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Author Topic: Newly Positive and Military  (Read 7562 times)

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Offline Spy

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Newly Positive and Military
« on: October 12, 2008, 09:19:11 PM »
Well, the good news is I'm not going to Afghanistan (even though I volunteered to go).  The bad news is I'm not going because of the HIV screening during my pre-deployment physical exam.  I was in total shock...  That was a few months ago.  At first, I just sorta didn't believe it... (even though being one of those don't ask, don't tell guys - the risk factors where there - I guess I thought I was invincible and that only happens to other people).  Honestly, my first thoughts when the doctor told me was, "How is this going to affect my career?  Will I be discharged?  Outted?"  That's all worked itself out now.  And, luckily I'm healthy.  My CD4+ is 927 and viral load is 5,700.  I just repeated the blood work last week but I don't have the results yet.  I just came across this site and I have been reading a lot of the comments(very helpful info).  Basically, I'm just hoping I can find some people to talk with on here as I don't really know anybody going through the same thing and (with my job) I really don't see attending group meetings locally.  Thanks...
Dec 07   Seroconversion
Mar 08   CD4+ 927    VL 5200
Oct 08   CD4+ 1024   VL 4320

Offline komnaes

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,893
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 11:02:40 PM »
Welcome to the forums.. it's always bittersweet to welcome a newcomer. I think we have a few members here that were or are still in the military. Hope things go well with you. Hugs, Shaun
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline anniebc

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,935
  • AM member since 2003
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 11:15:30 PM »
Hi

Welcome to the forums.

Reaction to the results is difffernt for everyone, but over time you will find a way of coping with the virus that suits you and it might be quite differnt from how others deal with it.

No one here will ever tell you it's easy, it's ok to get angry or scared but don't let it take over your life, stress is natural it can actually help some of us get through certain situations but excessive stress can cause you physical symptoms and can damage your immune system further, just find ways to manage any stress you may be feeling, learn to relax and listen to your body.
Along with HIV comes anxiety and one way of tackling this is through information. gaining confidence in yourself and making informed decisions about your future.

Support is very important and you can get this from a qualified ID doctor , family and friend that you trust and there are many support organizations out there...just make sure whoever you discuss this with is sympathetic,supporting and  non judgmental about your HIV status.

Most important of all you have to remember that being HIV+ does not top you from being the person you were before your dianosis.

Keep in touch and let us know how your next results come out.

Take care

Hugs
Jan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline auspoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 158
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 06:07:02 AM »
HI Spy,

I'm really sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Welcome to these forums. I'm sure you'll find them very informative, and do look at the lessons. I've found them very helpful this year (found out in January).

Hang in there, and I'm thinking of you. It does get better, as I'm finding every day. Keep in touch.

Auspoz.

Online BT65

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  • Member
  • Posts: 9,837
  • Vegas baby!
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 03:43:29 PM »
Hey Spy,

Welcome to the forums.  I do hope you have at least one friend that you can talk to about it.  Having a "live" person can really make a difference.

Jan gave you some wonderful advice.  I just wanted to join in in welcoming you.
  Luv,
Betty
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 24,381
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 05:52:06 PM »
Hi and welcome,

For starters, the most important thing is that you have a doctor who's going to keep watch on your numbers and with whom you have a good working alliance to keep you healthy.

I think you'll find some helpful information in our lessons on this site including the one about disclosure issues.

It's understandable that you're shocked. You'll probably have a range of feelings in the coming weeks and months. But who you are is much more than the HIV virus. Your comments already show that you're a thoughtful guy.

Keep us posted on how you're doing. You're always welcome here to ask questions as well as to just discuss anything that's on your mind.

We're glad you found your way to our site.

Cheers, buddy.
Andy Velez

Offline MOONLIGHT1114

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,918
  • Cheech 2.2.94 - 4.23.10 We miss you so much!
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 06:12:27 PM »
Hi Spy~

Welcome to the Forums, although it may seem bittersweet right now.  So often, we see Newbies post here once or twice and they don't return.  I'm hoping that's not the case with you. You'll find a lot of helpful info here, and most importantly you'll receive the support that you need.  I agree with what the others said, having that one real person to talk to can make all of the difference in the world.

As far as being invincible?  I felt the same way back in college.  I tested poz in Dec '93, two years after graduating.  Turns out that even if we aren't invincible, some of us are pretty damn close to it.  I have been living poz for nearly 15 years, some people here are 20+ years since diagnosis! 

Remember to take care of yourself and to keep up with labs and docs appts.  I'm not saying being poz is easy, but with a little courage, you'll go father than you'd ever imagine right now.  :)

~Cindy
HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!

