A Long Time Survivor
Ed Shaw was diagnosed with HIV in August 1988, at the age of 47. During that period he had a lot of acquaintances and friends that were hospitalized, so he decided to take an HIV test. He did not know much about the virus. During the 80s HIV was seen as a "white gay men disease". Ed felt he had nothing to worry about. Two weeks after getting tested, he found out he was HIV positive. The news felt like a death sentence; he never thought in his wildest dreams that he would live passed the age of 48. Little did he know; today he is 70 years old and has lived with the infection for more than two decades.
Ed told me you have to make the right decisions in order to live a long life with the virus. He had to make a lot of changes in the way he was living. Importantly, his family and friends supported him. He said that it is very important not to give up, even when coping with HIV it feels very hard. Despite his busy schedule, he makes sure to take time off to enjoy life. He has found new interests and has replaced the things he cannot do anymore.