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time to introduce myself

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EricMPLS:
Hi everyone -- I've been lurking in these forums since June 19th, 2007 (the date I was notified of my HIV+ diagnosis) so figured there's no better time than the present to introduce myself.

I made a poor decision 3 months ago while on vacation in Mexico -- even though it'd only been 2 months since my last scheduled HIV test, the "usual" seroconversion symptoms prompted me to get tested again.   I knew it wasn't good when the results weren't posting to my clinic's website.  (can we say Western Blot).   So yeah, found out for certain on June 19th -- been a rough few weeks since then with lots of ups and downs (as you can all no doubt relate)

My 1st labs were drawn the same day... VL 8,800 CD4 522 / 27%.   When I 1st met the HIV Specialist 2 weeks ago, he pretty much told me I'm doing ok, and to come back in 3 months.   After reading some comments here, I asked if I should get a resistance test - he said no, that it's only needed when starting meds.   He didn't seem concerned with the low CD4% either... even though I thought I should be...  maybe I'm worrying too much.

Based on a referral from one of the Health Educators at a local social/support group for newly diagnosed gay men, I met with a different HIV specialist today.  He wants to check my numbers every month for a few months to determine my true baseline, as well as have a resistance test done right away.  So yeah, having my 2 second labs drawn tomorrow.  yay... lol.   Unfortunately the new doc is heading to Sydney in a few days (for IAS) so it'll be a few weeks before I get those results.  FYI - he did agree with the 1st specialist in that there's no immediate need or benefit to starting meds.

I think I'm through the worst of the depression.  I'm back at work after taking some time off to accept this new part of me..   All my friends and even my backwoods family from rural Iowa have been incredibly supportive.   At this point I'm focusing on making those.. umm.. positive changes in my life I should have been doing all along.

First on that list is to stop smoking cigarettes.  Wish me luck with that - today is day 1 (wearing a 21 mg Nicotine patch).

I suppose I've rambled on long enough for my intro posting.   Thank you for the support you've already offered by sharing your experiences here.

Have a great night.  :)
Eric

RapidRod:
Eric, welcome to the forums. Try to relax and go with the flow. It's going to take several blood work ups to see where your numbers will stand. Don't get caught up in the numbers. Unless you are ill, live your live as normal as you have been. At least as it stands now your numbers are good/great and meds are not in the near future. Take care.

Rodney

milker:
Hi Eric,

welcome to the forums, I'm glad you lurked and learned :)

The two different doctors have two different approaches. The first one must bet on the fact that you have a "low" VL and a good CD4 count, and that the percentage is high enough to not bother looking at numbers every month, but keep the body fight as you just got infected, and see the results after 3 months.

The other approach is more conservative, check the immune system every month to see what is the trend, but I'm not sure what's the value there, others may chime in. I mean if your CD4 was 200 and your VL 10000+ then yes, but in your case I don't see the rush for numbers and what value they will add compared to a 3 month draw. You have certainly read that the numbers go up and down every day!

Milker.

EricMPLS:

--- Quote from: milker on July 17, 2007, 03:42:28 PM ---
The other approach is more conservative, check the immune system every month to see what is the trend, but I'm not sure what's the value there, others may chime in. I mean if your CD4 was 200 and your VL 10000+ then yes, but in your case I don't see the rush for numbers and what value they will add compared to a 3 month draw. You have certainly read that the numbers go up and down every day!


--- End quote ---

I suspect he sensed a bit of anxiety on my part and felt more careful monitoring (initially) might put me at ease.  He did indicate there is growing evidence of a benefit to an early genotype test to determine whether or not I have drug-resistant strain(s) now - even if HAART is not needed.  Something about how most drug-resistant strains convert to drug-sensitive types, but still retain portions of drug-resistance which may not be picked up by a later genotype test.

Thursday I have my interview with the state dept of health -- that should be fun right?   :D 

xyahka:
Hi there, glad you found us and could feel comfortable.  :)

Wish you the best in this new path you are starting, welcome to the forums.

Juan Carlos

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