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Author Topic: Just tested +  (Read 7193 times)

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Offline loki-10

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  • Posts: 9
Just tested +
« on: January 18, 2010, 03:28:23 AM »
Just popped on the ELISA 11'th and got a weakly positive WB test on the 14'th. I was neg on a July test. Turns out I lucked out in my normal doc, he's been treating HIV/AIDS since the early 80's. Put me on Atripla on the 14'th right after getting a huge amount of blood drawn for baselines. My bf since sep is convinced its him that infected me and he gets his results in a couple days. He also was neg in Sep. I'm still hoping for him to be neg so it looks to be a suspenseful week getting my first complete blood workup when we go in to get our results. After reading this board I'm wondering if I started on the meds too soon. The long shot gambler in me is still thinking it was only one blood sample for the initial diagnosis and confirmation, hoping for a contaminated sample; but I've pretty much given up on that.

Seems like everyone is avoiding the meds as long as possible. What am I missing? Only side effect so far was a wacky hallucination the first morning when I had two boyfriends. Took me a bit to figure out who was real, and the unreal one gave me a very nasty look before vanishing.

Offline veritas

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  • Posts: 1,410
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2010, 07:24:30 AM »

loki,

Can't answer your question until we see your numbers. The thinking now is that HAART should be initiated if you cd4s fall between 350 and 450. See this:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19361855?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_SingleItemSupl.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=4&log

Let us know!

v

Offline loki-10

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  • Posts: 9
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2010, 11:04:43 PM »
 Just got my numbers:
CD4: 767 (26%), btw what do the percentages mean. Still going through the flood of info from the doc in my head.

vl: 105,000

Offline tednlou2

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  • Posts: 5,086
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2010, 12:35:45 AM »
I'm sorry to hear about your positive test.  When to start treatment is a huge decision.  Some docs say hit hard and early.  Others say to wait until CD4 is consistantly declining and around CD4 500.  CD4 and viral load can look very scary right after infection.  Our bodies usually get control of the virus and many don't need meds for years--some as long as 20 years. 

Personally, I think your doctor should have waited to see what you trend is--whether you are going to be a fast progressor.  You need time to come to terms with this and having to be on meds probably the rest of your life unless a cure is found.  With HIV meds, you have to take them everyday and on time.  You can't decide you don't feel good and don't want to take them.  Or, you feel great and don't think you need them.  This is how people become resistant to the meds. 

I have been positive since 2001 and not on meds yet.  My CD4 over the last year has been around 800 and viral load never over 27,000.  I can't decide whether to start meds yet.  I'm not convinced I can be totally adherent and take the meds every day.  Atripla is so easy to get resistant to.  If you fail to take it, you will more than likely become resistant to it.  It is more forgiving if you are off by a few hours taking it; however, if it gets totally out of your blood stream, you will get resistant.

I'm putting a link to study that just came out about starting meds early after infection and it causing higher rates of resistance.  I wish ya the best and the best for your boyfriend.

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1953718,00.html

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Just tested +
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2010, 12:46:00 AM »
Here is a link about CD4%.  A healthy immune system would have % of 30-50.  CD4% in the 20's is still considered okay.  When you get below 20%, they start to worry.  I believe a CD4% of 14 is considered an AIDS diagnosis regardless of whether your CD4 is at the 200 mark--which is considered AIDS.  Most docs say the CD4% is a more stable indicator of how your immune system is doing.  Your CD4 can change due to a cold, flu, or other infection.  It also changes from morning to night.  This is why we are told we should do our bloodwork at around the same time of day and at the same lab each time.

http://aids.about.com/od/aidsfactsheets/a/cd4percent.htm

Offline veritas

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  • Posts: 1,410
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2010, 06:07:07 AM »

loki,

Your cd4s are good, vl-- a little high, cd4% -not too bad for someone who is poz. Toss-up as to starting meds. You could have waited a little while longer, but as stated in tednlou2 link, it depends on your doc and wheather to hit it early and hard or wait. Don't worry about resistance as long as you take your meds as directed ---- You'll be fine.

