Shawn + Gwenn

My 10,000 Days of HIV Summer

A few months ago I was curious about how many days I’ve been diagnosed with HIV. I did the math, starting at my diagnosis in March of 1987.  Turned out that this July marks roughly 10,000 days since a test result sent shockwaves through not only my family but my community in Waynesboro, Virginia, as well.  I was a scared kid at that time.  I just wanted to ignore the bad news.

I didn’t know my prognosis then- which was that the best case scenario saw me living another four years, to my 16th birthday.

Today, as of this post I am two days shy of my 39th birthday.  And I’m not ignoring the news- tonight I’m actually speaking to a local news outlet (WHSV) and my experiences living with HIV.  That kid who got diagnosed so many years ago could have imagined surviving- but would have never been able to see himself living openly with HIV.

So this summer is special.  I’m really enjoying it.  And I’m sure, if the fates allow, that I could make it to a 20,000 Days of HIV Summer in 2041… though, I’m thinking that by then they’ll have long since figured out a scientific solution for HIV as well as many of the other medical issues that affect us.

No matter what the future holds- I’m ready. And I’m happy as hell to be here.

Positively Yours,

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