of course, there are millions of aspects of someone’s personality and character which should prioritise a HIV status, but the desire to tell others about my blog and what I do in the hope to educate others is something that is crossing my mind a lot.
Would I be prepared for negative reactions to my status? Would I be expected to explain myself? It is clear to understand this is not a desirable situation, I do hope many of the people I am studying alongside with will read my blog in the future, and hopefully learn something new.
Aside from my new educational woes, my adherence to my medication has still been perfect since starting Atripla 15 days ago. Taking it with a double vodka and coke in the middle of a Manchester gay bar last Friday night is in no doubt clearly portraying my confidence when it comes to taking my medication. Atripla is advised to be taken on an empty stomach, no food two hours before or one hour after. This is due to additional side effects which can arise with the speed it is absorbed, particularly with high-fat foods, and since I began medication this is also something I have respected and obeyed immaculately, until last night.
Taking my medication 10 minutes after finishing a Chinese takeaway with a friend in his apartment resulted in a series of vivid nightmares followed by the entire day, even now…feeling drunk and disorientated. Let’s not make that mistake again! I’ am hoping I get the appropriate chance to tell my fellow students about my blog soon and hopefully make some new friends.
Luke – (@PositiveLuke on twitter)