Living With HIV

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
POZ Focus

Back to home » HIV 101 » POZ Focus » Living With HIV

Table of Contents

September 23, 2008

Living With HIV

Going the Distance

Look How Far We’ve Come

Beating the Odds

Staying a Step Ahead

The Lazarus Effect

What You're Talking About
Losing Hope (blog) (20 comments)

You Can't Hurry Love (14 comments)

I Watched Charlie Sheen on The Dr. Oz Show So You Don't Have To (blog) (14 comments)

Charlie Sheen S&%ts On 30 Years of AIDS Activism (blog) (13 comments)

Remember Their Names: World AIDS Day 2015 (blog) (12 comments)

Prudential to Offer Individual Life Insurance to People With HIV (7 comments)
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


Living With HIV

by Liz Highleyman

The fact that HIV-positive people can live long, healthy lives comes as a surprise to many, including Hector Melia, a 49-year-old native of the Bronx, New York. “I found out that I had HIV in 1991 when I had a really bad infection in my foot,” he said. “My doctors didn’t think I would live for very long, and I didn’t think to question their logic. But I’m still here, almost 20 years later.”

Melia, however, will be the first to admit that his long-term survival hasn’t always been easy. “I’ve been on [HIV] medications for 15 years,” he says. “It was hard, getting used to the pills and the side effects, but I’m really good about taking them.” In fact, he credits his good adherence for his excellent lab results: an undetectable viral load and 410 CD4s at last count.

His healthy numbers keep Melia at a low risk for typical AIDS-related problems, such as opportunistic infections (OIs) and wasting syndrome. But he, like many people living with HIV, must consider other challenges when it comes to long-term living with the virus—and its treatment.

For example, long-term antiretroviral (ARV) treatment requires long-term planning, not only with medical issues, but also with services and support you might need to ensure that nothing gets in the way of your health care. What’s more, people with HIV may be at an increased risk for age-related health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, and need to take steps to prevent and treat them.   

This POZ Focus explores some tips and tricks to surviving and thriving with HIV. “Every morning, I look in the mirror and tell myself, ‘I can do this,’” Melia says. “I’ve been blessed with many more years than anybody thought was possible”—and he fully expects to enjoy many more.  

Search: longevity, living longer

Scroll down to comment on this story.


(will display; 2-50 characters)


(will NOT display)


(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules

Show comments (0 total)

[ Go to top ]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Has a pet helped you deal with your HIV?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.