I was recently asked to give a presentation for the launch of a new HIV drug as part of the Five Nations Conference in London. My presentation was all about my own personal story as someone living with HIV and in particular adherence and my relationship with the medication. 

I used some of my paintings as slides. This was my commentary in regard to the painting above – The Positive Pantomime.

Another aspect of our relationship with drugs is their names.   We find them very difficult to remember – or even pronounce. Ask any positive person what combination they’re on and they will probably reply – “Oh, a pink one, an orange one and a blue one.”
And some of the names – for instance, Kivexa and Kaletra sound like posh girl’s names – Kivexa go to your room. Kaletra I’ve told you we can’t afford another pony. 

In my support group, Thrivine, we came up with the idea for a positive pantomime, where all the characters would be named after the drugs. There would be Prince Ritonovir,  the dashing Maravoric and Atazanavir and Abacavir the ugly sisters.  We’ve yet to stage it, but if we do, I’d like to play the Good Fairy.  Abracadabravir  – I would cure everyone with a wave of my magic wand.

I also spoke about my dog Lady Doodles of course, who as you know regularly writes my blogs for me and who played the starring role in the final video.
This is how I brought my presentation to a close.

The greatest day in this whole journey for me was when my consultant shook my hand and told me that the HIV virus was now undetectable.
“Would you repeat that?” I asked him, afraid that I’d misheard.
Undetectable,  such a lovely word. I went around all day singing to myself –  Undetectable, that’s what you are…… undetectable ….. da da da da

To end here’s a small film to commemorate some of the many things I’ve been able to achieve thanks to modern day medication and because of the great help, support and commitment I’ve received along the way.
From the bottom of my H A A R T – Thank you



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