Main Forums > I Just Tested Poz

One week and counting...

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DanielMark:
Hi Keyite,

You've been thrown for a nasty loop, but in time you will regain your balance. What you’re experiencing emotionally now is completely normal.

I tested positive 18 years ago this month and hey, I'm still here.

With proper medical care and proper self care you will be around a good long time.

Daniel

Andy Velez:
Hey Key,

Welcome. We're glad you have found your way to this site.

Your description of the past week was eloquent. It's good for you to get that out and not have it just brumbling around inside your head. And you seem to have a good honest way of looking at this turn in your life. Right now HIV understandably looms huge in your mind and in your feelings. Gradually you are going to see that it will settle into being a part of your life and by no means all that your life is about. And you're going to see that your life is still going to be good.

You don't have to rush to do anything right off. It is important that you have a doctor with whom you can  form a good working partnership to keep you healthy. And who will be regularly monitoring your numbers. As you will see from reading these pages and the lessons on this site, you have time to make a decision about the meds. There are different points of view about that and you can consider with your doctor what seems the best decision for you.

It's good to read that you have two supportive friends whom you feel you can trust. Isolation is bad for the one's spirit and one's health. Do read the lesson on disclosure as there are some ideas there you may find to be helpful.

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

You've come to the right place. Keep us posted on how things are going.

Cheers,

keyite:
Thanks everyone - it was really heartening to read your responses. It can be very difficult to 'see the wood for the trees' right now and it helps immensely to get a bit of reassurance from those who have trodden this path before me.

One of the two friends I mentioned in my last post put me in touch with another one of his friends - someone who was diagnosed a few years back. This guy agreed to meet up with me and I went to see him at his place last night. Turned out he was a doctor too so obviously able to speak with authority on that score. It was good to talk about the medical aspect and he showed me his meds - just two pills taken once a day and no side effects, other than when he started out on them - amazing! But it was equally helpful to find out about his experience of disclosing, to potential partners, to friends, to family. Best of all, it was abundantly clear HIV hasn't diminished his thirst for life one little bit. Him sacrificing his evening like that for someone who was virtually a stranger was an incredibly kind thing to do. Even though I cycled back home in pouring rain and thunderstorms it was definitely with a lighter heart!

I am slowly coming to accept that there is a high probability I won't die of AIDS - or at least it is not likely to happen much earlier than when I would have had to depart from this world anyway. I am also coming round to the idea that the meds won't be the end to my quality of life - they hopefully won't be necessary for a long time to come, but when the time does come, I don't get the impression the side effects on newer drugs are likely to be as bad as they clearly have been for some on the older types of drugs.

I still struggle to see how everyday living with HIV is going to work but having now met a few positive guys and being determined to meet more, I feel more confident I will be able to piece things together again - albeit in a slightly different way. Eventually I will need to face the most essential aspects of disclosure; I have always been very close to my sister and will have to tell her sometime soon - but I know it's going to break her heart (and in turn mine) - it is going to be with a very heavy heart that I lift that phone and call her. Not to mention my parents - still wondering if it wouldn't be kinder to not tell them at all, even though I will hate withholding it from them.

My biggest hope is that I can find a way to afford this virus the respect it obviously needs, particularly in terms of taking care of myself, but not otherwise let it intrude on my life any more than is strictly necessary - I know it is going to be a while before I reach that point but it would definitely be my aspiration.

It has only been a little over a week but I do feel I might slowly be finding my feet. If nothing else, this certainly teaches you a lot; you realise what stuff you're made of, what resources you actually have but just take for granted and - as ndrew pointed out - the importance of living life while you can.

Moffie65 - really enjoyed reading your blog, particularly the account of the early 80s - I have seen 'And the band played on' but the more personal angle you provided was fascinating.

To the person who PM'ed me: I don't (yet?) seem to be allowed to send personal messages so I cannot reply to you personally - but in answer to your question - I have not had unprotected anal sex so the likely route of transmission for me is oral sex - I am told it does happen, albeit very rarely, and I just seem to have been really unlucky.

Thanks again!

justsomeguy:
It's been just a month since being diagnosed HIV+.  Have been giving a lot of thought to telling my mom.  She is 70 now and while I hate the idea of keeping this from her, I'm not sure its a good idea to tell her.  She would only worry endlessly and now is the time she should be focused on having fun and doing what she wants to do.  I most likely will be healthy for 10-15, maybe 20 years and by that time it probably won't matter.
I understand keeping part of yourself hidden is usually not such a great idea - for you or people you have a meaningful relationship with.  And while I do have a close relationship with my mom, to be honest, it's not so close that I would confide in her about my sex life or be as relaxed as I am with friends, so would revealing my HIV status be something I would normally do?

Anyway, not to sway you one way or the other.  I just wanted to relate my own struggle as it might be helpful or similar.  Good luck to you whatever you decide.

keyite:
Hi justsomeguy - I know just what you mean - it really is not a straightforward decision to make.

On the one hand I - like you - feel it is unfair to burden my parents with something that is unlikely to seriously affect my health while they're still alive. Both now pensioners - 65 and 70 - I think it would be a struggle to bring them up to speed on the various improvements in treatment and life expectancy. I suspect they would still see it as a death sentence, would endlessly worry and would feel some of the profound loss any parent outliving their child feels.

But on the other hand I can't help being reminded of my own reaction a few years ago: my dad is an asthmatic and experienced a particularly bad turn. He was hospitalised and for a while it was touch and go as to whether or not he would make it. I only found out weeks later - the family decided there was no point worrying me as it probably all happened very quickly, would have required me to book time off work, buy plane ticket, etc.

I have no doubt they made this decision with the best of intentions but I was actually very upset when I found out - upset at having been kept out of the loop and having the decision of whether or not to travel out made for me. So I feel quite the hypocrite for now considering doing something similar to them.

I have, however, made my mind up about one thing. Once I have told my sister about this news (and she has had some time to let it sink in) then I plan to make the decision on whether or not to tell my parents together with her. Between the two of us I feel confident we will make the right decision.

I wish you luck too - it is not a black/white issue!

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