My HIV Diary: Closing a Chapter, Week 37

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Ryan Dixon (a.k.a former porn star Kameron Scott) has started taking HIV medication. He’s keeping a diary of his experience.

Being in my mid-20’s isn’t easy, add HIV on top of that and we have one hell of a complicated life. I’m making the best out of the hand life has dealt me and the decisions I’ve made along the way. Writing helps free my mind. Hopefully these words will help you understand the plight of others like myself, and inspire you to live each and every day in the moment.

Week 37 (May 10 – May 16)

In case any of you missed it on my Facebook page, I’m moving to Atlanta on May 25. I fell in love with the people and the city when I first visited it in August of last year. When I went back in mid-April, I discussed the possibility with some friends there, and one month later it’s a reality. While I’m extremely excited for this new adventure in my life, it does come with some problems.

It took a lot of thought on my part whether or not to move. I found a job, found a place to live, found a new doctor but I couldn’t find the same medicine study I’m on right now within a reasonable distance from where I’d be staying.  The only study that I could participate in is the exact one I’m in right now and there are no such studies like in Georgia … anywhere. My doctor here is seeing if he can get GSK to cover two roundtrip flights for me to at least to make sure I complete a full year on the study. I reach one year in 11 weeks. If not, I have to figure out a way to afford my transportation back to Florida after already spending a ton of money to get away.

The resource groups in Atlanta have been helpful and disappointed that there were no studies around. I was directed to several doctors, resource organizations and social services by the Men's Information Services: Testing Empowerment Resources (MISTER) but no one had a clue about studies. I’m just worried that I’ll have to quit the study and end up on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting to get medication if I choose to continue my ARV therapy. Part of me is interested to see how my body reacts to not taking the meds anymore.  This whole “life revolving around pills” thing is evil, although a necessary evil.

With all of that being said, I really am looking forward to hitting the ground running in Atlanta. I know there is so much I can do there both in my work and advocacy life. The opportunity to take what life lessons I’ve learned in the last five years and put them to good use was too good to pass up. Leaving SFGN will be bitter sweet, but as the chapter of my life in Florida closes, the Atlanta chapter is full of blank pages just waiting to be filled.

This won’t be the last time you read about me in this paper. I still plan on letting the world in on my life living with HIV. Hell, this move should make an interesting read for all of you. To everyone who has ready since day one or is reading this for the first time, I hope you continue to read until there is no need for me to write anymore.

Here’s to the next chapter…