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Author Topic: Tested pos 2.17.10  (Read 7652 times)

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Offline talktome2

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  • Posts: 12
Tested pos 2.17.10
« on: February 19, 2010, 08:26:42 PM »
I am just brokenhearted right now. Going through this alone. I receive a call from the doctor on Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) saying he needs to see me immediately to discuss my test result (blood drawn 2.5.10).
I immediately had the dreaded feeling, and he confirmed it during my visit.

An antibodies reaction test was done and it tested positive. Then it was confirmed with a Western Blot. He took blood again on Wednesday just make sure that there was no mix up at the lab, but I know the chances of that is near zero. Though I pray that it is the case.

I still feel like it's just a bad dream that I will soon wake up from. But seeing the test result on my test quickly brought me back to reality.

I last tested negative in August of 2009. I have a few theories of how I contracted the virus. Back in June I may have been exposed in an encounter. About 4 days afterward I got a bad flu (never had a flu before in my life). My suspicion was quelled after my family got the flu too.

Then in January I had another encounter. The guy said he was neg (but I just found out tonight that he is positive). He even contested with me that he told me he was positive from the start, but that is false. During the encounter he attempted insertion without a condom. It was only about an inch in and I quickly stopped and had him put on a condom. But that may have been enough.

I am an honest person and I live an honest life, and it just kills me that someone would lie to me and hurt me like that. I just dont know...

I am 24 years old with great plans for my future. I am afraid that this will not only hinder my but also prevent me from reaching my goals.

There are things I know I will not live with (as in rather dead than living), but luckily HIV is not one of them. Although I am afraid that HIV could lead me to those conditions. I fear most that it would hurt my mom so much if she found out, so I cannot share this tragic predicament with her.

I have an appointment next Friday (a week from today) to see an HIV specialist. I am afraid. Afraid of pain. Afraid of dying. Afraid of the drugs. Please pray for me that my second test is negative.

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Ninja Please
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 08:30:10 PM »
Talk,

Welcome to the forums. I'm sorry you are here but I'm glad you found us all the same.

It's standard operating procedure to repeat testing when a positive ELISA is confirmed by Western Blot. I have to tell you that the likelihood of your result being a false positive is quite remote.

But you already know this.

The most important thing for you to remember right now is that everything is gonna be OK.

Seriously.

MtD :)

Offline talktome2

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  • Posts: 12
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 08:38:41 PM »
Thank you for telling me everything will be ok. I am just afraid. I am very afraid of the pain from this. More so, I am afraid of the pain that this would cause my family.

I've been feeling healthy. I go to the gym 5 days a week. Never felt better than now. When I found out on Wednesday I've been in bed whenever I could. Pushed myself to get to school for classes. And started feeling aches on various body parts (tho I'm sure its due to stress and psychological reasons).

I'm so afraid of not being able to find happiness.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 08:40:42 PM by talktome2 »

Offline Brooke P.

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  • Posts: 33
  • The Best men in the world, my Dad and my Son!
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2010, 08:43:09 PM »
I am 24 years old with great plans for my future. I am afraid that this will not only hinder my but also prevent me from reaching my goals.

No need to feel this way.  Keep your head up my dear!  I know, easier said than done!  I was 23 when I got my results.  Now, 7 years later I have had a pretty normal life.  And I even have a healthy 4 year old son to keep living for!  Things will get better it just takes time!

Brooke
Feb. 2003 -tested positive
Started Kaletra and Combivir
2/26/03  CD4=1080   VL=218,333
3/3/03    CD4=1072   VL=546,010
4/10/03  CD4=1886   VL=1901
12/23/03 CD4=1711   VL=<50
STOPPED MEDS IN JUNE 2004
STARTED BACK WHEN I GOT PREGNANT
9/2009  CD4=274    VL=199,420
WENT 4 YEARS WITHOUT MEDS NOW I'M BACK ON MEDS, ATRIPLA
11/2009 CD4=574    VL=350
2/24/2010 CD4=851 VL=48

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Posts: 12,239
  • Ninja Please
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2010, 08:44:51 PM »
Yeah, pain is frighty stuff. But you'd be surprised what you can put up with.

As for your family, well it is gonna be painful for them but again you might be surprised at how well they'll cope.

But let's burn that bridge when we jump off it, eh? ;)

There's no need to rush into making any major decisions right now.

MtD

Offline talktome2

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  • Posts: 12
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2010, 08:52:27 PM »
Thank you Brooke, you're encouraging. Last night I was reading posts from teenagers who were positive and it was a bit encouraging to read about people so young yet strong. I hope I become as strong as they are.

