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Author Topic: Just seroconverted and getting scared  (Read 9697 times)

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Offline beachdude2003

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Just seroconverted and getting scared
« on: February 11, 2008, 04:49:50 PM »
Hello everyone,

   I found out I was poz on Christmas eve and have been trying to process everything ever since.  My first western block came back inconclusive, so I had to retest, then when the second one came back poz. I had to find a primary care doctor that would see me and then refer me to an ID doctor.  I went to my ID doctor and my Cd4 count is 694.  My viral load isn't back yet.  The more I think about starting meds and the next steps the more scared I become.  I am single and have no one to support me if I got sick and missed work for a long period of time.  Some doctors say to wait on meds, other doctors say to start as soon as you seroconvert.  I really don't know which is correct.  Is anyone else having anxiety over this?

Offline mjmel

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2008, 05:24:24 AM »
Sure, beachdude. We all feel these things at first. Rest assure you have a life ahead of you. Don't let your head play games with you over fearful expectations. You can have a life--albeit--not the exact same one you would have had as HIV- but one that will have loves, loves lost, ups and downs, good days & bad days. Years will go by...you'll have a life--only monitoring yourself more conscientiously and taking meds daily (once you start). At some point down the line you will have understood these initial fears better.
As you noted, there are two schools of thoughts on when to start with meds. The decision will be yours/your doc's in collaboration with your lab results over time.
Welcome to the Forum.

Mike
« Last Edit: February 12, 2008, 05:29:43 AM by mjmel »

Offline BT65

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2008, 08:13:19 AM »
Beachdude, of course you're having a hard time-you're just recently diagnosed.  You have to give yourself time.  When I first tested poz, I thought about it all day long.  I would also encourage you not to get over-anxious if your viral load is elevated.  That happens as the body is "adjusting" to HIV being present.  I would also suggest not to load yourself down with too much information, as there's a lot of panic still out there.  The lessons on this site are excellent, and I would encourage you to read them.

Oh, welcome to the forums!

Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline beachdude2003

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2008, 09:52:32 AM »
Thanks for the kind workds.  Some days I am like, ok I can deal with this and go about my day like nothing has happened. Then there are days when I am like, dude what the heck have you done to yourself you stupid sob.  I have had bad dreams since the day I have found out.  I haven't had but one decent night rest.  I don't think a lot about it during the day because I am busy with work.  I am going to mention to my doctor this when I go back at the end of the month.  Any one else have odd dreams?

Offline BT65

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2008, 12:09:06 PM »
Oh yes, dear.  It's just your unconcious trying to cope with it.  They will get less and less as time goes on.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline beachdude2003

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2008, 01:09:47 PM »
Thanks, I just received my viral load labs.  My viral load is 8100.  I still have to go to the doctor at the end of the month to talk about all my labs.

Offline NLEWLAD

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2008, 05:05:58 PM »
beachdude, i also tested poz over xmas actually 28th dec  i have now got over the inital shock and am doing fine  you will be fine and your world wont come crashing down

take some time to read the lessons on here and listen to the very good advice from other members
and if you want some one 2 one help send me a private message

oh and welcome to the forums

simon
Simon - Location Manchester England
Negative test 10/11/07
Tested poz 28/12/07
Confirmed WB 07/01/08
Sero-converted Late December 07

Date        CD4            %              VL

7/01/08   1273 :)      N/A       100,232
24/01/08   755 :(      42%         4,010
13/2/08     922 :)      45%       78,234
09/04/08   652 :(      38%       36,604
05/05/08   936 :)      39%       38,952
07/07/08   844 :)      34%       24,000
12/11/08   753 :(      31%       45,600
no meds yet:)

