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Author Topic: a student with HIV, help please  (Read 3981 times)

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Offline azprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 153
a student with HIV, help please
« on: May 10, 2009, 10:22:45 AM »
I just tested positive and I  am supposed to start university this fall, I am terrified to the fact that if I start meds then it will have devastating side effects that could damage my efforts to get good grades, I have read about the side effects and what they cause and I wonder how could I survive being a hardworking student when I will have sleepless nights and nausea and fatigue, how long will the side effects last and how can I cope with them?
I have to admit : the good thing is that from now on;  I have no option but to succeed , still its ok to worry :))

Offline BlueMoon

  • Member
  • Posts: 665
  • Calling from the Fun House
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 10:40:56 AM »
What will happen if you don't take meds?

And what are these side effects I keep reading about?  I've been on HAART for over a year now, and am still waiting for them to appear.

Good luck with school.
...................VL.....CD4.....%
-----------------------------------------
08/10-- ......<40.....290.....42
05/10-- ......<48.....290.....46
02/10-- ......<48.....481.....44
10/09-- ......<48.....277.....46
07/09-- ......<48.....300.....38
05/09-- ........51.....449.....39
03/09-- Added Isentress
02/09-- ........65.....299.....34
11/08-- ........62.....242.....40
08/08-- ........66.....212.....29
05/08-- ......202.....217.....27
03/08-- ....5210.....187.....21
02/08-- Began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
12/07-- 273,000.....157.....22
11/07-- 229,000.....209.....22
10/07-- Diagnosis

It's a complex world.

Offline azprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 153
a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2009, 10:42:33 AM »
I just tested positive and I  am supposed to start university this fall, I am terrified to the fact that if I start meds then it will have devastating side effects that could damage my efforts to get good grades, I have read about the side effects and what they cause and I wonder how could I survive being a hardworking student when I will have sleepless nights and nausea and fatigue, how long will the side effects last and how can I cope with them?
I have to admit : the good thing is that from now on;  I have no option but to succeed , still its ok to worry :))

Offline azprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 153
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2009, 10:53:06 AM »
I am not arguing against taking the Meds, I know I will, I am just terrified after reading stories about people feeling fatigues and even some witnessed dementia ! I know it might be just a black thought, but I am so new to this , depressed and worried and trying to cope with it
I have to admit : the good thing is that from now on;  I have no option but to succeed , still its ok to worry :))

Offline BlueMoon

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  • Posts: 665
  • Calling from the Fun House
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2009, 11:03:18 AM »
Yes, it's all pretty depressing at first, but you will get used to it.  I don't know what you've been reading, but my own experience as well as most of those I've read about have been good.  Most side effects that do happen tend to be minor and in no way debilitating.  With so many meds available today, if there's a problem with one, you can just switch to another.

I just read that you're recently infected, so meds shouldn't be a concern to you for awhile.
...................VL.....CD4.....%
-----------------------------------------
08/10-- ......<40.....290.....42
05/10-- ......<48.....290.....46
02/10-- ......<48.....481.....44
10/09-- ......<48.....277.....46
07/09-- ......<48.....300.....38
05/09-- ........51.....449.....39
03/09-- Added Isentress
02/09-- ........65.....299.....34
11/08-- ........62.....242.....40
08/08-- ........66.....212.....29
05/08-- ......202.....217.....27
03/08-- ....5210.....187.....21
02/08-- Began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
12/07-- 273,000.....157.....22
11/07-- 229,000.....209.....22
10/07-- Diagnosis

It's a complex world.

Offline NewYorkKat

  • Member
  • Posts: 134
  • Hangin' On Staying Strong
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2009, 11:14:23 AM »
I know the feeling. I got my diagnosis they day of a anthropology final and it was an entire essay so you can only imagine how I was feeling. First thing is to relax. then find a good doctor. you may not need meds so  just focus on the schoolwork and let your doctor worry about the meds situation. In the meantime, just take are of yourself until you get the notice and just hit the books. trust me, I know how you feel and the anxiety that school and a diagnosis can bring. I graduate this month after a 3 years and I might be up for  a job and you know what? NO MEDS! I take care of myself, exercise and focus on my studies. Hang in there!

