I was diagnosed HIV + in June 1996, after the birth of my second child. I had two difficult pregnancies and multiple surgeries after the first child, which was a vaginal delivery gone wrong. The second pregnancy we did an elective c-section (May 1995- because of the problems the first time around). Got home from the hospital and within 48 hrs, went back in with a massive infection in the c-section that had gone systemic throughout my whole body. I spent almost a month in the hospital, first week in intensive care. Meanwhile, my husband, Joe, was at home trying to take care of a newborn and a 2 1/2 yr old.
They had to open up the c-section and let it heal from the inside out. They sent me home with home health care to tend to the open wound for 2 months, until it fully healed. After that, I never really felt very well. Couldn't quite put my finger on it, just vague symptoms, tired, fatigued, "couldn't seem to get through the day". I started seeing doctors. (first mistake). One doc told me I was just too busy and needed to take a vacation. Another specialist told me I was crazy and put me on Prozac. I was tested for everything under the sun. I saw 7 doctors in one year. My family thought I was crazy too at this point.
It is now June of 1996. Finally, doctor #7 did some tests. Led me to believe that I might have a liver issue. Possibly cancer. He then asked me if I'd ever had an HIV test. I said “no, I don't think so”. I remember asking him if that's what he thought it was. He said "no, white, middle-class women don't get AIDS". The called me, urgently, back to the office 3 days later. The nurses were all staring at Joe and me. They put us in a room, the young doctor came in, looking down, kind of shaking his head. Said my HIV test came back positive. He just stood there and stared at us. He watched us cry. I remember the room spinning, time seemed to slow down, and speed up, all at once. I heard my husband crying out.
He got up and ushered us to the door and told us to find an Infectious Disease doctor.
My husband and both children were tested. The kids were 1 and 3 1/2 at the time. I was 29. They all tested negative. At this point, my husband and I had been together for 7 yrs, with unprotected sex. It never occurred to me to pursue the fact as to why he didn't "catch it from me", understanding that it was sexually transmitted. I came from a medical background, so I was totally brainwashed into believing that the establishment was NEVER wrong, and to NEVER question them.
I had my first visit with the I.D. doctor and they did the standard lab work. My t-cell count came back at 29 and a viral load of 58,000. He told me to "get my affairs in order, I'd be lucky if I had 6 months." He said I probably had been "infected" a long time, based on my counts. I was promptly diagnosed with full-blown AIDS. I have to say at this point, I had never had any opportunistic infection or AIDS defining illness. Even when I was told I had AIDS.
I was never in a considered risk group. I had a few boyfriends/partners before I met and married my husband. None positive that I knew of. Never used drugs.... etc blah, blah, blah. Had a needle stick/exposure in the late 80's, working on the ambulance. Worked in surgery until I got pregnant with my second child, but never had any other exposures. I figured I had gotten “infected” then. So, the journey continues.
I get the diagnosis June 17th 1996, with the assumption that I’ll be dead in 6 months. They promptly start me on AZT, 3TC, Crixivan, and Bactrim. I take them faithfully, almost never missing a dose. Took the Bactrim for about 3 yrs before they stopped that. Took the other 3 meds for about 7 yrs with never one med change. I figured they were working pretty well, as I wasn’t dead yet! My doc finally stopped the Crixivan, said it was doing damage to my liver. Put me on Sustiva. I continued to faithfully take the AZT, 3TC, and Sustiva until April 2007.
I have to say that through all of this, my husband was so supportive and caring. He did anything and everything to take care of the children and me. We had this gauntlet hanging over our heads for 11 yrs. though. When might I get sick and die? What will it be like? The odd thing was, I was never sick, and still never developed any opportunistic infections.
What this diagnosis did to us the most was put fear in to us. We stopped having sex, completely. We did not have sex for many years. We did not want to risk him becoming infected, and the children not having parents. This curse/hex they put on you obviously had a big impact on our young lives, and had changed our marriage relationship in a way that is almost unspeakable.
Fast forward, April 2007. Joe is on the Internet one night, searching out a funny video that a friend had sent him. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, Scovill’s video “The Other Side of AIDS” pops up. The really bizarre thing was that none of these words were in his original search. He proceeds to watch the whole thing, absolutely mesmerized. He told me about it the next day, and thought I should watch it. We were stunned! We were NEVER told that there WAS another side to AIDS.
