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Author Topic: My new best friends??  (Read 9730 times)

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Offline PozitivelySouthern

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
My new best friends??
« on: May 30, 2008, 08:06:38 AM »
Hello Everyone -

I was diagnosed 36 hours ago with genital herpes and HIV. I couldn't believe the doctor just bluntly tells me this over the phone while I am at work. Needless to say, I left work sick. My mind was reeling. I felt numb. I drive home not knowing where I should go or who I should talk to....

Fortunately, my next-door neighbor, who has been positive for over 20 years, was also home and he consoled me that first evening. However, he is straight, I am gay, and we both got HIV through different routes of transmission. While he is of great comfort to me and has good advice, he does not totally relate. The best thing he did was tell me about POZ. From what I have read and seen so far, this seems like an absolutely wonderful community of friendship and support.

I consider myself a strong person. I returned to work the very next day. I know I have to remain strong and remain optimistic if I want to have a good long life, which I have every intention of living!

My biggest fear at this time is telling my recent ex of my status. We enjoyed several years of unprotected sex and broke up 3 months ago. Any suggestions of how to go about this?
05/28/08 Diagnosed
08/04/08 CD4 268 (24.4%) VL 3,310
09/08/08 CD4 316 (22.6%) VL 2,400
09/09/08 Started Atripla
10/31/08 CD4 389 (27.8%) VL Undetectable - Yay!
01/29/09 CD4 406 VL Undetectable
04/30/09 CD4 513 (27%) VL Undetectable.
10/27/09 CD4 560 (28%) VL Undetectable.
03/09/10 CD4 536 (33.5%) VL 96
12/02/10 CD4 514 (32.1%) VL Undetectable.
06/16/11 CD4 446 (29.7%) VL <20
11/11/11 CD4 608 (30.4%) VL 170

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2008, 08:28:36 AM »
Hi PS, welcome to the forums.

What sort of relationship do you have with your ex? If you are afraid to tell him because of any concerns for your physical or even emotional safely, you don't have to tell him yourself. Most testing centers will notify your past partners if you give them the contact details They will call or send a letter saying that a past contact (they will not identify you) has tested positive for hiv and therefore they should be tested.

It sounds like you're dealing with this rather well. It's a rollercoaster ride of emotions for the first few months, but that will soon settle down. I'm glad you found us - and there are quite a few different modes of transmission between us all, but we can all still relate on one aspect - we've all got this virus. (many of us also have herpes, I know I do!) I'm assuming that you and your neighbour mainly don't relate on the issue of sexuality, but it's great that he's been there for you and directed you here.

Hugs for the new guy,
Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline loop78

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  • Posts: 147
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2008, 08:38:24 AM »
Hi Southern,

Like you, I've been very recently diagnosed and I'm just learning to adjust to this new reality.

I've been around here for a very short time, but my impression is the same as yours: there are wonderful people in this forums, and they reach out for one another.

I too had to tell the people I've been with since my last negative test. My biggest fear was not telling my ex (has been 3 years since we broke up and it's highly unlikely he infected me or the other way round), but the guy I've been with most recently. I guess I was afraid of he telling me he was positive and he didn't tell me, but I was equally afraid of he rejecting me. I spoke to him yesterday, he was really kind and supportive, hugs, kisses and all. We ended up having sex (as safe as sex can be), which was the less likely outcome that I had imagined of that conversation. I ended up feeling much better, relieved, happy with myself for having the guts to tell him and even loved. I guess you never now, but if you think you have to talk it over, you'll feel better afterwards.

I took a factual, non judgmental approach to telling him: told him I had the test, the results and why I decided to tell him, the rest came by itself.

Good luck telling him and welcome aboard, I think you've got the right attitude and that's the part of this no one else can do for you :-)

Hugs!

Offline dgr20002

  • Member
  • Posts: 288
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2008, 06:03:23 PM »
My biggest fear at this time is telling my recent ex of my status. We enjoyed several years of unprotected sex and broke up 3 months ago. Any suggestions of how to go about this?

I think being straightforward is the best approach. Give him a call and tell him you would like to meet him somewhere and that you want to talk to him. Be casual about it and do it as soon after you call as you can. Because you know he is going to wonder what it is all about.  This is the approach I used and it was a good conversation and it lets him know that he may be infected and could curtail the possibilility of him infecting others if he is also positive.