Offline Dennis

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  • Posts: 781
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2009, 11:23:37 AM »
You'll be fine!  There are many here on meds attending university, myself included. I've been on meds for almost 7 years. I have been taking a full course load each semester for the past year and a half (12 units) including summer. I've doing my teacher internship during the weekdays and have a full-time job in the evening.

I'm 38 yo and not the youngin' I once was. While I experience fatigue,it's definitely not due to the meds. A few days a week of light exercise has helped tremendously.

If you're scheduled to start meds and not attending university until the fall, any side effects you experience in the beginning should subside by then. 

Ciao,
Dennis

Offline DancingFool86

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2009, 11:55:00 AM »
azprince,

What are your stats like (VL, CD4, etc...)? You may not have to go on meds right away, you may never have to go on them. At this point, my advice to you (I was diagnosed about 3 months ago, had been infected for nearly 3 years) is take one step at a time. It's no use in beating yourself up over this, if you haven't started seeing a doctor yet, you need to, the right one (very important that you are comfortable with him/her) will guide you in the right direction and help you come up with a plan to deal with this. The main thing is to keep in a straight head about it. I know it's terrifying, I still have days where I feel really low and scared about what the future may bring. What I am trying to say is, that given your situation (starting university) you owe it to yourself to do well in school, you earned it through hard work, being HIV+ is just a small piece of you, and taking care of yourself, both physically AND mentally is key. Don't let this slow you down, you have a lot ahead of you that you need to give your attention to. Keep up on your doctor and you'll see that schoolwork may become a nice distraction from what you're going through. Best of luck to you! If you ever need to vent there are plenty of folks on this forum who will listen! Lots of love!

Offline azprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 153
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2009, 02:52:00 PM »
Thank you guys, I am so overwhelmed till now by what is happening, I just hope that this thing wont change my life and I pray that I wont need the meds for a long time...
I was so careful, yet it happened this is why I am now worried about every thing in life....
I have to admit : the good thing is that from now on;  I have no option but to succeed , still its ok to worry :))

Offline elf

  • Member
  • Posts: 617
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2009, 03:55:05 PM »
Not all people get the same side effects, you may have one or two, or even none...
As for long term side effects (lypodistrophy), there are many people that don't have it...
I only got high blood cholesterol , but omega3 supplements and 90minutes of jogging every day
make it go down again to normal values ;)
Your therapy can be changed when you get some weird side effects...
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 04:01:18 PM by elf »

Offline azprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 153
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2009, 04:04:49 PM »
Thanks a lot, I didnt get the results yet
I have to admit : the good thing is that from now on;  I have no option but to succeed , still its ok to worry :))

Offline HollyStar

  • Member
  • Posts: 344
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2009, 04:18:56 PM »
Hi there,

Welcome to the forums. I'm sorry that you are having to go through this, it sucks, I know. I was diagnosed when I was about 18. I didn't need meds for several years. Everyone is different. Some people need meds right away and others don't need them for years. Try not to stress too much about the meds until you and your Infectious Disease Doctor have a plan of action. I started meds a few months ago. It took a little getting used to but now I can go about my day just as I did before the meds. Good luck with school and don't forget to breathe.
Diagnosed  July 28th 2003

'I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.' -Diande Ackerman

'Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?' -Frank Scully

'If your ship doesn't come, swim out to it.' - Jonathan Winters

Offline azprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 153
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2009, 04:24:36 PM »
I am so worried as well from the stigma...I wish I can breath and stop having such thoughts, I feel like a truck just hit me.
Thanks for the support it means a lot for me
I have to admit : the good thing is that from now on;  I have no option but to succeed , still its ok to worry :))

Offline anniebc

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,956
  • AM member since 2003
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2009, 05:38:28 PM »
Hi Prince

You told us over in the "AM I" that you had not had your blood work results yet, so have you had your blood results back? and if so what are they?..in order to help you out a bit more we need to know a bit more..just try and relax and don't get too stressed out.

When we have all the information we can start talking about Meds and how to deal with being HIV+ Ok.