Seems as though, any other disease they diagnose you with, they tell you (almost) all your options. All your choices. You get second opinions. With the HIV/AIDS scandal, you are NEVER told there is conflicting evidence out there. We are led like sheep to the slaughter. And we go silently and willingly. Never questioning, never demanding proof.
From that moment on, I spent every waking second on the Internet, finding one link after the next. One site after the next. One book after the next. One dissenter after the next. I had NO IDEA! I felt so deceived. So betrayed. I had been robbed of some of the best years of my life. It was all like a huge, cruel nightmare.
After a couple of weeks of studying, reading, researching, watching videos, reading books, doing our own due diligence, I decided to quit all the meds, cold turkey.
The first week went okay, I was feeling fine. Then things seemed to go downhill. I was doing a lot of different types of detoxing, and had quite a horrible 4 months. My system seemed to be shutting down. I am 5’8” and went down to 114 lbs. I looked like I might die. Never once did I consider restarting the drugs again, as I knew what I believed, and why I believed it. But, things were difficult. In retrospect, I think it was a mixture of multiple forms of detox, way too fast, and massive drug withdrawals. Those toxic drugs are bound to be very hard to the body after 11 straight years.
Four months after quitting, I went back for what I considered to be one last visit to my I.D. doctor. I was going to be polite, tell him what I’d done, and that I wouldn’t need him anymore. I had my final lab tests drawn a week before I went in.
When I got there, it seemed like all hell broke loose. He told me I had done a very stupid thing, and that I’d be DEAD, VERY SOON! My CD4’s were 96 and viral load of 135,000. Now, at this point, I’d very carefully studied these invalid surrogate markers, and they didn’t mean anything to me. My t-cell count had never been very high the past 11 yrs. anyway. Usually hovered between 200-300 tops and the viral load had been “undetectable” for 11 yrs on the meds.
I do think that one has to be very strong in a situation like this. I faltered for a moment in time. The thing that kept sticking out so prominent in my mind though was Michael Ellner’s speech I’d heard about “bone-pointing”. I reviewed that, over and over in my mind, devouring how important it was. That was a lifesaver for me at that time. And I could never have done it without the constant support and reassurance of my husband. I think this is the most important factor in one’s total health and recovery from this poisonous lie. Someone who supports you completely, and can remind you of the facts when you are weak.
Anyway, my doctor was rude, angry, and seemed completely offended that I would dare to question him, or the AIDS establishment. I had a good relationship with my pharmacist over the years as well. She was very angry too, to put it mildly, when she found out.
Tell me, why is it the only people that actually get mad and take this personally, are the ones that benefit financially $$$$$? Hummmmmmm?
Something my husband brought up recently that really made me stop and think. Why is it, with any other dis-ease that you recover from (think cancer especially) are you applauded, people are happy for you! It’s a miracle! Only with AIDS, do they call you a denialist. They are mad that you survive.
I have now been med-free for 1 ˝ years, and feeling FANTASTIC!! No more side effects. All symptoms are gone.
I have completely left the medical establishment, with very hard feelings. Believing that they are totally worthless about 95% of the time.
I have found more help, health, and healing in the alternative world than I ever expected.
I exercise every day. I live a mainly raw foods, vegan diet, which I strongly believe has aided in my recovery from nearly being poisoned to death.
I pray every day that my story will continue to be found, and be a great blessing and source of encouragement to others that have also been deceived by this “scandal of the century”.
I am so very deeply sorry for those who have had to suffer the worst of this. The loss of loved ones, of children…..
I am so very thankful, from the bottom of my heart, to those that have walked this path before me, led me along the way, listened to my fears, my thoughts, my questions.
I am forever grateful for all the dissenters out there, who have sacrificed their lives and careers, so that I may live. Those who dared to question this hypothesis built on sand.
I have vowed to not go quietly.
I have business-type cards printed up that say HIV does not equal AIDS, an upside down ribbon, and a few of the websites that continue to help me every day. I leave these cards everywhere I go. Every public restroom, every restaurant, on the table, in multiple places in the library, anywhere.
How has this affected me? Shock, sadness, despair, fear, suspicious, robbed, angry, outraged, collective, reflective, triumphant!
I am an overcomer!
I will tell my story.
I will not go quietly.
You can send me an email
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