I am 28. White. A Female. And a former Peace Corps Volunteer. I am HIV Positive. This is my story of how a few months, a few people, and a few events in Zambia changed me and my life forever. This is the story of how I contracted HIV and brought my Peace Corps Journey to a crashing halt... and how I am working now to pick up and put back together the pieces of my life as a newly diagnosed person living with HIV. This was not the journey I had originally planned... my path has traumatically and dramatically changed... but it is the one I am on now. There is no going back. There is only forward. I welcome you to follow along with me as I attempt to explore this new life ahead of me, whether you are someone from the Peace Corps community, or someone living with HIV. I welcome your comments, questions, suggestions, and opinions. Let us go forward together. To start from the beginning, click here He Gave Me More Than A Bracelet.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Some Good News

I called to get my latest lab results on Friday. Unfortunately, not all of the results were ready… we are still waiting for the viral load to come back. However, I did get my CD4 count, and it was way better that I would have ever guessed or hoped for! 675!  
This is up from a 340 count 6 weeks ago, and is 200 points higher than any count I’ve ever had since this all started!

I’m so thankful for this bit of good news. Hopefully I’ll get some more good news in a few days and find that my viral load is undetectable… Cross your fingers!

What am I doing to stay healthy and get my numbers where they should be? Taking my meds. Eating healthy. Emergen-C and Vitamin packets. And a bit of exercise (although I could probably stand to do a bit more). All of these things play a role in keeping a person healthy and keeping that CD4 up. (Also, if my viral load is in fact finally at undetectable, that can play a huge role in allowing my CD4 to increase and stay up.)


  1. Yeah, we are so excited. Can't wait to hear the rest of the results.

  2. I've been following your blog for awhile now and I'm so excited by the great news! I'm also living in Zambia (not with PC; I'm teaching) and have been so impressed by your candor, honesty, and ability to open up about such a private thing in such a public forum. Please know that your blog is increasing awareness, creating change, and I honestly believe, helping to save lives.

    A Zambian friend of mine was recently diagnosed (I was with her when she got her results) and I'm shocked by the amount of stigma that still exists within communities where the infection rate is sky-high; she has been ashamed and very nervous about telling people. Although she lives next door to a clinic, we had to go across town to another clinic to start her ARV medications because she didn't want anyone she knew seeing her visiting the clinic.

    Regardless, I showed your blog to her and she was very impressed; as she reads more, she has more hope and has been able to tell some of her family members about her status. The other day, she said that you are one of the bravest women she's known. I thought you should know that.

    I can't wait to show her this post--I know she will get so much hope from reading about your numbers. Also, it will show her the importance of the ARVs becoming just a part of your normal, everyday life. Like you said, it's a new "normal."

    Thanks again; you really are an inspiration.