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

Offline water duck

  • Member
  • Posts: 397
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2009, 05:42:11 PM »
why hurry tomorrow, let it comes, afterall , even if you don't want it , it comes anyway.

if i understand you correctly , you said : if i start..................
therefore, i take it you are not on meds yet !! correct me if i am wrong !!
there are many of us who goes for years without meds !! i was tested poz in 2003, i am still not on meds yet

so no need to hurry tomorrow, who can reassure me i don't get run over by a car tomorrow going to the super market ??

Offline David_CA

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,246
  • Joined: March 2006
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2009, 05:43:13 PM »
Thank you guys, I am so overwhelmed till now by what is happening, I just hope that this thing wont change my life and I pray that I wont need the meds for a long time...
I was so careful, yet it happened this is why I am now worried about every thing in life....

Personally, I'd pray for strength in dealing with the entire HIV thing and for being healthy in general.  I started meds about 8 months after diagnosis... big f'ing deal!  The side effects I experience are minimal.  Besides that, knowing that I'm now healthier with an undetectable viral load has done wonders for how I feel emotionally.  Like others have said, it'll take some time to adjust to being HIV+; just try to deal with it one day at a time.  Eventually, you'll come to grips with it and it won't seem quite as scary.  Take care.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline anniebc

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,956
  • AM member since 2003
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2009, 05:49:03 PM »
Hi Prince

You told us over in the "AM I" that you had not had your blood work results yet, so have you had your blood results back? and if so what are they?..in order to help you out a bit more we need to know a bit more..just try and relax and don't get too stressed out.

When we have all the information we can start talking about Meds and how to deal with being HIV+ Ok.

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

Offline azprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 153
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2009, 06:25:44 PM »
Just for my own record, what numbers indicate the need to start meds? is it all about T-Cells or also viral load, what is meant by Viral load? is it the HIV virus presence in the blood?
I have to admit : the good thing is that from now on;  I have no option but to succeed , still its ok to worry :))

Offline newbie05

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2009, 07:14:04 PM »
The unknown is what's so horrible! I began meds...atripla...for the first time. My first pill was taken April 8. I have not had one side effect at all. I'm beginning to wonder if they gave me a placebo! :D Good luck to you. You will do just fine.

Offline hjeffs

  • Member
  • Posts: 65
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2009, 07:53:55 PM »
I have been on meds for over 4 years now. I work 50 to 60 hours a week and a parent of 2 children. I have a partner and a full life with other activities. I am also 50 years old this year. (OMG)
They make it sound awfull and in some cases I am sure it is. Each case is different but most likely you will be fine.
HIV is a not what I planned and was a huge bump in my road but my worries turned out false and my life is fine.
Go have your life with self care. Live big and take good care of yourself! Dream your dreams!
Its going to be OK.
Jeff

Offline hjeffs

  • Member
  • Posts: 65
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2009, 07:54:57 PM »
P.S.
I take 13 pills a day and keep going strong!
Jeff

Offline wantmy9

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  • HS pic
    • PSW,  randy
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2009, 11:22:52 PM »
Just so that you know that like you i was totally beside myself when i was told that i had sero-convertered.  For me was worse since i had already been dealing with extreme depression issues that were brought about for other reasons. So whe i was told it just made things even worse. First let me say your life as such being able to live a long one is still just as likely to day as it was prior to your becoming HIV+.  Eventually you may take medication, but it all depends on the blood work results and your overall health.  Like you have been already told by others, you will deal with the mental issues for awhile, but will eventually realize that you live your life in a very normal way just as you did prior to diagnosis.  There is already the one pill a day and i am aware of new medication that is also one pill and so small that works with little effort and that it will be like maintaining a diabetes problem, but likely to be easier.  I think with your determination and desire to succeed with your school work, the HIV is unlikely to get in the way unless you allow it.  Remember there is one thing for sure you cannot go back and change or undo what is already done.  Believe me i sure do wish i could.  I would rather not take any medications at all, and tried not to for as long as possible, but the reality is my doctor suggested that i needed to start before my numbers went into an AIDS diagnosis and that i did not want.  By the time you start medication if you even need to, and your doctor will guide you, that new medication will become available.  I have been positive now for 5 years and in that time the medications have changed much and mine has changed basically three times in that time.

