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Author Topic: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....  (Read 10282 times)

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Offline AlanBama

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,630
  • Alabama: the 'other' 3rd World Country!
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #50 on: July 11, 2011, 03:52:12 PM »
Yes, but denialism is MURDER, or at least suicide....

I don't remember a lot about the day I got my results....at that time, doctors' offices did not want to do the test.   I had to pitch a fit to get my doctor (a gay man, in Atlanta) to do it....then I was on standby for days...maybe a week or more.  They would not call me back.   Finally, I called them late in the day on a Friday afternoon....the lab tech told me the test was positive, and wished me luck.  It was a death sentence, and it was meted out on the phone, just like that.

I had been told the previous year, upon seeing a different doctor, that I probably had "it" because I was having so many bronchial and upper respiratory issues.   We didn't want to face it, there was no treatment except AZT, and that nearly killed a lot of us.  I lived to defeat it.

My mind is fuzzy about many of the details from that era...I think it's a PTSD thing.
"Remember my sentimental friend that a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others." - The Wizard of Oz

Offline David_CA

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,246
  • Joined: March 2006
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #51 on: July 11, 2011, 04:32:00 PM »
I was already at home.  We'd been notified by those lovely letters on the front door stamped 'Confidential' that we'd be listed as 'contacts' for syphilis.  That's a story in itself, but in the meantime, I purchased one of those quickie at-home HIV tests that one overnights to the lab.  We called for my results on Black Friday, as I refer to it.  When it's a negative result, an electronic voice gives the news.  When it's a positive result, one is on hold for quite a while waiting for a person.  Hubby was the one on the phone, and I asked him why it was taking so long.  He looked at me and said that he was holding.  When I looked closer, I could see his eyes tearing.  He finally talked to somebody and told them no thanks to their offer of counseling and hugged me.  I then knew I was HIV+.  Honestly, I'd rather have such news delivered no other way - in the privacy of our home with my husband there with me.  I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have handled it as well if I'd been alone at a clinic, Dr's office, etc.  A few hours later, our friend B came by, and I told her.

I think about that day fairly often, as I do HIV in general.  It's not generally so much of a sad thing to me but more of something that changed my life.  Just now, when describing that day, a lot of those initial emotions were brought back again.  Perhaps putting it in writing and reading it vs thinking about it makes it a bit more intense.
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline drewm

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,130
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #52 on: July 11, 2011, 04:55:47 PM »
I think about that day fairly often, as I do HIV in general.  It's not generally so much of a sad thing to me but more of something that changed my life.  Just now, when describing that day, a lot of those initial emotions were brought back again.  Perhaps putting it in writing and reading it vs thinking about it makes it a bit more intense.

Funny how my mind works. I think about my dx often. Not daily or even weekly but often. I am reminded I have teh AIDS every time I swallow that $73.00 pink pill. I agree David, there is something about sharing the experience on these forums and, perhaps, writing or typing it that makes it more intense or at least it seems that way.

In reality, my physical health has rebounded and I am better than I have been in years. Mentally, I am still working through it and it seems sharing in these forums and sometimes helping others or reaching out to you wonderful folks helps with all of this. I often think back to what some of you did pre internet, pre forums, pre HAART, pre compassionate help.

Big hugs to all of us!  :-* :'(
Diagnosed in  May of 2010 with teh AIDS.

PCP Pneumonia . CD4 8 . VL 500,000

ATRIPLA - VALTREX -  FLUOXETINE - FENOFIBRATE


Numbers consistent since 12/2010 - VL has remained undetectable and CD4 is anywhere from 275-325

Offline wolfter

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  • Posts: 4,569
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #53 on: July 11, 2011, 06:05:24 PM »
I often think back to what some of you did pre internet, pre forums, pre HAART, pre compassionate help.