I know this is not the place to talk about this, but tonight (2 hours ago) I also found out about my grandmother's death at 7am this morning. I cried more for her than for myself. I cried for my mom because I don't want her to be sad. My attempt to get to a church to find consolation failed when I found out the great doors were bolted shut. I had to ask why now? Why me?

Thank you MtD for taking the time right now.  I need it.

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Ninja Please
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2010, 08:56:08 PM »
It's not a problem, sweetpea. I remember the awfulness of being diagnosed.

I understand that this all seems really enormous and utterly overwhelming right now. That's why it's best to take small steps.

You've got an appointment with an HIV specialist on Friday? Excellent! Focus on that. Once you've seen the specialist and heard what she or he has to say, then you can consider your next step.

And so on. That's how we walk this path. One step at a time.

Fondly,

MtD

Offline talktome2

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  • Posts: 12
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2010, 09:06:27 PM »
One step at a time...though the steps are currently so hazy, I will take one step at a time.

I should also mention I have HIV-1. I dont know the subtype as of yet. But when I looked over my results again tonight I had a sudden sense of panic. I had mistaken type 1 to be the more virulent one until google confirms its not the more deadly one.

I do know I need to get myself up. Get back to the gym. Get back to my life (which isn't too fun and exciting to start with). I know I can't succumb to this disease. I have to hold out for a cure.

At this point I wouldn't mind volunteering time in a lab to help research.

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Ninja Please
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2010, 09:12:06 PM »
Google is not always your friend when it comes to HIV stuff.

Try our Lessons which explain the stuff you need to know in normal human language.

MtD

Offline phildinftlaudy

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  • Posts: 2,975
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2010, 09:17:38 PM »
hi talktome2 - sorry about your news and the stress it is causing, but u have come to the right place.  there will b a lot of firsts -- but the good thing about u finding this site and these forums is that what is a first to u probably is not a first on here - so u can always ask questions and get information.  i only joined the forums a little over a month ago, but started using this site almost immediately after being diagnosed (09/08).  While I am living with HIV, I don't think about hiv every waking moment of my day.  I still go to work, hang out with friends, enjoy a good movie, and go through the life's ups and downs that have nothing to do with hiv.  HIV is just an added element.  It is life changing - but doesn't have to be life ending.  Welcome -- u have opened yourself up to a whole bunch of new friends that will pretty much always know where u are coming from so share freely.  Best to u and I look forward to hearing more from u as we walk this journey together with the rest   :)
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline talktome2

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  • Posts: 12
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2010, 09:29:11 PM »
Thank you phildinftlaudy.

At the doctor's office when I found out, I asked him. "What will change?" (in my life)
It was disheartening when he said he doesn't know.
But I now understand that I must keep going...with this added "component" to my life.

Atripla seems to be a commonly used drug on here, more than others?

Offline g_ale

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  • Posts: 6
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2010, 09:31:17 PM »
Hi,
don't worry we are all here to give you support and all the help you need!
I'm not poz but my brother is and i read you are worried for the pain you may cause to your family, well i'm the family for my brother and for me it is very important stay next to him and talk to him and go through all the informations and meds. believe me your family can be very supportive for you and they are going to be fine. the important thing for them will be to help you and encourage you.
I'm also in the research field (not for HIV unfortunately) but i can tell you that a lot of progress has been made to fight hiv and every years new meds and new hopes are available. I do really believe it.
the meds now are very effective and a lot of people have a very normal style of life.
Of course you need time and this forum i think really helps a lot !
you can talk to me everytime you want and for every little o big fear you want to share.
I'll be happy if i can be helpful for you ...sorry if my english is not quite perfect it's not my first language !
everything is gonna be okay

Offline phildinftlaudy

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  • Posts: 2,975
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2010, 09:41:56 PM »
I think iAtripla is one of the drugs of choice for those that haven't been on anything before.  But, u have to wait to see what your labs are before u will know about meds or not at this time.  I was able to go from 09/08 to 12/09 without needing meds.  Doc gave me the option of going on Atripla when my level fell below 500.  I'm the type of person that has always tried to change any negative in my life into a positive --- let those things that could bring me down instead work to my advantage.  I have made it my responsibility to learn everything I can about HIV -- I have a job, that among other responsibilities allows me to write grants for HIV services and I have a fairly good support network of friends.  My parents and immediate family know, but it isn't a topic of conversation that we have too often.  I figure if someone has an issue with me being positive that is their issue, not mine, I really don't have the option of having an issue with it   :)      As others have said, take it one step at a time --- I don't want to sound crazy saying enjoy the experience, but at least accepting that it is an experience is better then dreading the experience....
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,245
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2010, 09:46:09 PM »
Talk,

