Wednesday, August 16, 2006

AIDs Elites--Longterm Survivors with HIV

Is it possible that long-term HIV status corrolates to happiness? Fear depresses the immune system. I have friends who have had cancer and are absolutely consumed with their health to the point of being convinced they will soon die. I have friends content with their post-cancer status. Live life fully and as healthy as possible. Who do you think will die first?

I know a few HIV patients. Two right off the top of my head have lived with HIV for at least ten years. Both healthy. And what about Magic Johnson? He keeps plugging along.

It just seems to me that the result may not be genetic, viral load, severity of virus or any other mechanistic cause. Perhaps it is the whole, happy person who wants to live. That desire coupled with abiding happiness can make a huge difference in longevity--HIV positive or not.


Anonymous said...

I have been positive since 1989, almost 17 years this December. I am not sure if I can say that I have been happy the entire time. I have lost a lover of 11 year, lost my father and a best friend, slef medicated myself with hard drugs (speed)for 6 years, been clean for 4 years now and those years were very hard times and very unhappy times in my life. I started taking AZT and whatever came along next then took 5 years off my HIV meds. So as you can see I can't say that happiness had to do anything with it. I do agree with you on one point, I have never been consumed with being positive, I do not read about every new thing that is out there and other than taking my meds daily, visiting my doctor every 3 months for blood work I am not consumed by it and it does not run/rule my life.

Dr. Melissa said...

I am so sorry for your losses. Congratulations on getting clean. It seems to me that somewhere between denial and obsession there is a solid place in between that allows a person's body to do what needs to be done to fight the virus.

There are some people who just don't get colds or sick, either. Hardy, resiliant people.

With AIDs specifically, many of the sufferers are consumed with shame. Literal mortification (dying) of the flesh. This emotion is destructive for non-AIDs patients. For AIDs patients, it's deadly.

Dr. Melissa said...

I just thought of something. Maybe happiness has nothing to do with it. Maybe it is being congruent with the will to live.

Some people upon hearing HIV adopt the same fatalism and futility (outwardly or inwardly) as cancer patients. They view it as a death sentence and so it is.

Liz said...

Dear Anonymous: I am so sorry for your pain and losses. Please know that you are not alone even though it may seem like it. Someone recently told me that you can never really abandon yourself...there is always hope, always. I've not had your kind of pains and losses but certainly have had my own. I learn again and again that I am who God created, just exactly the way I am, and - it is good! If we can love ourselves, embrace ourselves, and be at peace with who we are, then somehow life gets a bit easier and life gets a little more peaceful. My thoughts and prayers are with you.