Offline planonstaying

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  • Hiv is the FOX,tcells the rabbit, CALL the HOUNDS!
Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2008, 05:52:01 PM »
I seroconverted   almost a year to the day that you did. The year was very up and down. I started i2007 really really sick  and thinking I was dieing. If you get sick it will pass. My conversion illness was like the Flu on steroids but it passed. After that other than  the head stuff I was pretty much ok. I am in the same situation financially as you. . Your viral load isreal low  for a new infection from what little I know. I read it can go to 1000000  the first few weeks. you may be surprised by your CD4 count it may rule out the option of meds for a bit. All I can say is you arent alone. I had the same feelings of remorse, fear, and self loathing for what i had done to myself. As crappy as you may feel I will go out on a limb and promise you it will get easier to  handle as the year goes by. Here I am a year later and I can go a whole day w/o it entiring my mind.  OMG at first it was all consuming. I would suggust you contact a local aids agency. i know the poz site isnt current. You might let people know the state/country you are in and someone might have a contact for you. My local agency has been like a lifeline  for me. They helped me find a Dr and a Therapist. Both of whom I could not be happier with.  It was good advice  not to loose yourself learning about HIV. It kind of fed  my negative cycle  first few weeks and frankly I was to  shellshock to really process a lot of  the information  (((hugs))) hang in there and welcome
If someone tells you  potential consequences of a behavior  it  doesn't  mean they jude you or mit    they may just give a shit about you

Offline beachdude2003

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2008, 07:18:08 PM »
Thanks for all the kind words. The day after my western block came back, I called Nashville cares which is a orginization for hiv and saw a councelor there. I attended one meeting of a support group. I also attened a meeting for hiv at the church that I attend.  They have been great support.  Everyone has different opinions on when to start meds. My labs came back cd4 694 and viral load 8100.  It is just so confusing on who is right about when to start. I don't want to be here 5 years from now saying I wish I had of started them sooner or I wish I hadn't start as soon as I did. ???

Offline planonstaying

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  • Hiv is the FOX,tcells the rabbit, CALL the HOUNDS!
Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2008, 08:39:31 PM »
I am no Dr i wouldnt even hazard to tell you what to do. I am not you,  your labs arent my labs. I am sure you will reach a good decison. You have really done a lot already. You have a Dr, a support group, a second support group, found these forums....pretty freaking good for two months. i'd say give yourself a pat on the back.
If someone tells you  potential consequences of a behavior  it  doesn't  mean they jude you or mit    they may just give a shit about you

Offline Liouxie Lioux

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2008, 11:12:51 PM »
Beachdude, I tested positive 12/28/08. I am still waiting for my second round of lab tests and only then will I think about whether and how to start treatment.  Personally I feel traumatized, shellshocked, scared, etc.  You are not alone.  If you want to talk, send me an e-mail.  Louis
Liouxie Lioux

Offline BT65

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2008, 08:09:14 AM »
There is no textbook answer about when to start meds.  Your first labs are excellent.  Your doctor will look for a numbers trend probably over three rounds of labs.  Your viral load will probably go up as your body adjusts to the HIV being present.  Don't fret too much. 

I think it's great that you have so much support in place.  When I tested positive ('89) the only support were people who were dying (from AIDS-related illnesses) that I would sit with.  My, how times have changed, eh?
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline beachdude2003

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2008, 08:32:16 AM »
Times have changed and hopefully they keep getting better.  The medications seem to be getting better with less side effects (or so my doctor tells me ;)).  Some research is suggesting that if you have just seroconverted and you start meds, you can practically eradicated the virus from your system.  They say that after the virus attacks the cells, it attacks tissue which leads to muscle weakness and damage.  when any one of you started meds, did your cd4 count go up by a huge number? example if you were 350 and started meds what did it go up to and where is it now?

Offline planonstaying

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  • Hiv is the FOX,tcells the rabbit, CALL the HOUNDS!
Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2008, 08:37:09 AM »
Your Cd4s are well within the normal range now ;D 500-1500 from what i have read. There are negative people running around  with 500 Cd4s
If someone tells you  potential consequences of a behavior  it  doesn't  mean they jude you or mit    they may just give a shit about you

Offline BT65

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2008, 01:07:36 PM »
Some research is suggesting that if you have just seroconverted and you start meds, you can practically eradicated the virus from your system. 