I know you are in turmoil right now. But I can promise you this, as the days and months go by you will begin to shed the fear you are experiencing right now, you will emerge stronger and more confident about everything and you will at some point come to the conclusion that you have HIV, it DOESNT have you. You will be happy again. You are not going to die anytime soon. I've been poz a little over 2 years, it does not effect my day to day living in the least bit. You will get there, I promise.

Read as much as you can here in the forums, and also the lessons. Ask questions. Nothing is to trivial here amongst friends. The more you learn about HIV and the more you see other peoples experiences the better you can come to grips with it.

Don't feel alone. We are all here to help each other, so feel free to ask anything, talk about your fears, etc..Whatever it is we are here.

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
11-6-14 CD4- 871, UD
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline talktome2

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2010, 09:52:06 PM »
Thank you all for your support.

Willy, why did you decide to start on meds when you did?

Phil, I think it's really amazing that your job allow you to take part in this plight against HIV.

G_ale, what do you think about the claims of the denialists?

Offline phildinftlaudy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,975
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2010, 09:57:23 PM »
Yeah - i have been blessed to work as a grant developer for a large healthcare system and HIV/AIDS sevices is one of the things the healthcare system does, so I get to write grants for programs and research grants, etc.  Having HIV give me a little bit more of a vested interest in getting the funding to do the services.  Where abouts are u located?  There are a lot of services and supports out there - sometimes its just a matter of finding them.
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,245
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2010, 10:03:41 PM »
Thank you all for your support.

Willy, why did you decide to start on meds when you did?

Phil, I think it's really amazing that your job allow you to take part in this plight against HIV.

G_ale, what do you think about the claims of the denialists?

The trigger was my steadily decreasing Percentage. At 12% Doc decided she had seen enough and recommended I start meds. I agreed.

Everyone's different, You may not need meds for years, you may need them immediately (we'll know more once you have your numbers in). But don't be afraid of the meds. You'll find that the fear of starting meds is actually greater than the act itself. For me, it was fairly uneventful and I soon was feeling better than I had felt in quite some time.

-Will

PS- you are going to start getting alot of terms thrown at you (such as percentage in my above statement). To help you understand some of these terms click on "treatment" tab at the top of the page. You might also start with the "All about HIV' tab at the top. Lots of great info there!

But in a nutshell the reason my doc keyed on my percentage is because the "Percentage" is a generally a more reliable indicator of immune health. You will see in my numbers that while I still had fairly good CD4 counts, my percentage was tanking. Thus it was time to start meds.


*edited to add more info.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 10:15:51 PM by WillyWump »
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
11-6-14 CD4- 871, UD
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline talktome2

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2010, 10:10:35 PM »
I am located in NYC, and I am thankful for being here b/c I know this great city has many resources.

I just ran across postings of the body changes due to medications...I wasn't aware of such things before.

Offline tplmc1964

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2010, 10:13:39 PM »
Hey talktome2 -

Welcome. You came to a great place to discuss your fears and your diagnosis. I came here in the same shape three months ago. My advice may be premature, because you are still in the initial turmoil...dude, we're family here we have all been where you are right now.

Me? Terrified, crushed...you name it, I thought it. In fact, it's so clear I remember the exact time on the clock, it was 12:58PM CST on November 18, 2009....my Dr. said, "what are your suspicions of of HIV?" ....I was there four days earlier to get my high blood pressure under control. She decided to have me tested because there was no record of any HIV test done on me. My last test was in 2006. I was neg.

I'll get to the point - I was POZ. I cried right there, and I'm not a crybaby, but damn, that was the last thing I expected. I did the next blood draw and waited an agonizing three and a half weeks. I had no symptoms, I felt fine. I got the call to come in to go over labs. I can't begin to even describe how I felt.

Results = Viral load = 48,000 my CD4 count was 333. I had no idea what all of this meant?

I was advised to start HAART asap. I agreed. I went on Atripla.

Not a week later, I was covered in shingles, my face became shadowy with dermatitis. I didn't even have acne as a kid. Now I wore HIV. I thought horrible thoughts and horrible wishes.

