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A Veteran's Story: Living 25 Years with HIV

veteran's storyI am writing this as a personal testimonial to the excellent care I receive from VA. It is a gift, for which I am profoundly grateful. In 1986, I was diagnosed with HIV. Since that time, I have received all my medical care from the VA Medical System. I have other health concerns unrelated to HIV. However, I remain relatively healthy because of the excellent treatment I have received, which has mitigated the problems associated with my being HIV+. With antiviral medication provided by the VA, as well as continuous monitoring by my primary care provider, I have reduced my viral load to zero and maintained it at this level for many years. I continue to live a very active and highly productive life.

Participating in my own health care and being aware of the importance of my own attitude and actions has enabled me to live with this disease successfully. I have accepted the fact that, in order to maintain my health, I must follow certain rules. These include meticulous adherence to a specific health regimen, continuous monitoring, regular interaction with health care givers, and immediate treatment of symptoms. I have come to understand that if one is not willing to participate in their care, then the quality of care does not make any difference. Thus, the excellent VA care, in conjunction with my personal initiative, has been a lifesaver for me.

I offer my thanks for the services the VA has given me. I know the VA provides the same services to countless other Veterans throughout the country, who are affected by this disease. I am sure that they too feel fortunate to have the VA available to them for care and support.

Charlie

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  • HIV During the last 30 years, the Veterans Administration has provided treatment services for HIV+ Veterans.

  • What is Healthy Living? Practicing healthy living generally makes people feel good and have more energy than people who do not practice healthy habits. So what are these healthy living habits?

  • Taking an Active Role in Your Health Care One of the best things you can do for yourself is to take an active role in your health care. This means learning about your health, participating in decision making, and following the treatment plan you have developed with your health care team

  • Talk to your Health Care Provider Your health care provider is there to help you with your health, and the two of you are partners for that purpose. That means that you need to be involved in your health care and do things to make your visits productive


Updated/Reviewed: December 1, 2011