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Author Topic: Just tested positive. Looking for support.  (Read 6633 times)

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Offline brknimmortal

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  • Posts: 13
Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« on: May 05, 2011, 02:15:52 AM »
Hello everybody,


2/2011 - Infected
2/19/2011 - Started getting sick, first symptom was a horrible headache, followed by lower back muscle pain and a mild rash on face,
2/25/2011 - Antibody HIV test was Negative
3/1/2011 - Tested POZ  Blood work came back positive.
3/4/2011 - 621 CD4's   9,000,000 Viral Load
3/15/2011 - 472 CD4's  1,552,482 Viral Load
3/24/2011 - 555 CD4's  2,000,000 Viral Load
3/31/2011 - 565 CD4's  5,000,000 Viral Load
4/5/2011 - Hospitalized with Macular Papular Rash from head to toes.
4/8/2011 - STARTED ATRIPLA
4/26/2011 - 718 CD4's    10,000 Viral Load

Can anybody explain why my viral load shot back up so high after dropping?

 



 


Offline spacebarsux

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  • Posts: 1,350
  • Survival of the Fittest
Re: Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 02:27:29 AM »
Hi immortal,

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I am sure more experienced members can explain better about your viral load fluctuations, but if you are certain that you were only infected in February 2011, I would think that your recent seroconversion is the sole reason for high viral load.

Most people tend to have a high VL immediately after seroconversion and it usually stablaizes to a stable number as your immune system fights back.

Take care and Welcome to the forums. Hope you are doing ok. :)
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline geobee

  • Member
  • Posts: 261
Re: Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2011, 02:38:59 AM »
Hey brknimmortal,

Not sure why your VL would come down and then go back up.  But...my experience in all other respects was similar to yours.  I was also diagnosed in the "window" -- AB Negative, VL positive.  Also got the rash on my face.  Couldn't take Atripla (passed a resistant bug) but went on Reyataz/Truvada/Norvir within 6 weeks of getting infected.  My VL was about 1 million then.   I don't know what my "set point" is, since I didn't wait before taking meds.   That was all about 2 years ago.  I got to undetectable in about 3-4 months. 

I just wanted to say "sorry about the dx....but welcome to the forums".  There are some pretty smart people here -- you've found a good place to get moral support -- and make some new friends.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 08:49:37 AM »
Hi brkn, welcome to the forums.

VL levels will fluctuate in untreated hiv infection and the wild fluctuation you had so early on in primary infection is not all that surprising. It's just the way it goes and you shouldn't worry about it.

What's important is the significant drop in your VL so soon after starting Atripla. You'll probably be undetectable very soon. You also had a respectable rise in your CD4s, so you're doing well.

Hang in there. You're going to be ok.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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

Online Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2011, 08:53:13 AM »
Welcome to the forums brkn .

Offline thelovedones

  • Member
  • Posts: 58
Re: Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2011, 07:24:59 AM »
Welcome to the forums. Atripla has been very good to me too. Hang in there; you're going to get better.

Just curious. Did your MD weigh in on what he thought the reason for the fluctuation was?
2/26/11 Diagnosis at State Dept of Health (anonymous testing center)
2/28/11 Oral Swab Positive diagnosis and confirmatory blood test taken
3/4/11 Confirmed HIV Positive diagnosis; blood drawn for T-cell count, VL, and medical profile
3/11/11 VL: 192765, T-cell: 195
3/16/11 Prescribed Atripla and took Pill 1
4/29/11 - VL: 413, T-cell: 311
6/28/11 - VL: UNDETECTABLE, T-Cell: 437


"I've seen this happen in other people's lives and now it's happening in mine"

Offline RichardfromIndy

  • Member
  • Posts: 17
Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2011, 09:37:06 AM »
Hello, I was first diagnosed in 1990 and I am fully aware of the tremendous amount of concern and how scary it can seem.  Back then, there weren't many meds available and I have no clue about what my baseline CD4 was.  It is currently above 600 after dropping to about 225 a few years into the diagnosis.  I began to get concerned about my future prospects as I began to lose weight as well.  I became involved in protocols, continued to eat well, take my meds every day (there was really only one available at that time) and change my behaviors.  All have played a consistent role as I have progressed through the years.  I also found it very helpful to initiate a 3-ring binder in order that I could track how I was doing.  This has proven helpful over the years not only for myself, but for the doctor as well.  It shows that I am committed to a program that will help me to live for as long as possible and that I am willing to do whatever is necessary to do so.  The one thing that I have not done is to reach out to the hiv postive community in a supportive role.  This is my attempt to do so.  Hopefully, one day a cure will be found for this disease, but probably not in my lifetime.  But it does not matter, so long as I work toward maintaining a lifestyle that will affirm my treatment program.  Part of that program involved becoming involved in a 12-Step Program.  Sex Addicts Anonymous has proven helpful in my ability to understand myself better and stay focused on my lifestyle.