Then I came here. I found friends that listened to my fears, many of the same people who replied to you, replied to me. God bless them all. They gave me hope.

Three days ago I got my news after 90 days on Atripla....I am undetectable. My CD4 count is 410.

Bottom line: I'm HIV Poz. but my meds worked. I listened to my doctor. Whatever meds you are provided follow the instructions exactly. Do not miss a dose. If you get in trouble, lose your job, have insurance issues, call your Dr. immediately there are resources out there for all of us. Thankfully...truly thankfully....I had a brief insurance issue on my Atripla I had to buy two pills, it cost me $133.00...I learned then to join a resource group in my city (Dallas) that helps people out in cases like this. I have a great job, but this stuff is pricey and insurance companies are assholes.

Learn all you can about backup, DO NOT TAKE YOUR MEDS. Tell your doctor of any problems here.

It's not a death sentence, it's rough at first. Your life will be different, and like me you'll just deal with it. Don't expect to get similar results, I was lucky, very lucky. I had gone undiagnosed for over two years. My point is just take it a day at a time. If you want to cry, do it. Scream, yell, do anything you need to do to get the negative vibes out. But stick to your doctor, stick to your meds and don't think if there is a hiccup in the medication no matter what that you can't continue. This is the most important thing you can do. Your meds if and when you decide to start, will put the virus asleep.

You may be reading words here, but you're reading words from your new family. We're all fighting the same battle, we're here to see you win too.

Welcome. It's okay, it will be okay.

XO

Tim

Offline phildinftlaudy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,975
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2010, 10:17:50 PM »
I believe most of the body changes your referring to were from some of the older treatment regiments -- the side effects from meds out today are much more minimal then what they were years ago.  The Atripla I take only has given me a few side effects --- some vivid dreams, grogginess in the morning - that's about it.  Before I went on meds, I gave myself anxiety by reading up on the meds and reading all of the potential adverse effects, but like with any drug - HIV or non-HIV - the pamphlets about the drugs tend to list much much more side effects then the average person experiences - so the drug company can cover themselves from as much liability as possible and to try to take into account the different ways that each person may respond to a medication.  Try not to give yourself any unnecessary worries or fears.  Some things aren't meant to be worried about until they occur....   :)
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline talktome2

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2010, 10:29:48 PM »
Thank you for sharing your experience, Tim.

Definitely my other concern is the price of heathcare and those medications. I have insurance thru school, but im sure a month's worth of meds will hit my limits.

I read a posting saying that it is known that HIV will damage your body before OI comes in so its good to start meds early. Do you guys feel the same?

Offline WillyWump

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  • Posts: 7,245
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2010, 10:35:03 PM »
Also,

Here are some Quotes from Joel Gallant's "100 Questions and Answers About HIV and AIDS". Joel is a highly esteemed Doctor of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins Univ. These quotes hilite the issues of HIV today...

*Your prognosis is excellent! HIV infection is not the progressive, fatal illness it was in the late 80's and early 90's.
* With the right treatment, HIV infection is now a chronic, manageable disease.
* If it didn't come with so much emotional, social, and historical baggage, people would react to the diagnosis the way they might if they learned they had diabetes or arthritis.....treatment for HIV is now easier and more effective than treatment for either of those diseases.
* The development of antiretroviral therapy is up there with the discovery of penicillin as one of the most important and effective medical achievements of the 20'th century, and treatment keeps getting better in the 21'st. ART has completely changed the outlook for people with HIV infection
* If you take your medications faithfully, you can keep HIV in check indefinitely, having to change therapy only because of side effects or because better drugs come along....you should plan on sticking around for a long time, living long enough to die of old age
* ...I do feel comfortable telling my patients that,together, we can almost eliminate the possibility that they'll ever die of AIDS
* It may be hard to believe now but in time HIV infection may be low on your list of daily concerns, having little impact on the life you lead and the decisions you make
* ....fortunately, treatment today is highly effective, and deaths from HIV disease are now mostly preventable in countries where therapy is available and affordable
* ....treatment can prevent HIV infection from turning into AIDS, and it can restore the health of people with AIDS
* It's also worth noting that most of the other diseases that we suffer from in the developed world are also chronic, incurable, but treatable diseases. Think of diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart failure, arthritis - none of them curable, all of them manageable (though not always as easily manageable as HIV infection)
* Someday - maybe not in my lifetime, we'll cure HIV infection
* In about 15 years, we've seen HIV infection go from being an almost universally fatal, untreatable illness to a manageable, chronic disease and treatment became easier and better in the 10 years that followed


-Will

POZ since '08

Last Labs-
11-6-14 CD4- 871, UD
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline talktome2

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2010, 10:42:29 PM »
Thanks Will.
If there isn't a stigma associated with the disease then I probably wouldn't feel as bad.

