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Author Topic: tested poz in August 09  (Read 4722 times)

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Offline sparky1976

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
tested poz in August 09
« on: September 25, 2009, 08:17:11 AM »
Hello,

New guy here based in the UK. Not sure where to start, so I guess its best to say I never actually went specifically to get a HIV test. I had discovered some strange lumps on my foreskin so went to my local G.P. to have them checked out, she kind of dismissed them as merely spots that would go with time. They didnít, so I went to my local GUM clinic to have them checked out and whilst I was there I was asked did I want to have a HIV test. I figured what the heck, I hadnít had one for ages and was fairly dismissive in that I was negative so it was no big deal. So I gave blood and they made an appointment for me to come back in two week to get the results. In all honesty the fact Iíd had the tests had completely gone out of my mind. That was until I got the call from the clinic to come back in early. My bloods had been screened three times and had come back positive. I was informed at that point they were being sent off again to be screened (some kind of confirmation test) but it was unlikely, given how I had tested positive within the three tests undertaken thus far, that these results would be any different. Needless to say they werenít.

I got the initial results on the Monday, the final confirmation on the Tuesday and I was brought in to see the consultant on the Wednesday. By then Iíd told my parents and a few close friends, thankfully they reacted positively (pardon the pun) to the news. My mum came with me to see the consultant mainly because my head was still spinning from the news so I knew I wouldnít take anything in other than the, ďthis doesnít mean youíre going to die and it is not a death sentenceĒ line Iíd be told by my health advisor on the monday when I was told I was positive. She was really good, apparently one of the UKís leading consultants within the field so I felt that bit more reassured of what I was being told.  I gave more blood, again, and an appointment was made for me to come back when I would get my first count.

Got my first count, which was good. I canít remember my viral load level as I switched off (probably more out of panic) but my CD4 came in at 975. I recall him saying my Viral was very low though and that I have a non-resistant strain. Iíve also been told meds are probably a long way off if my counts remain as they are at present, though Iím not in denial that there will be times when they are up and down but I shouldnít and wont look at this as a negative sign.
 
Overall while I have to say, again please pardon the pun, Iíve remained very positive to the news.  Donít get me wrong; I would sooner not have HIV but the fact of the matter is I have and there is nothing I can do about it. The week leading on from being told I was positive was very surreal. Up and down and crying a lot. I also found myself zoning out completely at times almost as if the world around me had slowed down and found myself looking and people and wondering to myself whether they had HIV as well. Iíve stopped doing this now.

I recently got in touch with a local HIV foundation to see what services, if any, I could utilise. Iím not really one for these support groups as such, though I do appreciate the benefit they can be to others. I just donít feel standing up in front of a group is really something I want to do or would benefit me much, although I am a very cynical person. Having said that, I am attending a 5-week course for newly diagnosed gay men in November, which is aimed at providing information for people who have tested positive within the last 12 months. They do have other groups, but the advisor I saw suggested that maybe mixing with people in groups who have lived with HIV for longer is probably not the best move right now Ė I think more so because theyíre outlook on HIV will be different given the varying amount of time theyíre lived with it.  I think itís a case of too much information to soon might not be the better strategy. Either way Iím content to attend this group and see whether it works for me.

Like I said above, Iíve told my parents and a few close friends. Feels kind of weird to be honest; almost like Ďcoming outí again. Everyone has been upset, obviously, but have all be very supportive though I feel the minute I catch a cold theyíll all be driving me mad making sure Iím okay. Iíve also told work, though I know Iím under no legal obligation to do so, and theyíve been wonderful and again; very understanding and supportive about it. I just felt that whilst I was waiting for my counts to come back they could come back high or low and if I needed a lot of time of work as a result of either it was better to be upfront with them, so they knew why I need the time off.  Only the partners of the firm I work for know, as well a few others who I trust within work. Its kind of on a Ďneed to know basisí and whilst I donít doubt Iíll be much more open about it in the future, as I am about most things, at the moment Iím still in the Ďadjustingí period so Iím very careful of whom I tell. Having said that a friend is a friend no matter what you tell them, to some degree, so if anyone reacts badly then they clearly arenít the friends I thought they were, just I donít necessarily want my HIV status being plastered on someoneís facebook update.  

