HIV Meds + Meth = Death
I don’t need some medical experts to tell me taking HIV meds and using Tina are a deadly combination l recently had some living examples in my life to bring the message home perfectly clear.
The problem is simple: being a continual (read addicted) meth user negates much of the therapeutic powers of HIV meds which keep infections, the nemesis of a poz guy, at bay. Wipe out that wall of defense and you could be done for. Sooner or later.
Take two guys l knew who used to be partners, Ted and Cody, two six foot four burly hairy macho men. Ted, with a zoology degree under his belt, had a promising career at the Cleveland Zoo but traded it for the easy life under the Florida sun and minimum wage jobs. Cody, with a business degree, had operated a men’s clothing store in Boystown, Chicago, but had already hitched a ride on the Meth Train, destination Nowhere, when he decided to sell his business and move down to Fort Lauderdale where he reopened his shop just off the Wilton Manors gay ghetto.
The two of them, both HIV positive before moving to Florida, met in the late nineties at Lauderdale’s Club baths. Their lust was unbounded – Ted left his job at a local Walgreens to work side by side with Cody at the store – but once Lady T entered the picture, the sex never stopped. Nor the drain on what money the store brought in. Eventually the place went under and both were back at making what they could at odd jobs, occasion escorting, and dealing the shit.
It was obvious to guys like me who knew them both that Tina was taking its toll (their once rugged, manly looks were morphing into the faces of two men old before their times) despite them being supposedly good boys and taking their HIV meds when they remembered to. Ever know a genuine meth head? They always seem to be in a different time zone from the rest of us.
Fast forward to last fall. Cody nevers wakes up from a nap. Dead at 52. And just three months later Ted, totally destitute, moves back to Cincinnati to live with his sister and dies in the hospital of pneumonia, age 48.
Then there’s David, one of the top twenty handsomest men in South Florida who as pretty as he was held a good job as a VP in local electronics company. How he held down a day job and still get high almost every night was a mystery to me from the first time we fucked. Now less than ten years since we met, Dave has been in the hospital half a dozen times with ailments that are slowly ravaging his insides. The last time I saw him out and about his infectious smile was gone and he was beginning to look like an old man in spite of the fact he could have been my son.
When l think of Dave or Cody or Ted all that comes to mind is: What a waste of prime man meat.