Good luck,

David

Offline PozitivelySouthern

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  • Posts: 32
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2008, 12:19:52 PM »
Thanks for the responses....and the advice...

I'm trying to carry on as I always have before. I went to the gym this morning. I just keep looking around and thinking that nothing is the same for me. I look around at people and think I am not one of them anymore. To me it is worse than dealing with being gay back when I was a teenager. I feel like a pariah.

I read the forums and I know that it is normal to feel this way. I just didn't think I would feel so so isolated.....as you can tell, I am having a bad morning. I don't want to tell my family because I know they won't handle it very well. I don't want to turn yet to the local ASO. I am worried about who will find out and spread the news before I have had time to tell the people that I have had sexual contact with. It is so bad this morning that I don't even want to go back outside because I feel that I am not worthy to be looked upon. I know I am being ridiculous...throwing myself a pity party of one....but it is what I am feeling this morning. I just need to let it out ...the flood of tears and all. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a little better.

My sympathetic neighbor is having his own health issues this weekend and has left town to be with his family. It would be nice to have a shoulder to cry  upon. Thank goodness you people are here ...in cyberspace .....so I am not quite totally alone.
05/28/08 Diagnosed
08/04/08 CD4 268 (24.4%) VL 3,310
09/08/08 CD4 316 (22.6%) VL 2,400
09/09/08 Started Atripla
10/31/08 CD4 389 (27.8%) VL Undetectable - Yay!
01/29/09 CD4 406 VL Undetectable
04/30/09 CD4 513 (27%) VL Undetectable.
10/27/09 CD4 560 (28%) VL Undetectable.
03/09/10 CD4 536 (33.5%) VL 96
12/02/10 CD4 514 (32.1%) VL Undetectable.
06/16/11 CD4 446 (29.7%) VL <20
11/11/11 CD4 608 (30.4%) VL 170

Offline dgr20002

  • Member
  • Posts: 288
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2008, 12:39:19 PM »
There are better days ahead. You are feeling what a lot of us have felt in the past and it does take a little time to adjust. Once you have seen a DR and gotten a baseline on your counts and can determine if you need meds or not you will feel a bit more in control. Right now it is the uncertainty of things that is hard to deal with too.

A lot of us have be + for many years and there are days that you will feel down and all the things you are going through now. As time goes on those days will be fewer and fewer.  If you are sitting at home feeling sad for yourself try to get outside and get some air.  Take a walk or ride your bike. Do something other than dwell on this if you can help it.

David

Offline Assurbanipal

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  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2008, 12:44:27 PM »
Hi

I wanted to welcome you to the forums too.  Sorry you are feeling blue today, but trust us, it does get to a "new normal" over time.  But when you are first getting your head around a new diagnosis there's a lot to absorb and a lot to reflect on.  In addition to the folks here on the forums, there's a lot of helpful written advice on this site .  Don't see that anyone else has guided you there yet, so thought you might want to spend some time with the lessons.  You can get there by clicking on lessons in the upper left hand corner of the screen -- or just click here
http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Introduction_4702.shtml

There's some helpful ideas on how to approach disclosure more generally in there as well
http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Disclosure_7568.shtml

And for general cheering up . . . well . . . there's some folks with really wicked senses of humor on this site -- you might want to check out off topic.

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?board=11.0

Hope you feel better
Assurbanipal

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 BT65

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  • Member
  • Posts: 9,841
  • Vegas baby!
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2008, 10:15:26 AM »
Hi Positivelysouthern,

Your ASO couldn't do any "spreading of the news" without anything in writing from you.  You're not being ridiculous, though. Please don't feel that way.  I've been where you've been, and so have several other people here.  I felt totally displaced when I tested positive.  I felt like life as I knew it was over.  It takes awhile for the emotional part of finding out to even out.  I would encourage you to contact the ASO to speak with someone who can help make your journey a bit easier.  Someone to talk to, know what I mean.  They might be able to hook you up with a support group also, if need be for one. 

