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Author Topic: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday  (Read 25425 times)

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Offline riplar65

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #50 on: October 17, 2007, 02:54:26 PM »
I just wanted to express my deepest gratitude to you as a STRONG father and my profound appreciation for all of the kind words and postings in support of your situation.

I must tell you that this "thread" has spurred me to post.  I too tested positive 5 years ago this coming February, 5 months after my partner of 8 years passed away unexpectedly of complications from a heart attack.  I hesitated to tell my parents as they are older (my father passed this July), but they had such love and support for me when Michael died that I was afraid that if I got really sick it would be an insult to them to have not told them sooner.  My friends I told immediately so that I could tap that great source of support that had been there when Michael died.  I have to tell you that the experience of telling my friends and family was almost as difficult as coming out of the closet was 15 years ago , with the same unexpected consequences that it had.  Friends that I have had forever will not speak to me, family members who were "ashamed" of the "fag" in the family have suddenly found the light and have mended hurtful relationships with me....and my mom & dad were magnificient!!!  I was so afraid that they would find me dirty, or bad...and even at 37 years old I wanted their support and love....I am glad to tell you that after the initial shock of the news they have been my most staunch support system.

I applaud your love and support of your son...and I encourage you and your wife, and even his brother to do some group HIV counseling...and the most important thing to remember that even when your son is in a bout of depression and seems anti-you and anti-life...your love and support WILL see him and you through the battle.

Thank you for restoring some faith in this ole cynic!!!

Larry

Offline TrilbyCowboy

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #51 on: October 17, 2007, 03:21:30 PM »
As previously stated, test numbers can tend to bounce around from test to test. Keeping scheduled appointments is an important factor, and I am sure you will make sure that happens. I assume you are seeing a doctor that is an infectious disease specialist from a previous post. They will talk with you and let you know when they think a different course of action is necessary. I trust my doctor completey, and he has not let me down yet!

While I can appreciate you sons concern for his schooling, I am not sure that not being involved in your own treatment is the best approach. The day comes when you have to face the results head on. There are many controlable factors in dealing with this, and knowing where you stand is important.

STRESS!!!  The number one controlable factor. Although the first year is one hell of an emotional roller coaster, you can still make lifestyle changes to help control stress. The day will come that the thought of HIV is in all your waking moments. In the beginning I would have never thought that possible. You will never forget, but you can still live life.

Finding support from others who have been through this, and are doing the right things, can greatly help in dealing with the emotional stress. I recall one of my friends who has been positive for 16 years, his partner positive 22 years, reassuring me during my first year. Both are doing very well health wise, and they have been of tremendous help to me in coming to terms with my emotions. They were my support, when my parnter of 21 years could not deal with it. My friend, who was building a house at the time of my diagnoses, made a comment that during the early years of his diagnoses he would have never dreamed of taking out a mortgage, thinking he would never see it paid for. 16 years later, he is confident in his health and his future. That smalll comment opened my eyes. This is a controllable condition, and I am in control. What a revelation when I realized that I have the power to control the HIV, and not let it control me.

Besides controlling stress and seeking positive support,  it is important to eat healthy and get at least moderate exercise, but then this should be something that we should do reguardless. Working in a retail supermarket, I am absolutely amazed at the amount of modified and perserved food the general public buys. The garbage that we are constantly bombarded with to put into our bodies. The adage of shopping the perimeter of the store and stay away from the center, could not me more correct. It really is not that hard to eat healthy. It just takes a little discipline. I have been on meds for 3 years, the only time I ever exhibit side effects, is when I fail to eat healthy; which is extremely rare.

4 years into this, and I am doing great. I actually feel better than I did before I was positive. My advise 1) control stress, 2) find a reputable HIV/ Infectious Disease doctor and keep all scheduled appointments, 3) find support from other positive people who are leading a positive lifestyle, and 4) eat healthy and get moderate exercise. Simple things that everyone should do, but usually don't. You and your son will both be fine. This is not a death sentence that requires crying, it is a managable disease.

My best to both of you!