Offline tplmc1964

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  • Posts: 24
Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2010, 10:59:54 PM »
Okay, if your first concern is insurance, then talk to the doc. if you are not seeing an HIV / AIDS related medical organization, then find one. I just say that because I've always gone to a gay medical establishment, but not everyone is in that area. A gay oriented physician may have further "outreach" programs for you. Yea, a lot of BS paperwork, but cover your ass. "BELONG" I had to do it too...took about a half a day of work to complete but I can now apply for half a dozen charities if my shit hits the fan...do you live in a city or small town?

Someone posted wisely and I have to agree, POZ for you may simply be that...POZ. Your CD4's may be normal, viral load may be undetectible...there is a lot you don't know now.

It's okay to be afraid, but you fear the unknown and I'll let Ann step in if she likes, (moderator) many people show up POZ without any problems. In which case, your doc will just keep you in check and you go med free. I have a friend who has been POZ for over twenty years, never has shown a detectable log of the virus. That's why we are all saying, don't panic...you don't have all of the facts yet. BUT if the facts are not great, then okay, here's what's next. It's not the end of the line. They should be testing for Viral load, CD4 or Tcell count and genetic disposition. Genetic disposition (the latter is what takes so long, they have to grow your profile to determine where your DNA is at) Don't be afraid of that, it's just a measurement so they know what to treat you with.

One day at a time. Easier said than done I know...man I know.

Offline tplmc1964

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2010, 11:09:29 PM »
PS - WillyWump summed it up perfectly. When I broke down in tears / shock my doctor said, "I'd rather tell you this news than that you have diabetes." ....didn't help at the time, I'd have preferred the diabetes.  But he's right. I am eternally grateful to all who have contributed to the this epidemic. At one time, there was no hope. How fortunate we all are now. At least that's how I feel. That and to have a worldwide community to share with. This a great place to put your fears at rest and know you are not alone.

Offline Ann

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2010, 09:15:36 AM »

It's okay to be afraid, but you fear the unknown and I'll let Ann step in if she likes, (moderator) many people show up POZ without any problems. In which case, your doc will just keep you in check and you go med free.


You rang? ;D

I've been poz for nearly 13 years now, still not on meds. My number history is in my profile. Don't assume that you'll be going on meds right away, you may have several med-free years ahead of you. My number history is in my profile if you're interested.

It sounds like you're dealing with a brand-new infection going by what you said about your testing history. It's doubtful that you were infected in June. The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, with the average time to seroconversion being only 22 days. This means that if the flu you had was seroconversion illness, you would have tested poz in August.

What a very new infection means in terms of numbers is that your first few results may come back with a very high viral load and a lowish CD4 count, but this is normal. Once your body begins to come to grips with the virus, these numbers will improve in all but a few rare cases. So don't panic if your first results don't look so good. It could also go the other way; some people's bodies start taking care of business quicker than others.

You are  going to be ok, so hang in there.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline jayjax

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2010, 09:20:39 AM »
PS - WillyWump summed it up perfectly. When I broke down in tears / shock my doctor said, "I'd rather tell you this news than that you have diabetes." ....didn't help at the time, I'd have preferred the diabetes.  But he's right. I am eternally grateful to all who have contributed to the this epidemic. At one time, there was no hope. How fortunate we all are now. At least that's how I feel. That and to have a worldwide community to share with. This a great place to put your fears at rest and know you are not alone.

tplmc1964 -- very well stated.  I remember my Dr telling me the same when I was informed of my diagnosis. The stigma is the worse thing associated with HIV.  It really is more manageable than diabetes or high blood pressure for most of us now.  Hopefully we will all see a cure in our life time.