Watch your numbers get better and better!

Good Luck,

v

Offline 1228GUY

  • Member
  • Posts: 64
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2010, 11:32:56 AM »
Welcome to the forum Loki, I myself am waiting on CD4 and VL numbers but you got some good numbers. There is conflicting information on when to start meds based on cd4/vl numbers and cd4 % I guess the best thing is to read diff sources, talk to your doctor and listen, if he put you on meds he saw that as being the best way to get you unto the healthy path. Im sure your numbers will get better with your medication therapy!! Continue to keep us posted!  :D

Mark
12.28.09 - Rcvd call I should test
12.29.09 - Confirmed
01.19.10 - VL 30015  CD4 172
03.18.10 - VL 1627    CD4 193
04.15.10 - VL 965      CD4 248
07.09.10 - VL 227      CD4 233 (19%)
08.12.10 - VL 99        CD4 280 (18%)
12.03.19 - VL 79        CD4 262 (21%)
02.09.11 - VL 90        CD4 376 (19%)
05.20.11 - VL 106      CD4 196 (25%)
06.23.11 - VL 82        CD4 289
08.05.11 - VL UD       CD4 286
11.04.11 - VL 54        CD4 305
03.02.12 - VL UD       CD4 523
04.30.12 - VL 74
08.12.12 - VL 153      CD4 353
11.15.12 - VL 43        CD4 443
01.11.13 - VL 39       
03.29.12 - VL UD        CD4 640
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_
Truvada.Norvir.Prezista - Serostim HGH

Offline tednlou2

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  • Posts: 5,086
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2010, 08:09:32 PM »
I just wanted to clarify something--  If you feel the decision to start meds was right for you and that you can be adherent, then I wouldn't look back now and regret it.  For all we know, those of us waiting years to start could be doing more damage to our bodies than our "good" numbers are telling.  You will probably read about inflammation that HIV causes when it is left untreated for years.  And, I worry so much bout getting sick with the flu or even a simple cold not on meds.

As you can tell, the meds question is a big one.  All the different info leaves many of us not knowing what to do.  Maybe it is better you're doc put you on meds now.  Getting control of the virus right away may give you a much better life-span..which they keep telling us is an almost normal one.  And, once you get an undetectable viral load, you will be much, much less likely to pass the virus on to someone else.  Experts still say to practice safe sex as it is still possible.

All the best and keep us informed   

Offline loki-10

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  • Posts: 9
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2010, 10:20:02 PM »
Thanks everyone for the advice and good wishes,
 
The more I look around the more I agree with the hit it hard early approach. Just makes my skin crawl a bit to know there is a bug in me waging full scale war and I'm not helping it out as much as I can.

So far the side effects seem pretty mild, the hallucinations the first day didn't repeat  :(. That was freaky but fun. Although I just had an allergic skin rash break out. Doc says that can last up to a week. Looking a bit like a plucked chicken under the clothes. And the crazy thing itches. Keeping my fingers crossed that it clears up asap.

Thanks again



Offline nothing4granted

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2010, 12:29:06 PM »
Loki,

I started on Atripla a week before Thanksgiving and one week later to the day I got the rash.  I itched so bad I thought I would go crazy that first day.  And of course my doctor's office was closed.  Thanks to the many posts on here about the rashes I realized I could take benadryl.  So after a 5am trip to WalMart for benadryl I got much needed relief and the rash went away in less than a week.

The best advice I can give you is to take it one day at a time and realize that you didn't do anything wrong, you aren't a bad person, you will most likely die of old age, and that it's not any different from any other disease like Diabetes for example.  You take medicine, you educate yourself, you see your doctor, and the most important thing...you live your life and enjoy it!  It's a blessing or a curse depending on how you look at it and I've chosen to look at it as a blessing.

