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Author Topic: Found out two weeks ago  (Read 9249 times)

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Offline Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Found out two weeks ago
« on: February 26, 2009, 10:31:03 PM »
I was notified of my positive result on Friday February 13th, the day before Valentine's Day and now known as Black Friday to me. It's been a crazy two weeks with an overwhelming amount of anxiety. My appetite was crap for the first couple of days but is pretty normal now.

I immediately jumped into action to get as much information as I could. I saw an HIV specialist 5 days after my diagnosis. I have no apparent health issues and I had tested negative in December 2007. So this is a relatively new infection and I'm glad I found out early into it. They drew about 12 vials of blood and I will get those results at my next visit March 11th.

I also took advantage of my workplace Employee Assistance Program so I could talk to a counselor about all of this. My anxiety has been the WORST thing about this. I was always an anxious person to begin with so this just pushed me into a whole new level. Fortunately I was given a prescription for Ativan on Monday. I took half a pill that night (.5mg) and slept OK. I haven't taken any since because I don't want to get hooked on it. It's for emergency purposes only as far as I'm concerned (for really bad days). I manage to get about 5 or 6 hours in per night before I wake up and can't fall back to sleep. I've managed to go to work and haven't given anyone any clue that anything is wrong so I guess I'm doing OK.

My close friends have been absolutely amazing for me. They have been so supportive. The hardest part was figuring out how to tell them. I still haven't told my sister (my only real family) but that is coming tomorrow.

I took stock of every item that was causing me anxiety and realized if I knocked them out one by one, my anxiety would diminish:

  Telling the man I've been seeing for the last year (I am in love). Thank god he tested negative this week.
  Wondering if he'll still want to be with me now that I am positive.
  Telling my friends.
  Telling my sister.
  Finding out what my bloodwork says.
  Being careful to maintain my privacy in the 'scene' and at work.

I know I will probably never be anxiety free because I'm just a worrier period. I always have been. I have a friend who has been positive for 20+ years and he's doing great. I was able to talk to him and ask questions about a lot of things. That really helped me as well.

So here I am, two weeks tomorrow of knowing. I think I'm doing pretty well over all.

I'm still scared though...
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline xyahka

  • Member
  • Posts: 778
  • Dance together!! aha!! aha!! I like it!!
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2009, 11:25:10 PM »
Hi Fri, jus wanted to give you a warm welcome to the forums.

I am glad you are handleling things well and don't worry with the time the anxiety will go down and down. Whenever you feel like venting remember here you have new group of friends who understand you.

Hugs,

Juan Carlos
13/03/07 1er diagnóstico /Peso: 79kg
19/04/07 CD4: 494 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 80kg
19/07/07 CD4: 659 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79.5kg
06/03/08 CD4: 573 (después de meses muy deprimido) /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79kg
17/09/08 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 84Kg
06/02/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 85Kg /HCV: Neg /HBV: Neg.
07/03/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg / Gym 3días/semana y Natación 2días/semana.
12/05/09 CD4: 470 /Cviral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg.
08/07/09 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 77Kg.
09/12/09 CD4: 510 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg. No medicinas aún
10/01/10 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
15/05/10 CD4: 320 /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
01/02/11 CD4: 291 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
05/05/11 CD4: 366 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
27/07/11 CD4: 255 /CViral: 138000 /Peso: 78kg.

Disfrutando y aceptando una nueva vida...

Offline Peter Staley

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,337
  • Founder & Advisory Editor, AIDSmeds.com
    • AIDSmeds.com
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 09:17:07 AM »
Hi Fri -- glad you found our forums!

I found out in 1985, and your list of steps you are taking very much paralleled my early steps.  I know it worked for me at the time.

Good luck with your sister -- having family on your side is as important as any of the meds, etc.

Keep us posted.

Offline Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 09:18:20 AM »
Thanks Juan. I know things will be fine in time. It's just a new chapter in my life that will require some changes in the way I do things.