All the best,

Jayjax
08 Oct 08:  Diagnosed
18 Oct 08:  1st Lab Work: CD4 - 268, VL 7,000
18 Nov 08:  Started Atripla
28 Jan 09:   CD4 - 195, VL 70
05 May 09:  CD4 - 201, VL = Undetectable
16 Aug 09: CD4 - 235, VL = Undetectable
30 Nov 09 CD4 - 300, VL = Undetectable
30 Mar 10 CD4 - 305, VL = Undetectable
27 Jul 10 CD4 -  301, VL = 100
13 Aug 10 -- Switched to Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
30 Sep 10 --  CD4 598, VL = Undetectable

Offline talktome2

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2010, 09:44:57 AM »
I woke up this morning with a little soreness on the left side of my neck. I've been feeling a sore throat on the left side of my throat so I figured its a cold that I've caught from all the stress of this. But I don't know. I then palpated my neck and I think I could feel the cervical lymph nodes. This makes me feel a little hopeless, that all this is not a mistake, that next week when my second blood draw comes in it'll show a negative result.

Since I was a child, my immune system has always been a little weaker than most people, and now becoming chronically immunologically compromised scares me.

Is the general consensus on here to hold out until medications are actually needed, or to start on meds immediately even when one's numbers are healthy?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 09:51:15 AM by talktome2 »

Offline tommy246

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2010, 12:58:42 PM »
Thank you for telling me everything will be ok. I am just afraid. I am very afraid of the pain from this. More so, I am afraid of the pain that this would cause my family.

I've been feeling healthy. I go to the gym 5 days a week. Never felt better than now. When I found out on Wednesday I've been in bed whenever I could. Pushed myself to get to school for classes. And started feeling aches on various body parts (tho I'm sure its due to stress and psychological reasons).

I'm so afraid of not being able to find happiness.

That was my major concern to be honest telling family more than the hiv which is now a treatable chronic illness with excellent meds ( 1 or two pills a day )
with very minor or no side effects in the majority of new cases.
So i am pos 14 months now and decided to only confide in my brother i also told my wife but i made the decision not to tell my parents there is no need to for me why worry them , i am very happy with this decision.
I would also say dont rush into telling to many people think long and hard about it as you could regret it. The bottom line is were all different with different needs and situations so who you tell is a very personal decision,i am just saying just dont feel like you have to if you dont want to, good luck.
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2010, 04:48:12 PM »
Is the general consensus on here to hold out until medications are actually needed, or to start on meds immediately even when one's numbers are healthy?

The clinical standard says that if your absolute CD4 count is 500 or lower you should commence treatment.

This is, of course, really a matter between you and your doctor and you should start treatment when you're ready to. HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy) is not something to be entered into lightly. For example if you're not able to be strictly compliant (that is taking 95+% of your doses) then you may be better off not taking the pills.

These are things you'll learn as you go on.

MtD

Offline dhivpol

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2010, 05:01:39 AM »
Hello.

Welcome to these forums. I may not post alot on this site, but I read them everynight, looking and waiting. I myself found out I was poz a little under 2 years ago now, I found out when I was 19 and yea, it kinda sucks, but Im managing. If you need/want someone to talk to, PM me or something.

Stick with it, its scary at first being poz, but you will overcome it.

Just remember dont live worrying about the HIV, kill it and make it worry about living with you.
(Do not know if that sounds as good as it did in my head)

Live, Love, and be Happy.

Offline blue_cheese

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2010, 09:55:38 PM »
I was 22 when I was diagnosed with HIV, I totally understand how u feeling. Though it's not like I was being a prostitute (it's someone else's fault), I still blamed myself for being so stupid to let it happened and that attitude led me to a nose-dive in my life. It was a really scary place to be, I was at the lowest point of my life, lonely and mad.

It took me two years to get up and rebuild my life all over again. I couldn't believe I wasted two years of doing nothing. Feeling sorry for yourself would take u nowhere, it's action that you need to take. Face you fear cause it's not as bad as u think. Once you've done it, everything else will follow through.

All the best and good luck :)

Offline talktome2

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #32 on: February 21, 2010, 11:16:28 PM »
I've had to take so many deep breaths today. I told myself tomorrow I will get back to the gym, get focused with my classes, and stop sitting online all day reading about all of this (with the exception of reading all of your warm/informative responses)

God just praying my second blood draw comes up negative.

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2010, 01:25:31 AM »
I hope your second blood draw could reveal some horrible mistake.  I don't want to be Debbie Downer, but the WB is very reliable.  I'm saying this because I was told they were for sure I had a false/positive.  They said they didn't believe I actually had HIV.  I got so excited thinking I had escaped the virus and the original tests were a horrible mistake.  My partner and I even had risky sex after that thinking they knew what they were talking about. 

When the result was confirmed again, it was like being told all over again.  I was devastated.  I was so mad at them for telling me they were sure I was negative.  They should have never said that.  They should have just said they wanted to test again.  So, while I'm hoping you will get better news than I, I'd hate for you to go through that rollercoaster of emotions. 