Big hugs to all of us!  :-* :'(

As a LTS, I garnered more support from this site in the last year and half than I had for the 2 previous decades.  It most ways, it was a very lonesome existence.
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline Hellraiser

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  • Posts: 4,136
  • Semi-misanthropic
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #54 on: July 11, 2011, 07:10:06 PM »
Anna, I don’t think it is fair to say “denialist t should be put in jail for murder”  They become denilist because of the illusive nature of the disease.  It is not an intentional and premeditated act.  Everyone loves his life more than anything.  Because we love our life, people can be all against anything that came against their life.  Such as HIV and HIV theory.  So the best way to put it is to teach and make them believe.  ;D

The thing is everyone knows the facts of HIV now.  The denialists simply deny them.  I could see the denialist standpoint being valid in the early 80s when nobody knew what the hell was going on.  Now however we know exactly what this virus does and we have the tools to stop it.  Preaching any sort of denialist agenda at this point in time is dangerous and I think murderous is a good word for it as well.

Offline phildinftlaudy

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  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #55 on: July 11, 2011, 07:29:28 PM »
I remember my first indirect exposure to denialism - in the earlier years of the disease, Peter Duesberg (?) had put out a book against HIV being the cause of AIDS...and avid book reader at that time, I read it with an open mind..... not really having been exposed to HIV, I didn't know whether to believe what I read or not.

Then I did my college internship at the Erie County AIDS Council --- I got to meet those persons who were infected with HIV early on --- I did my internship in 1990.  There was still a very substantial amount of fear and stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and persons with it.

Then, when I moved to Florida - I met my first partner - he had a guilt and shame complex about having HIV - his mother used her religion to fuel his guilt and shame - and a minister at her church had him believing that the meds wouldn't save him - but changing his lifestyle would.  I remember him going off of his meds - us breaking up - but still staying in touch ---- then I called his house one day and was told he wasn't there.  I asked if he had moved and was told by his brother that he had died -- my indirect experience with denialism had suddenly and painfully become very direct.

I am grateful that since that time, I have had a partner who has lived for more than 20 years with HIV and is healthy and it is because of the meds.... it gave me a direct experience with meds saving lives and denialism takiing lives.

When my diagnosis came - there was no doubt in my mind; no denialism; so, I have to agree with Ann when I say that those who knowingly - in this day and age of knowledge and understanding about HIV/AIDS particularly promulgate denialism are guilty of murder.
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 ds4146

  • Member
  • Posts: 317
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #56 on: July 11, 2011, 09:29:08 PM »
He looked at me and said that he was holding.  When I looked closer, I could see his eyes tearing.  He finally talked to somebody and told them no thanks to their offer of counseling and hugged me. 

  It's not generally so much of a sad thing to me but more of something that changed my life.

The first part brings tears to my eyes, that you had that kind of support and the second part because, I can not speak for everyone, but for me that pretty much sums it up!

Sweet and bitter post, LOL, but thank you!

Offline austinguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #57 on: July 11, 2011, 09:53:28 PM »
This is a great thread.
I cried, sobbed and wept actually. Called into work for 4 days. Loaded my Jeep with my camping gear and drove 8 hours to Big Bend State Park in West Texas. There I decided that it was time for my life to change. And it has, for the better.

 

Offline le_liseur

  • Member
  • Posts: 133
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #58 on: July 11, 2011, 10:31:54 PM »
A great thread indeed!

It was at the end of September 2009. I was going to my regular appointment, the doctor didn't call me beforehand to ask me to come earlier or anything. It was just a routine checkup, all in all. And, to be really honest, I had no feeling at all that he was going to tell me I'm positive... ! I was more surprised that I didn't see it coming than shocked of the results. He told me about how manageable it was, and I dropped my glasses. And I asked him if I was going to be able to travel and adopt when I'll be older... I wasn't worried about health issues at that time. He ended up testing me again and doing more bloodwork, and after asking me if I was going to meet people or going home, he left me the phone number of his other cabinet, in case I had to talk. He was, and probably still is, a very good doctor! Kinda wish I still had him.

So I went back outside, got to the subway station, thinking a lot about this, but not cracking up, ended up going in the wrong direction, then back on the right subway line, and after more than an hour, got back home, and had a few hours before my mom and siblings would get back too. And I kept it to me until the next day at school where I had to say it so a friend. And it's been going well so far, partly because of the good information I found on sites such as this one.