Offline asuzq4u

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #52 on: October 17, 2007, 05:52:55 PM »
And so it goes, another life impacted.  While devastating and frightening it could be worse.  I've been a pozzie many, many moons )since 1983- and there are LOTS of us!) and I live a very comfortable and normal life.  Read all you can and make sure it is CURRENT information.  The old stuff will just scare you, not to mention it is inaccurate.  When I was diagnosed, there were no drugs or treatment protocols.  Now, there are so many I've lost count.  Find support groups,  go to meetings and find others that he can learn from.  It does get easier-  and love him, love him, love him.  Big hugs to you all-
Susan

Offline hoozheehoo

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #53 on: October 17, 2007, 06:13:16 PM »
Hello,

As I read your posts about your son's situation and your family's response, I felt, among other things, a sense of admiration, almost envy.  When I tested positive in June of 1989, many of us HIV-diagnosed and 'out' about it had families and friends who rejected and abandoned us ... even as death finally came to take us away, doubly-devastating the losses the dying had to endure.  That you, your son, and your family can even have the wherewithal to enjoin each other in such mutual love and support is a blessing.  I can only imagine what it must feel like for blood family members to have access to these marvelous resources of courage and love as yours do.

all the best,
Marc
« Last Edit: October 18, 2007, 01:25:10 PM by hoozheehoo »

Offline Lilybell

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #54 on: October 18, 2007, 04:09:05 AM »
Hello, my name is Lily and I have been reading all of the posts here.  It brings back alot of old memories so long ago.  All of the support you are receiving here is wonderful, hurting dad.  I know things are so scary for both you and your son!! I remember when i was at the tender age of 23, about to graduate from college and off to start my life as a grown up and them BAMB!!!  Then i had to tell my mother and my father and that was even harder.   Without the love and support that my family has given me I would have given up a long time ago.  And it sounds like you and your family have the same.  That is the most important thing is to love and not be judgmental.  It is amazing how much just having your family there will do for your son.  He will run the gambit of emotions as sure as all of us well know.  I did not deal with my HIV for 10years but in the end it will always catch up to you.  Each person is different and deals with it in there own way and time.  With the help and love of family you can make it through anything.  Just be patient!! 

That being said I want to tell you that I have been poz for 18yrs now.  I know these times are very scary but early detection is the key!!  your son could live the rest of his life simply being just HIV. Yes some things in his life will change but for the most part life goes on.  There is nothing that can stand in his way and he can still have all his dreams come true of the life he wants to live.  There are so many medications now.  If one cocktail does not work then there usually is always another.  Be sure to have a Dr. that you truly trust and can talk to.  My Dr. is my god so to speak.  I know this whole thing sucks but you know what they say " bad things happen to good people" and sometimes its just not for us to see what Gods great plan for us all are.  You guys now know and that is the most important!  I still get nervous going in and doing my blood work after all this time.  The hardest part for me was standing someplace and seeing all these people around me and saying to myself "all these people are normal and I am the only one that is HIV and that makes me a freak"  Like I said with the love and understanding of my friends and family I realized that HIV does not define my life or who I am.  Tell your son to remember to love himself and well....sometimes shit just happens!!! 

I am hopeful that me along with all newbies and Long Term Survivors will be around for a very long time and will continue to lead a long and normal life span.  On that note I am now healthier now than I have ever been in my whole life.  Including even before I was HIV.  So hang in there, give lots of love and hug and just remember to tell your son that this did not happen to him because he was a bad person or anything like that.  HIV does not discriminate as I am a heterosexual woman who never slept around and was always faithful, and yet here I am.   HIV can hit anyone anytime!!

Sorry If I am starting to babel but I just know what you are going through and just wanted to set your mind at ease that a normal and happy life still can be achieved even with a nasty pest like HIV!!!

