Man shares story of contracting HIV as child
The City Council will meet with the department on Thursday to discuss how to prevent the virus from continuing to spread.
WDSU TV spoke to a man with HIV who said addressing this is crucial, http://www.cheapjerseys11.com/ especially since, New Orleans is consistently one of the top five cities in the country for new cases of HIV.
«I started having night sweats,» Smith said. «They were really bad and we didn’t know where it was coming from. I would wake up in the morning and the entire bed was like I peed in the bed. I can’t think of any other way to put it and I was exhausted.»
So Smith and his mother went to the doctor.
«You are sitting in a doctor’s office with your mother and you know they’re trying to explain something to you,» Smith said. «I just kind of zoned out because I figured that’s on her, she will deal with it. Until he said well he has about six months to a year to live.»
Smith started treatment and is now 51 years old.
«In the morning I take about seven or eight pills,» Smith said. «In the evening about maybe five.»
Nicholas Van Sickels, chief medical officer at CrescentCare Health, said in addition to using protection, taking the drug known as PREP is a way to protect yourself.
«It’s basically using medications that we use to treat people living with HIV but taking them when you are not infected with HIV to prevent you from getting HIV,» Van Sickels said.
But it’s not cheap. Van Sickels said it could cost as much as $1,200 a month for a 30 day supply.
Insurance offers some coverage, but Van Sickels’ office helps people who can’t afford it get the medication they need. His office also promotes education on condom use and not sharing needles.
Van Sickels said someone who seeks treatment early can live a normal life.
Like Smith, who went from six months to a year to live to surviving 37 cheap jerseys years with the virus.
«I am not ashamed of myself,» Smith said. «Other people may feel I should be but I’m not. I am a 51 year old man that’s HIV positive and don’t care who knows.»
The Department of Health said Thursday it will provide information to the city about new initiatives that are being planned: things like HIV testing activities, medical care initiatives for those living with HIV, and more on the PREP drug.