Until a proven scientific cure is put into place, the virus can never be "eraticated" from the system.

I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline keepingfaith

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2008, 02:33:46 PM »
Hi, i'm still new to this. Can anyone tell me what is seroconverted??? Thanks

Offline Assurbanipal

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  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2008, 05:20:48 PM »
Beachdude

Don't know if you already saw this thread in the Research Forum?

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=17690.0

and Keepingfaith

Seroconversion is the point in time when your blood serum first shows that you are fighting off HIV by producing antibodies against the virus.  That's the point at which a test for HIV antibodies in your blood serum converts from showing no HIV antibodies to showing some. Usually it takes a while after infection.  Some people have flu-like symptoms when they seroconvert.  There's more information in the lessons on this site

http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/HIVtests_4714.shtml

-A

5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline beachdude2003

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2008, 10:33:40 AM »
Thanks, I was actually reading it last night. Hope everyone is well. today is a new day

Offline MarkB

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2008, 05:03:43 AM »
Hi Beachdude and welcome to the forum

I'd just like to echo everything that's been said to you so far. There isn't one of us who hasn't been where you are: we've all had the fears and the bad dreams and the 'what ifs'. But as someone who is himself quite new here (as you will see from my postings), I have to say that from my own experience you couldn't hope for a more supportive group of people, nor wiser advice to be had.

Your emotions will be up and down like a yo-yo: don't be surprised if you have bad days and feel the need to talk. I did (and do). There's usually someone around whatever the hour.

Hugs to you,

Aelwyd

Offline milker

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2008, 12:34:54 AM »
Hi beachdude,

at the beginning of infection, the numbers will not mean anything. You need to get tested for a period of 6 to 9 months before you can see a trend on how your body reacts to the infection. Your numbers as they are now mean nothing, really, since there is no baseline to compare them with.

Doctors are changing their approach to when to start medication for one major reason: the medications available are more tolerable than the ones that were available a few years ago.

That said, you have to understand that once you start, you cannot stop, and taking that pill or those pills will be part of your life until you die. Adherence is very important, as well as is timing. So agreeing to take the meds is making sure that you have that mindset. The type of medication will also be something to take into account: whether it's a one pill a day, or a 3 pill, or a refrigerated regimen, etc. All this is unknown yet.

I would personally suggest that you wait until you get more results in the coming months. Unless you are now totally ready to take meds until the end of your life, you may take the opportunity to adapt with your diagnosis first. Being newly diagnosed with HIV triggers a lot of questions, a lot of behavioral changes, and you don't want to have to think about too many things at once.

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 achim-martin

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2008, 11:22:02 AM »
I would start as soon as possible, maybe after having checked if the virus is immune to some meds already - which happens nowadays for newbies. But then I'd start right away.

To wait and see would make me sick before being sick, so to speak...  And each day the virus destroys some of your body, its taking away part of your left life. Besides all those illnesses that may occur, read those threads about prematured aging... This doesn't come from the pills but from the body not being able to cope with life well enough any more, even if being under treatment later. 
Before all of this is too late...rather start now.  My personal thoughts and experiences about this. I  know people who waited and people who acted - and do see the difference now.

Good luck and stay stiff! ;)

Offline SouthSam7

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2008, 11:47:49 AM »
Welcome, Beachdude.  I'm sorry you're here but I'm glad you're here!  As you have already discovered, it's like a roller coaster; some days you handle it head-on, some days you might feel like you're panicking.  Other than that, I concur with mjmel. 

Do what the doctors say, and if you don't feel comfortable around your ID doctor or NP, get another one or at least voice your concerns.

