Thursday, July 19, 2012


"Magenta. That’s what I call it when I get that way. All kinds of feelings tumbling all over themselves. You know, you’re not quite blue, ‘cause you’re not really sad. And although you’re a little bit jealous you wouldn’t say you’re green with envy. And every now and then you realize you’re kinda scared, but you would hardly call yourself yella’. I hate that feeling! I just hate it. and I hate the color magenta. That’s why I named it that, Magenta."
 - Blanche Devereaux

I did two things today. I got a haircut and then I got my first-ever-in-my-life prescription for HIV medication. One of these things has made me feel rull rull magenta. And yeah, I'm not quite blue about it, not like depressed or anything. I'm a little bit "Why me?" but not exactly envious of those who are not HIV positive or don't need HIV medication. I have some nerves and concerns but I'm not "yella" (Oh Blanche!). So yes, I'm just kinda angsty, twisty, a bit gloomy, ya know...magenta.

I've been HIV positive for over 7 years now and I am just starting medication. HIV is a very mysterious disease and I’ve yet to really experience any of the physical effects of the disease. I mostly wasn't taking medication because I am physically healthy. But there is a part of me that is afraid to go on meds because that means, I’m sick. It’s a little reminder every day that I am infected and need treatment. It's a new stage of acceptance I guess.

I go to the doctor four times a year for labs in which they test my blood to see how all of my cells are doing and to see how much of the virus is in my blood. I go in one week before my actual appointment. They draw the blood and then I wait a week for the results. I hate that week. I think of these as my Seasonique weeks. Ya know that birth control pill where you only get your raging intense period 4 times a year? Yeah. It’s like that. Blood and all.  After the blood is drawn I spend the rest of the week wondering, what if this is it? What if this is the round of labs where I find out I’m unhealthy? Where I find out I’m sick?? Where I find out that my T-cells have plummeted and my viral lode has exploded??? And I am scared of it. All of this causes a certain amount of anxiety that I have to combat every day.

...So I'm a bit over this frustration.

There is another reason I have decided to start swallowing a pill every day. I WANT A FUCKING BOYFRIEND! Ok. not really, but yeah, kind of.  Turns out that being on medication, having a low to non existent viral load makes you much more marketable. Being able to bandy about the phrase "Undetectable" on your on line dating  / gay butt sex hook up profile basically adds 4 inches to your cock size. Despite the fact that you might not feel any different, being undetectable makes you seem healthier and more attractive and less toxic to both positive and negative guys alike. I can't tell you how many times I've had negative guys ask me on line if I am on medication. But that is another topic for another time.

The whole situation is magenta. Which I think is a really great metaphor for my relationship to HIV in general. HIV has never been red for me. It's never been volatile or dangerous. It's never been green in any emotional color. I've never become ill from it. Nor do I resent those that are not positive.  My times of yellow, fear, worry are past me. I'm not particularly blue about being positive. Each day I work past shame and guilt and I work very very very hard at not being depressed.  It's silent. It's secret. It's a big 'what if'.  It's awkward. It's a stigma. It's off center. It's tough to bring up. It's not easily understood. It's not well articulated.  It's angsty. It's moody. It's contemplative. It's magenta. And that is all it is. And all it hopefully ever will be... magenta.


lebofsk said...

Thank you so much for being so open and honest. This post is beautiful...on many levels.

Kate Hughes said...

Love you ... Also, when in doubt, Blanche has the perfect answer