HIV Longevity Still Fighting…


A Quarter Century and Counting

A quarter of a century is exactly how long ago that I found out that I was HIV positive. I'm really not sure when I contracted the virus, but I do know that I was told in our den by my mom and dad on Saturday, January 3, 1987.

    That is 25 years, 1 month, and 13 days ago ... But who's counting?

More precisely, it was 9,175 days ago.

If you want to get technical, you could also say that I've been living with it for at least 1,310 weeks (rounded down).

I suppose more technical would be 220,201 hours.

Yet closer would be 13,212,063 minutes.

Closest that I can estimate is 792,720,180 seconds (give or take a second).

But—like I said—who's counting?

Considering that my doctor told me that I had fewer than two years to live, I would say I’m a walking, talking, freaking miracle! I’m not trying to be cocky, and I honestly do try to remain humble … The fact-of-the-matter is that I am alive and kicking despite my doctor’s prediction and despite this horrendous virus that has taken more than 30,000,000 people to an early grave.


Think about that number for a moment …

  • 30,000,000 is 1/10th of the population of America!
  • 30,000,000 is nearly 10,000,000 more people than the entire population of Australia!
  • 30,000,000 is as much as the population of Belgium, Greece, and the Czech Republic all combined!
  • 30,000,000 is DOUBLE how many people died worldwide in World War I
  • 30,000,000 is more than 100 times the amount of US soldiers that died during the Vietnam war!
  • 30,000,000 miles is about how far away Mars is from Earth!
  • 30,000,000 km is the distance you would travel in 1 second at warp 4.4 (according to the “Broken Bow” episode of the Star Trek: Enterprise series)!

Sorry … I didn’t mean to be flippant about this subject, but I had to find a way to fit Star Trek into this conversation. Plus, it did help to lighten the mood after listing such staggering statistics. Carry on.

On my fortieth birthday I celebrated being 40 and surviving for 20 years. This year I will celebrate my 45th birthday, and surviving for a quarter century.

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Not a damned thing.

I've lived for more than 25 years with this confounded virus, and I plan to live for at least 25 more. Actually, it is my intention to live into my eighties, which would have me surviving HIV for 60+ years!!! I honestly believe that I am just the man for the job.

'Nuff said for now.

Your friend,
the Survivor

p.s. Regardless of whether you are impressed or not so much, please comment and let me know your thoughts.

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Posted by Vaughn Ripley

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Nice post, lots of #’s there.
    For me this will be year 28 “surviving” bleeding disorder , 2 pet viruses , 2 brain hemorrhages , heart attack , gangsters , stupid people , insane doctors , floods , hurricanes and women.

    🙂 cant wait to see what happens next!

  2. My brother-in-law is also HIV positive and has been for over 10 years (I am not sure exactly how long). He calls HIV the “new diabetes”…manageable with the proper treatment. No longer a death sentence for most people who are able to access the latest medical interventions. Congrats on your quarter of a century!

  3. Vaughn, Thanks for your realistic but optimistic blog. I’m a dad to a 6mo baby boy who introduced us to severe hemophilia A at his birth (otherwise my knowledge of it was a kid I knew in middle school who bruised easy). Your posts are refreshing to see how you live life regardless of what cards were dealt. As a new parent to this I have spent many late nights absorbing as much info to help my son and others in the community live a fulfilling life. Your posts about family, life, fitness/nutrition are enjoyable and inspirational …keep it up!

  4. Mike – I’m sorry that you’re going through this too. It ain’t easy being human. Loved the “women” being thrown in there. Funny stuff!

    Carrie – It’s true that it is manageable for those of us that can afford to manage it. Unfortunately, there are still millions dying in sub-Saharan Africa and they’ll continue to until we figure out a way to change the world! Pass on hugs to your bro-in-law and tell him to chime-in over here.

    Neil – Welcome to the wonderful world of hemophilia. Hopefully, with the modern advances, your son won’t have nearly the struggles that my generation had … However, he may still run into bullying and so on. Are you on FB? If so, reach out to me on there and I can/will connect you to the hemophilia underworld in the Facebook. Stay strong, brother!

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