Offline 27years

  • Member
  • Posts: 145
  • What I did for love I will still do it for love
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2008, 02:57:03 PM »
Welcome to the forums, hopefully you are coping alright with your diagnosis.   You still have a full career in front of you and Afghanistan is not the only destination.  Unfortunately i don't know which army you are in so i cant really advice, because the terms of employment might be different but if it is the same as I am I will give you some hints to survive if you pm me.   Stick around these forums you will gain well worthy knowledge. 
Nobody dies a virgin life screws us all up

Offline NLEWLAD

  • Member
  • Posts: 230
  • Anything is possible, ANYTHING
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2008, 03:32:41 PM »
Hey Spy,

Welcome to the forums,

when i found out i was a bit of a mess, but with the help of these forums and the moderators i am now a happy pozie,  your numbers, like mine are amazing, and it "should" be a good number of years that you will require any medication.

keep your chin up fella  and take care of yourself.

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 rocky48

  • Member
  • Posts: 37
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2008, 09:23:07 PM »
Spy

Sorry for your diagnosis but everyone here is really supportive. I found out in Aug 08 that I was HIV+ and posted here on Sept.23 and received some great support and advice.  I did find its one day at a time.  I travel to another state to do my blood work and for my ID doctor. I'm trying to keep it between me and my wife. I do see a counselor once a week and that really helps.

Hang in there and hopefully it will get easier.  I will say a prayer for you.

Rocky
Started Atripla on 4/23/11
5/27/11   CD4 - 572 VL - 130
9/30/11   CD4 - 566 VL - UD
3/23/12   CD4 - 640 VL - UD
9/21/12   CD4 - 699 VL - UD

Offline PeteNYNJ

  • Member
  • Posts: 979
  • When life gives you AIDS...make LemonAIDS!
    • Dance for Me, Puppets
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2008, 03:26:49 PM »
welcome to the board....a gay military man - send us some pictures :)

Offline Spy

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2008, 09:20:19 PM »
Thanks everyone for all the kind words and support.  I had bloodwork drawn last month, but the wonderful military hospital lost it... I had it redrawn last week but the results aren't back yet.  I notice alto of people put their results as a footer on their profiles.  My question is that it seems everyone gets blood drawn a lot... my doctor told me every 6 months.  Is this often enough?  Also, a few people sent me PMs but when I try to open them it says "an error has occurred".  I'm not ignoring anyone and I would really like to have some people to chat with.  I put my email in my profile, so just send me an email if you want.  I'm especially interested in chatting with other people in the military.  While the medical evaluation board has returned me to duty with some limitations, I don't really trust them.  I'd like to hear other peoples experiences.  Thanks again for all the great support and advice!   
Dec 07   Seroconversion
Mar 08   CD4+ 927    VL 5200
Oct 08   CD4+ 1024   VL 4320

Offline anniebc

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,935
  • AM member since 2003
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2008, 10:50:21 PM »
Hi there

You have to have three posts up before you can use your PM's..so reply to this with a nice thank you.. ;) and you have your three posts.

Hugs
Jan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Spy

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2008, 11:04:00 PM »
Thanks Jan!  You're the greatest!  ;D
Dec 07   Seroconversion
Mar 08   CD4+ 927    VL 5200
Oct 08   CD4+ 1024   VL 4320

Offline Mike89406

  • Member
  • Posts: 206
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2008, 02:33:53 AM »
Spy, I'm active duty Navy and coming up on 3 1/2 years left til retirement. I was diagnosed in early 2002  I remember I has the same concerns as you and I was sure I would be discharged but I was re assured that as long as I can do my job and my health doesn't prevent me from doing so I will be able to maintain a normal career. Unfortunately I can't go overseas but I was able to see some countries before I was diagnosed. The good news is you have top notch doctors I don't know where you go for your evals but I used to go to Bethesda Naval Medical Center every 6 months and they work closely with NIH and are up and upon research.

The thing that is most important as mentioned before is establish a support system (Mine is my wife and daughter)  educate yourself on HIV and the meds and other things as I know the docs and researchers usually do with all the classes and groups you have to attend while getting your semiannual checkup done. One piece of advice is to take all you can while in the service. I'm looking forward to the pension, lifetime medical, and VA benefits also I'm finishing my Bachelors degree next year I hope but at least before I retire. When you retire you can figure out if you qualify for a certain amount of disability they will look through your medical record IIRC HIV is like 30% alone not sure though.

