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Author Topic: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.  (Read 5112 times)

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Offline myendgame

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« on: February 18, 2009, 05:50:25 PM »
Hi. I'm 26 years old and just found out 6 days ago I'm HIV positive. It was an oral test and I was shocked to get a positive result since I was tested negative at the beginning of December. Since last Thursday I have been in complete turmoil and I don't know what to expect and I feel like I can't tell anyone about my status soon. I have to get my blood test results tomorrow and then have an appointment with my Dr soon to discuss treatments. I'm already struggling financially and don't know how I'm going to afford the meds. Are there any hiv+ people in Los Angeles who have been through what I am going through? And if so, can u send me a private msg with your email address? It would be a tremendous help to have someone I could talk to and ask for a little guidance on where to get counseling, meds, group support, etc.

For the most part I've been trying to keep my head up and mind distracted but I can't help but to get down during the day thinking about the horrible mistake I've made and the lifelong consequences as a result. I'm trying to hang in there though. If anyone wants to talk, even if you don't live in Los Angeles, pls let me know. Thanks.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2009, 11:13:56 PM by myendgame »
Dec 08 Seroconversion
Feb 12 09: Diagnosis
Feb 26 09: CD4 380 / VL 39,000
Started Atripla March 30th 09
May 1 09: CD4 450 / VL 310!!!

Offline freaky_dream

  • Member
  • Posts: 132
  • mmm
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2009, 01:41:14 AM »
HI Myendgame, I am in the same boat as you and just recently test positive(first here post btw) as well so I know exactly what you are going through.

Did you go to the LA Gay and Lesbian center to get tested? If you did they would have referred you to their Jeffrey Goodman Clinic to set up a financial screening and see one of their Internal Disease doctors. They offer treatment and services based on a sliding scale(extremely reasonable). They will request your two most recent pay stubs, proof of residence in Los Angeles County, and an ID. They will help cover your tests, vaccinations, etc. Your copay is based on your income or it will be based in conjunction with your already existing health insurance if you have that. They will assist you with filling out your California ADAP (drug coverage benefit) application. The center also offers counseling and support groups for you as well. I went today for my first appointment and was very happy with my doctor.


Offline webontheweb

  • Member
  • Posts: 110
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2009, 01:46:23 PM »
To reply to both of you, I am not in L. A. but am here to talk to if you need somebody.  There are plenty of things I could post here about your life not being over, blah blah blah, but that is not what you need right now.  Welcome to the club, as it were, there are a lot of wonderful people here.  go to the mentoring site to find someone local who can counsel you, but don't be afraid to reach out across the world to find a buddy to share with.  They have helped me tremendously.

Best of luck to you both- happy to talk with you at any time.
Cheers!
Eric

Offline myendgame

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 02:30:06 AM »
Thank you both for your responses. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I have been doing better in the last few weeks and am returning back to my 'old' self which is good. I'm still trying to grasp all this but have told a close friend I can talk to about this and it has helped me tremendously. I had my first appointment with my specialist and she was very patient, caring and uplifting with me. She discussed my treatment options and says I have a good prognosis. Also, she said I should live my life as before and keep pursing my dreams and long term goals - which was great to hear.

Dream thank you so much for the information about the Jeffrey Goodman Clinic, I will definitely look into it and set up an appointment.

Eric, thanks for the advice and kind words.

Look forward to talking to you both soon...
Dec 08 Seroconversion
Feb 12 09: Diagnosis
Feb 26 09: CD4 380 / VL 39,000
Started Atripla March 30th 09
May 1 09: CD4 450 / VL 310!!!

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 03:33:45 AM »
Welcome to the site.  You will see that with a good support system....days will get better and better.  You would have went crazy trying to deal with your emotions alone.   Keep us posted on your visit to the clinic.  I'm not in LA...but remember we are here for you...
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 jampdx

  • Member
  • Posts: 89
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2009, 05:40:10 AM »
I'm sorry you're going through this... it does throw you for a loop.  Please don't get too discouraged about meds, there are lots of resources out there.  If you just even Google you'll find companies that assist with low income patients.  I'm blessed myself to have insurance, but was discussing this same thing with a friend the other day, what a nightmare to not have it. 

My heart goes out to you and I'm always here to listen.
*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-Infected 1/6/2009
Positive 2/9/2009
3/8/2009:  CD4 603  VL f\'d up by lab and having to redraw
4/7/2009 CD4 650 VL 348
6/24/2009 cd4 964 VL 850
9/26/2009 CD4 546 VL 822
7/22/13 CD4 1080 VL 2,220

Offline myendgame

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2009, 09:24:51 PM »
Jacob, thanks so much for the support. Reading the posts on here have been a huge help and I've learned a lot.

I got my first lab results back and my CD4 count is 380 with a viral load of 39,000. My doctor wants me to come in next week to discuss treatment options. I'm not too worried but a bit concerned since I've probably been infected for less than 3 months and my CD4 count is already 380. I'm actually looking forward to the medication because it will help me feel less helpless and more in control since I can actually put up a fight with medication. Also, I will be scheduling an appointment to determine if I qualify for financial assistance-that will be a big weight off my shoulders.

Other than that, I've had my share of ups and downs these last 3 weeks. The only friend I've told abt my diagnosis has been a huge help and even plans to attended an HIV Information conference with me so we can both learn more. I thank God because he makes this so much easier to deal with.

I attended my first newly positive group out here in Los Angeles.  They were all surprised how well I'm handling this (or at least how well I appeared to be handling this, lol) It was a bit overwhelming but I want to keep attending and connecting with others going through the same thing I am. My next step is 1-on-1 counseling.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 01:10:54 AM by myendgame »
Dec 08 Seroconversion
Feb 12 09: Diagnosis
Feb 26 09: CD4 380 / VL 39,000
Started Atripla March 30th 09
May 1 09: CD4 450 / VL 310!!!

