POZ Stories : Max Shenk

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May 10, 2013

Max Shenk

Max Shenk
Max Shenk
Chicago, Illinois
Positive since 2013
I was diagnosed in January 2013. I started meds in February. I'm almost undetectable and my white blood cell count is gradually recovering.

I was in a bad place emotionally and physically before I got help. I knew that I was HIV positive for two years but was scared to confront reality. I avoided the real issues in my life by constantly smoking marijuana.

I learned so many things about modern medicine and the advancements in treating HIV. For a long time I had given up on life but now I have a second chance at being healthy and happy. Deciding to get help was one of the scariest things I've ever had to do but it's also one of the most important!

What three adjectives best describe you?
Sarcastic, funny, kind

What is your greatest achievement?
Getting in treatment for HIV

What is your greatest regret?
The time I waited before getting into treatment

What keeps you up at night?
My thoughts keep me up sometimes

If you could change one thing about living with HIV, what would it be?
The stigma and fear of being honest with everyone in my life

What is the best advice you ever received?
Stay strong and never give up on yourself.

What person in the HIV/AIDS community do you most admire?
Jamar Rogers!

What drives you to do what you do?
The will to live

What is your motto?
Relax and enjoy the moments.

If you had to evacuate your house immediately, what is the one thing you would grab on the way out?
My iphone. Sad but true

If you could be any animal, what would you be? And why?
I’m happy being a human.

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Steven, Texas, 2014-07-20 00:03:15
Glad your doing better! I too was afraid to face reality. And I got really bad before I started meds. Glad to read your story. My iPhone would also be the first thing I'd grab too!

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