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Author Topic: Positive and lost  (Read 7664 times)

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Offline lost1971

  • Member
  • Posts: 7
Positive and lost
« on: September 02, 2006, 12:36:28 PM »
hi there....

today has been a roller coaster ride for me.

almost 2 weeks ago, i went for an anonymous test. strangely before the counsellor called me in for the result, i wasn't all that scared. i remember when he broke the news, i just sat there - no tears, nothing. i had to take another test, so they could confirm the results.

today i got the call. and my heart sank.

i was at a loss for the next hour. i didn't pick up the phone when the counsellor called. i didn't know where or how to start. i just stared out of my room window.

when i got the first initial result 2 weeks ago, i got home and before i slept i wrote down a list of things i told myself i promised to do even if the final result were pos or neg.

but now i really don't know where to begin. i haven't told anyone.

many questions abound... do i tell my family? friends? bosses? do i have to start treatment? how should i tell my last partner (who is not from my town)?  do i tell her over the phone? should i fly over to tell her?

what's the next step? logically i should speak to my counsellor. but at the same time i'm totally lost at where to begin.

i keep telling myself that this is not the end. after reading some of the posts here i realised there IS still life ahead!

i'm from an asian country and it is not easy to break such news to anyone especially the family. the sense that i have failed my parents and they would feel that they have failed likewise, is a very sensitive issue that is not easily overcome.

i have a few close friends but even then, how does one tell them? how would they react?

do i keep this to myself? is it better not to tell?

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2006, 01:29:31 PM »

Welcome. Re: Meds, you have to talk to a health professional preferably an HIV doctor. Re: Disclosure, that can be complex. If you want to read about my past issues with disclosure, read on. I was positive for 5 years and chose not to tell any blood relative. I'm Chinese so I can relate to the whole family dynamics stuff you mentioned. Anyway, keeping such a massive secret was a bad move for me. It was like a ton on my shoulders even though I did my best to look healthy and smile for the camera. It took huge amounts of energy to maintain my charade. Finally I had to tell them because I felt like I was going to die --I didn't want them to hear about my status from an autopsy. In my case, I was fortunate because their response was great. They wondered why on Earth I would wait over 5 years to reveal such a heavy serious reality. This was a year ago and I'm on the road to recovery. Sometimes we can conjure up drama in our heads that's beyond outlandish, e.g., in my case I envisioned being disowned, people hauling out bullshit from the past and laying blame (i.e. family drama), screaming, tears, fist fights. None of that happened. I wish you the best. I would tell you my whole story but most of the members of this site are tired of hearing it over and over LOL  :D so PM me if you want. Family-related disclosure is an individual decision that only you can make. Every case is unique.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2006, 07:12:41 PM by allopathicholistic »

Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2006, 04:49:42 PM »
Hello Lost1971, it is Eldon.

First of all I wish to extend a warm WELCOME to you here at the forums. Here you will find love, encouragement, understanding, communication, support, fun, and many of your questions answered relating to HIV/AIDS. We have an excellent group of individuals and there is a lot of information on this site for you. Feel free to come and vent your concerns and or frustrations.

It is unfortunate that you have now tested positive with HIV. I understand that it has been a roller coaster ride for you. I'm riding the same one too. You will have your up's and your down's. It is a good thing that you somewhat had prepared yourself for this outcome. Writing down a TO DO list is a powerful tool to use in your life.

There are a number of questions that are going through your head right now and it is good to vent them out in order to gain an understanding of your situation. As far as the disclosure issue, it can be a tough decision to make. However, you do need to have a support system put into place to help you through this difficult period in your life. It boils down to you making the decision to disclose. On this matter, let your conscious be your guide.

Depending on where you are as far as CD4 counts and your Viral Load, I would sit down with your Doctor to discuss any treatment questions that you may have. Again, with your last partner, you'd have to make that choice if you were to disclose it to her. Preferably, face to face disclosure is a better thing to do. Over the phone can get a little impersonal.

You want to Educate yourself as much as you can on HIV/AIDS. Here is a link for you to read in order to gain a better understanding: http://www.aidsmeds.com/lessons/StartHere1.htm.

In the interim, you may want to implement an exercise routine/program, drink plenty of fluids, eat a healthier diet, and get your proper rest. Also. focus on building you a strong support system.

Again, Welcome & have the BEST Day!

Offline Rightbrain

  • Member
  • Posts: 54
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2006, 07:31:24 PM »
Dear Lost,

There is plenty of time to think about who you are going to tell and not.  May I suggest that your first disclosures be for YOUR benefit?  In my opinion you need support more than family needs to know.  Support may come from your family, or maybe not.  Go slow.