God bless all of us
lily

Offline sureshot02

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #55 on: October 18, 2007, 10:20:44 AM »
Hi Hurtingdad

I am so glad to hear from a parent that is willing to support there family member in there time of need... Give your son a big hug from all of us on here and tell him he is not alone!! HIV is no longer a death sentence like it use to be..Tell your son to hold his head up high and live his life to the fullest and that this is just a glitch in his life and that he is being tested by his higher power..  Just help him keep up with his blood work and listen to his doctors they will tell him the right choices..  Have him do research on the meds that the doctors are telling him to take and to stay AWAY from drugs.. There are all kinds of groups and forums and web sites that can teach him alot about what is going on and what is more than likely going to happen.. This virus effect everyone differant.  I have a friend that was tested POZ in the 90's and is still healthy without med..  With all the new meds out there he should be able to live a normal life (what ever that is) 

 I think I am and many of us on here are living proof of this.. I was tested POZ in the early 80's and lost my family an all my friends.. In the 90's I got PCP at that point I had 2 t-cells and my VL was over 500.000.. I spent 8 months in the hospital at that point I think anything that could go wrong did.. It was a very lonly road and I am glad to hear your son will not have to go it on his own.  Well I'm not going to get into all that, but stand by your sons (both of them) even though you want to focus on one you need to give them both your all..

Hope all stays well PLEASE keep us all posted on your happenings

Don

Online Andy Velez

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #56 on: October 19, 2007, 10:27:09 AM »
Hurting, I'm glad you've come back in here. As I said in my earlier PM, I think it's a good thing that your son is able to focus on school. Whatever the challenges there it's good for him to have something else that matters to him to be involved in.

His numbers are being watched and as you've been told they are likely to bounce around for a while before settling down into a regular pattern.

It's great that you and his mom have a good sense of boundaries. That will help him to realize that he has your support AND he's also a capable guy himself.

Of course you're going to continue to worry. But all of you are gradually going to see that life is going to go on together. Your son is also going to be able to benefit from new and better treatments as they continue to come out.

You know we're thinking of you and wishing you the best.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline Falkore

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  • Posts: 70
Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #57 on: October 22, 2007, 06:51:43 AM »
HurtingDad,

Again I must thank you and commend you on your strength and dedication to your son.  (Not unexpected but still heartwarming)  I know that when I tell my parents (yes, I said "when") they will support me.  After the shock and surprise wears off, they will stand with me as I face this.  The thing that I fear the most is the disappointment they will feel when I tell them that I contracted this virus.  When I told them that my ex had died of HIV, my mother was worried I had it as well.  I told her that I had been tested and I was negative.  At this time it was the truth.  However, I know that they will ask questions that I don't think I can answer.  The "hows" and "who's" have already been dealt with, but my family will still want to know.  I know that it's not their business but they will want to know because they care.  It's just hard for me to draw the line and say, "That is not important."

While I have stepped beyond the "how did it happen" stage, I know that I have to expect my family to go through the same stages of grief that I dealt with when I first received my results.  I just have to be prepared for the difficult questions that I know they will have, be prepared to share much of the information I have but not all.  There are some things I just don't think I want them to know.  Mostly the fact that I don't know who gave it to me.  It has been a source of shame for me but I've dealt with it as best I can.  However, I'm sure they will at least ask, so I just have to be ready to tell them either the truth, that I just don't know, or that it is no longer important.

Again, thank you so much for the support you and your wife have shown.  It has been said many times already, but your son is very lucky to have you in his life... and you are so proud of him for dealing with this potentially devastating news well.  He has only been able to handle it with the support of his loved ones.  Continue to stand by him and nothing can bring you all down.

Falkore
"Ain't no shame in my flame"
Date:          CD4:     VL:
10/02/05     568       2,070
11/18/05     541       2,970
02/17/06     442       4,720
04/17/06     510       1,100
07/12/06     391       3,050
Start Atripla
09/22/06     595       Undet.
01/18/07     562       Undet.
05/25/07     540       Undet.
09/26/07     531       Undet.

Offline aserenityseeker

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #58 on: October 27, 2007, 02:19:25 AM »
Falkore:  I bet your mom already knows you have HIV. We moms seem to know when our child(no matter how old they are) is hurting or ill. With your ex dying from it she will put two and two together(if so half the work is already done and she has processed most of the shock already in her head). I pray for you that once you can tell them that all will go well and the family support you need and deserve will come flowing to you. A river of love in a way.

