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Author Topic: Just diagnosed.  (Read 4525 times)

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Offline StacheBC

  • Member
  • Posts: 266
  • Hello
Just diagnosed.
« on: April 15, 2007, 02:49:11 AM »
Just wanted to introduce myself.

I was recently diagnosed HIV+, got my results April 12th. (on blood work I did on March 29th).
I Seroconverted recently, in February I had flu like symptoms / rash (actually felt very sick for a few days) and my tests right after my rash was still negative.

Yesterday I told my close friends about my new HIV status and they were very supportive. 
One of my best friends has been positive for over 10 years now, I've always admired him, always having a positive outlook about life. Even when he was in hospital a few years ago due to HIV complications, he still had his British sense of humor and although I was visiting him; he was the one that would make me laugh and cheer me up.

I haven't told my sister yet. I would like to.... I know she would be supportive... at the same time I know she will worry, almost like inflicting pain in someone you love so much....  So I'm still debating if I should tell her now or if I should only tell her if / when I need to start taking medications.

I have a good doctor, been seeing him for almost 20 years now, he treats many HIV patients. So I know I'm in good hands.

I'm very thankful to living in British Columbia, Canada. Not only for the beauty of the place and having met people from all over the world that call this place home. But the fact that all my blood work, doctors visits and the latest medication (if I need it) are covered. 
When I hear about American posters talking about 20 grand a year for medication alone.... What do people do if they want to change jobs? (regarding new insurance).

Still a bit scared at times. Although my CD4 were 600 / 30% at the time of diagnosis. I still don't know my VL, my doctor wants me to wait a few weeks due to recent seroconversion. So until I get some more readings it's hard to now how my body will react with the virus.

Yesterday I had a sore throat... today I have a bit of a cold, I'm sure the cold will go away like it always does... (cough... cough...). Still need to learn how not to over react just because I got a cold.

I've been learning a lot from just reading posts. A lot of knowledge and priceless insight from people that have been battling this virus for many years (Thanks).

If I smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day for the last 20 years and developed lung cancer, I'd have no problem telling my employer for instance that I developed lung cancer.... Yet I don't want my employer to know I'm HIV+  (I'm not comparing Cancer with HIV... that's not my point). Isn't there something wrong about this, it's 2007 and we know HIV doesn't spread by casual contact.
Maybe because I'm a newbie the stigma is in my head...  Not sure...

Cheers,
Mauricio.

Offline frenchpat

  • Member
  • Posts: 516
  • Love your friends, don't eat them.
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2007, 04:00:06 AM »
Hi Mauricio,

I am sorry you had to join us but now that you are here, please feel welcome. I look forward to your contributions.

Pat

PS: I think BC is one of the most beautiful places I've seen and I've seen many. My best friend lives in Vancouver and I love the place.
People have the power - Patti Smith

Offline Ohio.POZ

  • Member
  • Posts: 7
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2007, 07:41:42 AM »
Mauricio,

I'm sorry you had to join the club too. But, you've found a great resource in this forum.  There's a lot of information here and it can be over whelming.  Try not looking too far down the road just yet until you get used to your new status.  I remember those first few weeks...it was like walking next to , but outside my body.  I was watching my life but not really participating in it.  It gets better...really.  The book 'The First Year, HIV, An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed' by Brett Grodeck, really helped me get my thoughts organized and to prioritize what I need to do.

The best to you,
Jim
infected 11/07/04
diagnosed 02/19/05

date      cd4/cd4%/vl
3/2/05      493/26/14360
6/10/05      470/30/51140
10/24/05   414/27/18010
2/28/06      327/22/77000
4/27/06      368/20/72450
7/28/06      266/15/52155
9/22/06      226/15/30637
Started Atripla 11/9/06
12/13/06       366/18.3/716
1/24/07         528/?/<50
3/7/07           469/20.4/<50
9/10/07         392/22/<50
1/3/08           495/25/<50

Offline Ann

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  • Member
  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2007, 08:03:17 AM »
Hi Mauricio,

I'm so sorry you didn't turn out to have a false positive. The important thing is that you know your status and can begin to deal with it.

Your CD4 numbers are VERY good, but please be aware that in primary infection they can bounce around a lot. They may go down for a while and come back up, or they may stay good. Your viral load may come back very high, but that is typical of primary infection and will most likely come down on its own, without needing drugs.

The most important thing to remember when mulling disclosure issues over is that once you tell someone, you can't untell them.

