My HIV Diary: On Hold, Week 41
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 41 (June 7 – June 13)
I’d like to start this diary entry with an impression so you’ll have to use your imaginations, and possibly Google. So, in my best Prof. Farnsworth voice: “Good news everybody!” I made it back to Florida for my medicine study appointment thanks to the Leather Heart Foundation (LHF). They’re a nonprofit who provides monetary assistance to people inside the leather community in times of need or hardship. They bought me a bus ticket so I would be able to see my doctor and get my medication. I wasn’t that worried about not receiving the medication, but there were enough people around me that were concerned about it that I decided to reach out to the LHF for the help. Giving my friends peace of mind gives me the same in return.
I’m still undetectable with a CD4 of nearly 800. I was worried how I would get back to Florida again next month, but I was relieved to find out I don’t need to be back until August and then every three months after that. That news will make planning the trips easier and more affordable. I spent a lot of money getting down here, some of which came from an unforeseen expense. Regardless of that, I’m working and trying to settle in with my new environment. Things are working out pretty well. I’m focusing on myself professionally and personally, but I’ve decided to put romance on the back burner. There’ll always be time for that. After all, I’m still just 25.
The only real disappointment I’ve had in Atlanta is the way the Ryan White eligibility and enrollment works. I did a brief intake at Men’s Information Services: Testing, Empowerment, Resources (MISTER), who then said I would hear back from them or the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), where I selected to receive my medical care, and then I could complete my enrollment. To no fault of MISTER, that was over a week ago. I’m a patient of AHF’s in Florida. It shouldn’t be a problem to call me and set things up when I’m already in their systems. In Florida, I walked in to the Health Planning Council, did the paperwork, was placed on Ryan White right away and made my first doctor’s appointment right away. It seems to be a bit of a hassle to even get my foot in the door without having private insurance. Being kept on hold like this is certainly no fun.
No major plans are in the works. I need to get in with a doctor and make myself a home. I’m supposed to be back in Florida at the end of the month for a speaking engagement at Florida Atlantic University, but I don’t know if I can afford that travel arrangement now either. I know things will all work out eventually. This adventure has been a very good test of my patience – what little I had to start with anyway. Hopefully in the next week things will start to come together.