I found a great book on Amazon - The First Year: HIV: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed

I also found a PDF brochure on anxiety and HIV. It was a good read as well.
http://img.thebody.com/sfaf/pdfs/winter07_anxiety.pdf

I'm looking for a good software package for maintaining a health journal. Any ideas anyone?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 09:20:51 AM by Fri213 »
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline Peter Staley

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,337
  • Founder & Advisory Editor, AIDSmeds.com
    • AIDSmeds.com
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2009, 10:13:02 AM »
You can save and graph your lab results on this site for free:

Graph My Labs
http://www.aidsmeds.com/graphs/

You can also save your list of meds (included non-HIV meds), and check all of them for possible interactions here:

Check My Meds
http://www.aidsmeds.com/cmm/

There are free online sites for maintaining medical journals/records -- it's a huge, competitive field right now, with Google and Microsoft both slugging it out:

Google Health
http://www.google.com/health/

Microsoft's "Healthvault"
http://www.healthvault.com/

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 03:28:40 AM »
Welcome to the site.   You the best decision so far and followed up immediately with a doctor.  They will monitor your lab work and see how the trends will go.  You will find a lot of support here if you have any questions as well.  I'm 1.5yrs into this and I still take one day at a time.  I know its only a new chapter in my life and there will be plenty more to come.  You will get stronger each day with a great support system...good luck with you sister. 
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 Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2009, 10:29:35 AM »
Thanks everyone. I told my sister Friday evening. She took it well. We both work for one of the top 5 hospitals in the country, so we aren't afraid of the healthcare system and know that this is a chronic treatable condition at this point. My anxiety has been cut in half!
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2009, 04:46:41 PM »
I got my first set of labs back and I am a bit disappointed in the numbers. Is it usual to see a CD4 so low in the first year of infection?

CD3+CD4+T CELL NO = 235
CD3+CD4+T CELL % = 60
CD4/CD8 ratio = 0.46
VL = 21,300
WBC = 6.18

I'm having another set of CD4/VL drawn and have a repeat visit in three weeks. I am assuming I'll get put on meds then since they will have the genotype back too.

I'm a little scared again.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 05:01:29 PM by Fri213 »
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2009, 06:18:03 PM »
The absolute CD4 count tends to vary a lot and is typically depressed during the first few months after infection.  The CD4 percentage doesn't vary as much ... and yours is quite high.

Still, it is all a lot to take in for you at this point, and I'm sure it does make you quite nervous. For some people it helps to know more.  That way they can see that there is a path forward, whether meds are soon or delayed.  On that tack, have you found the lessons here yet?   http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Introduction_4702.shtml

It does get easier over time.

Best wishes
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 Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2009, 07:36:27 PM »
I know the decision to go on meds is mine but my physician seems to think that I should because of my low count. Is the percent a better indicator? I just don't want to go on meds too soon but at the same time don't want to delay and drop dangerously low.

Also, I am a moderate drinker and was wondering how much is too much to drink? One of my friends says QUIT period but I know a lot of poz people who drink regularly and seem fine.
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2009, 07:42:09 AM »
I know the decision to go on meds is mine but my physician seems to think that I should because of my low count. Is the percent a better indicator? I just don't want to go on meds too soon but at the same time don't want to delay and drop dangerously low.

Also, I am a moderate drinker and was wondering how much is too much to drink? One of my friends says QUIT period but I know a lot of poz people who drink regularly and seem fine.

As far as going on meds "too soon", more and more studies are showing that people generally do better, have less severe side effects and enjoy better health if they start medications while their immune system is relatively healthy.  While current guidelines say you should start with a count of 350 or less, many are suggesting that level should move up to 500 or less. 

But if you are not ready to commit to taking the drugs on the prescribed schedule you can hurt your long term health by using up the drugs you start on.  That's because if you don't take the drugs on a consistent schedule, HIV can evolve to become resistant to that drug.  So, despite any theoretical benefits from starting early, you need to be ready to commit to taking the drugs or you may not see those theoretical benefits, 

Many people use an HIV diagnosis as a signal to reevaluate.  If you are concerned about your drinking or other health habits this is an opportunity to decide to change.  And you should certainly discuss how much and how often with your doctor.  But the occasional glass of wine is not likely to hurt you.