And thatís about it really. I have my next appointment with my health advisor in October where will no doubt have to given even more blood, I go to my group in November so will see how that pans out for me. I tend to not dwell on the fact Iím HIV and just get on with life as I would regardless of my status. I think the next hurdle for me is going to be dating. I donít want to pigeon hole myself into dating only Ďpositiveí men, I can see why a lot do, but Iím optimistic, if not a little naive, that there is nothing to stop me having a relationship with someone who is negative. Iíll have to get back to you on that one I guess as I must admit the thought of telling someone in that situation is very daunting and again, reminds me of when I came out as being gay all those years ago. Something I had hoped Iíd never have to go through again.

Anyway, Iíve waffled on for long enough and thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read all this. To the moderators, Iím sorry if I should have posted this in another thread, but after reading a few of threads open I felt it was a bit rude to hijack someone elseís thread as I was not positing as a direct response to them, however feel free to merge this post with another thread if it is felt necessary.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 08:55:51 AM by sparky1976 »

Offline Lakis

  • Member
  • Posts: 83
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 05:50:41 PM »
Hi,
Welcome to our Forum. Im sure you are going to meet some nice people here and get ( in casae you need it) a good , and honest advise.
Lakis

Offline sparky1976

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009, 07:32:31 PM »
Hi,
Welcome to our Forum. Im sure you are going to meet some nice people here and get ( in casae you need it) a good , and honest advise.
Lakis

Hey, thanks for saying hello and i hope so... on a side note, not really related to me finding out im HIV... but how the hell do you open private messages on here? i keep getting this message: An Error Has Occurred!
Sorry, you can't read your personal messages.
and cant seem to send messages either so i can ask a mod about how i fix this  ???

Offline madbrain

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,208
  • No longer an active member
    • My personal site
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2009, 08:25:19 PM »
Hey, thanks for saying hello and i hope so... on a side note, not really related to me finding out im HIV... but how the hell do you open private messages on here? i keep getting this message: An Error Has Occurred!
Sorry, you can't read your personal messages.
and cant seem to send messages either so i can ask a mod about how i fix this  ???

I think you need to post 3 times to the forum to send personal messages.
But it shouldn't be a requirement to receive messages. That sounds like more like a bug.

Offline CHUCK610

  • Member
  • Posts: 61
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2009, 08:27:44 PM »

Welcome to the forum

Don't worry about waffling on this is what this site is about, getting support and getting out your thoughts, concerns and asking questions when you need too. I tested Poz in May and it took me about 2 months to get to the thinking where you are at. Don't get me wrong I still have a bad day now and again. But, they are shorter and not as intense.

Thanks for sharing

Diagnosed 5/01/09
cd4 289 vl 20k 20.5%
6/03/09 started med Reyataz, Norvir, Truvada
7/6/09 cd4 463, vl 1,400. 22%
7/22/09 cd4 472 vl 260, 29%
9/1/09 cd4 462 vl 218, 30.8%
10/22/09 cd4 462 vl undetectable (yahoo) 30.6 %
01/21/2010 cd4 537 undetectable  35.8%

Offline sparky1976

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2009, 06:55:59 AM »
I think you need to post 3 times to the forum to send personal messages.
But it shouldn't be a requirement to receive messages. That sounds like more like a bug.


ah, i see. thats sucks as i have a message and i cant access to reply. hope it corrects itself then. or that i can now send messages out to alert a mod/admin to the problem. thanks tho. :)

edit: it would seem you do need to make 3 posts on the forum before you can read or send messages. so problemo sorted. pheew.

Welcome to the forum

Don't worry about waffling on this is what this site is about, getting support and getting out your thoughts, concerns and asking questions when you need too. I tested Poz in May and it took me about 2 months to get to the thinking where you are at. Don't get me wrong I still have a bad day now and again. But, they are shorter and not as intense.

