ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

HIVINE is written by HIV positive women but still with a sense of humour

I Will Survive

birthday mexican head sq

When I was first diagnosed with HIV the general prognosis at the time as to how long I would survive was eight to ten years, but with the help of medication I was told by my specialist which was improving all the time, a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude, anything was possible. I was so ill at that point, I didn’t think I would survive another year let alone make it to my sixtieth birthday, so I was somewhat surprised and a little confused (although I believe that is all par to the course of being a pensioner) to find myself celebrating my very special day last week surrounded by my amazing family and wondrous circle of friends, some of whom I have only had the privilege to meet because of HIV.

A matter of further confusion to me was that half my family arrived in a mini bus from Wales cunningly disguised as Mexicans complete with black mustachios (disturbingly this also included the women and children) wearing brightly striped ponchos and huge sombreros, whilst madly strumming guitars and rattling maracas. The reason for this being I’d wanted to hire a real Mexican Mariachi band to serenade us and sing happy birthday to me in Spanish but it was far too expensive – for example two measly Mexicans cost £700 so you can imagine how much a whole posse would cost. As it turned out my family made an excellent job of singing happy birthday to me and more to the point they didn’t cost anything. Added to this my motley Mexican/Welsh Mariachis (and not forgetting our Great Uncle Peter the Godfather of the family) provided me with a lasting memory which makes me smile every time I think of it and helped to make it a truly wonderful occasion and a birthday I will never forget, unless of course due to my now ripe old age Alzheimer’s suddenly kicks in.

I can’t believe I’m sixty – it is making me feel quite disorientated, but I believe at my age that is also a common ailment. I don’t feel sixty, although I might look it thanks to the damage HIV and the meds have caused to my skin and my body shape. But what do a few wrinkles matter and I don’t really need a bottom anymore apart from to hold my jeans up and due to my advanced years I suppose I’ll have to stop wearing those soon. The fact is I’m still here, that’s the main thing and now what is termed as a long time survivor.

When I was getting ready for my party I was putting my make up on in an attempt to disguise the ravages of time and HIV as best I could, when my son popped his head round the door. “You look great mum,” he enthused, “don’t pay any attention to that stupid mirror.”

The new sixty year old me who is already suffering from an identity crisis, was alarmed to hear that I had also become the victim of identity theft. Unbeknown to me I had apparently changed my address and now resided in Manchester and was the kind of pensioner who liked to spend £700 at any one time in Asda. Does my impersonator not realise that pensioners do not tend to have that kind of money and due to financial hardship and a tightening of the purse strings I am now and have been for some time, a confirmed Aldi and Lidl shopper. Perhaps my impersonator would also like to come and write this blog for me? I’ve since changed my log in information and password of course, but if you do notice a sudden change in my writing style or my blogging character, please let me know because apparently at my age this kind of memory loss and abrupt personality change tends to happen. Perhaps my impersonator was the disgusting, beneath contempt (swearword) person who wrote a message on this blog proclaiming – AIDS is great, it kills people, which of course I instantly deleted.

Anyway, enough about that, it takes all sorts unfortunately, but luckily I am surrounded by the right sort of people and this was very apparent at my birthday party. I had a wonderful night and I know for a fact that if it hadn’t been for the support of my family and friends who travelled from far and wide and from all corners of the globe, well Holland and Ibiza, not to mention Birmingham, Wales and Lower Darwen to be with me, I would not be alive and kicking the sh** (if you’ll pardon the expression) out of HIV related stigma and discrimination. Without their total unconditional love and support I would not be here writing this blog or have been able to do all the things I’ve done. So this is thanks to them and I wish that all positive people in the world could be offered that same love and support that I’ve been blessed by, because believe me, it means so much. So here’s to them and here’s to us ‘pozzers’ and long may we reign over the small minded people who try to bring us down with their undeserved stigma and discrimination.


  Radio activist- Viv wrote @

You don’t look 60 – in fact you looked very beautiful at your party. Don’t forget you had one guest who travelled all the way from Portsmouth and another from Tonbridge both of whom came via North Wales.

We loved being Mexicans!


  Jennie wrote @

Here Here,
and a very happy belated birthday to a very special inspirational lady. xx

  kat wrote @

glad you had a great time, a belated birthday to you! keep up the good work!

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