Quite Positive

Quite Positive, Tim Savage: This is my life after learning I have HIV.

Can I beat the stereotype? Can I beat the odds?

I’m just a normal guy.

I work full-time in a high-energy professional job, I like to hike and swim, travel, shop, and hang out with my friends. I’m blonde-haired, blue-eyed, physically fit, 29 years old, and healthy.

Oh, and I also have HIV.

I could say the same cliche crap that all openly gay, HIV-positive guys say when talking about their illness. I could say that I was born into a loving, hardworking, church-going family… and I was. I could say that my lifestyle leading up to infection was no different than any other random queer on the street… and it wasn’t.

I won’t say those things, because they’re not important. HIV is an indiscriminate disease that attacks with no concern for how many people you’ve slept with, how you grew up, where you came from, or what you’ve done in your life.

I feel like the exact same person today that I was before I contracted this disease, but yet I am not.

Why? I’ll let you figure that out with me.

Quite Positive - This is my life after the test came back.

But on a serious note…

The purpose of this blog is to chronicle my experiences as a newly diagnosed HIV patient. I’ll be writing about my life before infection, my experiences with Acute HIV Infection (seroconversion), the psychological and social impact of my diagnosis, and my day-to-day physical and emotional struggles.

You are not alone, even though it often feels that way when you’re struggling to cope with the far-reaching consequences of an HIV diagnosis.

With antiretroviral combination therapy and other treatments, HIV patients can live long, relatively normal lives health-wise and never develop AIDS.

Yet, as I have learned the hard way, HIV is a very psychological disease. At this early stage of my infection, the emotional consequences of diagnosis have immeasurably surpassed the physical ones.

I have found the most important thing in coping and getting through each day has been having a solid support structure to lean on.

If — even in some minor way — this blog can become part of even one person’s support structure, it will have served its purpose.

Feel free to explore, read my pages and posts, and do not hesitate to let me know if you have questions or simply need someone to talk to.

Quite Positive - Recommended Reading Order

Although I believe that you can get tons of information from this blog by selectively picking through the posts, tags, and categories that are of interest to you… I would like to point out this blog was developed with a particular reading progression in mind.

The first three posts on this blog provide all the background on my lifestyle before infection, my symptoms and initial hospitalization, my diagnosis, and the impact this diagnosis had on my life immediately following my release from the hospital. They also provide a lot of insight into the emotions that I’ve experienced as the result of my HIV diagnosis, and the overall psychological impact of this disease.

They are about the length of average book chapters.

The day-by-day posts that follow the first three will likely make a lot more sense if you take the time to start from the beginning.

My reading recommendation is as follows:

  1. Winter 2011/2012: My life before HIV infection…
  2. January/February 2012: The month from Hell…
  3. February 2012: Reality sets in…

Please feel free to comment or contact me if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, or simply need someone to talk to. Thanks!