You have a lot to think through and to learn at this point.  Hope this helps
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 Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2009, 09:27:55 AM »
I don't think sticking to a regimine will be an issue for me. So I'll just accept the fact that I need to go on meds and deal with it. I am going to try to quit drinking for a while too.
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2009, 10:43:17 AM »
Here is my story....sorry if its to long....
My initial labs were: Sept 2007 CD4 299 (21%)  VL 160K.  I decided to watch my labwork because I was told that my labwork would fluctuate at the beginning.  I watched my CD4 settle around 320-380 over a year and a half, CD4% settle to around 23%, my VL settled in the 10 to 50K range after being infected for a year.
I did change my diet.  I pretty much quit drinking.  My doctor never pushed meds but I felt that after 1.5yrs....I wanted my CD4 higher.  I did not want to feel vulnerable every time I was around someone who seemed to have the flu.  So, I read about all the drugs and discussed them with my doctor.  He wanted me on a different regimen that I told him I never wanted since I knew about the side effects with most of the drugs.  So...I basically went to another doctor and got on a study that used the drugs I really wanted.  I felt 100 times better just two weeks after starting the study.  I am glad my body held out for me 1.5yrs while I was able to read and educate myself on my new disease.  But...at the same time....I knew I needed to be on drugs to boost my immune system.  After much reading...I mean days......I eventually fell under the rule of its best to treat when your CD4% falls below 25% instead of the 21% that I read was the redline mark.  From what I read....usually a CD4 of 300-350 was about 21%.  Normal is 30-60%.  Anyways...I like the CD4% better as a lab because your CD4 will fluctuate more than the CD4%.  I feel its a better number to follow.  So...my CD4 pretty much stayed around 23% the last 6 months before I started drugs.   So....I went with my gut and wanted to start since my labs were below the 25% that I felt was the better number.  If you let your levels fall to much...you are more prone to opportunistic infections that you dont want to deal with on top of the HIV.  My advice.....is to think about everything after your next lab work comes back.  See if there is a trend for the better or the worse.  See what your genotype is.  Start reading about some of the drugs so you will know more when your doctor discusses them with you.  It is a lonely world when you have no one to talk too that knows your inner pain.  We are here for you.  If you need more...you can always IM me as well.  Good Luck with your next labwork....and if you decide to wait on drugs...do think about changing some bad habits...(diet, alcohol, smoking, etc)....it will affect your numbers....I know it did for me.  Remember....this is an enormous thing to swallow at first...but life does get better. 
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 10:48:26 AM by tag_man08 »
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 Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2009, 11:35:01 AM »
Thanks Tag. I'm going for a blood draw on Monday morning (fasting lipids), CBC, VL and CD4. My next appt. is in three weeks and those results plus the genotype will be ready. Hopefully I'll have made a decision by then about the meds. I'm guessing Atripla as long as there are no genotype issues.

I've decided it's best for me to stop drinking all together for the time being. I'm such a bar person though for the social scene that it will be hard to do.

I'm still perplexed how my CD4 can be 235 AND 60%. I don't get that.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2009, 05:39:51 PM by Fri213 »
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2009, 08:48:10 PM »
I'm still perplexed how my CD4 can be 235 AND 60%. I don't get that.

Those are some strange numbers.  Maybe the CD4 is incorrect....that will be my wish 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 madbrain

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  • Posts: 1,208
  • No longer an active member
    • My personal site
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2009, 09:28:27 PM »
I got my first set of labs back and I am a bit disappointed in the numbers. Is it usual to see a CD4 so low in the first year of infection?

It happened to my bf. I know many other people to whom it happened.

Quote
CD3+CD4+T CELL NO = 235
CD3+CD4+T CELL % = 60
CD4/CD8 ratio = 0.46

I think that there is some contradiction in your lab results.

According to
http://www.aidsmap.com/en/news/F731C054-1B9C-4A8B-BB54-052E27C113DE.asp

"CD4 percentages refer to the number of CD4 T-cells within every 100 lymphocytes, the subset of white blood cells that includes T-cells and B-cells. "

If you have 235 CD4 tcells, and your CD4/CD8 ratio is 0.46, that means you have about 235/0.46 = 510 CD8 tcells.

Your total tcell (CD3) count is 235 + 510 = 745 .

The CD4 percentage is the percentage of all lymphocytes that are CD4 tcells. You didn't list your total lymphocyte count, which is probably in your labs somewhere. If you find it, you can recompute your CD4 % yourself as 235 / (total lymphocyte count) .