One thing is that even though they maintain confidentiality in the military on our status know your rights and study the Army's HIV Instruction. The reason being is that when I went up for orders the person I negotiated my orders with didn't understand why I wasn't able to deploy and thought I might have to be medically discharged until I talked to the the HIV Policy director for the Navy it was taken care of.

This forum is the best I've seen online for HIV support you can learn a lot here.

Take Care, Mike
« Last Edit: October 31, 2008, 02:36:00 AM by Mike89406 »

Offline dixieman

  • Member
  • Posts: 889
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2008, 05:47:52 PM »
Spy, A friend of mine was in the air force and still is... found out he was poz in 1989.. it has not affected his career but, he can not serve overseas... his health remains stable... he's retiring in a few years but, when he found out his status... he went to a meeting offered... now this was way back when in 1990... there were more than 150 people tending this meeting who were poz likewise. So do not think your the only one... homos, hetero's alike in the military of all ranks are still serving. Welcome to the poz board... hopefully you'll have at least sympathetic ears to listen... any questions either the moderators or just plain poz folks will give you their experiences... sincerely, John

Offline Moffie65

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2008, 02:47:17 PM »
A friend of mine here is also in the Army, but because we live in a fairly remote area in Arizona, he travels to San Antonio for care.  My one recommendation is to figure out all the logistics to care first, and then try to work around all the red tape accordingly.  Surprises can cause a bit of stress and that is one thing that really damages the immune system, so facing this head on really helps.

I was getting pretty bad care from the Albuquerque VA, becasue my ID doctor wasn't really keeping on top of all the new developments in HIV in the late '90s, so I sold my home in New Mexico and moved to Arizona to get one of the best ID specialists in the VA system.  If you are not looking at the military as a career, one of the really star ID doctors in the VA system, Dr. Neil Ampel, works at the Tucson VA, and he has been an HIV specialist for going on 20 years now, so he is really good.  He has also written profusely for the HIV Encyclopedia that is used by other ID doctors all over the world.  He is also a professor at the University of Arizona Tucson.  All in all, you are in pretty good hands being in the military, as they have one of the best HIV programs in the country, however don't tolerate an ID doctor that hasn't kept up with current knowledge.  Also the VA system is really on top of HIV.

Welcome to the forums, and don't be afraid to ask any questions.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline pozniceguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,175
  • Niceguy Dallas
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2008, 06:51:22 PM »
 I heartily agree with Tim  ( Moffie)  the VA is one of the leaders in research and treatment..here in Dallas the VA Hospital and its squad of Dr's is always pushing the limit on new drugs and treatments  they are in a close alliance with the Southwest Medical group  which is  primarily a Research group headed by a team of Nobel prize winners.... if you have some difficult to treat issues consider contacting them about whats the latest research... I am sure that many of the other VA hospitals can access this information but  there is always  an issue of interest and time with Dr's...  BTW  they run an excellent clinic that is easy to access and has very knowledgeable staff...

Nick
remember the good times...honor the past but don't live there
Le stelle la notte sono grandie luminose, nel cuore profondo del Texas

Offline Spy

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2008, 05:25:11 PM »
I finally got my lab results back from last month.  My CD4+ is 1024 and VL of 4320.  The doc said we'll check it again in six months.  This really seems odd that she only wants to check it every six months.  Everything I've read and from the post on here, it seems like most everyone gets it checked more often.  I understand my CD4+ is still pretty high and the VL is low... but can't that change rapidly?  I'm also looking at some of the advice that's been given on here... i.e. private medical care outside the military.  Well, as a single military guy with no ties to family, I have never looked into medical insurance, so, I'd be paying out of pocket.  How much would a trip to an ID doc cost?  For bloodwork?  I think that would get pricey pretty fast.  Thanks again to everyone for all the words of wisdom and support.  I'm still not too comfortable talking about this...but it seems to be getting easier (on the forum at least). 
Dec 07   Seroconversion
Mar 08   CD4+ 927    VL 5200
Oct 08   CD4+ 1024   VL 4320

Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2008, 08:23:26 PM »
Hello Spy

First, those are great numbers!  Glad you are doing well so far. 

Did the doc also give you the CD4%?  It might be useful to track that too (it tends to be a little more stable than just the CD4 count).

About having a different doctor for the every 3 month tests, not sure it is too practical to have two different sets of ID docs -- since they would have to coordinate in the end.  Also one of the biggest benefits of having health insurance is the negotiated price discounts -- usually the insurer has negotiated a deal where they pay one quarter to one third of the "retail" price for labs and doctors.  So visiting doctors without insurance can get really expensive really fast.