Brian


Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,185
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2010, 02:43:29 PM »
Just curious.
If you were HIV- in July, and now HIV+.  It is a very recent infection. Your doctor explained NOTHING about the rational for starting HAART immediately on diagnosis?  Well, if he didn't you should ask him. Then you can compare your experience to others here with some knowledge of the rationale.

What country are you in?


Seems like you have been treated in primary infection so you deserve an explanation as to why!
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline skeebo1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,707
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2010, 03:00:42 PM »
Just curious.
If you were HIV- in July, and now HIV+.  It is a very recent infection. Your doctor explained NOTHING about the rational for starting HAART immediately on diagnosis?  Well, if he didn't you should ask him. Then you can compare your experience to others here with some knowledge of the rationale.

What country are you in?


Seems like you have been treated in primary infection so you deserve an explanation as to why!

I am wondering the same, never the less though what is done is done.  Loki, during primary infection it is absolutely normal for you to have a high viral load and coicedentally your Cd4's to take a dip.  While it does seem your doc jumped the gun here a bit, I am sure he was airing on the side of caution.  This is understandable, but an ID doc more than likely would have taken a different approach.  I know you probably have a very comfortable relationship with him, but it is important to have a doctor who specializes in these matters.  Just a suggestion.

Sorry to hear of your recent infection BTW, and welcome to the forums.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline loki-10

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2010, 03:50:56 AM »
Brian: The rash was a shock. Appeared early in the morning at work and spread like crazy. Fortunately it was a workday and my doctor told me about the anti-histimines. Given that it itched like crazy I'm very glad it only lasted about 30 hours. It wasn't the itchiness that bothered me so much was I was just getting past all the psychological stuff thinking I can handle this and it knocked that house of cards down before the glue set. So a few bad days there.

mecch, skeeboi1969: In retrospect I agree with the docs decision. Got too much of that pill popping culture instilled in me I guess. I really, really wanted to do something, living a healthy lifestyle just wasn't enough. Looking at all the studies on chronically untreated infections I know I couldn't handle that. Even now I'm obsessing what the blood counts are, knowing that there was nothing helping to keep it in check would drive me nuts. 

The doc seems on the up and up. He's very knowledgeable on the disease and after some checking is probably the best non-academic in the state on the topic. Guess I lucked out there. 


Offline loki-10

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  • Posts: 9
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2010, 09:12:03 PM »
Got my second set of labs back. Virus load is undetectable!  ;D

CD4 is at 789 and 36%

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2010, 10:44:21 PM »
What was your doctor's explanation for treating at diagnosis?  I wish I had been treated in seroconversion. The doctor waited a few months and turns out I can't manage without HAART so I took it.  But maybe a few more Tcells might have been spared! 
Are you in seroconversion, or a few months positive already? Do you know?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline loki-10

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  • Posts: 9
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2010, 08:13:12 PM »
He's one of the proponents for treating ASAP. Plus I really wanted to do something right away. Just standing by while doing nothing really didn't sit right in my head. I'm pretty much positive, no pun intended, that the seroconversion happened the first week of December. A lot of the seroconversion medical symptoms and a sexual encounter right before line right up. So it looks like I started Atripla 6 weeks after infection. I did get a round of anti-biotics during seroconversion since the doc thought I had a throat infection with the fever and other stuff.

That said the side effects are essentially non-existent after the first week. And those were fun if anything, worst one was waking up and having my boyfriend in two different places at the same time. Other than that feeling a bit drunk and some vivid dreams but all that's faded away.

Offline Rev. Moon

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  • Posts: 3,783
  • Smart ass faggot ©
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2010, 10:05:06 PM »
Loki, I'm glad to see that you are doing so well.  Like you, I started treatment while undergoing the acute infection --and so far things are going quite well.  My ID doc is very good (she comes from the school of Fischl); we work together on all decisions and maintain an excellent relation.  I don't regret for a minute the fact that I did not wait.  

