My HIV Diary: Perspective, Week 26

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Ryan Dixon

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. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in a doctor’s office staring down at three pills that would change my life forever. I felt so scared and so unsure of what could and what would happen. I was on the verge of tears and unable to even focus on my work. Now, as I’m nearing 200 days, my outlook on HIV treatment and the future of medicine is a little brighter.

Week 26 (Feb. 22 – Feb. 28)

I watched the documentary “How to Survive a Plague” a few weeks ago. The movie is about the early years of ACT UP in New York City, and how that group was instrumental in new and better drugs being available on the market for HIV and AIDS patients. It was chilling to watch the physical transformation people went through as AIDS completely destroyed their bodies. It was sobering to see people sitting in a basement and being told the drug they were being given was experimental and there was no idea if it would save them or bring their inevitable death even closer.

Writing this diary has been and adventure as well as something therapeutic for me. I never set out to do anything other than help myself deal with the feeling and the thoughts in my head. Sitting at my desk on day one, I could focus on anything except when I was writing what was in my head. I’ve received comments on my posts and messages on Facebook, but a letter I got in late January has made me realize that these entries are something more than me letting off some steam.

The message came from someone named “Sal.” He said he had been reading SFGN online and came across my diary entries. After reading everything I had written up to that point, he said he was deeply touched and moved by my story and what I’ve been through these last few years.

“It is striking how positive and strong you have remained despite what you are dealing with both physically and emotionally,” he wrote. “I was so glad to see in the later postings that your health seems to have improved radically over the last few months.”

Sal’s letter really put things into perspective for me. I know things for me were rough at the beginning, but there’s always someone out there who has it worse and so on.

He continued: “Reading your entries really helps put life into perspective and makes you realize never sweat the small stuff because you need to save your energy for the tough breaks life will inevitably throw at you.”