But at some point, as my health deteriorated, I made the decision that I needed change. I needed help. And I’m so glad that the Ryan White system of care was there to help me.
The way I was raised, asking for help in and of itself carried its own stigma. But the Ryan White providers, and specifically the JPS Healing Wings clinic and its caring staff, helped ease a lot of my fears about stigma. But it took a lot of effort on my part to get the help that I needed, and to become the person I am today.
The doctors can prescribe the meds you need. Help you find a way to afford the medications. Refer you to the ancillary services you need. But ultimately, it’s up to you to follow through.
The first big step is simply just to take your HIV medication exactly how you’re instructed to. And trust me, it’s not always the easiest thing to do. But you do get used to it, and it’s the best thing you can do for your overall health and mental wellness.