Anthony: When I first found out I was HIV-positive I thought it would define me—but by “define,” I came to realize I really meant “stigmatize.” I felt like there would never be a part of me inseparable from the virus itself. The thought of having it constantly preoccupied me. Each day when I swallowed that little greenish pill in the morning, I felt a pang of shame and sadness. Today, after living healthily with HIV for three years, the greenish pill still punctuates my days, but the feeling is one of propulsion and determination in place of despair, guilt, and self-loathing. How far I’ve come! Like my tattoo reminds me, I am still me.
The retail cost of a 30-day supply of these pills is $3,467.99. For those like me who don’t excel in arithmetic, that is approximately $116 per day. It feels funny eating something that expensive every day, but I thank my lucky stars that my insurance completely covers this cost. There are also last-resort secondary insurance non-profits for people with HIV that exist to pick up the excess cost should one’s insurance not cover it.
Anyway, #fuckStigma and live your best life! Undetectable equals untransmissible!