About your family, well, we all know when the time is right.  And when you feel the time is right and if you have questions about how to tell them, we'll help you with that also.  I phoned my family right away when I found out (I was in a treatment center), but that's me.  Not everyone does that.  You know your family best.  Disclosure is a very personal thing, I believe.  I don't believe in any hard and fast answer on that one. 

I'm glad you're turning to us for support right now.  I hope you keep posting. 
  Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline PozitivelySouthern

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2008, 11:54:25 AM »
Thanks Betty and to all of you who responded!

Today is much better. A female friend of mine asked me out for a movie and dinner last night (she's hot for me even though she knows I am gay...lol). It did me a lot of good to do something "normal". It made me realize that she doesn't know and doesn't need to know and that I'm still the same person that she enjoys hanging around with. As I have seen written in the forums, I have the virus....It doesn't have me!

Certainly, I will have backslides of emotion. But, everyone has their ups and downs in "normal" life and, eventually, my ups and downs will not be because I am HIV+ but simply because I am human. In other words, HIV will not be the major factor in my day-to-day consciousness. It will be just another part of who I am. Not sure if I am making sense here....LOL.

Thanks again to all of you! It is truly amazing to have so much compassion, understanding and friendship right here at my fingertips! Betty, I am going to take your advice and contact my ASO this week to see if I can connect with a counselor.  :)



05/28/08 Diagnosed
08/04/08 CD4 268 (24.4%) VL 3,310
09/08/08 CD4 316 (22.6%) VL 2,400
09/09/08 Started Atripla
10/31/08 CD4 389 (27.8%) VL Undetectable - Yay!
01/29/09 CD4 406 VL Undetectable
04/30/09 CD4 513 (27%) VL Undetectable.
10/27/09 CD4 560 (28%) VL Undetectable.
03/09/10 CD4 536 (33.5%) VL 96
12/02/10 CD4 514 (32.1%) VL Undetectable.
06/16/11 CD4 446 (29.7%) VL <20
11/11/11 CD4 608 (30.4%) VL 170

Offline PozitivelySouthern

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2008, 08:30:56 PM »
 :'(

My doctor called today to tell me that the Western Blot comes back positive as well. He is referring me to an ID doctor tomorrow. I called the local ASO today and talked to a case manager. Though I was reluctant to give her my personal information over the phone, I did agree to call her tomorrow and give her my home address so she can meet me after lunch. I scheduled vacation from work for tomorrow afternoon because I know I am going to get pretty emotional talking to someone face-to-face about everything.

I tried to talk to one of my regular sexual contacts today and he got very hostile when I brought up the subject of needing to be tested. I chickened out and told him that I don't know about myself yet....that I think there is a possibility and that I am going to be tested quickly. I know that is not how I should have handled it but perhaps it will give him a little more time to think about the possibility of it. I plan on telling him for sure tomorrow or Wednesday. Wish me luck.

If it were just me that was affected by HIV, I think I would be okay. It kind of still seems like a bad dream but I do already feel some sense of acceptance with it.....of owning it. But, when I think about the other people that I may have infected, and who they may have infected in turn, it just makes me feel so horrible. Hopefully, my new ASO case manager will be able to help me work through this.
05/28/08 Diagnosed
08/04/08 CD4 268 (24.4%) VL 3,310
09/08/08 CD4 316 (22.6%) VL 2,400
09/09/08 Started Atripla
10/31/08 CD4 389 (27.8%) VL Undetectable - Yay!
01/29/09 CD4 406 VL Undetectable
04/30/09 CD4 513 (27%) VL Undetectable.
10/27/09 CD4 560 (28%) VL Undetectable.
03/09/10 CD4 536 (33.5%) VL 96
12/02/10 CD4 514 (32.1%) VL Undetectable.
06/16/11 CD4 446 (29.7%) VL <20
11/11/11 CD4 608 (30.4%) VL 170

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,841
  • Vegas baby!
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2008, 06:59:01 AM »
Hey there,

I'm glad you're checking back in with us, though I'm sorry we have to meet up like this.  I'm really glad you called the ASO and are going to talk to a case manager.  That should help you tremendously.