The total lymphocytes includes all the tcells (CD3) as well as bcells. So, it's going to be greater than 745, or, at worst equal, if you have zero bcells). Even if your total lymphocytes are only 745, then your CD4% would be at best 235/745 = 31%. But since you are going to have some bcells, your total lymphocyte count will be more than 745, and your CD4% will actually be lower than 31.

I don't know how your lab came up with a CD4% of 60%. Ask your doc for an explanation.

Offline Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2009, 04:46:03 PM »
I did read it wrong. Here's all of it:

CD3+T CELL % = 90
CD3+T CELL NO. = 760
CD3+CD4+T CELL % = 28
CD4+CD4+T CELL NO. = 235
CD3+CD8+T CELL % = 60
CD3+CD8 T CELL NO. = 509
CD19+B CELL % = 4
CD19+B CELL NO. = 37
NK CELL % = 7
NK CELL NO. = 62
CD4/CD8 RATIO = 0.46
WBC = 6.18
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2009, 07:47:16 PM »
28% is much more consistent with 235.  It does look more likely that you will want to consider going on medications in the nearer term as well.

BUT...

28% is still a very good number.  You needn't feel worried that you are likely to keel over in the next month or anything.  So take time to educate yourself and to get as comfortable as you can.  You can help that process along by writing up a list of your questions and concerns for the doc as you learn more.  And if you need more than one more session with the doctor, demand it (he works for you after all). 

Finally, please remember a lot of people do great on the medications with no side effects to speak of.  Even those who have side effects at first can often change to a different combo that is great for them.  See this thread for instance http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=26189  Those folks aren't always as vocal on here, but there are a lot of them.

Best wishes
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 Danny47

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2009, 01:11:42 AM »
Dear FRI 213:

We had sort of the same experience amost at the same time.  I tested negative on Feb 3. 2008 and had a reactive Elyssa on Feb 3, 2009.  My Doctor immediately ordered a CD4-CD8-Viral Load and came back with my CD4's on 156 and my viral load on 267,000 !!! on February 11...just two days prior to yours.  I dont know what my % is but will look it up tomorrow. My numbers where this bad because I suffer from UC (ulcerative colitis)  and in order to get me into remission last year I had to go on Prednisone (80 mg day) and this treatment shuts your immune system.  My UC also made me extremely vulnerable to get infected, Although my elyssa test from February 3 2008 came back non reactive now I know that I had been infected between December 20, 2007 and January 18, 2008, for I had unprotected sex with a partner during that time. I felt my sero conversion conversion on January 14, 2008

My Doctor put me on prophylaxis until my genotype results arrived, They came back March 3rd and they placed me on Atripla that same day and kept me on prophylaxis.  I am on my first week of treatment.

Healthwise I feel awesome.  Have no symptoms of OI's but my UC is in a flare and the Doc's are waiting to see how they can treat an immune excessive disease while treating my immune deficiency due to my HIV (according to numbers I am on an AIDS level)  Besides getting some small rash around my neck (didnt read the warning for SMZ, I work on construction and stayed under the sun) NO mayor side effects to report. I did get cold feet the very first day and didn't take it...I was very scared of the side effects...To me Atripla actually helps me sleep deeper...

In order of telling, I talked to my partner first (not the same as last year) then my sister, friends and other members of my family.  I feel blessed for having such a fantastic support system around me.  I also feel extremely confident about my Doctor and my meds....will keep you post it...I am getting a  vl test next week...

Keep healthy....

Danny

Negative on Feb. 3, 2008, Positive Elyssa Feb. 3, 2009
Feb. 11, 09 cd4 120, VL 267,000
Feb. 17, 09 Prophylaxis SMZ and Azytromicin
March 2, 09 Atripla and prophylaxis
May 09, VL UD, CD4 515
July 09, Lymphoma. Started Chemo every week, 13 weeks
September 09, VL UD, CD4 310
December 09, VL UD, CD4 414
January 10, UC flare, Lymphoma, Colon Cancer
Chemotherapy treatment & Radiation
July 2010, VL UD, CD4 234
August 2010, Cancer Free
Nov 2010, VL UD, CD4 204, Brain CT, Liver, Lungs, Kidney, Colon ans Lymph nodes Cancer Free!