Offline RichardfromIndy

  • Member
  • Posts: 17
Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2011, 09:45:36 AM »
BTW, everyone's CD4 count is different.  I do know that mine went up after I continued to take my meds regularly.  From a low in 2000 of 225 it is currently in the upper 600's and has stayed there consistently.  I really have no clue what my baseline was prior to infection.  A proper diet, taking your meds on time and watching your physical fitness are all positives in your treatment program.  I have been on Atripla for about four years now and have been fortunate to have no side effects except for high triglycerides.  I am getting ready to start a medication to improve my level on it since diet and exercize have not helped to lower it.

Offline brknimmortal

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2011, 02:11:50 PM »
Thank you everybody for your messages.


Doctor can't explain why my viral load jumped up so high after the normal drop. Doctor's at UCSD HIV medical clinic mentioned it "could" be  that I am one of the rare few that back in the 80's could have died right after being infected. Who knows,  everybody is different. When I ended up in the hospital for the second time in a month, I honestly felt I was dying since my entire body was covered in a horrible itchy Maculopapular HIV rash, and finding it difficult to breath. I'm not sure exactly why this happened but I'm glad to see the medication and daily raw fruit smoothies I am drinking are helping me (Helping with energy & stamina). Even my doctor and nurses at the UCSD HIV clinic are intrigued that my numbers improved so dramatically in three weeks, he even stated he was surprised my viral load went from 5,000,000 to 10,000 in a short period of time.


By the way, can you guys see my picture on here? I can't seem to figure it out.


Thank you everybody for you input.


Edwin

Offline geobee

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  • Posts: 261
Re: Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2011, 02:43:33 PM »
Hey brkn --

I was infected in July 09, dx'ed in Aug 09 (1 million VL), started on meds in Sep 09.  Was UD in about 18 weeks and stayed there (so far).  On Reyataz/Truvada/Norvir.  The drugs can work fast sometimes.  The Reyataz turns me a little yellow from time to time for a few hours in the morning -- I call these my "golden years".  :)

Seems like you're also having a good response to the meds -- and you're off to a good start!

George

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2011, 07:28:23 AM »

By the way, can you guys see my picture on here? I can't seem to figure it out.


Hi Ed. You can learn how to insert your avatar (no, we can't see it) by reading this thread in OT: IMPORTANT: PERSONALIZED AVATARS/FORUMS PICTURES. If you need further help, you only have to ask in the thread I linked you to.

Lots of people have a really good VL response when starting meds so soon in primary infection. It's because the body starts to lower the VL on its own around the time you started meds, so when you add the meds into the equation, it can come down dramatically. We've seen it here before and I'm surprised your doctors haven't seen it more themselves.

But hey, why look a gift horse in the mouth? You've had a great response; don't question it, just be happy for it. :)
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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 TakingAChance

  • Member
  • Posts: 42
Re: Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2011, 02:51:46 AM »
Welcome to the Forums. Sorry to hear about your HIV conversion complications. I got a lot of information here and help from people. You will too. Sounds like you're on your way now to getting it under control. Good luck with the medications. I am doing Isentress and Truvada and having great success so far with it.
Fasten Your Seat Belts...It's going to be a Bumpy Ride!

Offline mbpoz6

  • Member
  • Posts: 82
Re: Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 10:38:44 AM »
Hi brknimmortal. Welcome to the forums..... you will do just fine.  :)

Offline phildinftlaudy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,959
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2011, 10:56:04 AM »
Hi brknimmortal -
welcome to the forum family -
I wouldn't worry to much over the VL fluctuation - seems like your numbers overall are good -
Also, the Atripla will work wonders - for most people it gets the VL down to undetectable in a few months time.

Once again, welcome - look forward to hearing more from you.

-Phil
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

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  • PLEASE no masturbating to this pic!
Re: Just tested positive. Looking for support.
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2011, 09:58:53 PM »
Welcome aboard buddy.

Yeah, dont read too much into your VL flux. You're on Atripla now and you are headed in the right direction.

Hope to see you around.

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
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
.

 


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