Hey, don't feel bad about not telling your old screw-partner right away.  It's not like you have to do everything in one day.  Take little chunks of things and handle what's right in front of you without adding any extra stress to your life.  And what you did before you knew about being positive, don't beat yourself up for.  You had no idea then, so you're going to have to learn to let that go.

Good luck and please let us know how you're doing.
  Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline PozitivelySouthern

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2008, 07:45:57 AM »
Thanks again Betty!

I'll definitely be back here again.
05/28/08 Diagnosed
08/04/08 CD4 268 (24.4%) VL 3,310
09/08/08 CD4 316 (22.6%) VL 2,400
09/09/08 Started Atripla
10/31/08 CD4 389 (27.8%) VL Undetectable - Yay!
01/29/09 CD4 406 VL Undetectable
04/30/09 CD4 513 (27%) VL Undetectable.
10/27/09 CD4 560 (28%) VL Undetectable.
03/09/10 CD4 536 (33.5%) VL 96
12/02/10 CD4 514 (32.1%) VL Undetectable.
06/16/11 CD4 446 (29.7%) VL <20
11/11/11 CD4 608 (30.4%) VL 170

Offline loop78

  • Member
  • Posts: 147
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2008, 07:47:07 AM »
Hi Southern,

Don't worry if it's too much at first to tell him, you're in no hurry. You have to take care of yourself first, so it's up to you to decide which way of telling him you feel more comfortable.

It's no use feeling bad thinking you may have passed it to someone. You didn't know, it's not your fault. Now you know and you're doing the right thing. Kudos for that.

Each one of us is responsible for his or her own health, so don't be so hard on yourself.

Hugs and take care!

Offline dusty99

  • Member
  • Posts: 103
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2008, 11:37:30 AM »
Hey Positive,

Welcome to the forums. I am like you as well, being a newbie to HIV +.   I have found great support here as well, Questions answered and good advice. It will get easier to deal with. At first, when I found out, I was consumed by the fact and it was ALWAYS on my mind. Over time, it became less and less, so that I really don't think about it so much. It just pops into my mind from time to time, and then that's it. It doesn't rule me. And, over time it won't rule you, unless you let it. Being a strong person, it won't and it will only be a "part" of your life not a controlling factor. I know that there is a reason beyond my personal carelessness (for my case only I do not speak for anyone else) that I now have this virus. My purpose in life is to impact the lives of the people around me and show them they matter, has been even before I found out my status, this will is the case even now. I plan on impacting people positively (no pun intended) no matter what, and I think that you can too, many people on here have done so for me and I will do the same.

As was stated before, take it one day at a time, bite off only what you can day to day, don't let yourself get overwhelmed, and continue to enjoy life just as you had before.  Talk to you later.
17 Mar 08: diagnosed
31 Mar 08 CD4: 565,  30%  VL: 28,900
21 May 08 CD4: 600,  37%  VL: 13,000
25 Oct 08  CD4: 308   34%  VL: 68,000
19 Nov 08 Started Atripla
16 Dec 08  CD4: 580   42% VL: 70
27 Jan 09  CD4: 490   41%  VL: undetectable
24 Mar 09  CD4: 565   42%  VL: undetectable
30 Jun 09  CD4: 615    41% VL: undetectable
25 Sep 09  CD4: 595    47% VL: undetectable

Offline PozitivelySouthern

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2008, 03:06:23 PM »
Thanks Dusty and Loop!

Even us Newbies can be of help to each other! Thanks for sharing!
05/28/08 Diagnosed
08/04/08 CD4 268 (24.4%) VL 3,310
09/08/08 CD4 316 (22.6%) VL 2,400
09/09/08 Started Atripla
10/31/08 CD4 389 (27.8%) VL Undetectable - Yay!
01/29/09 CD4 406 VL Undetectable
04/30/09 CD4 513 (27%) VL Undetectable.
10/27/09 CD4 560 (28%) VL Undetectable.
03/09/10 CD4 536 (33.5%) VL 96
12/02/10 CD4 514 (32.1%) VL Undetectable.
06/16/11 CD4 446 (29.7%) VL <20
11/11/11 CD4 608 (30.4%) VL 170