Big, long hugs,

brother joe
If there's a cure I hope I can have all the leftover Sustiva.

Offline Joe K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 3,500
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2006, 07:45:16 PM »
Hello Lost,

I'm sorry for why you here but glad you found your way to us.  Right now you have so much going through your mind that you just have to take it one day at a time.  Nothing is critical right now, other than you getting some support to allow you to start sorting this all out.  Again, you have all the time in the world right now, so just go slow, disclose only to those you really feel you must right now and be good to yourself.

I also want you to know me, because I have been poz for 22 years, long before the meds or anything and I am living a very good life, even with HIV and after all of these years.  Trust me, my friend, the journey you are beginning is one we have all taken and while we cannot tell you where your journey will take you, we can certainly be there to walk with you.

Your life is going to change, but eventually you will get to a place where HIV becomes nothing more than just another facet of your life.  I know, you don't believe me, but it will happen... it just takes time.  So until then, consider us your cyber family and feel free to ask questions, vent or whatever you need and we will do all that we can to help.

Welcome to the forums.

Offline lost1971

  • Member
  • Posts: 7
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2006, 02:11:56 AM »
Hi again guys!  Firstly a BIG thank you for your replies and words of encouragement and advice!

day 2 since the news... i got up earlier than usual (for a sunday!), had breakfast and went to the beach with my sis and dog!  before i got out, i saw the beautiful day and told myself that i should be look up and treasure each and every day from now on! 

allopathicholistic, thanks for your advice and telling me about your experiences. i have not found a forum here locally for HIV+ ppl and am really appreciative to know that u r here. i will surely PM u soon!

i will have to start penning down my list of questions. there are a host of questions rushing thru my mind and sometimes it does get me down and really confused.

think rightbrain's true about disclosure be for my benefit and going slow.

thanks once again everyone!  i'm really glad i came across this forum. i will keep all your words of advice.

BIG HUGS from across the globe!

Offline ndrew

  • Member
  • Posts: 695
  • ....-.-.-.-.-.....
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2006, 01:19:33 PM »
Hello Lost,

I am happy you were lost in a beautiful day with your sis and dog!  Great things are coming, have hope!  You are going to be fine.  Take it slow, there is a lot to learn and grow.  Disclose for YOU.  Remember other people being upset about your status can be stressful, so focus on YOU for now until you grow your strength and share with a few close, trusted souls.  The journey is not easy, no one said it would be, but it is yours and you can choose to look at it anyway way you want.  I hope you see the potential, the positive and the goodness!  Welcome!

Kindest,
Drew

Offline Joe K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 3,500
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2006, 08:30:18 PM »
Hey Lost,

I realize that your culture might make it hard to tell people, but is there not one or two people you could tell, who would support you?  What you need right now is some local support, so you can talk and express your feelings.  The education can come latter, what matters now is you being able to start adjusting with others to help you.

Think about everyone you know and hopefully there will be that special someone and then start with them.  No, it is never easy to tell someone you care about that you are HIV pos, but if the roles were reversed, would you not want them to come to you during such a time?  Don't under estimate the ability of those closest to you to be there when you need them.

During difficult times it is amazing what the human spirit can accomplish.

Offline anniebc

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,937
  • AM member since 2003
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2006, 12:37:09 AM »
Hi there welcome to the family.

Receiving a positive result, even if your were anticipating it is very unsettling, some people will simply accept the information they are given without really understanding it, or they forget to ask questions that essential for their peace of mind, this is why it is importand to start off with the right information regarding your status, it's vital that you have an ID Doctor you can talk too as well as support organisations, and of course other people living with HIV can provide both advise and information, that's why I'm glad you found this forum, there are many great guys here who can really help, all you have to do is ask.
Ultimately all decisions relating to your life will still be made by you but getting information is just as useful as any treatment...Knowledge and attitude are the best medicines as far as I'm concerned.

Who is told and how is a very difficult question to answer, telling close friends and family can provide a great relief and support, but it can also cause problems...I think what you need to ask yourself at this point is:

1..do people really need to know
2..do they need to know right now.

I think you should take your time, don't rush off and tell everyone straight away, you might regret it later..you will know who you can and cannot tell, telling the right people can strengthen personal relations and help you feel less isolated but unfortunately it can also damage relationships..there is still a lot of stigma attached to an HIV diagnosis..very sad but true.

I personally have never had any problems with disclosure but I know a lot of the guys here have, so they would be able to come up with some good advise for you...Don't be afraid to ask questions.

I'm glad you had a beautiful day with your sister and the dog..look forward to hearing more from you.

Hugs
Jan :)

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

Online Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 24,398
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2006, 08:53:42 AM »
Hello, Lost,

You have already received some thoughtful and experienced responses which tells you that you have found the right place. Welcome!