Having said that, you may want to consider telling your sister. Go with your gut feeling on her - and it sounds like your gut feeling is that she'll be supportive. If you wait, not only will you be missing out on her support, but when you do eventually tell her, she may well feel slighted - that you didn't trust her to be able to handle your news. She's your sister and will most likely want to be there for you. Think what you would want her to do if the tables were turned and she was the one who just received an hiv diagnosis.

If you haven't already, please have a read through the Welcome Thread in the Living forum - it's different from the one you may have read in the Am I forum. It will tell you were to find all the other sections of this website, as well as our forum posting guidelines.

One of the most important things you can do for yourself now is begin to arm yourself with information. This will allow you to be a participant in your health care, in partnership with your doctor. He should be working for and with you, as opposed to ordering you around. Please feel free to come back into the forum with any questions that may arise during your reading. The lessons here are fantastic - easy to understand and digest. You don't have to learn it all at once though, so take your time. Browse through the Lessons and read what seems interesting - but take breaks. Don't give yourself information overload.

These first weeks and possibly months are bound to be a roller-coaster of emotions for you. We all go through it so feel free to come back and tell us what's on your mind - we can relate.

Hang in there...

Ann

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline milker

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  • Posts: 4,034
  • Protected phone sex
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2007, 10:10:00 AM »
Hello Mauricio,

I was diagnosed very recently too, and the first thing that came to my mind was to tell

1) everyone I had sexual encounters in the previous 6 months
2) get my phone book and call every friend and family member to tell them.

I did 1) but I'm glad I did NOT do 2). You have a lot of time in front of you to decide who to tell. Like Ann said, you cannot untell. I haven't told my sister, for example, she just got pregnant and knowing her I think it will be very difficult when she knows, so I don't want her to be in a state of shock during pregnancy.

I so far told 4 close friends, because they were the ones that were the closest to me and I knew they would be very supportive, and they are indeed. I told my boss I had a long term condition that's all. Things can be a little mind boggling during the first month, you will learn a lot and will have your way to react to all the information you will get about it. Take your time, read the forums, ask questions here, remember you have plenty of time :)

And welcome :)

Milker.

edit for typo.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2007, 02:13:09 PM by milker »
mid-dec: stupid ass
mid-jan: seroconversion
mid-feb: poz
mar 07: cd4 432 (35%) vl 54000
may 07: cd4 399 (28%) vl 27760
jul 07: cd4 403 (26%) vl 99241
oct 07: cd4 353 (24%) vl 29993
jan 08: cd4 332 (26%) vl 33308
mar 08: cd4 392 (23%) vl 75548
jun 08: cd4 325 (27%) vl 45880
oct 08: cd4 197 (20%) vl 154000 <== aids diagnosis
nov 2 08 start Atripla
nov 30 08: cd4 478 (23%) vl 1880 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
feb 19 09: cd4 398 (24%) vl 430 getting there!
apr 23 09: cd4 604 (29%) vl 50 woohoo :D :D
jul 30 09: cd4 512 (29%) vl undetectable :D :D
may 27 10: cd4 655 (32%) vl undetectable :D :D

Now accepting applications from blowjob ninjas™

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 25,206
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2007, 01:26:50 PM »
Hello, Mauricio,

You already know from our previous exchanges that I'm sorry you ended up testing positive. Now we have to deal with what is. Among the things you may find useful here is the lesson about disclosure issues. It was very wise of you to not impulsively blurt it out to everyone in your life, although that's a not uncommon reaction when someone first learns about their positive status.

Take your time about everything. The most important thing right now is to make sure you have a good doctor with whom you can form a working partnership in keeping you healthy. Gradually you're going to learn everything you need to know about living with HIV. You'll find a lot of information, experience and support here.

You're always welcome to ask questions here and to discuss anything that's on your mind.

Gradually I think you will see that while HIV is of course a very important element, it's not by any means going to be all that your life is about.

Browse through the pages here and come in as often as you like.

Welcome,

Andy Velez

Offline StacheBC

  • Member
  • Posts: 266
  • Hello
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2007, 01:52:27 PM »
Thanks to all.

Ann I read your blog and I must admit it was very touching, very personal and real. Thanks for sharing.

I will tell my sister. We're very close and she would be really pissed off, if she found out at a later stage. But I still have time.
Next week is my Birthday (41), my sister has phoned me a few times asking what would I like to do for my birthday. Right now I don't feel like doing much, plus I'm definitely not going to tell her during my birthday dinner... "Happy Birthday!!!"  "Thank you and by the way I'm HIV... Yes I'll have a piece of cake please"  :)
I won't rush but I will be talking to her about my "little secret" at some point.

I still am in the phase of not knowing who I should tell... At times I rush and I want to get involved with my local HIV/AIDS organizations.... Then realise that I don't even know my VL yet, that I need to give myself some time, before helping others (one step at a time).

I also have all the little strategies in my head as well (my mind thinks about these things when I go to sleep). If for some reason I develop a similar rash again (the one I had during seroconversion was all over my  face)... I'm going to tell my coworkers that I have some sort of food allergy, my doctor is looking into it.... Plus it will cover the need to see my doctor every 2 to 3 months... I'm going for my allergy shot.
Sorry if the above sounds so newbie.... :)  (He has too much time in his hands).

I did get a new Cell/mobile phone yesterday. I signed a 3 year contract!!!! So at least I'm hoping to be here for 3 more years  ;D
Plus I want to go back to Europe again and ride the TGV (silly but it's one of my dreams.... every time I see that train on TV, it's like Oahhh!!).
Although for now it's back to work on Monday.... :)  One day at a time.

Cheers,
Mauricio.






Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2007, 08:07:27 PM »
Quote
At times I rush and I want to get involved with my local HIV/AIDS organizations.... Then realise that I don't even know my VL yet, that I need to give myself some time, before helping others (one step at a time).

Hi Mauricio,

How about getting involved in your local hiv organisation and letting them help you? That's what they're there for. In time, you can return the favour, when you're ready. You can be there for someone who is in the shoes you're wearing now.

And thank you for your kind words - and for reminding me that I really need to update my blog! ;D

Hugs,
Ann

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline HIV? poz about being neg

  • Member
  • Posts: 163
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2007, 02:37:25 PM »
StasheBC first of all want to say sorry about your recent diagnosis, I know exactly what you must be going through also recently infected and diagnosed here in Vancouver on January 24th way to bring in 2007 eh'

The people on this site are amazing they can answer any of your questions give you great advice and help you make proper informed decisions.

Wishing you the best.

PS feel free to PM me if you want, perhaps we can exchange notes.




Jan/25/07 VL > 100 000 CD4 480 21%
Apr/13/10     Started Atripla
May/11/10    VL !! 300 !!     CD4 520
Jul/15/10      VL    75          CD4 400   27%
Dec/20/10    VL UD             CD4 390 28%
Jan/10/12    VL UD              CD4 670 28%
Mar/31/14    VL UD              CD4 580 37%
May/27/14    VL UD              CD4 750
29%
Aug/18/14    Chemo HGL
Nov/10/14    VL UD               CD4 750
38%
Nov/25/14  Started Truvada with Tivicay

Offline ACinKC

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,994
  • Bring it VIRUS! #2 Ranked In-crowd Member!
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2007, 11:22:18 AM »
Stache, I absolutely HATE welcoming you to this side of the forums. 

That being said, Im glad you found us.  I too had my fingers crossed for a false positive for you.  The past is the past, and others here have given you excellent advice. 

As for disclosure, for me it was strange, I told a core group of exactly NO ONE to start out.  However, my therapist accidentally told about 7 guys in a group therapy session of my status (he felt AWFUL about it, and I still love the guy!), the state told my ex-wife for me (illegal and HIGHLY unethical), from that point, I told exactly 5 people of my status myself over the next 6 months.  I told my girlfriend first (we had been dating for 3 months) and then 3 months later I told my parents and sister.  The thing is, thats all I needed for a support group. 

But I never considered what THEIR support group would be.  My parents have told probably 10-15 people im sure, I know of one (my best friend, who works for my mom) he just told me he knew about my status and that she told him cause SHE was having a hard time with it.  My girlfriend/current wife told 1 person for her support.  My ex-wife has told, 15 people or more including my best friend at the time.  I didnt speak to him for almost 3 years because of it and his wife won't let him see me right now. 

So, my support group consisted of 5 people.  Those 5 people needed 30-40 people for THEIR support!  THEY DONT EVEN HAVE THIS FUCKING VIRUS!  So just be careful, not only can you NOT unring that bell, but you are actually disclosing to THEIR support group as well in some cases.

Anyway, sorry about the rant.  I've never really talked about that part of my journey.

Andrew
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline xyahka

  • Member
  • Posts: 789
  • Dance together!! aha!! aha!! I like it!!
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2007, 06:40:33 PM »
Hi there, a newbie also here. Well, it is always hard to know that you are placed here. One wish it would have never happened... but well... it is a new path and God made sure we can't step back, so it means there should be something good out of this, right?