Offline Basquo

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,251
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2008, 11:50:54 PM »
Hey Southern, welcome to the Forums! When I was a newbie I had zip-dash-squat support. I found these Forums about 4 years ago and joined in the second part of 2005. An incredible outpouring of support is what I found, and I've made some lifelong friends here. It inspired me enough to even start travelling again, so I've had the pleasure of meeting over 50 Forum members face-to-face. Most everyone is a gem, though a few are still in-the-rough, so to speak!
 ;)

Best, and Hugs,
Creighton

Offline TrilbyCowboy

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2008, 05:55:01 PM »
Hi Southern,

Really don't think I can add much more to what others have already said. What your feeling, is what most of us have felt. The day does come though, that being poz is not always on your mind. I would have never thought that in the beginning. As other have stated once you have consullted your doctor (hopefully a doctor that specializes in Infectious Disease), and you see where your numbers fall, both of you will develop a game plan on how to manage your HIV. When I received this information from my ID doctor, we determined that being placed on meds would be the more preferred course of action. After seeing my viral load become undetectable, and my t-cell count rise after just 3 months of meds, I began to feel I was back in control of things. A huge first step!

You cannot beat yourself up over who you may have infected. While I personally feel I have an obligation to inform my partners NOW that I am HIV+, each and every person who is sexually active needs to accept responsibility for their actions. I know who, how, when and where I was infected.  Holding resentment against that person does not change the diagnosis. I am an adult, I was aware of how HIV is transmitted, and I need to accept responsibility for my actions. There are so many people who are in much worse situations than I am. I am fortunate to be diagnosed in a time, where for most, HIV is a managable condition.

Personally the hardest thing I have dealt with, is the stigma that is still attatched to being positive. I have been known positive for 4 years. I have yet to share it with my family. I have a great family that loves me unconditionally, and them knowing I was positive would not change that. I know one day I will most likely have to cross that bridge. I went to visit my family a couple of years ago for Christmas, and my mother commented about how good I looked to other members of my family. It was then that I decided that there was no reason to change that image that she has of me. My health is excellent. I couldn't help but wonder of how she would look at me if she knew. Would she be looking for signs of something, or would she be constantly worried over every little cough or sniffle I may have down the road. If/when the time comes that there is a change in my health, I will share my status wtih my family then. I know I will receive their full support. Until then, I see no need to burden them with worries over something I have under control. I am not saying this is the best course of action for everyone, but I feel very comfortable with this decision in my personal situation. You know your family, and you will make the right decision for all involved. I pretty much follow this same philosphy with everyone in my life, with the exception of health care providers, my close circle of friends both poz and neg, and any person I may meet that intimacy may be possible. Of course people talk, and some have found out that I most likely would not have shared this with. For those, I try to be the best HIV+ role model I can be. I cannot change everyones perception, but I may be able to change some peoples. It is a start.

I get a very strong feeling from your posts so far, that you have a good head on your shoulders. Give it time. Step by step, and day by day you will find that things get easier. Your allowed to have an occassional "pity party", just don't let it consume you. Hopefully the final result will be that you are in control of your hiv, and it is not in control of you. There many good people on this site, and a lot of very good information. Glad you are part of it.

HUGS~
Paul

Offline PozitivelySouthern

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2008, 08:50:59 PM »
Paul.....

Thank you for sharing your story with me! I almost feel like I know you.

While I am anxious about finding an ID, I am already feeling somewhat normal again. In only 2 weeks, I am finding myself waking in the morning and thinking about what my day will be like instead of my first thoughts being "I am HIV+". But, like you, I will feel so much more in control once I know where my blood levels are at and I get some questions answered. My medical records were sent to a very reputable ID a week ago and I am just waiting on her office to call me. I only pray that she is taking new clients.

Unfortunately, I think I have already met prejudice. I will never be able to prove it but it seems pretty obvious. An employee at my doctor's office (family doctor) is the daughter of one of my co-workers. I'm afraid she has already broken confidence and told my co-worker. This co-worker has always been friendly towards me. He would greet me whenever he sees me, shake my hand and engage in conversation. Sadly, he saw me a few days ago and walked right by like he didn't know me. He would not make eye contact. It concerned me to the point that I peeked over at him twice only to catch him staring at me and he would quickly avert his face. Perhaps he just doesn't know how to deal with it. But, at any rate, it really bothers me that medical confidentiality went right out the door and now I am probably faced with my whole company eventually knowing. I am really not prepared for that so soon.

