I was diagnosed HIV-positive in the prime of my life, when I felt perfectly well, had a job I liked and worked hard at, was young, popular, attractive, active and generally living the life I’d always wanted to live. I was tested at the insistence of my new partner who was “positive.”
It was the end of my life as I knew it, the end of my dreams and hopes and the beginning of poverty and an endless death that never came. The closest I got to death was from being poisoned from overdoses of AZT. I was urged to retire as disabled, primarily because this therapy of the day was, indeed, disabling me. I could not take daily handfuls of AZT, and work.
I never again tasted the sweetness of self–determination, of a good income or a belief in the American Dream –. In those many years, I got sick now and then, often from stress and fear and anger, but I will always believe it was my earlier exposure to toxic medications that was directly to blame. The damage was done early, and can never be reversed.
Now I am lonely, middle–aged and forgotten – abandoned by my own “society”, a virtual outcast who wakes up many mornings sorry that I woke up at all. Before me are nothing but more empty promises, empty beds and empty years – and no apologies. Never that!
Now I have near–crippling arthritis, when nothing like it ever occurred in my family, with continuing chronic pain and fatigue and melancholy produced, I am sure, by the medications that “they” say I must take, OR DIE. Who knows what I may have picked up, or been exposed to, in these intervening years? But I know I will go to my grave, someday, positive that I was not killed by AIDS or HIV, but by the malice of a world gone mad over power – another pawn, a guinea pig sacrificed to the medical industrial complex.
So be it.
They can’t take the good years, or the memories away from me – from the years before this black mark on humanity was created in a board room as a new way to make millions with no observable end in sight – the worst sort of Blood Money. May it stain their souls for eternity.