Josh’s Story – Living with HIV

January 15, 2020 0 By Jose Scott

>>RYAN: When I first met you I didn’t know
what to expect.>>JOSHUA: We had nothing in common.>>RYAN: Nothing in common. We are from two
different…>>JOSHUA: Night and day, quiet and loud,
it was nothing in common whatsoever. At first I was a little questionable if it
was you or not when you were walking up because I didn’t expect you to be 5’8″. [laugh]>>RYAN: You’re just never gonna let my height
go.>>JOSHUA: Not at all. I could have sworn
up and down in all the conversations you were gonna be taller for some reason.>>RYAN: Even though my profile said 5’7″
actually.>>JOSHUA: I don’t know what it was, but I
could definitely get with it all that appeal going on.>>RYAN: I had no expectations. I wanted to
meet you. I wanted to see you, with your flaws, with just in your environment and who you
was, and I fell in love with that.>>JOSHUA:The day I was diagnosed I was at
work. There was a gentleman on the other line, it was from an unknown number. So I just decided
to answer it. The gentleman just asked for me, by my name. And I said this is he. And
he said, well I have your test results in. And I said well do you need me to come in?
Do we schedule an appointment? He said, no, I’m gonna give it to you now, and you’re positive.>>JOSHUA: I had family members that struggled
with HIV. I wasn’t aware of what was going on ’cause I was only eight years old. I just
was aware I had to attend a funeral. To come home from school I still, I don’t know how,
but I still remember every moment, every feeling of it to come home from school, and my mom
just to call me into the room and say we need to talk. Here comes mom with all these pamphlets
and she tried her best to explain what she could. I mean at eight how do you process
HIV, granted they’re three letters, but…>>JOSHUA: It was heart-wrenching for me and
my sister because we, the three of us was like the trio. They called us the Three Musketeers.
And then to learn that my aunt and my uncle was living with the same thing my cousin died
of, and to see the medications they had to take and the different pills dispensers they
had was just, I guess you could say upsetting. I was just very shattered and broken.>>JOSHUA: Knowing that they were taking the
medicine and they still died, kind of gave some, I guess some rage and stigma of my own
towards the medication. Which related to why I was so against it at first. One doctor was
expressing treatment to me, but I ran from it and it was like, it’s not happening.>>RYAN: You experiencing that with the pills
and the loss of your aunt and uncle, because you were so broken, your heart was broken.>>JOSHUA: My greatest fear was actually not
being able to see my nephew graduate. And I just remember him talking to my mom and
asking her, what was wrong with me and what was going on. And he just let out, he said,
is Uncle Josh gonna die? I had to sit down and have the conversation with him so I might
as well say I changed his life with three letters as well. Just for him to turn around
and still hug and smile and say, well Uncle Josh, I love you anyways. And for that feeling
of love and to be needed, I was just, like, I can’t live like this. I need my hope back.
And Cory was that beacon of hope for me.>>JOSHUA: After that decision, that was another
light bulb that went on. Seeing all the pills my aunt and uncle had to take, I was like,
I didn’t want to be that person. And I started eating better, I started actually sleeping
correctly. It’s been phenomenal for me. I just can’t speak highly enough about this
one pill.>>JOSHUA: Just to see him walk across that
stage and accept his diploma is just exciting, and the more exciting factor of him graduating
is I’m here to see it. You know, medication, therapy and my change of outlook and my change
of life is what made all that possible.