Good luck,
Sam in 'bama

Offline pozsince1984

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2008, 10:50:50 PM »
 :)  hey beachdude....as other people have said, i'm sorry you find yourself having to be in this forum but i'm glad you're here.  being a newbie is quite a struggle.  i still remember my first couple years.  and what i've come to find out is that my doctors can only give suggestions.  i was initially on massive doses of azt back when that was the regimen.  then i stopped taking meds for almost 15 years.  i was quite healthy and i only went on medications when they came out with some that i didn't have to make my life revolve around my meds.  when it comes down to it, ask questions.  lots of questions and make your own choices.  for me it allowed me to take control of my life instead of being at the mercy of someone who only saw me as a hiv + patient.  the best news my doctor ever gave me was that numbers are only that...numbers.  they use them for a baseline for medications but they are not hard and fast rules.
some people lose their faith because god shows them too little, but how many people lose their faith because God shows them too much.

Offline beachdude2003

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2008, 04:22:07 PM »
Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond.  It does make me feel better knowing that I am not alone.  R

Offline chm02

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2008, 02:35:27 PM »
Hola beachdude,

I can offer one thing:
I had the same anxiety when I got infected. I also worried about meds and when i would start them; now, or later?
Turns out my immune system tanked s fast under hiv that i had to start taking meds within a year. My best freind has been poz 17 years and is still not on meds.
Now- I'm only saying this because I know how easy it is to get way ahead of yourself, and start worrying about things that don't exist. _ be the best that you can be for today. God that sounds trite- but just know that I feel ya, bro.

Mark

Offline racingmind

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2008, 07:58:14 AM »
I'd wait a bit. After I was infected, I had bloodwork done once a month to see a developing trend. Your CD4 and VL numbers are pretty good right now. Take your time and process what has happened. It sounds like you are getting the help that you need. It took me a while to come to terms with it myself.  Find out more. Ask questions. Keep a close eye on your labs. Make informed decisions. When the time is right, you'll know.

I will say one thing...the day I finally made the decision to start meds was the day I got my life back. I decided to take charge of the situation and fight back. Now I don't live everyday thinking about it. This process, of course, took over a year. I was scared of taking meds too, but I am lucky in that they are working well with virtually no side effects.  Others are not so fortunate. The point is you will never know how your body is going to react until you start the meds.

Talk to your ID doctor. He/She is the one that can give you the best information to make an informed decision.

Welcome to the forums, there are a lot of good people here to help you through this.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2008, 08:01:29 AM by racingmind »
Tested Negative: 5/06
Tested Positive: 9/06 
9/06: CD4: 442 (28%) VL: +100,000
10/06: CD4: 323 (25%) VL: 243,440
11/06: CD4: 405 (28%) VL: 124,324
12/06: CD4: 450 (29%) VL: 114,600
1/07: CD4: 440 (27%) VL: 75,286
3/07: CD4: 459 (30%) VL: 44,860
5/07: CD4: 353 (24%) VL: 50,852
7/07: CD4: 437 (29%) VL: 39,475
9/07: CD4: 237 (32%) VL: 372,774
10/07: CD4: 324 (27%) VL: 115,454 
Started Atripla: 10/07
11/07: CD4: 524 (?%) VL: Undetectable!
2/08: CD4: 653 (35%) VL: undetectable
5/08: CD4: 822 (40%) VL: undetectable
8/08: CD4: 626 (35%) VL: undetectable
12/08: CD4: 619 (36%) VL: undetectable
3/09: CD4: 802 (38%) VL: undetectable
7/09: CD4: 1027 (43%) VL: not tested
10/09: CD4: 1045 (43%) VL: undetectable

Offline isitthatbad

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2008, 04:23:39 PM »
WOW your viral load is very good i have HIV 1 and 2...NICE....was diagnosed 20/6/2007 first results were CD4 - 596 and viral load 119,000
1/8/2007 CD4 - 590 - no viral load result
7/11/2008 - CD4 600 viral load 116,000

Offline BT65

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2008, 05:26:08 PM »
Is:  I can reassure you that your high vl is because your infection is still new and your body is adjusting.  Your CD4 is at a very good point right now.  Take it easy.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline beachdude2003

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Re: Just seroconverted and getting scared
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2008, 06:23:49 PM »
I go to my ID doctor Wednesday and we are going over all of my labs. I am thinking about starting meds.

 


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