We're sorry you need to be here but we're glad you have found us.

First of all, please give yourself time. You don't have to do anything in rushed way. In terms of your health the most important thing right now is to be connected with a doctor who will regularly monitor your numbers. And someone with whom you can form a good partnership to keep you healthy.

There are some lessons which you can read in these pages which I think you will find helpful, including the one about disclosure. Even though you may understandably want to talk about this with someone you're close to, take your time and give some thought to whom you can trust with that information, and who will most likely be supportive to you. You mentioned that you're in an Asian country. Is there an HIV/AIDS service organization there which might be helpful to you in terms of support? 

Right now the whole idea of HIV may seem gigantic and overwhelming. But gradually I think you will find that although it is very important, it is not and will not be all that your life is about as the years go on. You will learn everything you need to know about staying healthy and you will see that your life is going to continue being about much more than living with this virus.

You're always welcome here to ask questions and to discuss anything that's on your mind.

So again, welcome.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline lost1971

  • Member
  • Posts: 7
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2006, 10:30:57 AM »
Thanks everyone for your replies, advice and kind support!  I really don't know where and whom to start thanking cos u guys are really great!

i will be meeting up with my local hiv service organisation and i have listed the questions i want to ask. let's see how it goes with them....

yes, i am taking it slow with regards to disclosure, as you guys have advised. no point in rushing.

i know keeping healthy is important. i was just wondering about the intensity, like should i refrain from marathons, scuba diving, playing contact sports etc?  i'm pretty fit person and would run and swim.

and of cos i'm watching my diet. much less caffeine, less oil, much less alcohol, eating more greens (brocolli!)...

taking it one step at a time.

thanks guys!

Offline RapidRod

  • Member
  • Posts: 15,277
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2006, 08:23:24 PM »
Heavens no Lost, don't stop with anything that you can do. Do even more as long as you can handle it. Don't give up your passions or your goals.

Offline lost1971

  • Member
  • Posts: 7
Re: Positive and (not so) lost
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2006, 11:22:17 AM »
hi guys!

just thought that i give an update since everyone has been so encouraging and helpful.

i met with my local hiv organisation and i'm glad to say that he had been very helpful and understanding. it was quite a relief and he had given me very good advice. the meet up provided many answers to my questions, and it helped to allay some of my fears and doubts.

it is all about me right now and one step at a time.

firstly is to get my CD4 and viral load checked. and then take it from there.

however, sadly the asian society here is still not receptive to the issue of hiv+ ppl. stigma and ostracism are still big stumbling blocks to a caring and open society. it has improved over the years but it will take a step at a time to change. i hope i can make a difference.

you guys have been great.... thanks and take care!

Offline water duck

  • Member
  • Posts: 397
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2006, 04:51:36 PM »

however, sadly the asian society here is still not receptive to the issue of hiv+ ppl. stigma and ostracism are still big stumbling blocks to a caring and open society. it has improved over the years but it will take a step at a time to change. i hope i can make a difference

I guess not just that to homosexuality as well.
I had a group of chinese friends here, one of them whose BF did my health insurance had to know . He therefore wanted his chinese BF who is my friend to know. Well, this person , took things into his hands , called a dinner and confronted me infront of everyone, everyone 'lost face' , i am not seeing anyone of them, only one who stand by me. SO DO NOT RUSH !! be comfortable with the idea that you are HIV+ , accept it, live it !! the rest can wait . There will be still plenty of time , don't worry , this bug you will have for life, if you are well and certainly HIV+ .

I am chinese and i am poz too, and i am here for you too.

Siang
« Last Edit: September 21, 2006, 04:57:16 PM by water duck »

Offline water duck

  • Member
  • Posts: 397
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2006, 04:55:20 PM »


however, sadly the asian society here is still not receptive to the issue of hiv+ ppl. stigma and ostracism are still big stumbling blocks to a caring and open society. it has improved over the years but it will take a step at a time to change. i hope i can make a difference

I guess not just that to homosexuality as well.
I had a group of chinese friends here, one of them whose BF did my health insurance had to know . He therefore wanted his chinese BF who is my friend to know. Well, this person , took things into his hands , called a dinner and confronted me infront of everyone, everyone 'lost face' , i am not seeing anyone of them, only one who stand by me. SO DO NOT RUSH !! be comfortable with the idea that you are HIV+ , accept it, live it !! the rest can wait . There will be still plenty of time , don't worry , this bug you will have for life, if you are well and certainly HIV+ .

I am chinese and i am poz too, and i am here for you too.

