I am a 26-year-old HIV positive woman who ‘suffers’ from episodic ‘schizophrenia’. I was an IDU (injecting drug user) for many years who also collected hepatitis C and B along the way. Given my own particular mental health problems, 90 per cent of my energy is diverted in maintaining mental stability. For when that goes, my life loses its perspective and form and I catapult toward a precipice of mental and physical decline. My equation works that way round, which says something about how psychosomatic HIV disease can be. The threat to life becomes a double bind: suicide from psychosis and death from opportunistic infection. But of course, it’s not as cataclysmic as this all the time.