By Jena Alfred /
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hat if the first news at the beginning of a New Year was the worst news of your life? To answer that question, meet Daniel Lorenz (not real name) who lived that moment. A week into the New Year in 2014, he tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as a 17 years old.
In a close encounter with The Seminole Scribe, Lorenz revealed how he became infected with the virus. According to him, he “trusted someone” he barely knew. As a young man interested in older men, he became momentarily involved with a person who was not honest with him: He was sexually intimate with an older man who had HIV. After that encounter, he never heard from the guy again.
“The problem that I face is when I try to find someone to build a relationship with; I have to let them know I am HIV positive or receive jail time for not informing others” [should he get sexually active with the person and infect him).
To live with HIV and prolong his life, Lorenz takes two medications regularly on a daily basis: Truvada and Trivicay. These cost over $3,000 for dosage. Luckily, his medical insurance provider is currently picking up the tab.
Lorenz said he cannot afford not to take any of the pills daily because a failure will make his body lose immunity and dramatically become less resistant to the medication.
According to Avert, “If a person becomes infected with HIV, they will find it harder to fight off infections and diseases. The virus destroys a type of white blood cell called a T-helper cell and makes copies of itself inside them. T-helper cells are also referred to as CD4 cells.”
Basic facts about HIV
- HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus.
- If left untreated, it can take around 10 to 15 years for AIDS to develop, which is when HIV has severely damaged the immune system.
- With early diagnosis and effective antiretroviral treatment, people with HIV can live a normal, healthy life.
- HIV is found in the following body fluids of an infected person: semen, blood, vaginal and anal fluids and breast milk.
- HIV cannot be transmitted through sweat, saliva or urine.
- According to UK statistics, the most common way for someone to become infected with HIV is by having anal or vaginal sex without a condom.
- You can also risk infection by using infected needles, syringes or other drug-taking equipment (blood transmission), or from mother-to-child during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.