Thanks for sharing

hello and thanks.

the week following on from finding out i was pos was sureal. i think it helped that i could go home and spend time with my folks and that work just told me to go home and come back when i felt up to coming back. i think all of this, plus the high cd4 and low viral count has helped in its own way to lessen the blow. i've had a few days when i get down in the dumps about it, but i tend to snap myself out of it. in genral i have always bounced back quick from bad news; tho i dont think ive had news on this level before in my life. its strange, in that i have often thought in the past how i would react to being told i was HIV and i honestly thought i would have been worse than i was/am, but i guess you never really know how you'll react until you're in that position yourself. also getting in touch with the HIV foundation and boards like this help because for a while it feels like your the only one with it, you know your not but because you dont know anyone else who is HIV to relate too, it can be a very isolating experience.

on a positive note, i get the swine flu vaccine before anyone else does lol ;)
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 07:05:18 AM by sparky1976 »

Offline CHUCK610

  • Member
  • Posts: 61
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2009, 11:49:02 AM »
Hi Sparky,

I know what you mean about feeling isolated, I feel that way sometimes too, cause I don't know anyone who is hiv poz either. And when ever I have to get my meds refilled I have to reorder them a week before so the pharmacy I go to can order them. So guess where I live no one else has it or gets from my pharmacy. But, all in all I am feeling pretty good, I'm eating healthier and more back into my normal routine. I have a great support system in place for when I do get down in the dumps and tend to snap out of it pretty quickly.

You are doing great, keep up the positive outlook and you'll be fine.

Talk to you later, I'm going to go for a ride on my motorcycle

Chuck
Diagnosed 5/01/09
cd4 289 vl 20k 20.5%
6/03/09 started med Reyataz, Norvir, Truvada
7/6/09 cd4 463, vl 1,400. 22%
7/22/09 cd4 472 vl 260, 29%
9/1/09 cd4 462 vl 218, 30.8%
10/22/09 cd4 462 vl undetectable (yahoo) 30.6 %
01/21/2010 cd4 537 undetectable  35.8%

Offline sparky1976

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2009, 12:27:11 PM »
hey,

well over the past few weeks Iíve discovered a few people I know are also HIV. i was shocked, in that my jaw hit the ground shocked. I guess I now know how my folks and close friends felt when I told them I had the lurgi. I was a bit taken back by how I reacted at finding out people I knew had it, and that Iíd never guessed. Itís all very strange and odd and at times when you think nothing else can spook you, something does.

Could it be that the specific meds your on arenít the same as others, hence why you need to order in advance? I donít claim to be an expert when it comes to meds, ive been told I might be a long way of treatment so havenít really started reading to much into that side as I feel I have enough to get to grips withÖ but arenít there different types of medication, so maybe what your on needs to be ordered in advance? All my meds, if/when I need them, will be provided by the GUM clinic within the hospital so thankfully I wont have to worry about ordering and such. and if I cant make it to the hospital, for whatever reason, theyíre sent out courier to me to ensure I have them in enough time.

Iím glad to hear your feeling youíre getting back into the routine of things and that you have a good support next work. I think just being able to vent to friends, even if they donít say anything back, is a great help. Tho, just speaking to other going through the same even on a board like this helps a lot because you realise your not alone and others are going through the same as you are. That knowledge in itself is of great comfort at times and helps you pick yourself up and carry on. :)

Ah motorbikes. Well have fun; have to say im a complete wuss so youíll never catch me on one of them. but if you ever saw how I drive my car youíd agree ive made the right decision haha ;)

Offline CHUCK610

  • Member
  • Posts: 61
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2009, 09:43:43 PM »
I haven't discovered anyone that I know is poz, I know some people keep it very secret. But, I have found this forum is a wealth of information though at times it would be nice to talk to someone face to face who has it. My family and close friends have been very supportive.