Offline ds4146

  • Member
  • Posts: 317
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #59 on: July 12, 2011, 09:05:07 PM »
I was at work and my doctor's assistant called and said that she would like to talk to me about my results....I said that with work and all that it would have to be after. Hung up and two seconds later called back and said "I imagine this is not good news?....long pause....changed the time to 10 a.m. so I could tell my boss when he came in and make arrangements for coverage, blah, blah, blah. His response, even though it was so clear that things were not right was, can you do the financial for the day?"

My doctor was great.....still is, or at least my primary....how I got to my friends house I will never quite know. I knew that I had to hold it together till then. And then...in some ways it was the worst days ever and some ways it was the best. My friends and family were very supportive and the guy I was dating, had been seeing for months, dropped me like the proverbial hot potato. Screw him!

The night I found out three of my very great friends came over and we all got shit faced, danced, laughed, cried and the next morning I woke up to reality; a hangover and HIV. Life went on and goes on.

Offline jb1973

  • Member
  • Posts: 68
  • To thine ownself be true
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #60 on: July 14, 2011, 12:04:55 PM »
I had gone to a free clinic to get my rapid test done after someone that I had been intimate with told me they were positive.    I think the girl who did my test, it was her first day.  After we swabed, she talked to me for a few more minutes and then i went out and sat in the waiting room.  I knew the news was not good when an official looking gentleman went into the room and closed the door.  30 seconds later, they called me in and gave me my result.  On the drive home, i think I smoked a pack of cigarettes.  My partner texted me to ask how the test went and I told him that it would take a few days to get the results back.  He was at work, and I didnt want to tell him until I saw him face to face.  When he got home, I told him the news and that he needed to be tested.  We immediately drove back to the same clinic and had his test done.  Negative.  I started crying, we hugged, and went to the car.  Once there, we broke down and started crying.  He wanted to know what i was thinking and I told him I was relieved I hadnt "ruined" his life by infecting him.  He then told me, "promise you wont leave me. I decided long ago i'm in it for the laong haul, no matter what. this changes nothing".  We then went home, stopped at the store for dinner and had baked fish and red potatoes. 
??Infected - 08-09??
3/3/11-tested POZ
3/18/11 - CD4-534 VL-6,600
6/24/11 - CD4-642 VL-10,800
10/11 - CD4-580 33% VL-9,900
1/12 - CD4-602 ?% VL-9,700
3/12 - CD4-552 27% VL=10,684
8/12 - cd4-550 24% VL=9.865
Started Isentress/Truvada
10/12- CD4-613 31% VL=UD

Offline Switch01

  • member
  • Posts: 2
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #61 on: July 23, 2011, 01:27:39 AM »
I found out after being denied for life insurance. I was told to see my doctor who had a copy of the results. As I sat in the examination room, he unfolded the letter and gave me the news. Shock immediately set in. The doctor then told me to get some bloodwork done to confirm the results. So I drove to the lab and before going in, I called my partner. After telling him the news, we spoke at length about everything. He was incredibly supportive and loving, something I will always cherish.

As it was early in the morning, I still had a full day of work ahead of me. I left the clinic, got in my car and drove to the office. For most of the day, i was in a complete daze. I remember going through the motions, having lunch and getting work done. A coworker of mine went out for lunch and came back in a furious mood, ranting about how someone dented her new car. She was absolutely livid. At that moment, I will always remember thinking "Oh yeah, I just found out that I'm going to die." That was five years ago and to this day, it always gives me perspective when I get worked up about small, insignificant things.

I also remember leaving the office at some point and calling the local HIV support network. Not knowing what to say, I asked them for their hours of operation and hung up.

The minute I got home, I broke down next to my bed and balled. Without being melodramatic, my life flashed before me... all the things I had accomplished, wanted to accomplish, and would never accomplish. I never cried so hard.

Later that evening, my partner called to see how I was. He insisted on coming over. Knowing that he probably hadn't eaten dinner, I pulled myself together and fixed dinner for both of us. As we sat across the table from each other, I could barely eat anything, choking on tears. I insisted he eat but he was reluctant. Throughout the entire meal, he held my hand softly as I wept.

