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Author Topic: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!  (Read 6863 times)

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Offline Doodle

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Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« on: July 28, 2011, 05:58:17 PM »
Hi all,
My story is a bit long so I will try to cut it as short as I can!
Let's start with the fact that my long term fiancé has been recently diagnosed with HIV (November last year).
We have been together for 11 years & and have 2 children together.
I don't know when/how he caught it - if it was before or since we have been together - but that doesn't matter, because sits in the past and I can't change it!
It was a very difficult time for me when he was diagnosed & it has taken until now for me to be able to feel ready to come and ask for some advice and support.
From the start he has been very very secretive and in fact lied to me about he diagnosis - his reasoning was that he was trying to protect me - he didn't seem to have any thought or feeling of the fact that I could be infected too, as well as our children and that I needed to be tested.
COnsequently I actually found out by a little bit of detective work (looking up symptoms), checking which clinics were on the days he had appointment etc.
He only actually told me the truth when I asked him straight out if he had HIV and he coulnt deny it anymore, he knew that I knew.
I very quickly got myself tested and was negative, which obviously left me in a very difficult position - on the one hand I still loved him, on the other hand I didn't know how we could carry on - really more to do with the lying/trust issues surrounding the diagnosis - he had hurt me by not telling the truth from the beginning.
After ALOT of talking and lots of tears & arguments we both agreed that we still wanted to be together & that would be best for the children as well.
The last 6-8 months have been incredibly difficult for me & have been a steep learning curve, but I think I am starting to come through the other side now & feel ready for some advice on how best to support him.
He is still very secretive about the whole thing and finds it very hard to talk to me about it - I have not been to appointments with him, but hope that in the future he might want me too, which I think will help him & me.
He is on medication & and says that the docs say he is doing well - but I have no idea about his cd4/viral load.
I really wanted some general advice in how best I should support him now - should I try talking more or leave it until he is ready and wants my support? (I know that everyone is different so this is a hard one to answer), was just wondering what your personal opions were & what if anything helped you when you were first diagnosed.
My other dilemma is that I really want another baby - and emotionally I feel like that opportunity has been taken away from me - I have read about sperm washing procedures - but not sure how I would feel about something like that really - does anyone else have any experience/knowledge of this?
Does anyone know of any other safe ways of me getting pregnant?
Any help or advice would be very greatly appreciated, & thanks for reading.
E x

Offline Ann

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 09:33:06 AM »
Hi Doodle, welcome to the forums.

While you don't need to worry about posting a "long story", it would help us greatly if you put more space between your paragraphs, like....

...this. When there are no space breaks in text on the internet, it can be very hard on the eyes and difficult to read. Otherwise, write (and vent) as much as you like.

A lot of men can be very secretive about their health. I can't say for sure why this is, although I suspect it has to do with them not wanting to appear weak. You know what men can be like regarding their masculinity! ::)

It's good to hear that you have remained negative. You may be one of those lucky people who possesses a certain gene that make them pretty much immune to hiv infection. However, now that you know his status, you should be using condoms.

Which brings up the idea of having another baby. It is possible for you to conceive again without expensive sperm-washing. When he has had an undetectable viral load for at least six months, and neither of you have any STIs, then it is possible to conceive the "old-fashioned" way. There have been several threads here over the years which discuss this in-depth, but unfortunately I don't have access to my bookmarks for those at the minute. (For some reason my Google toolbar disappeared overnight and I haven't investigated how to get it back yet.)

While I cannot tell you what to do, I can tell you what I think I'd do if I were in your shoes. I would insist on going to an appointment with him. I would tell him that if this were going to work, I would have to be involved at least to the point of being reassured by his doctor about the state of his health.

Would he be open to attending couples counselling with you? Relate is a very good outfit in this regard. Have you heard of them? They have offices in most places in the UK. Look them up in your local phone book or on the internet. They even have offices in the Isle of Man (where I live) so there's bound to be one near you. You could also go on your own, if he won't go with you.

I'll try to get my Google tool-bar back and when I do, I'll post links to some of the threads discussing conception between a poz man and a neg woman. There have been many couples world-wide who have had hiv negative babies without the woman (or child) becoming poz without sperm-washing. You can too.

I'm glad you reached out to us. Hang in there!

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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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 Assurbanipal

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 11:41:33 AM »
Hi Doodle

Welcome to the forums.  Sounds like you have a lot going on right now.  But, with time, things can get more manageable.

But it takes time, for yourself and your partner.

Here's a link to some of the other threads about pregnancy.  http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=26774.msg332612#msg332612

Be well
Assurbanipal
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline Ann

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 11:52:02 AM »
Thanks for that, Assurbanipal. I just got my google toolbar back up and running and re-opened this thread to post the links, only to find you beat me to it. Thanks again!

Doodle, it's a lot of reading, but there's a lot of information in those links. Hope you find it helpful.
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 Doodle

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2011, 04:54:31 PM »
Thank you both very much for the replies & the links, which I am in the process of reading through!

(sorry about the lack of paragraphs in my original post - I should know better as I am a regular forum user on various different sites!)

