My HIV Diary: On the Brink of a Cure … Again, Week 35

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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 35 (April 26 – May 2)

When I set out on this journey, the goal of taking these medications was to better my life and hopefully be a small part in helping others on down the road. The goal of a healthier me has been reached. I was undetectable within two weeks, and my CD4 count stands at over 900. As far as what I’m doing to help the future – who knows? Apparently we’re close to a cure … again.

I don’t get as excited about cure news as I did nearly five years ago. I think I’ve been enlightened to the fact that I don’t think I will ever be cured. I don’t get my hopes up anymore. Yes, I do have faith in medicine and technology, but just like my faith, everything has its limits.

Danish doctors are conducting clinical trials to test a “novel strategy” in which the HIV virus is stripped away from human DNA. They are expecting that these studies will show that “finding a mass-distributable and affordable cure to HIV is possible.”

While the news is promising, they were only testing human cells in petri dishes, not in live subjects. I don’t understand why they would announce their findings before we even know if the treatment will work inside a host. Fifteen patients are currently taking part in the trials, and if they are found to have successfully been cured of HIV, the “cure” will be tested on a wider scale. Yes, their work is most likely going to prove to be invaluable, but what if it fails? If it fails, you just spent months getting the hopes up of people who are ill all over the world for nothing. My hopes were toyed with for nothing.

In my opinion, and take it for what it’s worth, the best way to combat HIV is out on the streets and not locked up in a lab somewhere. I’d like to see more money spent on prevention and a vaccine than on cure studies. It would be so much easier to have an AIDS free generation if children could be given a vaccine at birth. Fight HIV out on the streets and in the bedrooms where it lives. Educate and inoculate – that’s my motto. Ryan Dixon