Hey all.  This is my first blog ever so I will do my best to keep up with it.  I am a 20 year survivor of HIV/AIDS.  To put this in perspective, I was in the first clinical trials at USC for the drug DDI, one of the very first HIV drugs.  I have been living on the edge of our amazing medical advances ever since.  I've found that there are truly drawbacks to surviving something this damned thing.  Our health care and Social Security systems haven't kept up with our advances.  I am healthy enough to hold a 40 hour a week job and pay into the system but as many are aware to do so jeopardizes our medical coverage.  20 years ago we were told…"quit your job and take it easy, at best you only have 5 years to live"

So here I am 20 years later writing letters to members of Congress and the House of Representatives explaining that in order to be a "productive, tax paying American citizen"  I must break the rules and find jobs paying under the table.  The meds keep me healthy enough to work but if I take a "legitimate" job I lose those meds.  Private insurance wont cover a pre-existing condition for the first 365 days.  Most employer sponsored plans do the same thing.  Private insurance is so outrageously expensive for those of us with HIV that in order to make it work we need an income of close to 40K a year! 

I watched to debates last night and i'll be damned if they weren't all pushing for individuals to purchase their own health coverage.  The wealthiest (LOL) nation on the planet can not afford to keep it's tax-paying citizens healthy.  Those of us who are already stuck in the system are pretty much screwed.  We are supposed to sit home and wait for a check that amounts to 2/3 BELOW poverty level.  Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?  Chose ONE…you don't get all three 

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