Thankful To Be Alive

“I am very thankful that I am healthy. Ever since 1977, I have had diabetes and had to use a needle. I used to be an athlete in high school. I played all three sports, and I was very very good. They didn’t know about infections of HIV through needles and thing like that back then. I got infected with HIV in 1984. I felt like my health went from one extreme to the other overnight when I first got sick. The biggest mistake in my life was I let a couple of people know that I had HIV, and then the next thing you knew, everybody seemed to know. Then after that people treated me like poison. I had no friends then.

“The incredible thing though, is the girl I was dating, stayed with me through thick and thin. She never left me, and we have been married for over 40 years now. My wife and I are best friends. She is clean, and we had a 33 year old son together, and he is clean too to this day as well. There are ways to have healthy children when a parent is HIV positive, but you have to be very careful.

“Some days I feel ok, like today. But some days the levels are off and I feel real crappy. I am 60 years old now, and the doctors tell me all of the time it is a miracle that I am still alive. My wife has saved my life so many times. I have been in comas and everything. She helps me take all of the medicines I have to take over all of these years. But my wife has stayed with me through it all. She stayed with me through some real heavy shit man. I love her so much. My wife and I are vendors here, and we sell all-natural dog cookies. I just love being with her as much as I can, and I like that I can give back to others selling healthy cookies for their dogs. It is a hard life, but at least I am still alive.”

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"I am very thankful that I am healthy. Ever since 1977, I have had diabetes and had to use a needle. I used to be an…

Posted by Portraits of the Jersey Shore on Thursday, November 16, 2017

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