My HIV Diary: One Year In, Week 52

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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 52 (Aug. 23 – Aug. 30)

I'm hard pressed to found the words to fit the emotions that are running through my head right now. I've taken nearly 1,100 pills in the last 52 weeks, not counting the 10 days I skipped. It's hard to believe my life has been turned upside down for better and for worse.

When I stopped taking my meds for those few days, I never thought I would make it to a full year on them. I was scared to death when I first started experiencing side effects the first few weeks on the medicine study. I didn't know if I was helping or harming myself. The thought of moving from pills to an injection in the future is both unsettling and exciting. I've already been a guinea pig the last 52 weeks and I'm nervous to see what the next step in this necessary medical study is.

This diary has broadened my horizons this last year and I have no one to thank but my readers. Your words and occasional letters of encouragement have made this willing invasion of my privacy completely worth it. I like to think I've touched or changed a life out there, but in reality, this was all for me. I didn't know how else to express what was going on in my heart and head other than writing things down. I decided to publish these thoughts because no one else out there had, nor does, paint an unobscured picture of what living with HIV is like.

Read all the opinion articles you want. Read all the articles from guys who have a project they're looking to promote. I write this diary now for those who have questions about their diagnosis and don't know where else to turn to.

Fifty-two weeks. 365 days. These numbers are surreal, but the number that really matters is 27 -- the age I'll be next year. Another year I've been blessed thanks to medicine and the willpower I now poses to fight for my life. Ryan Dixon