Offline myendgame

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2009, 09:26:28 PM »
Sorry, I meant I've probably been infected for less than 3 months. I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago.
Dec 08 Seroconversion
Feb 12 09: Diagnosis
Feb 26 09: CD4 380 / VL 39,000
Started Atripla March 30th 09
May 1 09: CD4 450 / VL 310!!!

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2009, 03:56:18 AM »
Sounds like you are one the right track.  Don't forget we are all here for you too.  Good luck with the financial assistance meeting.  I hope it works out...it will be a nice blessing.
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 clsoca

  • Member
  • Posts: 164
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2009, 03:12:02 PM »
I wanted to share the UCLA HIV link. Something to check out since you live in the LA area.

http://www.uclacarecenter.com/new%20patients.html
10/07 Infected
11/07 Seroconversion
07/08 Tested Poz
07/08 VL 487  CD4 658  (No Meds)
10/08 VL 286  CD4 724  (No Meds)
01/24/09 VL 30,100   CD4 329 CD4 30% (No Meds)
02/06/09 VL 44,000   CD4 367 CD4 36%  Blood Work @ UCLA (No Meds)
02/06/09 VL 44,000   CD4 317 CD4 35% Blood Work @ USC (No Meds)
02/12/09 VL 52,000   CD4 297 CD4 29%
02/12/09  Started Atripla
04/01/09 VL 60  CD4 667   CD4 48%
06-05-09  VL UD CD4 427   CD4 39%

Offline myendgame

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2009, 02:40:59 PM »
Clsoca, thanks for the link. Tag, thanks so much for the support. I really appreciate it.

I went to my doctor this week and we decided, based on my numbers, it's time to start meds and we're going with Atripla. I plan to start monday. I've prepared myself for this for weeks so I'm perfectly fine with it. Now I will feel more in control (which fits my control freak personality, lol). Other than that, my mind has been focused on other non-HIV things going on in my life (finally! thank God). I'm still the same goofy guy with great friends and goals I WILL achieve. Thanks again to everyone for your support and I'll be checking in and letting you all know how I am doing on the meds.

God bless.
Dec 08 Seroconversion
Feb 12 09: Diagnosis
Feb 26 09: CD4 380 / VL 39,000
Started Atripla March 30th 09
May 1 09: CD4 450 / VL 310!!!

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2009, 08:36:55 PM »
Let us know how your first day goes....I got emotional when I took my first pill....cause I knew it was a start of something to do good...I wish you luck my friend.....
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 next2u

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,762
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2009, 10:16:24 PM »
thanks for keeping us posted. there are tons of poz support groups in la. query something in google, im sure you will find something to your liking. im in la about once a week. i live in the i.e. and i am coming up on my 2 year anniversary. its been an interesting ride.

best,
d
midapr07 - seroconversion
sept07 - tested poz
oct07 cd4 1013; vl 13,900; cd4% 41
feb08 cd4  694;  vl 16,160; cd4% 50.1
may08 cd4 546; vl 91,480; cd4% 32
aug08 cd4 576; vl 48,190; cd4% 40.7
dec08 cd4 559; vl 63,020; cd4% 29.4
feb09 cd4 464; vl 11,000; cd4% 26
may09 cd4 544; vl 29,710; cd4% 27.2
oct09 cd4 ...; vl 23,350; cd4% 31.6
mar10 cd4 408; vl 59,050; cd4% 31.4
aug10 cd4 328; vl 80,000; cd4% 19.3 STARTED ATRIPLA
oct10 cd4 423; vl 410 ;); cd4% 30.2
jun11 cd4 439; vl <20 ;); cd4% 33.8 <-Undetectable!
mar12 cd4 695; vl ud; cd4% 38.6
jan13 cd4 738; vl ud; cd4% 36.8
aug13 cd4 930; vl ud; cd4% 44.3
jan14 cd4 813; vl ud; cd4% 42.8
may14 cd4 783; vl *; cd4%43.5

Offline myendgame

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2009, 03:24:31 AM »
Hey all!

I just wanted to thank everyone for the support and to also give an update on how I've been doing lately. Thankfully, the last 3 months have had more ups than downs. I really try to keep an upbeat mentality through all this - I realize that's the only way I can be. I dealt with depression a few years ago and refuse to ever go back. The interesting thing is I believe digging myself out of that hole has truly prepared me to deal with my diagnosis. After the first few weeks of being down because of the disease I've been able to return to my old self, so to speak, and just live in the moment more instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about my future...

I started Atripla on March 30th and had really crazy, vivid dreams the first few nights. Now I sleep fine. I do believe taking it before bed is best for me or else I would feel drunk/dizzy in the mornings. By May 1st, my CD4 had risen from 380 to 450 and my VL had dropped from 39,000 to 310! So far, so good...
Dec 08 Seroconversion
Feb 12 09: Diagnosis
Feb 26 09: CD4 380 / VL 39,000
Started Atripla March 30th 09
May 1 09: CD4 450 / VL 310!!!

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2009, 07:24:18 PM »
those are great numbers....you are getting there....
and remember you are a special person.....
making it through a HIV diagnosis is the most craziest your life will ever be....
now you can survive anything.....
keep living for the future....the past is over....
this is your new life....
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 webontheweb

  • Member
  • Posts: 110
Re: I just tested poz and need encouragement in L.A.
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2009, 03:19:13 PM »
I am glad to read your subsequent posts!   good luck and keep on trucking,  you can email me anytime if you need a buddy to talk to.  I do mentoring for the newly diagnosed.
Cheers!!!!!

 


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