‘Living with this chronic condition’

First being diagnosed feels like you have been given a life sentence. You feel isolated and alone. You are left within the whirlwind of your thoughts and emotions. It is a mental and emotional rollercoaster of coming to terms with the new reality that you have HIV.

Though it can be seen as a life sentence in terms of it being a lifelong medical condition, you remain free. This is one of many chapters in your life; with much of the journey and its conclusion still to be written. It is a new chapter and a new beginning of self-awareness, individual purpose, and happiness.

Living with this chronic condition undoubtedly has its calm waters and turbulent storms, but it doesn’t define who you are.  You have the power to chart your course, on your journey through life. That being said, turn living with HIV from a perceived weakness into a strength. Recognize it for what it is, but also have the realization that it brought forth positive change in your life. I know this to be true, because I too am HIV positive. With one step forward at a time, let us enjoy this journey together.

—James C.

Steubenville, Ohio 

Clarification: A statement in an article in the May+June issue (“Struggling with COPD”) implied that the medication Anoro Ellipta contains a steroid. It does not. The patient went back on Anoro and is doing well with her breathing once again.