Offline PRMike

  • Member
  • Posts: 175
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2009, 03:11:31 PM »
Hi Fri213,  first of all let me welcome you and reassure you that here there are alot of peorple that care and will be here for you...
I have been Hiv+ for almost 29 years now,  I did get sick once but that was becasue I was using Drugs ever since I stopped using my health has been great my T-cells are always aorund 521 to the upper 400's and I have been undectable since I got clean and I'm going on 7 years clean come this August....
Well my opioin is that you take your doctors advice and start the Meds, I dont think you should wait until you get sick or your numbers really go down.. anyway please stay strong your New Friend PRMike
PRMike

Offline Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #20 on: March 15, 2009, 12:19:06 PM »
Thanks everyone for your responses and support. I haven't had a drink or cigarette since last Wednesday and plan to not drink for a while or smoke ever again. I'm sure my alcohol intake had a lot to do with my low blood counts. I was drinking about 6 days per week and usually 3-6 drinks per day. And given that the bar I was going to pours quite heavily I'm sure it was more like 6 to 12!

Fortunately I am not having any withdrawl symptoms and feel great! I'm sleeping better, have been more productive and am probably saving a TON of money LOL.

I'm having my blood drawn tomorrow so I'll find out in a couple of weeks if I'm up or down. I am fairly sure I'll start on meds either way.
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2009, 10:58:30 PM »
So, I haven't been as good as I would have liked with the smoking and drinking. But I have cut back on the alcohol, probably in half... so I feel good. And I'm probably smoking about 8 cigs a week. Been trying to excercise by walking 3 to 4 miles a few times a week and it feels great afterwards.

I get my  next set of labs tomorrow and probably a script for meds. Riight now I'm kinda scared because I know that it will be a big change on my eating and sleeping habits. But i have some friends now that are already there and they say it's not as bad as I think it will be. I hope they are right.
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2009, 10:12:22 PM »
So my labs are pretty much the same as the month prior. I was prescribed Atripla and will start tomorrow since the pharmacy has to order it. The genotype shows no evidence of resistance and the rest of my labs are great (hepatic function, lipids, cbc w/diff, metabolic panel).
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2009, 09:07:08 PM »
Good luck my friend.....take each day at a time....
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 Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2009, 09:03:39 PM »
So far the Atripla has been quite tolerable. I haven't had any weird dreams or problems sleeping. I do feel a bit buzzed in the morning and have experienced a slight hum in my ears once in a while. I had a mild headache yesterday but I can't say for sure if it is the meds. From what I understand even these mild symptoms will most likely resolve in a couple of weeks. Taking short naps during the day also helps tremendously.
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2009, 10:58:58 PM »
I know when I started my meds....it took a good 3 weeks for my headaches to go away.  I never had them before so it was something new for me to get through.  I am glad they are gone now.  So...things will get better with time.  Hopefully, you will start feeling your old self again once the virus stays low.  Good luck...keep your head up buddy....
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 Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2009, 10:50:50 PM »
Things seem to be returning to normal. I do have 'tired' days here and there but at my age it's expected LOL. I'm just happy that I really haven't had any problematic side effects for long.

I'm actually anticipating my next blood draw so I can see the effect of the drugs.
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline Fri213

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2009, 12:50:35 PM »
So my first set of post-meds labs are back. The Atripla is doing its job. I just wish the CD4 was a little better.

CD4 314 (24%) VL 577

Next draw in 2½ months.
12/15/07   HIV -
02/13/09   HIV +
02/18/09   CD4 235 (28%) VL 21,300
03/16/09   CD4 248 (25%) VL 34,900
04/02/09   Start Atripla
05/12/09   CD4 314 (24%) VL 577
08/11/09   CD4 351 (22%) VL Undetectable
11/18/09   CD4 400 (27%) VL 60
02/24/10  CD4 335 (28%)  VL Undetectable
05/26/10  CD4 518 (37%) VL 207
08/25/10  CD4 502 (30%) VL Undetectable
11/24/10  CD4 585 (33%) VL 52
02/23/11  CD4 382 (31%) VL Undetectable

Offline tag_man08

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
  • Keep Dreaming!!!
Re: Found out two weeks ago
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2009, 07:26:33 PM »
good...just keep doing what you are doing...
every day they will get better and better...
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

 


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