Ann, I am not sure that he would be ready/willing to go to counselling- and to be honest not really sure if I would either - I have always been a very strong person & have my own ways of dealing things.

His status is not the problem in our relationship & in fact on the whole there is not a lot wrong with our relationship - I am getting over the fact that he lied to me and I know that with time that will get easier to cope with - I guess I have no idea what he was going through at that particular time and it was his was of dealing with things.

I will speak to him about me going to an appointment with him as I really feel it would be helpful for us as well as necessary if we are thinking about having a baby - which reminds, that yes we are using condoms religiously, I wouldn't have it any other way!

How I reamined negative after being with him for 11 years I will never know - we had unprotected sex probably thousands of times - like you say I was lucky.

I Am very glad that I have found this forum & I really thank you for your support, I think I will be here a lot because this is such a hard subject to talk friends/family about - in fact very few people know about his status yet (his choice), which I respect - but doesn't give me many people to talk to & and I know that people here will understand & be suportive.

Thank you both again.
E x

Offline mecch

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2011, 05:53:21 PM »
Does your husband want to have another baby too?  

Seems to me there are two good reasons for him to let you know more about how his body is dealing with hiv.

1) Because you are his long term partmer, and mother of his children.  Oh, and you are having sex I guess!  You just have a right to know, if you want to know. Its a pretty big deal, like other things in a relationship - needs negotiation so both can be content.    If he can't give you that much -- information -- then I would ask for an explanation why not, and offer some therapy and some time limits.  You don't have to blackmail him with ultimatums but maybe secretly you should start the program to get the info about his health - from him - that you want and if finally you never are going to get it.  Get out of the relation.   He already burned you once with lies.  ("Fool me twice, shame of me" I believe it is the expression.")

2) If you are going to have another kid then also all his health information needs be on the table and you all got to get a medically approved plan to do it safely.

Best of luck!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2011, 05:55:05 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Doodle

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2011, 07:36:17 PM »
Thanks for your comments mecch.

Yes, my partner does want another baby  - it is something that we had talked about, even before his diagnosis - so this is not a decision taken lightly.

I don't think it is that he can't give me the information about his health, I truly believe he is just not ready to talk about it yet - I am sure that in time, and with support from his docs he will be able to.

I don't want to be too pushy about it until he is ready but I do understand that there should be some time limits - but I also feel that he will open when he is ready to.

Yes he has lied to me once, but he does regret it & he is deeply sorry for what he did, he just did not know how to handle the situation - that is something that we have talked about a lot & so far have been able to work through it.

I do not want the relationship to end - I still love him as much as I always did - the fact that he is HIV+ makes no difference to that & never will.

Thank you for your advice and I will be mindful of the fact that I NEED to know about the state of his health & that I should try to find out more sooner rather than later.

Thanks again, e x

Offline Doodle

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PEP or not? Advice please
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2011, 03:52:44 PM »
Hi all,
I recently posted in 'someone I care about' in relation to my partner who is positive.

We always use condoms for intercourse since his diagnosis back in November - but last night we had a slight mis-hap with the condom.

Basically after vaginal intercourse it slipped off and was left inside me - after digging about I pulled it out and inspected it and i am about 85% sure that the semen was contained.

Obviously I cannot be 100% certain and I am slightly worried about this risk and wanted to know if anyone thinks I should seek pep?

Just a bit more background on my partner:
He was diagnosed in November 2010 with a cd4 count of 114 (don't know about viral load as he can't remember & didn't tell me at the time)
He started on Atripla in November.
His last bloods showed cd4 of 1000+ (again he doesn't know the exact number & doesn't know what his viral load was, although he does think it was a low number - but he doesn't think it was undetectable)

I know I have had a small risk, but is it enough for taking pep? Especially if he has a low viral load?
I have read how pep can have some nasty side effects and would like to avoid it if possible, but obviously will take it if necessary.

Sorry it's a bit long and any opinions would be welcomed.

Thanks
Doodle x

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2011, 05:16:27 PM »
Doodle, I've moved your latest thread over to this section as it is in part at least a continuation of your previous concerns.

In the future please keep your entries in this same thread. Thanks for your cooperation with our rule.

As for this latest concern, I think you are most likely right that the condom contained his sperm after it stayed in when he pulled out. It's a not uncommon kind of event. In the future when pulling out it would be a good idea for him to hold on to the condom at the end of his penis as he withdraws. Or you can hold on to it.

Personally I wouldn't consider what happened to have been the kind of accident that warrants doing PEP, but that is a decision you will have to make for yourself.

It's also concerning that the sharing of information between you two seems to be spotty. It might be good for you two to have a meeting together with his doctor. That would allow you to ask any questions you may have such as about his viral load, CD4 count, etc. You may have other questions which would if answered properly put your mind at ease and draw you two closer together.

Whether you do PEP or not I do think you ought to get tested at 13 weeks just to confirm your negative status. It's not something to be left wondering about.

You can test initially at 6 weeks. A negative at 6 weeks is unlikely to turn positive at 3 months.
Andy Velez

Offline Doodle

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2011, 05:56:06 PM »
Thanks Andy.
Sorry that i posted in a new thread - i head read the rules about posting in the same one, but assumed as this was more about me it would warrant a new thread  ??? sorry  ???