Look forward to hearing more from your experience.

Best of luck,

Da Moon
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline Phoenius10

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  • Posts: 29
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2010, 02:32:45 AM »
He's one of the proponents for treating ASAP. Plus I really wanted to do something right away. Just standing by while doing nothing really didn't sit right in my head. I'm pretty much positive, no pun intended, that the seroconversion happened the first week of December. A lot of the seroconversion medical symptoms and a sexual encounter right before line right up. So it looks like I started Atripla 6 weeks after infection. I did get a round of anti-biotics during seroconversion since the doc thought I had a throat infection with the fever and other stuff.

Loki, you went through basically the same as I did.  I chose to go on Atripla as soon as I could and I wish I could have started taking it sooner.   My first pill was taken about 3 weeks after exposure, after getting a 7mil+ VL test.  I understand totally this was because I was in seroconversion.  My choice wasn't because of my doc.  He told me it was totally up to me when to start meds, giving me the pros and cons of each.  I decided because I knew I could keep up with the pills and wanted to rid the virus out of my body ASAP before it could do anymore harm or get anymore entrenched in my body.

Offline BrotherDavid

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Re: Just tested +
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2010, 02:47:51 PM »
Right on! That was exactly my thinking. The based on the information these days, the pros outweighed the cons for me. I am really happy I did what I did.

Offline loki-10

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  • Posts: 9
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2010, 06:31:30 AM »
Honestly, not treating it didn't even cross my mind as a possibility. Frankly I was a little annoyed the doc insisted on waiting until the western blot came back to confirm it. I think the only reason I let it pass was it fed my denial state. I kept thinking it was just a false positive. Finally talked to the guy that I got it from and he's refusing to see a doc which I find inconceivable.

Another interesting thing that happened is I appear to have lost my Hep A/B immunity. I was vaccinated against them and it was tested with a very strong response 9 years ago but my current blood tests show no immune reaction. Going to get revaccinated now.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Just tested +
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2010, 05:21:47 PM »
Loki, having to get a booster for Hep A&B is not that uncommon. Good that you found out and can get it done.

Overall it sounds like you're doing well with your numbers and your doc.

What about your bf? Did get his test result? I haven't seen any mention of that and was wondering. How is that relationship going since you tested positive?

Best to you.
Andy Velez

Offline james3000

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  • Posts: 140
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2010, 06:36:28 PM »
I was wondering wouldn't the proper way to proceed be to do a drug resistance test when viral load is over a 1000 and make drug choices based on the outcome.
I was infected with drug resistent HIV and have had problems  Also ID dr did a ccr5 test and couldnt take those meds.

Offline loki-10

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  • Posts: 9
Re: Just tested +
« Reply #22 on: April 11, 2010, 06:47:51 AM »
The drug resistance test came back with the strain having virtually no resistance to anything.  ;D. The doc made sure we had the blood drawn for that before starting Atripla. Hopefully I never need to have it done again :D. After the results came in we just stayed with the Atripla.

I don't like talking about the bf's medical history so much since that's his business. And he's not that much into sharing medical info. But he's on the same regime with the same doc, we're always double checking the other has taken their daily 'vitamin'. It's been a rocky three months but if anything I think its drawn us together more than anything else. We're still hopelessly in love with one another. We know where it came from and we got it virtually at the same time. If one of us had it first I doubt anyone could ever tell.

On top of the Hep A/B loss I've also lost all indications I had cold sores as a kid. So it definitely looks like there was a loss of immunilogical history.

I can't complain where I'm at now givin the conditions. I'm just old enough to have experienced the funeral after funeral of those before treatments really worked. The bf is a bit younger and one of the biggest sources of conflict has been how dismissive he's been of infection. Makes me feel a bit old, lol. But we are surviving.


 


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