Alright first let me  explain a few things. Long before I began HIV meds, I have been perscribed several medications that have to be injected. Over 10 years ago, my body quit making sufficient testosterone levels which is not uncommon for men with HIV.  My doctor at the time, did a baseline blood test for Test. levels and after finding that my levels were less than HALF of what it should be for a man my age, put me on a weekly regimen of testosterone. After using the skin gel and finding that I hated the slimy feel of it on my skin, I had the doctor switch me to a once a week injection of Test. No problem. I quickly overcame any aversion to needles and found that I could give myself the intermuscular shot myself which also saved me countless trips to the doctors office…The upside to this is that I inject myself once a week and then I can forget about it…The downside, and it's a minor one, is that it has given me the male equivalent of a "cycle"!  lol  Yeah….On the first two days after "testosterone day" I have a huge SPIKE in my blood levels…..I feel as though I could lift a bus off of an accident victim if I had to!……then it levels out for most of the week….BUT by the day before my next shot, it suddenly plummets and I find myself crying over dog food commercials or screaming at the TV…… GUYS….never underestimate the power of PMS….If your girlfriend  or wife is "havin' a moment"….take heed and don't cross her! 

I have also been injecting B-12 for at least as long and it really seems to help my stamina levels and basic sense of well-being . For that I use the hair-fine insulin syringes that diabetics use….They come in a package of a dozen and can be bought at any pharmacy . For those squeemish about needles ,I'll tell you that they have come light years from what they used to be…Often times, even with the large gauge needle that I have to use for my intermuscular testosterone shot, they often times don't even draw a drop of blood when I use them….OF course, practice makes perfect and I've been doing this a long time…

Alright , this leads me to my beef.  First of  all my "new" doctor of less than a year was clearly uncomfortable with the thought of me injecting myself. I quickly put that to rest by telling him flatly that I wasn't going to come in once or more a week just to get something done that I could so myself in the privacy and comfort of my own home! He let it rest but I can tell he still doesn't like it….Waaah….too bad.

MY REAL beef comes when I have run out of syringes before it's time to renew my Rxs for either testosterone or B-12….I usually remember to buy them at the same time I'm getting my RXs filled at Wallgreens but sometimes I forget…

 

In those times, instead of driving into the city, I have gone to a local CVS pharmacy here  in my neighborhood and on another occasion the pharmacy in my local Kroger Supermarket….

In BOTH instances I was treated with open suspicion and even blatant  disrespect with more than one pharmacist implying that I had a drug habit.

Now here's the problem: I am VERY well aware about IV drug use….I have had friends who were IV drug users and I have LOST friends who were addicts….Hear me clearly when I say….In NO case has the availability of IV needles "turned" someone into an addict….Needles no more make someone take drugs any more than condoms MAKE someone have sex!  To paraphrase a well-known saying usually used for gun advocacy  " Needles don't kill people….addicts with DIRTY needles kill people!"

I was needless to say dismayed that ATLANTA, a city that touts itself as " An international City" has NO CLEAN NEEDLE or NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM…leaving it up to addicts to share needles or at best, clean them themselves, something that believe me ISN'T on the top 10 priority list for an IV drug user!  This backward  thinking is mirrored in Georgia's public school system that perpetuates the preposterous notion  that if we educate our children about sex then we are going to MAKE them have sex!….Believe me folks, coming from someone who experienced sex at an early age….Your kids are going to experiment sexually whether you educate them about it or NOT.   Again, needles don't make go out and create a drug habit any more than distributing condoms MAKE anyone go out and have sex!…This  tail wagging the dog mentality has GOT to stop!   ATLANTA needs to wake up!

Any feedback is welcome, but feedback and suggestions from anyone who lives in a fairly progressive city that has a clean needle program is especially welcome.

Rant Over, Loki out

 

3 Comments
  1. Loki 12 years ago

    LOL  Xcaliber, that's what I get for not proof-reading my blogs before hitting Enter!  What I mean't to write was " crying over dog food commercials!" not "crying over dog food!"  I've gone back and corrected it, but I have to admit that the first draft was funnier!

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  2. Loki 12 years ago

    It's all good LoJo, you don't have to agree with me….That's one reason I posted this, to get all sides and opinions on the subject…One of the problems in Atlanta and other backwards places is that nobody wants to talk about drugs, sex, HIV or anything considered taboo for that matter. And i t will ramain that way untill people are willing to being it out into the open.

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  3. Loki 12 years ago

    Thanks for the update Sam!  Even  if it wasn't the best news at the moment, it got us up to speed…

    DrelRock, I was just watching a National Geographic special 2 nights ago. It was part of theire ongoing series called " Taboo" . This particulear episode focused on drug addiction, in particular heroin…..It  went inside the InSite Center that you just mentioned for an up-close-and-personal view of the place and its patients, both the in-house ones, and the "out patients" ( the people who are living on the street).

    Whereas a subject like this would be hard for a lot of people to witness like this, it was an incredible eye-opener. The narrator also mentioned that this program was the ONLY one of its kind in the western hemisphere!

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