But, what if you just made your next appointment for 3 months?  Is your doctor going to forbid you from coming in? 

With HIV care, sometimes you need to be a little aggressive in representing your interests.

Regards
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 Mike89406

  • Member
  • Posts: 206
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2008, 03:17:52 AM »
Hello Spy

First, those are great numbers!  Glad you are doing well so far. 

Did the doc also give you the CD4%?  It might be useful to track that too (it tends to be a little more stable than just the CD4 count).

About having a different doctor for the every 3 month tests, not sure it is too practical to have two different sets of ID docs -- since they would have to coordinate in the end.  Also one of the biggest benefits of having health insurance is the negotiated price discounts -- usually the insurer has negotiated a deal where they pay one quarter to one third of the "retail" price for labs and doctors.  So visiting doctors without insurance can get really expensive really fast.

But, what if you just made your next appointment for 3 months?  Is your doctor going to forbid you from coming in? 

With HIV care, sometimes you need to be a little aggressive in representing your interests.

Regards
A



I finally got my lab results back from last month.  My CD4+ is 1024 and VL of 4320.  The doc said we'll check it again in six months.  This really seems odd that she only wants to check it every six months.  Everything I've read and from the post on here, it seems like most everyone gets it checked more often.  I understand my CD4+ is still pretty high and the VL is low... but can't that change rapidly?  I'm also looking at some of the advice that's been given on here... i.e. private medical care outside the military.  Well, as a single military guy with no ties to family, I have never looked into medical insurance, so, I'd be paying out of pocket.  How much would a trip to an ID doc cost?  For bloodwork?  I think that would get pricey pretty fast.  Thanks again to everyone for all the words of wisdom and support.  I'm still not too comfortable talking about this...but it seems to be getting easier (on the forum at least). 

The 6 mos interval is just the minimum that you go TDY for checkup if you are close to the ID Clinic  then you can go in more often just for blood draws this is something you need to work out with them.The standard evaluations only require every 6 mos while on active duty providing your in good health. Based on our required lifestyle and health standards. Chances are you will continue you stay in good health, however if your numbers start to decline or show concern or you develop other health problems they will monitor your numbers more often. If you want to check your numbers in between the 6 mos just request a out in town referral from Tri-Care to either see a local ID doctor where your stationed near or have your blood taken more frequently at the nearest hospital that can run the full HIV results and they can fax the results to your ID clinic as well. You may want to contact your HIV evaluation unit to see how to go about this.

I can tell you that outside healthcare is not cheap and if you retire from the military you would pay $30 co-pays for Atripla right now and no co-pay for active duty.

Offline Moffie65

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,755
  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2008, 08:04:51 AM »
The only care that is worth much when you get out of active duty is going to be the VA.  They have a wonderful system of HIV care, but this also depends on the doctors and the staff at any given hospital.  Otherwise the cost would be very expensive if you are making over about 32000 a year.  If you cannot make a good income, there is always Ryan White which is a system of HIV care that is provided in every state for those with low incomes. 
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2008, 05:03:52 AM »
Yeah....the VA system is not taking new applications right now.  So, if you are not discharged with some percentage of disability..then the VA want help you right now...Be more vocal about what you want from your ID doctor cause from what I know every 2-3 months for lab work is better.  Your numbers are really good anyway...but be more vocal about getting more checkups....its your body and your disease....finding good support systems is important too...these forums are great but if you still need a voice to talk to....let me know.
08/30/07:  The HIV diagnosis...
09/07/07:  CD4 299 (21%)  VL 160K
01/07/08:  CD4 396 (26%)  VL 125K
04/21/08:  CD4 478 (25%)  VL 92K
09/03/08:  CD4 313 (23%)  VL 10K
11/03/08:  CD4 338 (23%)  VL 30K
11/21/08:  Isentress & Truvada
12/05/08:  CD4 485 (29%)  VL  undetectable in two weeks
03/13/09:  CD4 575 (30%)  VL  undetectable

Offline hotpuppy

  • Member
  • Posts: 555
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2008, 11:58:45 PM »
Spy,
  Congrats on the excellent numbers.  You might be a non-progressor... which would be fantastic luck.  I'm ex-army myself.  One of my co-workers is ex-army and goes to the VA for his meds.  It is alot of red tape, but he gets his meds mailed and they take good care of him. 

  As for numbers, the standard is every 3 to 6 months.  You will see some of us with much more frequent numbers.  I volunteered for a drug study earlier this year.  As a result I get bloodwork done every 4 weeks.  That is not normal for most people.  I have my own reasons for volunteering, but it is a good way for me to give back.