We do normally do as you say hold onto the condom, but in this instance it had already kind of disappeared and i couldn't get hold hold of it until after he had removed his penis.

I do understand what you are saying about our communication & we are trying to deal with this - he has agreed for me to go to his next appointment with him which is a massive step in the right direction & i am pleased about that - things are looking up!

His main problem is nt understanding what the docs say & not taking it all in & i think i can help him with that.

I think i will get him to phone his doc tomorrow to see what they say abut pep.

Thanks for the advice.

Doodle x

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2011, 08:01:35 PM »
If PEP is going to be started it must be within 48-72 hours after a risk. The earlier the better...
Andy Velez

Offline Doodle

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2011, 03:34:29 AM »
Thanks Andy, I was aware of that.

I have decided not to bother anyway, it was a minimal risk.

I am due to test in November anyway, so will just wait till then.


Offline Joe K

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2011, 05:08:35 PM »
Hey Doodle,

Going to doctor appointments together will help you both understand what is going on and I suggest you start a list of questions to ask the doctor, say in a notebook.  You can take that notebook to the doctor with you and write down anything he says, so you don't have to worry about remembering all the numbers.  It takes a lot of pressure out of doctor visits, because you have it all written down to reference later.

Offline Doodle

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2012, 04:10:10 PM »
Hi,
I'm back again after a pretty long time with some really good news...

I am 18 weeks pregnant with my partners baby, conceived naturally and have just had my bloods back today to confirm I am still negative!

After my partner became undetectable we went to see his doctor together and were advised that the risk of my contracting HIV was 0.01%.

We were advised to use an ovulation kit and time intercourse as closely to ovulation as possible.

We had intercourse twice in the 1st month and 3 times in the second month - the month I conceived!!

I am so happy about getting my blood results back today - just over 4 months after we last had unprotected intercourse!

I am taking that as pretty conclusive that I have stayed negative & feel blessed that we have been able to concieve again!

E x

Online Jeff G

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2012, 04:13:33 PM »
Congratulations ! that is wonderful news and I'm very happy for the three of you .

Offline Ann

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2012, 05:42:24 AM »
Hey Doodle, that's great news!

And yes, your negative test over three months means that you are definitely hiv negative - and that means the baby is as well.

Congratulations! :)
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 Doodle

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2012, 05:58:57 AM »
Hey Doodle, that's great news!

And yes, your negative test over three months means that you are definitely hiv negative - and that means the baby is as well.

Congratulations! :)

Thank you Ann x

Offline wolfter

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2012, 12:16:15 AM »
Congratulations.  Glad all is going well for you.

Wolfie
productivity breeds content

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2012, 12:39:49 PM »


   This thread makes me feel good on so many levels.  Doodle, I am very happy for you, and congratulations on the pregnancy.  If there were more understanding people like yourself the world would be a better place.  I also have to include Ann and the others who advised and supported Doodle during this trying episode in her life.

  Wow, excuse me, I'm just all warm and fuzzy inside....

 
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Doodle

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #19 on: October 26, 2012, 08:36:47 PM »

   This thread makes me feel good on so many levels.  Doodle, I am very happy for you, and congratulations on the pregnancy.  If there were more understanding people like yourself the world would be a better place.  I also have to include Ann and the others who advised and supported Doodle during this trying episode in her life.

  Wow, excuse me, I'm just all warm and fuzzy inside....

 

Awwwww, I am glad my thread has made you feel good.

I hope that others will also get strength from it in the future.

Everything has turned out just perfect for us in the end, we are so happy together and extremely excited to be having another baby.

A year ago I was in a mess and thought that this would never happen, but anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

I was willing to take that 0.01% risk because I love my partner & had faith that whatever the outcome we would be able to be strong and support each other together.

Thank you to everyone who has replied to this thread, both with advice initially & now with messages of congratulations. 

I am truly grateful for the support I have received.

Ex

Offline Ann

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2012, 06:32:12 AM »
I'm really happy to hear that you got over the initial problems that your partner's diagnosis brought to your relationship. True love will win out every time and it sounds like that's what you've got; True Love. Sweet! :)

Wishing you and your growing family all the best for a long and happy life. Cheers!
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 Blue75

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Re: Hello, I'm new.....I think I am after some advice!
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2012, 01:03:59 AM »
Hi Doodle, this string of posts brought tears to my eyes.

I didn't realize, until the end, that your original post was over a year ago. I can relate on so many levels, even now. Congrats on a new baby!

I agree with what Mecch & Ann said & I hope he has opened up abit and has allowed you more information with where he's at in this. I, personally, would absolutely insist on it, but when my husband isn't forthcoming (because he absolutely hates talking about it), he's given his doctors the okay to talk with me...so I go straight to the information source.

Congrats again & best of luck!
Blue
Husband:
2/14/12 Tested HIV+
3/16/12: CD4-216, VL-56,500
5/4/12: Started Atripla
5/7/12: CD4-184, VL-12,000 (Taken off Atripla after 3 days, awaiting liver testing) Started antibiotics.

 


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