Well, again, thanks for being there everyone.



05/28/08 Diagnosed
08/04/08 CD4 268 (24.4%) VL 3,310
09/08/08 CD4 316 (22.6%) VL 2,400
09/09/08 Started Atripla
10/31/08 CD4 389 (27.8%) VL Undetectable - Yay!
01/29/09 CD4 406 VL Undetectable
04/30/09 CD4 513 (27%) VL Undetectable.
10/27/09 CD4 560 (28%) VL Undetectable.
03/09/10 CD4 536 (33.5%) VL 96
12/02/10 CD4 514 (32.1%) VL Undetectable.
06/16/11 CD4 446 (29.7%) VL <20
11/11/11 CD4 608 (30.4%) VL 170

Offline BubbaPat

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Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2008, 02:19:02 PM »
Howdy PositvelySouthern,

I've always thought Welcoming someone to being HIV+ was a bit weird but here we are anyway.  I'm glad you found the forums, everyone is wonderful... well 99% at least. 

When I found I was positive, my partner and I were right smack dab in the middle of moving across country.  I moved away from family and friends to be supportive of our 6 month relationship.  Fortunately we were moving to San Francisco, what better place to positive, huh?  Now its been 8 years and we're still here.  I haven't told but truly a handful of people and no, I haven't told my family.  I'm in good health and when I'm not, that's when I'll tell more than two people.

Because I had a bad habit of meet, date, marry in one date, there are not MANY "recent" sexual contacts and the few I had have moved and I can't reach them.  I've made my self sick, and still do on occaisson, about telling them.  In the end, since I'm unable to locate them through old mutual friends or regular internet searches I finally had to agree that it takes TWO to get this way.  I didn't know I was positive when I knew them and though I'm pretty sure I got it from a stupid one night fling just before I met my current lover, I'll never really know.  We all have to take responsibility for our actions.  Weather I got it from one of my ex's or my one night stand, it really doesn't matter anymore. 

As for the Doctor's office...... I would approach my coworker and ask him what's up?  If he says he found out your positive then pull out all your Southern wiles and inform him that last you remembered, you two haven't slept together and you're pretty sure when you got tested for all the goodies, you didn't tell him.  Then add since you two haven't done the deed then someone must be a gossip and you'd like to know who wants to make sure you two aren't friends.  I wouldn't press the issue of identity but the fact that someone is trying to make sure you two aren't friends.  If he confirms your suspicions, it would be best if you mentioned it to your Doctor.  Not everyone is like you, at some point, someone will sue the pants of the doctor's office and they should know that they have an employee that is spilling personal information.

I'm lucky in that I have a doctor that I like.  I'm not super fond of SOME of the staff but life isn't perfect.

Hang in there and Bubba Hugs!
Patrick
Bubba hugs!
Patrick

Offline PozitivelySouthern

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  • Posts: 32
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2008, 07:47:09 AM »
Hey Bubba! Thanks for sharing!

That was a good suggestion concerning my co-worker. If I can ever get him alone, I will definitely ask him about the change towards me.

Congrats on maintaining your relationship! I hope I am fortunate enough to find an understanding companion (neg or poz) who will share my life.
05/28/08 Diagnosed
08/04/08 CD4 268 (24.4%) VL 3,310
09/08/08 CD4 316 (22.6%) VL 2,400
09/09/08 Started Atripla
10/31/08 CD4 389 (27.8%) VL Undetectable - Yay!
01/29/09 CD4 406 VL Undetectable
04/30/09 CD4 513 (27%) VL Undetectable.
10/27/09 CD4 560 (28%) VL Undetectable.
03/09/10 CD4 536 (33.5%) VL 96
12/02/10 CD4 514 (32.1%) VL Undetectable.
06/16/11 CD4 446 (29.7%) VL <20
11/11/11 CD4 608 (30.4%) VL 170

Offline TrilbyCowboy

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Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2008, 05:53:54 PM »
Hi Positively Southern,

First I apologize that I do not get on the forums on a regular basis. I appreciated your acknowledgement of my post. Just curious to know how things are going for you. Both personally and test result wise. If you get some time, give us an update.