Siang

Offline frenchpat

  • Member
  • Posts: 516
  • Love your friends, don't eat them.
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2006, 05:08:30 PM »
bonjour Lost,

I am very sorry that you had to join this club but now that you are here I do hope you will stay. The people on this site and their conversation has changed my perpective on being hiv+.

I won't repeat the good advice you've already been given but since you mentioned going to scuba dive, as an ex instructor I can tell you that as long as you are not on meds you can dive as you used to. Whenever you will start meds this will be a question mark, and I am not sure any research has been done in this particular field. People who are always on medication are usualy advised not to dive. I'll try to find some info for you.

In any case, and as in diving... take your time before making big decisions and in case of panic stop-breathe-think-act. Sometimes works wonders ;)

A very warm welcome

Pat
People have the power - Patti Smith

Offline lost1971

  • Member
  • Posts: 7
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2006, 11:47:01 AM »
Hi guys! 

Good news is that life is getting back to normal for me. I think about it less and keep reminding myself that life has to go on.

I have a question about "poppers". Does it affect the immune system?

Offline water duck

  • Member
  • Posts: 397
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2006, 12:09:32 PM »
if you google 'poppers' you will have all the informations.

I shall be un-chinese here, if you are thinking about using it
the answer is NO !!

if you play with fire, you may burn your fingers, the choice is yours !!

Siang

Offline SunshineBreeze

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
    • Caribbean HIV/AIDS awareness portal
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2006, 11:22:02 AM »
Hi lost,

Be careful about disclosing:

It can be tricky trying to decide who you tell (and how you tell them) about your HIV status. We live in a world where there is stigma and discrimination and not everyone is knowledgeable and/or understanding. There are some people you should consider telling right away-sexual partners, persons you might be sharing needles with if you are using drugs and persons who are providing direct care to you (i.e. doctor, dentist).

You do not have to tell your employer (it's none of their business), your family, friends, or co-workers until you are ready. Wait until you are comfortable with dealing with the news and find out from your friends what they know about HIV kind of feel them out on the subject before you tell them.

Be ready for some rejections: some people who are uneducated about HIV/AIDS can be nasty, you will lose some friends and if that happens to you they werenít your friends in the first place. Some may say things like you were probably sleeping around thatís why you got the virus. PLEASE, donít feed into what they are saying, just keep your head up and say to yourself that you are not alone and it can happen to anyone.

Some can be supportive and you can draw strength from them.

Talk to others living with HIV: Many people have found that meeting and/or talking with another person with HIV helps more than anything else. There are many of us who are living fulfilling and productive lives find a group and network with them.

And I know you have found lots of support here.
TOO BLESSED TO STRESSED!!!!!

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,099
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2006, 07:53:34 AM »
Hello Lost,

Welcome back. I have done poppers in the past. A very long time ago. Would I do them today? ABSOLUTELY NOT.  The last time I did poppers was in 1985, was also about the same time I got infected.....



Take care-------Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



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

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

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

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

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


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: Positive and lost
« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2006, 08:45:20 PM »
Hello Lost, it is Eldon.

Is the Rush Worth the Risk?

Here's the Lowdown on Poppers

People who use poppers face certain risks -- and for critical health reasons it's important users know what those risks are.

"Poppers" -- fluids containing butyl or isobutyl nitrite that are often sold in bottles labeled "leather cleaner" or "room deodorizer" -- are inhaled, and the fumes of poppers trigger an immediate, short-term sensation.

The sensation, that of euphoria and muscular relaxation, is caused by blood vessel expansion, accelerated heart rate and blood rushing to the brain. This creates an intense short-lived "rush" experience. Poppers are used mainly as a recreational drug and are often combined with other drugs such as Ecstasy and speed. When used during sex, poppers can enhance orgasms and also may relax the muscles of the anus. However, they can also cause some people to lose their erection.

Individuals who use poppers should also know about the risks involved. They include:

Poppers dilate blood vessels and can increase the risk of tears in the anal tissue, increasing the opportunity for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases to enter the body. Users can minimize their risk by putting a condom on before inhaling and by using plenty of lubricant.

Avoid using Viagra and poppers together as they both work to reduce blood pressure and can cause an individual to lose consciousness or even cause death.

Chronic use of poppers inhibits the immune system, impairing the body's natural ability to fight infection and disease. One study showed that the immune suppression effect could last for up to five days before the immune system returned to normal. People with anemia, glaucoma or heart conditions should avoid using poppers.

Regular use of poppers can cause sores in the mouth and nose, reduced sense of smell and cause lung damage. Excessive use may also result in a life-threatening reduction of oxygen in the blood. If swallowed, the drug can cause death.

Finally, poppers are highly flammable and should be kept away from any type of cigarette or flame.

Source: San Francisco AIDS Foundation.


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