One thing for sure i am aware that regular exercise and activity will help with your health and strength and fighting the virus.

Live your life as if though nothing has changed and that you just need to be more in tune to what your body is telling you and what the doctor recommends.  Today meds are not recommended until your CD4 count is around the 300-350 range all depending on the doctor.  They also look at the VL (viral load).  If the VL is below or around 10000 or so, there is likely for meds, but if your VL is in the 100K plus than meds are a likely indication.  Again there are numerous documents here on this site that can give you more details and always ask your doctor, but read up ahead a time to understand what he is telling you.

If you need anyone to talk to feel free to write to me at wantmy9 at inbox dot com. 

PSW, randy :)
Respectfully,
randy

Today is the best day for the rest of your life.
HIV is a change in your life, deal with each day.
If you are lucky enough to have a friend keep them, be a friend in return.

Offline Peter Staley

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  • Founder & Advisory Editor, AIDSmeds.com
    • AIDSmeds.com
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2009, 01:14:24 PM »
Prince -- I merged your two identical threads here.  When starting a new thread, you only need to post it in one of our forums -- thanks.

Offline azprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 153
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2009, 04:49:04 PM »
Dear all,
Thanks a lot for the nice word and support, I  will not lie,  I am on anti-depressant pills and still they are not doing me any good, but your words helped me a lot, I have big dreams and I was so happy and excited about my university thing, and this came as a truck to hit me in fast speed... they put me in ER for observation for 72 hours when I was first informed of the test results, cause they thought that I might kill my self; I cant believe I have it;   even though I used to be into the extreme safe in all my relations, still many are debating my results because they know how careful I was, they knew how paranoid I was over this issue, they think the test is false and when I was told that I got it...I thought that I am cursed... everything fell down …one thing was painful for me, which is reading about how the meds could change the way I look and could cause nausea and fatigue, I was dreaming about university and laughing and having fun with other students and being number one, and I saw it all ending….but now with your words,  I hope I can think of it as DIABETES  nothing more, nothing less,  and I will keep asking you guys to guide me….
I have to admit : the good thing is that from now on;  I have no option but to succeed , still its ok to worry :))

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,275
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2009, 04:57:40 PM »
  I hope I can think of it as DIABETES  nothing more, nothing less, 


Diabetes is no walk in the park either.  I have known people through the years that have lost their eyesight, besides body parts   !


Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 8/25/14,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 63 years young.

Offline azprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 153
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2009, 09:51:24 PM »
For now the stigma of HIV in my mind is scary, so I will try to think of it as diabetes till I get used to it....also guys I have a question, I am supposed to focus on the region of Middle East, I already chose my concentration but now since I found my hiv status should I change it, since I heard that they will never give me Visa or residency if I wanted to go there for research purposes, they have mandatory hiv tests, any advice in that regard? I know I am asking a lot but I am just nervous about everything now
I have to admit : the good thing is that from now on;  I have no option but to succeed , still its ok to worry :))

Offline elf

  • Member
  • Posts: 617
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2009, 08:43:34 PM »
You can concentrate more on more tolerant countries like Turkey or Israel, click here for more info:
http://www.hivtravel.org/

I tested positive 8 months ago, and it hasn't been too difficult, my doctor is very good: ''You now you will have a normal life span.''

Finding out that you're HIV positive is just another thing you know of yourself.
Don't let it ru(i)n your life. You're not a virus, not a disease, you're a person.
In a way, it made me a stronger person.

I'm sending you a hug. And keep posting here...
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 08:48:40 PM by elf »

Offline azprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 153
Re: a student with HIV, help please
« Reply #27 on: May 13, 2009, 08:12:43 AM »
Thank you for the advice, I am reading your numbers, they are in the normal level now , this is good news I wish they stay this way.
Big Hug
I have to admit : the good thing is that from now on;  I have no option but to succeed , still its ok to worry :))

 


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