Paul

Offline PozitivelySouthern

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  • Posts: 32
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2008, 10:45:56 PM »
Hi Trilby!

Thanks for checking in on me :-)

Things are going okay. You know...one day at a time. I finally got a call yesterday from my ID doctor's office and my first appointment is scheduled for July 31st. So, now it will be just a matter of weeks before I can start getting some answers about my condition. I'm still feeling great so I am not too worried....just anxious.

On a personal level, I have just met someone who is really nice and who has a negative status. After spending time with him, I decided to take a chance and tell him about myself. It was hard for me to get it out. And, of course, I started crying when I did.....it was such a release for me. Fortunately, I judged him right and he has been really understanding and compassionate about it. Best of all, he is not dismissing the possibility of a relationship. He has since been researching the ins and outs of serodiscordant couplings, which shows me that he is definitely interested. Time will tell.

I hope you are doing well also and that you post again soon.
05/28/08 Diagnosed
08/04/08 CD4 268 (24.4%) VL 3,310
09/08/08 CD4 316 (22.6%) VL 2,400
09/09/08 Started Atripla
10/31/08 CD4 389 (27.8%) VL Undetectable - Yay!
01/29/09 CD4 406 VL Undetectable
04/30/09 CD4 513 (27%) VL Undetectable.
10/27/09 CD4 560 (28%) VL Undetectable.
03/09/10 CD4 536 (33.5%) VL 96
12/02/10 CD4 514 (32.1%) VL Undetectable.
06/16/11 CD4 446 (29.7%) VL <20
11/11/11 CD4 608 (30.4%) VL 170

Offline auspoz

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  • Posts: 158
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2008, 11:24:54 PM »
Hi Positively Southern.

It seems we are at similar stages of the journey. I tested positive about 6 months ago, and I'm trying to figure it all out too.

I have found the wisdom on these forums to be really helpful.

Take care of yourself.

Auspoz.

Offline BT65

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  • Vegas baby!
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2008, 10:21:34 AM »
Pozsouthern,

Thanks for checking back in.  I'm sure you'll feel a bit relieved once you've had your visit with your ID doc.  Just knowing where one stands in regard to labs etc. helps a great deal.

Congratulations on meeting a new, potential beau.  Good luck on all fronts.  And keep in touch.
  Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline PozitivelySouthern

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  • Posts: 32
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2008, 08:48:39 PM »
Well, after being diagnosed 2 1/2 months ago, I finally got my first numbers (see below). I must say that I have mixed feelings about the results. While I am happy that the VL is low, I really wasn't expecting my CD4 to be below 300. My doctor is placing me on Atriplia. For the past few months, I have been thinking that this was a recent infection. My doctor thinks that I have been positive for many years.  I guess I will never really know for sure.  :-\

05/28/08 Diagnosed
08/04/08 CD4 268 (24.4%) VL 3,310
09/08/08 CD4 316 (22.6%) VL 2,400
09/09/08 Started Atripla
10/31/08 CD4 389 (27.8%) VL Undetectable - Yay!
01/29/09 CD4 406 VL Undetectable
04/30/09 CD4 513 (27%) VL Undetectable.
10/27/09 CD4 560 (28%) VL Undetectable.
03/09/10 CD4 536 (33.5%) VL 96
12/02/10 CD4 514 (32.1%) VL Undetectable.
06/16/11 CD4 446 (29.7%) VL <20
11/11/11 CD4 608 (30.4%) VL 170

Offline Horizon

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  • Posts: 23
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Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2008, 04:50:29 AM »
Hi there PozSouthern

It all depends upon when you think you got infected, or when was your last negative result.

I was also diagnosed a few months ago, with a CD4 count of 280.
However, since this was still during the initial months of infection (within the first 6 months), by CD4 level went up to 370 at my next test (last month). So I would say that you should not make any conclusions until you have had another test. It could very well go up, similar to mine.
And I think it could, since you have a low viral load.