Well the pharmacist told me that they don't have anyother customers that get hiv meds from them. But, they may get it from mail order or from another pharmacy in the area. Its kinda a family pharmacy that I have been going to for years. Could be other people are going to a place they don't know for it. Not a biggie I have gotten to the point that I don't really care who knows I have it or not.

I have always wanted a motorcycle, but when my daughter was younger the wife wouldn't go for it. Now that my daughter is moved out and older my wife reluctantly said ok. I took the safety course back in September ( I highly recommend it) and then after I found out I had this nasty virus I had decided not to. My wife was the one who encouraged me to get it. I can't tell you how happy it makes me. I have had it for 2.5 months and have put over 1,900 miles on it. It kinda gives me peace and helps me forget about the HIV even if it is only for a few hours. I ride every chance I can.


Have a good week and stay strong..you will get through this
Diagnosed 5/01/09
cd4 289 vl 20k 20.5%
6/03/09 started med Reyataz, Norvir, Truvada
7/6/09 cd4 463, vl 1,400. 22%
7/22/09 cd4 472 vl 260, 29%
9/1/09 cd4 462 vl 218, 30.8%
10/22/09 cd4 462 vl undetectable (yahoo) 30.6 %
01/21/2010 cd4 537 undetectable  35.8%

Offline sparky1976

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2009, 04:59:22 PM »
I haven't discovered anyone that I know is poz, I know some people keep it very secret.

Well oddly enough Iíve found out through HIV dating sites, like the one attached to this site. Iíve not approached the people in question because I just donít know how to bring it up. I donít think they use the site Iíve seen two of their profiles on and for whatever reason they have chosen not to tell me so I it feels kind of strange. Do I drop hints, or just come out direct and say, or just leave it. 


Not a biggie I have gotten to the point that I don't really care who knows I have it or not.

I hope Iím in this position soon. I donít doubt I wont be, but I think at the moment, even tho I have a fairly good grip on the situation, its still on a need to know basis for me. Its not so much a fear of rejection; its just that I cant be bothered having to tell people, then in the same breath having to reassure them im not suddenly going to curl up and die.

It kinda gives me peace and helps me forget about the HIV even if it is only for a few hours. I ride every chance I can.

Still not sold me on the motorbike, ;) however I can relate to you on this point. When I just want time on my own away from everyone and everything I just jump in my car and go for a drive. It really does help clear my head and just forget about everything and all the stresses. Tho I like nothing better than when the weather is nice (not that often in the UK) to just sit out in the sun somewhere with my ipod blasting and just zone out completely - cheaper too as petrol over here keeps shooting up at an alarming rate haha.

Ah, I have a week of revision ahead of me Ė law exams soon so that should keep me out of mischief for a whileÖ thanks tho, and I hope you have a good week too.

Offline tony_wdc20001

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2009, 06:28:12 PM »
Welcome to the site Sparky. I am jealous of your numbers but nonetheless happy for you.  I too seem to be adjusting rather well to the news, I have even surprise my doctor who apologized for misjudging my character. I tried to start the dating thing, went to a few HIV+ poz -- was surprised to see a few people I knew and I wasn't aware they were poz also (like yourself, not sure if I should approach the subject with them -- but in due time, I think I will.)  I have dated poz people in the past when I was negative; wow, I truely didn't understand what they were going through at the time but I am comforted in the fact that I treated them like I would like to be treated now if I ever date a negative person.  Needless to say, I have decided to back away from the dating...I realized I was pushing myself to resume a close to normal life as possible and I think I need to spend a little time an focus on myself a little more.

