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Introduction and a few questions

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deniur efil:
Hi, I have just gone through the most unexpected few days of my life where after a routine health screen which I allowed them to do an HIV test - it has come back positive, I am waiting now for the confirmation test results, I'm sure as most of you will realise I am absolutly devastated, I am  hetrosexual male in my late 40's and have spent the better part of 4 years living in Thailand originally from the UK, all my friends are there and I was intending to return but that now seems impossible when I consider the testing and contant monitoring that is required not to mention the medication costs, I get free treatment in the UK but cannot see how I can spend time in Thailand with this condition, this makes me very sad indeed - very

It would be grate if someone here could offer me some advice on the above

I always practised safe sex while in Thailand and for the life of me don't understand how this could have happened


I have browsed through this forum and I'm sure the information is here but hopefully someone can asswer a few questions for me, I have to see a consultant soon and I want to know as much as possible before  hand.

1. I read a post by someone being treated in the UK that they had to take 13 tablets every day, is this true or has the medication been greatly improved, if so what is the average person taking now.

2. What is the most popular effective safe medication people are taking right now

3. If paying for it how much would it cost

4. In the UK will they give me a long period supply

5. What is the duration between each blood test to monitor how you are doing CP4  and VL, i noticed some people here seem to be doing this on a monthly basis, is a 3 or 6 month cycle sufficient

6. If I don't see any doctors take any meds - do nothing as though I hadn't found out, what will happen to me


what is the long term life expectancy and expected quality of life ?



I know questions questions, I can hardly type this my hands are shaking so much

Thanks in advance to anyone that takes the time to reply



BT65:
Deniur, I'm sorry you're in such a bad place.  Please don't hang in the doom-and-gloom too long.  It's just not a good thing.  Wait for the back-up test results.  I can't answer your question about going back to Thailand, or anything about meds cost-wise in the UK.

Starting meds is a choice between patient-doctor.  If your confirmation test is positive, just expect a complete blood panel to see where your CD4s are and VL.  Before starting meds, a doctor usually looks for a trend in numbers (declining CD4s, rising VL), usually over a 3-test period. 

As far as how often the lab tests are, for me it's every 3 months.  But some people do it every 6 months.  Again, this will be up to the doctor who treats the patient. 

Sorry I can't give you more specific answers, but we try not to give absolutes here.  Take a deep breath.  Everything will be alright, trust me.

thunter34:
1.  greatly improved.  average now is anywhere from once to twice daily dosing. lots of people take a one a day pill.  myself, i take technically 8 (4 pills 2x a day).  It's really no big deal in terms of the difference between the "number of pills".  the number of dosing times matters more.

2.  it varies depending on what type of dosing regimen might work best for you and things like resistance tests to see which pills might or might not work for you.

3.  depends on your income and where you live

4.  dunno

5.  typically, every other month (at least for the first while to assess how the meds are working).  tends to stretch to 3 and 4 month cycles after that.  i guess some might do a 6 month blood draw, but that is pretty rare and probably a little longer than i would care to go (and i don't like needles) without checking.

6.  you will very likely die.  and it won't be a very pretty exit, either.  not to be a fear peddler, but i'm not going to coddle you about it either.

All said:  HOLD UP & BREATHE.  Wait on your confirmation test.  This may not be a reality for you, and you might be able to blow this popcicle stand with a negative confirmation test.

Chill.

aliveinla:
If you are hetero and always played safe, I don't think you will be poz so nothing to worry until it's confirmed by western blot.  unless there is something you didn't tell us.

Teresa:
Hi and Welcome to the forums.

I live in the States so i don't know anything about the U.K.

My hubby is HIV+ and he takes Atripla once a day. He has been one of the lucky ones and has no ill side effects from the meds. He goes every 3-4 months for his labs. He started meds as soon as we found out because of his low CD4 and high VL.

Hubby is in his mid 40s and with the meds today I fully expect us to grow old together.

If you haven't done so i urge you to read the lessons here. They really helped us.
Take deep breaths, and if your Western Blot comes back positive, we are all here for you. Its been almost 2 years since we found out about hubby and he is doing great! Hang in there!

Hugs
Teresa

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