Hurting dad:  It is great you are so involved with your sons health issues, numbers etc. I feel like once your son has son time under his belt with knowing he is positive that his mind will come to acceptance and he will be more active with his health care and want to know numbers etc. For now as long as he is going to apts, following doctors recommendations,being healthy..no drugs, booze or acting out sexually that is OK for now. I to had a hard time dealing with being positive but tried the opposite approach and went to to many groups, websites, books etc and overloaded myself, got really stressed, and got really sick and scared. After a few years of this I went off all meds, stopped doctors apts, groups everything. I just had to forget....(BAD idea I know and very stupid as many health issues arose out of this choice.) A year ago I was close to AIDS t-cells at 204  viral load was 160,000 and very sick. Thank GOD I had to go in to a hospital for my depression and something clicked in there. I was open about status and all health issues etc. I faced my fears, got back to a new doctor I trusted, got on meds, got into a few groups for HIV not to many to overload, caught up on HIV/AIDS issues, meds etc and finally found  peace with my status. My t-cells are now great and my viral load is undetectable.   When your son can he will also come around to acceptance and somepeace. Just keep up what you are doing and love him as you are. Who knows he may be reading the website and knows more than he lets on right now which is OK.  God is carring your son while you walk with him through this time in his life.
Positive since: 1993
T-cells: 543
Viral load: Undetectable
Meds: Truvada & Kaletra

Positive, Alive and Seeking Serenity :)

Offline BirdBear718

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2007, 11:21:43 PM »
Hello Dad.
You are fantastic!
Continue seeing your son as a person, not as an illness.  I know you will.
Help him organize his medications.  That is very important.  Work with him to create a chart he can keep in a folder or and shirk it to fit in his wallet.

Make sure he sees his counselor on a regular basis.  Go with him.  Sit in the waiting room, and if they want you to go in also -- treat it as a gift and an honor.

Help him to make sure he goes to his appointments.  Drive him.  Make it more than just "appointment day" - see what else he wants to do and do it with him -- breakfast, lunch, shopping, hunting, whatever. 

Talk to him about normal everyday things as well as his medical concerns.  Talk about fun things, trips for the future, upcoming events -- he has a tomorrow - help him to embrace it. 

Offline PeteNYNJ

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #60 on: October 30, 2007, 03:25:58 PM »
Dad

Glad you came back - was touched by your story and wondered what had happened to you.  I am glad you are handling this well but I urge you to find someone to talk to about all this because an HIV diagnosis is associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - it hits us, we go numb, and then it rears its ugly head later down the line.  It can happen to family members as well.

My mom was a rock when I told her - an example of strength I had never seen in my mother.  It was only later when I found out she was crying a lot but didn't want me to know.  I am glad I walked in on her one day because we had a great discussion and I cleared up some misconceptions she had about this disease.

If your son struggles with depression, you might want to mention that to the doctor.  Depression can cause lots of problems down the line if not treated (drinking/drugging, social anxiety, bad adherence to med schedule).  Believe me, I have been there.

Your sons numbers sound good, you should also ask for the percentages as absolutes and VLs bounce around a lot especially in early infection.

Pete

Offline minismom

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #61 on: November 13, 2007, 08:29:54 PM »
I know how you feel.  My daughter is HIV+.  She contracted it inutero.  She was tested at 6wks old and we got the phone call on her 8wk birthday.  It hasn't been easy to say the least.  We came close to losing her too many times to count.  She's now 7yrs old.  Her VL has been undetectable for almost 5 1/2yrs.  She is dealing w/ side effects of the meds as well as effects the virus had on her growing in utero brain and high VL during the crucial developing years.  Before I looked at her with great sadness.  Now I look at her and see a great miracle.  I pray the best for your son, his younger brother, you, your wife, and everyone else lucky enough to be in your son's life.