With that said, Our bodies are really all different, and some people could have Low CD4 counts, even before they tested positive, I am one of those people who always had low White blood cells, even while I was negative. And I have heard of people who are negative, who have normal immune systems, yet have CD4 counts stable at 350

Last negative result - September 2007

May 2008- Tested Positive
May 2008 CD4 280 (12%)          VL (unknown)
July 2008 CD4 370  (17%)          VL 9,800
Aug 2008 CD4 330 (17%)           VL10,000
Dec 2008 CD4 350                (Started Atripla)
Aug 2010 CD4 550                 Undetectable
Jan  2011 CD4 520

Offline PozitivelySouthern

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  • Posts: 32
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2008, 07:52:43 AM »
Thanks Horizon!

I really am pretty confident that the infection had to be recent and I guess it can't hurt too much to wait another month for labs. I think I will talk to my doc again and ask to hold off on the meds for now. I think the script was already called in for mail order but I suppose that I can just hold on to it.
05/28/08 Diagnosed
08/04/08 CD4 268 (24.4%) VL 3,310
09/08/08 CD4 316 (22.6%) VL 2,400
09/09/08 Started Atripla
10/31/08 CD4 389 (27.8%) VL Undetectable - Yay!
01/29/09 CD4 406 VL Undetectable
04/30/09 CD4 513 (27%) VL Undetectable.
10/27/09 CD4 560 (28%) VL Undetectable.
03/09/10 CD4 536 (33.5%) VL 96
12/02/10 CD4 514 (32.1%) VL Undetectable.
06/16/11 CD4 446 (29.7%) VL <20
11/11/11 CD4 608 (30.4%) VL 170

Offline hotpuppy

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  • Posts: 555
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2008, 01:35:43 PM »
PositivelySouthern,
  It sounds like you are adapting well.  Welcome to the forums. 

Not sure where you are, but one thing I recommend is making friends with other poz gay guys.  Having people you can turn to and talk to is important.  Your poz neighbor is one, even if he's str8. 

In Texas we have a bi-annual poz campout that is an excellent way to make friends.  It's helpful to expand your vision of HIV as something that you aren't in alone.  These forums can help with that. 

Therapy can also help.  it's nice to have a neutral person to talk to and most ASOs provide it as part of the standard care package.

While some may not agree with me, I see it as switching from one dating pool to the other.  There are plenty of nice poz guys who are in great health.  Treatment has advanced to the point where you and I will live pretty normal lifespans with proper healthcare.  Don't think for a second that HIV will take away your ability to meet a great guy, have a fulfilling relationship, and be happy.  If anything, HIV tends to take away the BS that prevents us from being honest, doing what is important, and learning to communicate so that we can have a relationship.

Coming to terms with HIV is also a good time to take inventory for other demons such as alchohol, crystal, and other drugs.  Maybe you decide to get sober, which helps treatment, maybe you don't, that's your call and it's okay.  Being sober is best, controlling or cutting back is okay, and using heavily leaves room for thought and discussion.

Good luck and keep us up todate.
Don't obsess over the wrong things.  Life isn't about your numbers, it isn't about this forum, it isn't about someone's opinion.  It's about getting out there and enjoying it.   I am a person with HIV - not the other way around.

Offline PozitivelySouthern

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  • Posts: 32
Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2008, 07:37:53 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement Hotpuppy! I really need it right now. I received Atripla from my doctor on my birthday and I am pretty bummed out.
05/28/08 Diagnosed
08/04/08 CD4 268 (24.4%) VL 3,310
09/08/08 CD4 316 (22.6%) VL 2,400
09/09/08 Started Atripla
10/31/08 CD4 389 (27.8%) VL Undetectable - Yay!
01/29/09 CD4 406 VL Undetectable
04/30/09 CD4 513 (27%) VL Undetectable.
10/27/09 CD4 560 (28%) VL Undetectable.
03/09/10 CD4 536 (33.5%) VL 96
12/02/10 CD4 514 (32.1%) VL Undetectable.
06/16/11 CD4 446 (29.7%) VL <20
11/11/11 CD4 608 (30.4%) VL 170

Offline BT65

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Re: My new best friends??
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2008, 11:06:56 PM »
I received Atripla from my doctor on my birthday and I am pretty bummed out.

Now you (via the meds etc) can start kicking some virus ass, or some such.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

 


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