 If you have been for any length of time, I don't have to tell you... watch your a**.  Depending on your MOS you may want to consider a career change.

The military will give you decent HIV care.  It's still important for you to participate and know as much as you can.  Ask questions.  The bigger issue may come from dealing with lower level med personnel who are not HIV aware.  I know back in 90-94 when I was in all care went through our unit PA and medics.  I had a hard time explaining shin splints to that moron.  He never did understand why they hurt me and caused me no end of grief with my moron CO who like the PA saw nothing wrong and couldn't understand what was bothering me.

I would also recommend that you go see a counselor or therapist to talk to.  Very likely your base will have other HIV+ personnel.  They may have an HIV support group which would be a good place to start. 

Good luck and keep us up to date. 
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 armybent

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2008, 01:49:42 PM »
First, i am sorry to hear about your diagnosis.  From your numbers, you immune system looks to be in good condition.

I am retired Army and have some information on how this may affect your military service. 
1. You are automatically nondeployable...this does not mean you cannot change stations but you cannot go to a forward deployable (Korea, Afgah, Iraq).

2. You will not be automatically processed out of the military.  This only happens if you progress to a diagnosis of AIDS..unlikely to occur for many years.
 
3. If you choose to leave the military, you will be covered for you HIV disease through the VA system.  It is a pretty good system in most places.

I tested positive not long after retiring from the military.  Feel free to email me and I can probably get more info for you.

Take Care,
Donald

Offline Mike89406

  • Member
  • Posts: 206
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2008, 09:12:40 PM »
Spy,
  Congrats on the excellent numbers.  You might be a non-progressor... which would be fantastic luck.  I'm ex-army myself.  One of my co-workers is ex-army and goes to the VA for his meds.  It is alot of red tape, but he gets his meds mailed and they take good care of him. 

  As for numbers, the standard is every 3 to 6 months.  You will see some of us with much more frequent numbers.  I volunteered for a drug study earlier this year.  As a result I get bloodwork done every 4 weeks.  That is not normal for most people.  I have my own reasons for volunteering, but it is a good way for me to give back.

 If you have been for any length of time, I don't have to tell you... watch your a**.  Depending on your MOS you may want to consider a career change.

The military will give you decent HIV care.  It's still important for you to participate and know as much as you can.  Ask questions.  The bigger issue may come from dealing with lower level med personnel who are not HIV aware.  I know back in 90-94 when I was in all care went through our unit PA and medics.  I had a hard time explaining shin splints to that moron.  He never did understand why they hurt me and caused me no end of grief with my moron CO who like the PA saw nothing wrong and couldn't understand what was bothering me.

I would also recommend that you go see a counselor or therapist to talk to.  Very likely your base will have other HIV+ personnel.  They may have an HIV support group which would be a good place to start. 

Good luck and keep us up to date. 

Good advice. One thing I thoroughly appreciated is the individual attention while active duty, and thourough HIV education classes we have to attend while on our TDY period. Henry Jackson foundation contracts with the Navy/Marines/Coast Guard and heads up the reseach protocols where i received checkups at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, and Navy Medical Center San Diego. I have been active in the RV-168 passive research protocol for some time, Heart EKG study, Liver Ultrasound. and now MRSA Study (Good Stuff). They coordinate studies with the NIH.

From my understanding if you remain active in research with the military Henry Jackson will pay the bill for you to travel to and receive HIV Evaluations at the major Military Medical Facility you are/or were being treated at before retirement or honorable discharge. I'm not sure about the VA as i am still  active.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 09:22:45 PM by Mike89406 »

Offline melloyellow

  • Member
  • Posts: 18
Re: Newly Positive and Military
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2009, 09:48:03 AM »
Well, the good news is I'm not going to Afghanistan (even though I volunteered to go).  The bad news is I'm not going because of the HIV screening during my pre-deployment physical exam.  I was in total shock...  That was a few months ago.  At first, I just sorta didn't believe it... (even though being one of those don't ask, don't tell guys - the risk factors where there - I guess I thought I was invincible and that only happens to other people).  Honestly, my first thoughts when the doctor told me was, "How is this going to affect my career?  Will I be discharged?  Outted?"  That's all worked itself out now.  And, luckily I'm healthy.  My CD4+ is 927 and viral load is 5,700.  I just repeated the blood work last week but I don't have the results yet.  I just came across this site and I have been reading a lot of the comments(very helpful info).  Basically, I'm just hoping I can find some people to talk with on here as I don't really know anybody going through the same thing and (with my job) I really don't see attending group meetings locally.  Thanks...

 


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