NEWS

Living with HIV: Anthony Amodeo's struggle with illness and addiction

12/01/2014 07:42 EST | Updated 01/31/2015 05:59 EST
Anthony Amodeo has lived with HIV for nine years. He's a client at the Dr. Peter Centre, a place that provides HIV/AIDS care for individuals with social barriers in Vancouver.

The Early Edition first met him in 2010, when Amodeo was struggling with managing the illness.

In a series of radio diaries that spanned 11 weeks, he shared the different facets of his life. He told us about his crack cocaine addiction, his challenge with keeping in touch with family, and making ends meet.

- To hear Anthony Amodeo's 2010 radio diaries, click on the clip labelled: Then and Now - Anthony Amodeo's First Diary

Amodeo also shared his love of music, and even let us accompany him when he was reunited with his daughter, and saw his grandchild for the first time.

On this World AIDS Day, December 1, we wanted to check in on Amodeo. The Early Edition's Elaine Chau, who produced the radio diaries in 2010, sat down with him. This is a condensed and edited version of that conversation.

On his health

"I bounce around. Sometimes I get up, I feel great. And other days, I get up and go right back to bed.

"It fluctuates. I went off my medications for two and a half months without them, and I figured I better go smarten up. I'm back on the anti-retrovirals I was taking."

On his crack cocaine addiction

"I quit crack cocaine, it must be 18 months now. I went through some pretty heavy emotional upheaval.

"I used it [crack cocaine] to keep my emotions in check. It was pretty hard to do after not having the drugs in my system. I couldn't even finish half the songs I was writing, without breaking down crying myself.

On his songwriting

"I seem to be looking for recognition more than anything at the moment, and I seem to be getting it. I was walking down Robson Street about a month ago, and someone walked by me and they were singing a lyric to one of my songs.

"They had heard me playing on Granville Street more than once. That was a neat feeling, to have other people recognize my music. That's the hope that's going on for me right now."

On where he sees himself in a year

"You might want to check every six months. Just a joke. Next year, not much further than where I am. The only thing that's going by is time itself. Time is moving really fast."

To hear more from Anthony Amodeo in conversation with the Early Edition's Elaine Chau in 2014, click on the clip labelled: World AIDS Day - Anthony Amodeo's story

MORE:cbcNews