A low testosterone level is quite common in men living with HIV. I had been HIV infected for almost three years. While I had my share of nagging illnesses; sinus infections, thrush and the like, I always prided myself on feeling pretty good. Recently, after turning 42 years old, I noticed I felt more fatigued than usual. I had little energy after dinner, wanting to sleep more and more each day. My problems were not just with energy levels. In the bedroom I found that my sexual desire had all but disappeared. When I was in the mood I sometimes had trouble getting an erection. When I did, it was not as strong or as long lasting as it once was. To top it all off, I felt sad, and very deeply depressed, even suicidal at times, and finding joy in any activity was difficult. I had all the classic signs of low testosterone and my wonderful doctor felt testosterone replacement may be exactly what I needed.
Living with HIV is not that difficult physically. I personally find that the emotional aspects of dealing with it are far greater. However, once you get over the fact that, YES, you do have HIV and that you will have it for the rest of your life. It’s a just a matter of dealing with it like any other life challenge that you may face. You have to muster the courage within you to keep going and move forward, no matter what. I haven’t been feeling well lately and so I went to my doctor for some tests. It turns out that my hormones are all out of whack. It happens.
For most people, the hardest part of adjusting to life with HIV isn’t the physical issues — it’s the emotional ones. In parts of the world where effective HIV treatment is readily available, HIV is now considered a chronic disease, much like diabetes. But unlike diabetes, there’s still a ton of stigma attached to being HIV positive. This is the very reason that I have chosen to do these videos and make my own personal journey so public. Even though having HIV doesn’t make you a bad person, unfortunately there are many people -most of them ignorant and uneducated of the facts about HIV, just as I once was myself — that still discriminate against HIVers simply because of their status.
Depression, a mental illness that causes many emotional, physical, and behavioral problems, is characterized by feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, loss of pleasure, apathy, and sometimes, difficulty functioning. When these problems persist for at least two weeks and interfere with daily activities, it is classified as clinical depression, which is also called major depressive disorder (MDD).
Patients who have MDD may experience single or recurrent episodes of depression. MDD may be mild, major or severe. The two primary symptoms of clinical depression are depressed mood and loss of interest in daily activities.
Living with HIV isn’t fun. But it’s not the end of the world either. There are good days and bad days. In this, the first of a series of articles and videos, I intend to take you “behind the scenes” of HIV for a closer look at what it truly is, and what to do if you become infected. As I write this post, I am having one of my bad days. So I thought it was the perfect time to write down what was on my mind in hopes that it might help some of you who have sent me emails with questions about the disease and what it’s like living with it.
Physically, the toll hasn’t been as bad as it has been emotionally. I’ve had some bouts of serious depression, which can paralyzed you to the point of not being able to function. Something I didn’t understand when I was first diagnosed. Something else you aren’t prepared for is the emotional toll the depression will take on you physically. At least in my experience. I went through all five stages of grief and then invented a couple of new ones I think.
Grief is an important emotion to understand because when you are first diagnosed you feel as if a part of you dies. Like the person you have known throughout your entire life since birth, at that very moment you hear the news, ceases to exist. Later you’ll learn that a new “you” is born. But in that moment of the most extreme grief I have ever experienced in my life, you can’t possibly understand this. There are several reasons for this which we will discuss later.
The House voted Wednesday to repeal the Democrats’ landmark health care overhaul, marking what the new Republican majority in the chamber hailed as the fulfillment of a campaign promise and the start of an all-out effort to dismantle President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement in what the GOP calls a…
Here what they just accomplished with their symbolic act – I hope they are PROUD of themselves.
When I started this new journey in my life, I knew it was going to test me in ways I have never been tested before. In fact it has. Learning you have HIV or any illness or disease can bring you to your knees and that’s exactly what happened to me. But I also knew that possibly the greatest challenge I would face would be confronting my own worse fears. It’s the worse challenges in life that shape our lives. It defines who we are as authentic people and what we are truly made of. While I have much to be proud of in walking this path so far, I know I still have a long difficult road to travel.
Why did I do it? Why did I tell the world? Why didn’t I just keep it a personal, private secret?
I certainly could have. Right? Most people wouldn’t want anyone to know. Most people would go to any length to hide it, and live in fear of anyone ever discovering their secret.
In this video I’ll tell you the reasons why I did not choose that path.
Steven Diamond, Founder of StopStressingNow.Com and Co-Founder of BeHappyForLife.Com shows you how he uses meditation and prayer to change a negative state of mind into a more positive and more productive state of being.
Every nine and half minutes someone else is infected with the HIV virus.
Stop. Think about that for a minute. Someone is being infected right now as you read this.
It maybe someone you know.
December 1st, is “World AIDS Day”.
The day we remember that 33 million people in the world have HIV
Spread Awareness, not the virus.
Because if you are sexually active at all, it CAN happen to you. Before we can stop any epidemic, we first have to recognize the magnitude of the disease. HIV is still a threat across the United States. And even though there are treatments to help people with HIV live longer than ever before, AIDS is still a significant health issue. Surprised?
Here are some other surprising facts: