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Author Topic: Hello, I tested positive in May  (Read 5380 times)

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Offline LittlePill

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Hello, I tested positive in May
« on: June 25, 2007, 11:15:25 AM »
I just wanted to say hello to everyone. It's kind of hard for me to post this introduction so I'm going to keep it brief. My name is Darrell, I'm from Ohio. I tested positive at the beginning of May. Initially I went through some really stressful days dealing with this change in my life.  If it hadn't been for a few friends of mine pushing me and telling me that I'm going to be fine, I'm not sure I would have made it through those days.

Anyway, I've been to see my doctor twice so far and he's a really good doctor. He seems to really care about what I'm going through and that's important to me. My initial visit was to have a full detailed blood work screening to see where I stood with the virus. My follow up visit was to discuss the blood work and go from there. That was last week. I have started taking Atripla. The side effects have been mild to moderate so far. After taking it, I get a "drugged" feeling that feels like I've taken about 5 or 6 super strength xanax. This unfortunately has been lasting through the day. I'm hoping it will pass. I have an even stronger hope that regardless of this side effect that the pill is doing what it should be doing. I've noticed that my sleep pattern has changed since starting Atripla. The sleep pattern was already an issue to begin with and seemed to be improving before I started Atripla, now it's right back to where it was in May. I'll sleep for a few hours and then end up wide awake. Last night was the first night I've slept 6 to 6 1/2 hours straight through. I only did this because I took an ativan. I don't want to get dependent on them but I know my sleep is very important right now.

Anyway, that's my life right now. I'll be reading and occasionally posting around the site. Any help and advice anyone could give me is much appreciated.

Offline frenchpat

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  • Posts: 516
  • Love your friends, don't eat them.
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2007, 12:23:21 PM »
Bonjour Darrell,

I am both sorry that you had to join us and happy that you found us so quickly. This site and the people lurking in the forums have plenty of information to help you go through the bad and the good days that lie ahead. Atripla is not in my regimen but several people here have been on it since its FDA approval so I am sure some will shine a light down that path for you.

Again, be most welcome here, I look forward to your posts.

Pat
People have the power - Patti Smith

Offline redhotmuslbear

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  • Posts: 605
  • A genuine certified freak of nature, and a hot one
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2007, 12:30:06 PM »
Darrell,
Welcome!  JGlad you found the forums early on.

ust curious, did you discuss your sleep problems with the doc before accepting the prescription for Atripla?  The Sustiva component of it can be problematic anyway, and it's not something that should be foisted on people with sleep issues or mood disturbance. 

As you suggest, compounding the matter with prescirption sleep aids may not be in your best interests.  Have you tried shifting when you take the pill, if moving the peak of the effects wouldn't be a problem in itself?  How about popping melatonin to help with sleep, instead of prescription drugs?

Peace,
David
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." - BF Skinner
12-31-09   222wks VL  2430 CD4 690 (37%)
09-30-09   208wks VL  2050  CD4 925 (42%)
06-25-08   143wks VL  1359  CD4 668 (32%)  CD8 885
02-11-08   123wks off meds:  VL 1364 CD4 892(40%/0.99 ratio)
10-19-07   112wks off meds:   VL 292  CD4 857(37%/0.85 ratio)

One copy of delta-32 for f*****d up CCR5 receptors, and an HLA B44+ allele for "CD8-mediated immunity"... beteer than winning Powerball, almost!

Offline mjmel

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  • Posts: 2,069
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2007, 12:36:14 PM »
Welcome to the forum, fellow Ohioian. Welcome to the world of pill popping, too.
xxx,
Mike

Offline milker

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  • Protected phone sex
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2007, 01:23:55 PM »
Welcome to the forums, pill!

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 ninjasô

Offline LittlePill

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2007, 02:42:42 PM »
Thank you to frenchpat, redhotmuslbear, mjmel and milker for the welcomes.  To answer redhotmuslbear's questions, yes my doctor was (is) aware that I was having sleep issues. In February, I came down with what I thought was mono. After weeks of seeing doctors and not having the fatigue go away from this I decided to be tested for HIV. It of course showed I was positive. The doctors seem to believe that the fatigue was lasting because I simply wasn't getting enough sleep. I had one prescribe Ativan and it helps to sleep but like I said, I can get to sleep, I'm simply not staying asleep.

My current specialist initially tried me on Lexapro, which was awful, everything felt 10 times worse. He then took me off of that and put me on Trazodone, which helped me sleep but I still didn't feel 100% after taking it a few days. I try not take anything to help me sleep and in the days before starting Atripla I had started to bounce back and my sleeping was getting better. When I got my last blood tests results back I found I had a viral load of over 500,000 and a CD4 at 27%, the absolute number of CD4 was 447. He told me it was my decision to start Atripla. He said I could go a few more years without taking anything. My feeling was that I needed to do something to ease my own mind. If I felt I was taking something to help myself then it might ease some of the stress I was feeling. So I started Atripla and unfortunately, some of my sleep issues started to return. I hope that this begins to fade and from everything I've read and everything the doctor said, it will. I received an email from him this morning and he said everything I was describing was typical of taking Atripla. I may try to take it earlier in the evening to see if it helps. He told me I could experiment with it, just as long as I keep taking it. I figure if this is the worse side effect I get out of it...then I'm lucky. I honestly expected much worse.

Anyway, sorry to ramble there. Thanks again everyone.

Offline camille07

  • Member
  • Posts: 570
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2007, 02:59:47 PM »
Hey LittlePill-

Welcome to the forum.

Cammie

Offline LittlePill

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2007, 07:23:19 PM »
Hey LittlePill-

Welcome to the forum.

Cammie

Thanks for the welcome Camille.  :)

Offline nphx45

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2007, 08:47:36 PM »
You did exactly the right thing by starting as early as you did, your lab figures indicate that you were still in the acute infection stage, I started sustiva, and epzicom (clinical trial) during the same infection phase 5 years ago, and now have a normal immune system, and no detectable virus.

There is a cult that says wait till you are almost dead to start antivirals - sorry, this is like any other infection, the earlier you treat and control, the better the long term outlook.

Sustiva does have its issues, but it is also a wonder drug. Most of your side effects should subside in 6 weeks or so - the disturbed sleep problem will most likely still be a problem. Sustiva is one of the few anti virals that can penetrate the blood brain barrier - hence the side effects. I don't know about you, but I think having HIV suppressed in my brain is a good thing.

Sustiva side effects are mainly the result of an initial "over dose" the first hour after you take it. Try taking your meds with a large glass of ice cold water, and on an empty stomach - both will reduce the initial absorption of the drug. Also talk to your Dr about switching to a morning schedule. Ambien 10 mg, or Temazipan 15 mg can also help with the sleep issues.

Now as far as the vivid dreams - try watching a porno before bedtime - you will never complain about the vivid dreams again,,LOL

Sustiva should not be used by African Americans (many for some reason do not metabolize the drug correctly), nor anyone with a history of mental health problems - without close supervision by your Dr.

Offline dtwpuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,013
  • дано мне тело, что мне делать с ним?
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2007, 09:45:45 PM »
Hi Littlepill.... welcome

You know... for me anything with sustiva (atripla) sucked.  Let me tell you a secret.  If it continues to suck for you, then it's really ok to switch.   My first combo (AZT Crix and 3TC) lasted less than a month before I couldn't take the side effects.  i moved on through many different combos until I settled on this one.   Yes, it's possible that you might have to stick it out for a little bit if your infection is acute, however, it might not be entirely necessary.    Remember, your doctor's job is to give you options, not dictate your path.

No one here is going to kid you that living with hiv is any kind of picnic.  But here are a few things I have come to realize in my own path... for what it's worth:   

I chose to be unhappy sometimes.  Maybe it might be necessary for a while.  But ultimately I alone have control over how I relate to my life.  So, life dealt me a pair of deuces.   Well, it happens.  I'm still going to play, however, because I enjoy playing the game.  And if I choose not to be unhappy, I enjoy it more.

Don't shut out your friends who love you.  This is a hard time and going it alone is a sure fire recipe for depression.  Even if you don't want to talk about every detailed nuance of your emotions in regards to dealing with hiv... you might find that their presence and love is a huge booster. 

Forgiveness.  There is no healing without it.  First, forgive yourself.   Second, realize that the people in your life who have hurt you are second in line for this.  i don't mean run around hugging each abusive person in your life... but in your heart realize that they too are human, they too have their own baggage, and that baggage should not be yours.

Every part of you needs to be available to walk through the coming crucible.  This means "stay healthy" .  Exercize.  Work out.  Ride bike.  Hike.  Jog..   Dance.  Whatever it is you like to do that keeps you fit you should do.  Try to remember the things you like to do intellectually.  Do you have hobbies?  interests?  things that make you happy?  Do them.  Mind body and soul.  It's not really a cliche... because it is different for each of us, but it works.

Get your feelings out.  You can use this forum if you like.  You can talk to your friends, your family.  We are all in this together and we understand when it's all just too much.

Welcome.

Hugs, Scott

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

Offline LittlePill

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2007, 01:44:02 PM »
Thank yous to nphx45 and dtwpuck for your words. I'm having a bad day today with the side effects. Mostly just feeling stoned and hung over all day. I'm hoping this will pass. I go see my doctor again in a month but I feel I must keep going with this medicine until then. To nphx, my sleep problem was gradually getting better before Atripla, but now I feel it set me back a bit. I'm sleeping about 6 to 6 1/2 hours a night which is better than the 5 hours a night a few weeks ago and before that it was at times even less than that.  I think my main problem today is that I had two fatty meals yesterday. One I can handle (for lunch) but I'm gonna need to eat a better (less fat filled dinner). My fingers are crossed for that. As for being active, I've been doing yoga on a daily basis and that's great. I also have tried to get out and go for long walks. Unfortunately this has been difficult because it's hotter than 3 hells right now in Ohio.  ;D

Oh well...thanks everyone.

Offline indyguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 260
  • Hoosier Boy Single Again.
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2007, 02:28:20 PM »
The fatty meals will do it. I have been on it for about 4 months with no major problems other then intense dreams. Good luck and welcome.
Meds doing well so far.

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • Posts: 23,889
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2007, 02:46:20 PM »
There is a cult that says wait till you are almost dead to start antivirals - sorry, this is like any other infection, the earlier you treat and control, the better the long term outlook.

*sigh*... it's not a cult or conspiracy.  It made perfect sense for years considering that older line HAART regimens had more side effects than those you newly diagnosed folks have the pleasure of having.  Just delaying the potential onset of lipoatrophy is enough of a legitimate reason that the CDC made those guidelines.

I would agree that they need to be currently revised, but statements like the one you made are sorely lacking in any sort of contextual knowledge.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,099
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2007, 07:58:11 AM »
Hello Darrell,

Welcome to the site. Hopefully (soon) some of the side effects from the Sustiva will lesson for you. Stay in touch and ask questions when you have them !


Take care of yourself-----Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline nphx45

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2007, 10:39:54 PM »
*sigh*... it's not a cult or conspiracy.  It made perfect sense for years considering that older line HAART regimens had more side effects than those you newly diagnosed folks have the pleasure of having.  Just delaying the potential onset of lipoatrophy is enough of a legitimate reason that the CDC made those guidelines.

I would agree that they need to be currently revised, but statements like the one you made are sorely lacking in any sort of contextual knowledge.

no you are completely wrong,,,,

there are multiple studies that support my hit hard and hit early opinion.

I have many friends that are alive today, because of AZT, 3tc, and all the others - and many more dead freinds that thought the way you do.

Dying willl re arrange your body fat more than any HIV med.

I got my information from one of the top ten HIV specialists in the world - you got your "opinion" from where?

Little Pill if he sticks to his meds, and waits tilll  the minor (aka compared to dying), side effects abate - willl most likely live another 50 years, and not have to change his meds, and hopefully long before that we will have a cure.

and to Llittle Piill - empty stomach,,,in the morniing, with cold water,,,do it live......few side effects.

Hey you made a big mistake - dont dwell, live on.












Offline nphx45

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2007, 10:57:55 PM »
Thank yous to nphx45 and dtwpuck for your words. I'm having a bad day today with the side effects. Mostly just feeling stoned and hung over all day. I'm hoping this will pass. I go see my doctor again in a month but I feel I must keep going with this medicine until then. To nphx, my sleep problem was gradually getting better before Atripla, but now I feel it set me back a bit. I'm sleeping about 6 to 6 1/2 hours a night which is better than the 5 hours a night a few weeks ago and before that it was at times even less than that.  I think my main problem today is that I had two fatty meals yesterday. One I can handle (for lunch) but I'm gonna need to eat a better (less fat filled dinner). My fingers are crossed for that. As for being active, I've been doing yoga on a daily basis and that's great. I also have tried to get out and go for long walks. Unfortunately this has been difficult because it's hotter than 3 hells right now in Ohio.  ;D

Oh well...thanks everyone.

you know this has got to be the worlds most difficult forums to post on,,LOL

ask your Dr about switching to an AM schedule - no breakfast... You might still be a bit dizzy for an half hour or so - its beats dying. Trust me the ice water thing works - it slows the dissolution rate of the pill.

Hey guy, like it or not, you are going to have to learn about things you never thought you would have to.

If that seems cruel,,than so be it,,I want you to live.




Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2007, 11:30:04 PM »
I got my information from one of the top ten HIV specialists in the world - you got your "opinion" from where?

It's not a "quote" opinion "quote" dear.  It's guidelines from the US Dept. of Health and Human Services.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2007, 11:32:16 PM by philly267 »
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline RapidRod

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  • Posts: 15,277
Re: Hello, I tested positive in May
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2007, 07:24:20 AM »
nphx45, in the beginning AZT was killing as many as the virus itself. Apparently you don't know anything about lipodystrophy or know people that have it, caused by some HIV medications. Make sure you are will versed before giving out information.

Littlepill, welcome to the forum. There are plenty of lessons that you can find here and read up on to help you understand this disease.

 


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