Good luck and great health
Tony
-------
05/08 - Tested negative (oral)
09/08 - Tested negative (blood)
02/09 - Flu-like symptoms
02/09 - Tested negative (blood)
07/09 - Tested positive (blood)
07/30/09 - CD4 147 (12%),  VL 40803
08/13/09 - Started Viramune/Truvada (1 tablet each 1x day)
08/23/09 - Increase Viramune (1 tablet 2x day)
09/09/09 - CD4 380 (22%), VL 207
10/05/09 - CD4 441 (24%), VL 90
10/27/09 - CD4 479 (26%), VL 111
12/16/09 - CD4 455 (31%), VL 50
02/24/10 - CD4 646 (32%), VL undetectable
06/14/10 - CD4 590 (30%), VL undetectable

Offline sparky1976

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2009, 07:01:31 PM »
Hi Tony and thanks, Iím glad to hear youíre adjusting well to the news Ė still feels slightly surreal when I think about it.

Yeah I think for now im just going to leave it. Itís not a major issue that they know I know or they know im positive as well. I dunno, I think finding out people I knew where positive was a shock, but also oddly I took a bit of comfort from it - I think because it helped me come to terms with the feeling of isolation I found myself experiencing. As for dating, I know im incredibly picky, so I know I couldnít date someone for the sake of it being easier, or less stress. It just wouldnít work for me, but at the same time whilst I have adjust well and quickly, I donít think im ready to deal with the type of rejection that comes from being HIV. I mean, its one thing to be rejected because someone just isnít interested, but to know they are but itís the issue of HIV that they cant get to grips with is another. I can totally understand why it would spook someone, so I cant fault anyone for getting spookedÖ Iím totally over thinking things here arenít i? I should take a step back and play it as it comes instead of worrying about things that may or may not happen, which isnít good. Also, as I mentioned in above, with the amount of study Iíve got in front of me men really should be the last thing on my mind haha ;)

Again thanks and take care yourself :)

Offline sparky1976

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2009, 04:35:42 PM »
update: my second sets of counts came back, my viral load has gone up slightly to 2236 with my Cd4 dropping slightly to 956 tho im not to concenred about it as ive had a lot of crap since my last count - minor op, stess of law exams, so ive im looking at this as soon long due good news... also start my course at a HIV/Aids trust in manchester next week for people diagnosed within the last year so see how that goes. overall remaining positive menatally over it all and just getting on with things. :)

Offline Andy Velez

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  • Member
  • Posts: 25,209
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2009, 08:44:21 AM »
Sparky, you're doing very well in your handling this powerful and unexpected news since August.

Your numbers will likely fluctuate for a while until they settle down. That's very common.

I hope you know that you're always welcome here to talk about anything that's on your mind, to ask questions and just to chat if you're feeling like doing that.

Gradually you're going to learn what you need to know to stay healthy. It also seems like you've lucked out well in finding quality medical professionals. That's a major tool for staying well.

Cheers and again, welcome.
Andy Velez

Offline sparky1976

  • Member
  • Posts: 19
Re: tested poz in August 09
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2009, 11:05:37 AM »
Hi Andy and thanks.  

I think the fact that I have such a good set of medical professionals, as well as speaking to the George House Trust, has helped me come to terms with my diagnosis a whole lot quicker and easier. All three have made themselves available whenever Iíve needed to ask them anything and then presented any information I have needed in a very easy to understand manner. So overall Iíd say Iím feeling okay with everything at the moment.

In relation to my numbers youíve echoed exactly what my health advisor warned me might happen when I got my first count, so I wasnít too shocked or concerned and with it not being a drastic change my HA and consultant arenít too concerned about it either.  

I guess itís all a big learning curve - still lots of things I donít know and still feel a bit out of my depth and wonder whether Iím asking the right thingsÖ but I think this course Iím attending (tomorrow is the fist group) might help me as a different topic will be covered each week and topics include - HIV terminology, sex and risk and employment, disclosure, etc. so no-doubt a lot of the questions I still havenít asked will probably be answered over the coming 5 weeks. Well see.

I think for me anyway, just being able to waffle on about things here, like going to give blood and getting numbers back, helps me keep everything in perspective because whenever I mention anything to my friendsÖ yeah theyíre nice about it and all, but they cant really relate so it can be a bit frustrating at timesÖ so thanks for listening, well reading. :)

 


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