I wish ya the best.   

Offline talktome2

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2010, 10:28:40 AM »
Dr. just called about result from second test. It's like a second blow in the chest knocking the air out.
As I look at my hands while I type this, I feel disgusted. Disgusted at myself for having this virus cruising through my bloodstream and reaching deep into my body. I feel like this body is not mine. Not me. It couldn't be mine. But it is...

There is no way of escaping this predicament, the virus that I must now endure and live with. A virus that's been unleashed into this world from some abominable place. I fear it may not be eradicated in my lifetime (short or long). Even the greatest killer, malaria, could be cure, yet after nearly three decades of research and millions of dollars researchers see no cure in sight.

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2010, 10:59:10 AM »
I would actually disagree with you.  I would be surprised if eradication isn't around the corner, be it 10 years or 20 years.  It's time for another huge medical breakthrough on the microbiological front.  We just had to think WAY outside of the box for this one.

Offline tommy246

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2010, 12:14:45 PM »
i agree with you hell raiser and before the cure i think there will be major advances in the already excellent meds we have today to where we only get an injection a couple of times a year
jan 06 neg
dec 08 pos cd4 505 ,16%, 1,500vl
april 09 cd4 635 ,16%,60,000
july 09 ,cd4 545,17%,80,000
aug 09,hosptal 18days pneumonia cd190,225,000,15%
1 week later cd4 415 20%
nov 09 cd4 591 ,vl 59,000,14%,started atripla
dec 09  cd4 787, vl 266, 16%
march 2010  cd4 720 vl non detectable -20  20%
june 2010  cd4  680, 21%, ND

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2010, 10:35:39 PM »
I am so sorry you didn't get better news.  I was hoping maybe they had made a mistake.  However, as I said, I thought that was unlikely.  I got your message and will respond tonight.


Offline clubbin1980

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2010, 01:57:12 PM »
i tested poz 2 days ago makes 3 years.... i still live my life like i did before i found out.... yes it took awhile to adjust and cope... but u will get back to normal living.....

anything u need u know people here... and we are here for you.... feel free to contact me at anytime...  people were here for me 3 years ago and we r here for you now...

Offline moon_alex88

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #39 on: February 24, 2010, 09:20:47 AM »
Hello Talktome,

        Sorry about your diagnostic. I read from a lot of health forum. Many scientist giving commitment that HIV vaccine will be found in the next 5 years. They have the clue about what they are going to do. Here, i have a link of music that will make you feel comfortable after listening to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciYO7mWq3Og. Try it...




Offline MarkB

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #40 on: February 24, 2010, 07:54:36 PM »
@talktome2

Just a note to say someone is thinking of you. You are not alone.

 :)

Offline lusopt

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2010, 10:07:44 AM »
Be strong... have faith, you are not alone.
15/11/06: HIV-
28/10/08: HIV +
- No Meds -
18/11/08: CD4 -650 (.......)  / -17.500 VL
01/03/09: CD4- 540 (19,6%) / - 2090 VL
17/07/09: CD4 -603 (20,1%) / - 5040 VL
27/10/09: CD4 -627 (21,5%) / - 10.896 VL
25/03/10: CD4 -609 (23,9%) / -11.602 VL
12/09/10: CD4 -555 (........) / - 55.500 VL
21/04/11: CD4 -466 (17%)   / - 50.339 VL
01/10/11: CD4 -375 (19%)   / - 73.058 VL

Started, Epzicom and Sustiva
01/02/12: CD4 -298 (23%)   / - undetectable

Offline jabez

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2010, 10:49:33 PM »
I know it's a VERY discouraging time for you right now -- in fact, it's downright AWFUL -- but you'll survive it, and you might even grow stronger because of it.   Most of us have felt exactly the same way you're feeling, but we're still here, and we're still enjoying life.  You will too.  Be strong!
Sept 2007 -- CD4 = 68; VL = 469,000
Started Atripla Sept 21, 2007
Nov 2007-CD4=217;VL=332
Feb 2008-CD4=237;VL=<50
Apr 2008-CD4=271;VL=66
Aug 2008-CD4=440;VL=52
Jan 2009-CD4=403;VL=61
May 2009-CD4=480;VL=129
Sep 2009-CD4=376;VL<40
Jan 2010-CD4=476;VL<40
Jul 2010-CD4=539;VL<40
Jan 2011-CD4=461;VL=53
Jul 2011-CD4=515;VL<20
Jan 2012-CD4=506;VL=54
Aug 2012-CD4=440;VL=21
Jan 2013-CD4=447;VL=<20
Jul 2013-CD4=406; VL=<20
Feb 2014-CD4=450; VL=<20
Aug 2014-CD4=535; VL=<20

Offline aztecan

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2010, 11:23:02 PM »
Hey Talktome,

I just wanted to throw my 2 worth in and say I am sorry for this turn of events in your life, but glad you found your way here.