The evening ended with me curled up in his arms, holding me firmly, quietly letting me know that everything was going to be okay...






Offline EggMan

  • Member
  • Posts: 21
Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #62 on: July 23, 2011, 04:40:50 AM »
To back up just a few months I remember it was summer 1989 and I was so depressed because I was scared to be with anyone in any kind of sexueal way much less to fall in love or if I would ever fall in love again after leaving the love of my life a couple years prior, I worked 16 hour days 6 days a week and on my day off would go somewhere out of town to just be by my self and enjoy my day off.
One Sunday morning I went to a park and was just sitting there in my truck watching a ball game and was kinda off stairing at people around the area and all of a sudden this man...this very rugged handsome man walked by with jeans, no shirt and black rubber boots like you wear when it floods or doing work in something you don't want your feet to get in... anyway, a few minutes later he walked by again and I had to ask (and I'll never forget this)  but I asked him if he raised pigs being he had those boots on..  he laughed and said no but did have one old hog on the farm he lived on so we got to talking and the next thing I knew I was following him to his place to check out all these animals he took care of, now nothing so far was mentioned or even acknowledged of being gay or that both of us was very much attracted to each other, we just kinda knew we were getting along great....well it didn't take long to figure it all out but from that day on we dated and started the best relationship I think 2 men could ever have without baseing it on just how great sex was....I mean it was real.

After months of dating brought us to Feb. 12th 1990, I went over to his place and he was kinda nervious about something and finally told me he had some things to tell me and finally got the nerve to say that he was HIV+ and asked if I had ever been tested which I said no because I was the type of person that didn't or couldn't just go have sex with anyone unless there was more of a friendship of relationship involved prior and it had been a long time since I had been with anyone...I know AIDS was out there but never thought in a million years it would be right in front of me asking me for a relationship.
He told me he loved me and I need to go get tested and if I were negitive he couldn't handle the poz/neg relationship and it would have to end but if I were poz he wanted me to move in with him and start a life together...I really didn't understand alot of it but I knew I was in love and thats all I could think about so the next morning we went to the clinic and my blood was drawn and was told I would have the results the next day.  without even thinking and lost in a daze for the previous 24 hours had no clue it was Feb. 14th and about mid morning we again went to the clinic and I was taken to a room with the head nurse and he just kinda spilled it out saying he was sorry to have to tell me the news but my test results came back positive for HIV.  I thanked him for letting me know and said I was alright even though I truly only knew it meant I was going to die soon, every person I had heard about that was HIV+ was dead within 6 months of getting the news so I pretended to be strong and we left and went back to his place where I finally got a moment alone and cried fopr about 5 minutes and had to tell my self this is what I have been dealt with and it would hurt me more to have to tell others esp. any close friends or family that I knew would be crushed by this news so I kept it all inside and lived in a very secretely manner but was very happy to be able to be with someone at the same time...all I cared about was that I was in love and nothing else mattered...  it was a brand new learning expierence day by day and back then there was nothing to read, no internet, no others that survived to say this is how it will be... it was you got it now lets plan the funeral and get all your affairs in order.
My partner who I deeply love to this day passed away 3 years later, we had the best time of our lives together and spent those almost 4 years living life to its fullest in all aspects,  we both did not know how long we had so every day counted.  I was 33 and he was 36 when he passed away,  today I am 51 and never dreamed I would live to see 40 which was the new century...

Even though Feb 14th 1990 was the day I was given "The News" it was also the day I really started living each and every day like it was my last... I learned to enjoy life like I had never known before.
Today and each and every year on Valentines day I remind myself without even having to think that HEAR I AM... I have survived another year.  Its still all a secrete when it comes to any friends and family knowing about my status, I am not sure if I will ever tell anyone but who knows...  that ONE DAY there will be a cure and there will be no need to put someone else through heart ache.

Offline surf18

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Re: The day I found out I was HIV+ I went home and.....
« Reply #63 on: July 23, 2011, 07:26:45 AM »
the stories are amazing. it shows how courgeagous and similar we all are. god bless us all.

 


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