My first days were very sad and i was totally paranoid, i just can advise you... take your time, let the sorrow and the pain of this big loss, pass through you... then burn it and throw it away. And be ready to enjoy this new life and new chance for making good things for you and others.

Regarding disclosure, it took me three weeks to disclose myself to my mother (after two test and a counsellor meeting), and regarding my olders sister i haven't told her, i am afraid as you are.... but i understood something, not everything has to happen at once... Mauri, take your time and do what feels right to be done... i mean disclose to who you want in the time you think is right. Not sure if Birthday party is the right moment, plus... it is always good to look for a counsellor to talk to, he might help you to addapt to this and also to your family. At least that was what i did... i told my mother, and immediatly asked her to join me to meet my psychologist, and that was a big big big help, i am planning to do the same with my sister, i just don't know when  :P

Send you a big hug Mauricio, you see... everything will be ok, there are so many things to do in our lives yet!! Juan Carlos
13/03/07 1er diagnóstico /Peso: 79kg
19/04/07 CD4: 494 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 80kg
19/07/07 CD4: 659 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79.5kg
06/03/08 CD4: 573 (después de meses muy deprimido) /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79kg
17/09/08 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 84Kg
06/02/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 85Kg /HCV: Neg /HBV: Neg.
07/03/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg / Gym 3días/semana y Natación 2días/semana.
12/05/09 CD4: 470 /Cviral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg.
08/07/09 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 77Kg.
09/12/09 CD4: 510 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg. No medicinas aún
10/01/10 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
15/05/10 CD4: 320 /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
01/02/11 CD4: 291 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
05/05/11 CD4: 366 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
27/07/11 CD4: 255 /CViral: 138000 /Peso: 78kg.

Disfrutando y aceptando una nueva vida...

Offline dtwpuck

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  • дано мне тело, что мне делать с ним?
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2007, 07:27:11 PM »
Hi Mauricio... welcome to the forums.  (from a fellow northwesterner... albeit in exile)

I hope you find as much support here as I do.  The people here are diverse, interesting and have a lot to offer those of us working out issues at various stages of this disease.

Telling your sister isn't like telling your friends.  Family is different and you have to make a few judgment calls.  If you feel that your family is going to be stressed out about it to the point that they are going to make it difficult for you to adjust, I sometimes think it's best to wait until you, yourself have dealt with the issues of  being newly seroconverted before taking the plunge into managing your family's emotions.   I have said this before... it's a judgment call, but there are many people on here who have told their families only to end up having to do more to support their reactions.  Be careful, but follow your heart.  No right answers here.





Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

Offline StacheBC

  • Member
  • Posts: 266
  • Hello
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2007, 11:39:18 PM »
Thanks to all the comments.
I've decided to wait a bit more before I tell my sister. I will be telling her but I'll do so once I'm back on my feet again, so I can be there for her if she needs support.
I think what was mentioned, about telling your family... then they themselves needed support is very true and important.

Meanwhile I'm get my own support from the friends I've already opened up to or as Ann mentioned look for some support in the HIV/AIDS organizations in my community.
Although I must admit that part of the "shock" of the dx has passed.... I still think about it every few minutes but I think that happens.

Mauricio. Thinking positive in more ways then one :)

Offline Ivan

  • Member
  • Posts: 45
Re: Just diagnosed.
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2007, 08:53:44 AM »
Hello StacheBC,

i'm sorry to hear that you had got HIV, this terrible thing.
but welcome to be here. and our situations are a little bit similar. i had been diagnosed just 2 days before last X'mas. so i had got a very very big X'mas present.  ;)
my last lab is CD4 638, 38% ; VL 10100 , i think that it could be similar like yours.

Plus I want to go back to Europe again and ride the TGV (silly but it's one of my dreams.... every time I see that train on TV, it's like Oahhh!!).

I have already ridden it. it is really really fast! and on that morning i hadn't taken my breakfast. and at the end of the travel with TGV, i was within an inch of  throwing up.

you should have a try!!  :D ;D ;) ;) ;)
sep.2006  HIV+ diagnosed
feb. 2007  cd4 638  VL 10130
may. 2007 cd4 530  VL  4832
sep. 2007  cd4 430  VL 10482
dec.2007   cd4 503  VL 18356
Jul. 2008   cd4 608   VL  9683
oct. 2008  cd4 630   VL  10368
jan. 2009  cd4 558    VL 50243 (because i have had a fult in spain)
Nov.2010 cd4 418  VL 28597 (still not on Therapy, but need to begin)
Dec. 2010 Therapy with Atripla began

 


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