These are some good folks. They have been a lifesaver for me.

That said, I was probably infected in my early 20s, although I didn't test positive until I was 26.

That was nearly 25 years ago. I have finished college degrees, changed careers at least twice, restored a century old house, met some fabulous people (quite a few of them here), and I'm not finished yet!

I just wanted you to see that it is possible to live a full life, even with the bug! ;)

Hang in there and keep posting.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline PeteNYNJ

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2010, 12:00:21 AM »
Hey Talktome,

I just want to give you a big hug and tell you it is OK.  Everything you are feeling is totally normal.  Keep writing, keep venting, keep asking questions.  The people on this blog are AMAZING resources on how to live, YES LIVE, with HIV.  We have people from all walks of life and all bring something to the table.

I am going to PM you with some more info since we are in the same area.

Deep breath, it is going to be OK! 

Pete

Offline NewYorkKat

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #45 on: March 05, 2010, 02:25:05 PM »
Now my turn!

First, do not beat yourself up. The fears and anxiety are very normal in dealing with a diagnosis like that. Lord knows what you are going I went through. I know you have a lot of questions but remember that it is not the end of the world. It will take awhile for you adjust  but remember KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! In your town or city, find a socail worker who can help you. Find a good good doctor who will listen and understand what you will need. and the most important thing: HAVE GOALS! Do not give up on your dreams. Some little over 3 years since my diagnosis, I finished college, traveled, take better care of myself, make music again and found a job (in this rough economic times!) I take one pill a day, my energy is back and I am happy as ever! As De La Vega would write on the streets of New York in chalk BECOME YOUR DREAM!

Offline Newpoz78

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2010, 12:19:14 PM »
Dude everything you were afraind of ..Believe I was too. And very much so. After the shock the hardist thing for me its to get on med. I never had to take a pill in my life. First night i took the meds I was so dizzy I couldnt walk from my Bedroom to the bathroom across the Hall and I did have a bad hash on my skin but after 3 weeks it was all gone and all side affects went away. ( I been on med for 8 months with no problems at all) and yeah... telling my mother... I had to ..because she would end up finding out eventually...so I told her... she went crazy... she would cry no stop and she would walk up and down the street crying and praying. I was heartbroken, embarrassed and ashamed i let her down. However, after the shock of the diagnose was over... My mother was and still is my greatest support..when i could walk to the bathroom cause of the meds..she hold my hand and carry me. When i couldn't eat cause i was so depressed she would cook my favorite food. She nursed me when I got all these vacinnes and got me so sick with a fever, She did her research , she got me vitamins to help strength my immune system and every week she Google HIV cure to see if something comes up hehe ( she so cute:) my point is... With her and my dad i think i would not make it ( cause I seriously wanted to give up I would not get out of bed even to shower and change clothes for days sometimes a whole week depressed I was)
Dont matter how bad things are..she will always love you and maybe hiding this from her your are loosing one of your greatiest support to fight your infection. Hope everything works out for you and good luck!

Offline max123

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Re: Tested pos 2.17.10
« Reply #47 on: March 07, 2010, 04:01:38 PM »
hey talk,

sorry to hear about your situation. hang in there, and don't lose sight of your dreams. i was diagnosed late last summer, so this is all fairly new to me as well. but, the best advice that i can offer is to educate yourself on the disease, on staying healthy and on the anti-hiv meds (advanced planning is a good thing). you will next undergo a series of testing that will identify your: hiv type, resistance to hiv meds, cd4 counts and hiv viral load. definitely check through the lessons here on aidsmeds. if you don't find the answers to what you're looking for, ask. there are some really knowledgeable people on these forums. take care, max
1/86 - 6/08 (annually): neg elisa
7/09: pos elisa/pos wb
8/09: cd4 560, cd4% 35, vl 13,050
12/09: cd4 568, cd4% 33, vl 2,690
4/10: cd4 557, cd4% 29.3, vl 6,440
7/10: cd4 562, cd4% 29.6, vl 3,780

 


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