Mini's Mum
www.watoto.com
www.MotherBearProject.org
"Whichever way you throw me, i will stand"
"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today...it's already tomorrow in Australia"  Charles Schultz

Offline Lakis

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #62 on: November 15, 2007, 03:33:55 PM »
Hi Dad,
your Son is lucky to have you....supportive,loving,caring family is so important.Tell him and tell him over and over that you love him.Touch him,let him know that you are not afraid of him.Just b there for your Son.
 Love and affection can do miracle....

Lakis

Offline madbrain

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #63 on: November 19, 2007, 05:22:22 AM »
Hi,

I know the VL of 44,000 sounds like a large number, but in comparison to many here, it is tiny.  Very few doctors would even consider ARV therapy with numbers like that.

Well, you can't consider the VL alone to start therapy, and certainly not a single VL reading. You have to consider both the CD4 and the VL, and the direction they are taking. But with the CD4 numbers hurtingdad posted so far, this VL isn't as worrisome.


I would doubt that his HIV status is in any way related to the two cases of Strepp this year.  I'd bet many other people in that dorm, heck in the whole school were similarly affected.  In close quarters like that, bugs spread.

Maybe it was related. It may be pointless to speculate now, but I would bet one of those 2 cases of strep happened as a result of primary HIV infection. I had the worst strep of my life in april 06, which I believe to be the time I got infected. And the symptoms of strep throat are pretty close to the symptoms of acute HIV infection. See http://depts.washington.edu/hpic/symptoms.htm .

Also, the numbers game can be misleading and not necessarily very meaningful. My bf and I both went for bloodwork just a week ago.

A couple days later, one of us got a cold from tuesday through wednesday, didn't have to miss any work, and the cold was taken care off quickly with OTC medication (theraflu). The other one got a cold on thursday night, had to miss work friday, and had to go to a doctor on saturday afternoon to get antibiotics.

My bf had 203 CD4 tcells, his lowest number ever, and low CD4% that puts him in AIDS territory. But still undetectable VL, while on Atripla med.

I have 749 CD4 tcells, 2313 VL, and don't take HIV meds.

But I am the one who is having to take the antibiotics. My cold also came with free extras - a very sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and even though I didn't have any fever at any point, the doctor didn't hesitate in prescribing antibiotics after he diagnosed a tonsil and ear infection. Good thing I didn't have to ask for them, because antibiotics are pretty much the only thing that work for me when I get this bad. Which is unfortunately, far too frequent, and this predates my HIV diagnosis last year. I feel somewhat better now, but my throat is still sore and I can't talk too much.

I had periods of my life as a kid where I would be sick with colds or other illnesses an entire winter. I was pretty much always the sick kid. I don't know what my CD4 count was prior to the HIV infection (wouldn't it be great if they ran that for everybody at physical time?), but it can't have been much different than it is now, and more likely higher. I am certain that there must be some more useful, yet-to-be-discovered, measurements of the status of the immune system, than CD4 cell counts and %.

Offline newbernswiss

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #64 on: November 20, 2007, 08:42:04 AM »
Hey Dad,

Just give your son all the love and support you can. Listen to him without reacting on emotions and if possible go with him to the doctors for his medical treatment. That way you can be a part of his health and life. Keep us posted...

Offline LovingMom

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Re: My son tested positive for HIV yesterday
« Reply #65 on: December 03, 2007, 08:14:11 PM »
Dear Dad, How is your son doing these days, and how are you?  I trust things have settled a bit and there is now a routine in place -- meds, doctors' visits, good nutrition, family support and support group(s), exercise, work.  I hope you and your son are recovering.  Our son was diagnosed just before Thanksgiving, so just a few weeks ago.  I believe it is all just settling in for him and for us, and the routine is starting to take shape.  We don't discount its seriousness; in fact, it's terrifying at moments, but I seem to bounce out of it because there's just nothing to be gained being terrified, devastated or sad.  There's just so much good going on with new meds today and we have everything to be thankful and hopeful for in a very real way.  I would move heaven and earth to take this from him and live it myself, but since I can't, I'll do whatever else I can.  Above all, I love him, support him, am proud of his accomplishments which are many, and treasure the person he is.  He is my boy.

If you care to respond, please let me know how things are, nearly 7 months later.  I pray and trust they are well.

Loving Mom

 


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