'People Think It's Over'
Spared Death, Aging People With H.I.V. Struggle to Live
June 1, 2013 - Steve Schalchlin would be the first to tell you he lives in a time of miracles, and about how hard that can be. In 1995, as his body wasted away from AIDS, he took the limited time in front of him as a challenge: he would write songs, make amends, fill his remaining days with life. And by the end, with his digestive system shut down, his figure skeletal, he was ready to die. Then he won a lottery for a new AIDS drug that had been rushed through the approval process. Almost overnight his health began to return, and with it, another, more open-ended, challenge: life.
"Suddenly the future seemed like this long, empty road going toward the horizon, and I felt like, what am I gonna do with my life now?" Mr. Schalchlin, 59, said the other day, still marveling at the turn of events. "I had already accomplished all my goals that I had set for myself. And now I had this endless amount of time ahead of me, and I felt depressed."
Mr. Schalchlin no longer worries about dying of AIDS. But he has other health problems, more often seen in people 10 or 20 years older: kidney damage, diabetes, chronic fatigue, thyroid disease, partial paralysis in one eye and general weakness that limits him throughout the day.
Read full article: nytimes.com
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