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Author Topic: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic  (Read 22643 times)

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Offline Since2005

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #50 on: August 08, 2011, 07:30:16 PM »
Hi,

Socal, I have a plan and a deadline (week/month). I know its needs to be done. So, deadline might help. I am looking into clinics at this point and hopefully will be able to move forward with this and put all THESE ISSUES behind. I know you guys are here for me and I am here for you also! As a starter, its good support system. Though I mention earlier that I will go and start the medical process even before I came here, this Forum has been making me feel better and I feel at ease doing so.

Meech, Thanks for asking about my cultural issues that I deal with. I am not sure if I want to share everything online with everyone else, as some things are just so personal that I will live that up to the counselor to guide me through with it. I will tell you this, if my whole family were living in USA/any Western countries, I would have come out in a heartbeat. See, where I come from, people live in a society where they sort of co-exist and everyone is on everyone’s business. If someone finds out about my situation, they will look down at my family. It is so different than US or western countries that sometimes even its very hard to even imagine. I will give you an example just to get a little bit of understanding. All members of my family got married through “Arranged Marriage”. Family status means everything. There is a possibly that no one will be marrying into my family because of me (If they find out about the HIV and gay etc.). I hope it never happens but there is always a chance. I will never let that happen. I did not want to be the sole cause for any harm to my family. I wish my whole family were living here in US or any Western Countries where they did not have to deal the “ South Asian Society”. Where I come from people live as a whole, not individually. People don’t have sex until they are married which happens usually in their late twenties and thirties and then go for arrange marriage (They have tried that with me already and I said ‘NO’ and they kind of gave up on it and it’s a relief on that issue for now). I myself did not even have any sex till I was 23 and its okay and normal. I came from where guys hold their hands and no one question about their sexuality and they are not gay (well may be some) but point is it’s the norm and it’s different than US and Western countries. I love my family and they love me back but they live in a society where if anyone finds out they will be looked down at and how in the world would I even let that happen. I could never do that. Trust me they do not live in a village, they live in a big city and are very educated but live in a different world with a different society. I thought I wouldn’t tell you all but I did a share a bit. I hope that explains my ‘cultural dilemma’.  I have come to except myself being gay (I am still closeted but I have come far with that) and I accept my HIV status (when I take my family out of the equation). I thought I would rather die than tell. See, I want to live now! I guess I always have. I have to find a balance between my family and me and that’s what I will work on and try to live my life the fullest with my given situation. My family deserves the same. I would have to tell you one thing, I have changed as I have been living in USA since I was twenty 21 and my values has changed and its way different than my family and based my current changed values and morals, I accept myself fully. All I wanted to do is protect my family, which I have been doing for a long time. Well, I also know I need to protect myself since I am running out of the precious time for being HIV+. So, I dreamed about being ‘elite controller’ not because of me but because of my family. If I am not that lucky then, the option that I have is to deal with meds/doctors/clinic, be dead, or get exposed to being full-blown AIDS. I think first one is my best option though I think I am at risk of hurting my family at some point but I don’t have any more choice left. I have waited long enough. It might seem very odd about what I just explained about my cultural issues to some of you, but it is what it is.

I hope I was able to explain a little bit. Think about a situation where you could see yourself how a HIV- person would NEVER be able to understand FULLY what HIV+ go through. Same here, if you are not from a culture, it might seem odd, you may not understand fully, you may think these are my excuses and I understand because you are not part of the same culture as mine. I have to deal with this ‘cultural dilemma’ and I want to do that without hurting my family and myself.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 07:47:22 PM by Since2005 »

Offline LM

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #51 on: August 08, 2011, 09:05:21 PM »
Well, whatever choice you make regarding your family and stuff, I think it's easier to hide your status while healthy than while sick in a hospital bed. Not only that, but I think any family would prefer their son living with AIDS than a son who died of AIDS. So you see, anyway you look, getting treated is better. I don't really understand the "address" problem so well, but I'm sure you can manage it and it shouldn't be that much of a problem for you. Looking forward to hearing you went to the clinic and found out your first numbers.

Offline Raf

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #52 on: August 08, 2011, 11:20:38 PM »
Just don't wait too long to treat yourself Since, a full blown Aids diagnosis and a hospital stay will expose you completely. I didn't had the choice to "hide" my HIV status to my family, because when I knew it I had a nice wasting syndrome and molluscus contagious OI over me... my mom were besides me when I received the diagnosis. I have to admit that her reaction surprised me, I was expecting being kicked off the house, and instead of that, she was the reason I endured that horrible time.

Now regarding being out of the closet or not...I won't give you any advice, because I'm still on the frigging closet like you, and I don't have plans on the near future to get out. But let me tell you something, if you handle things carefully, you don't have to disclose your HIV status AND being gay at the same time.
Dx: 05/14/2008
Latest HIV Meds combo I've been taking:

Kaletra + Combivir (since 05/16/2008 - today)

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2011, 03:10:09 AM »
Hi Since2005, I just read your post about cultural differences.

I understand where you're coming from but I think you're letting your imagination run a bit wild. At the end of the day, which ever culture ones comes from dealing with coming out of the Gay closet and the HIV closet are big issues. Even though it may be very hard for your parents to comprehend, and they will be shocked to learn about it in the beginning, at the end of the day, they will be there for you because you are their son and they want nothing more than to see you happy and healthy.  That is their raison d'etre.

You also need to realise that it is neither practical nor possible to keep a secret like this forever. Sooner or later your family will find out. Would you rather be in control of the situation and tell them on your terms or have them find out by a third source? Cos you know, this kind of shit totally happens.

Give it a hard think. Don't make yourself promises that are not only likely to harm your mental state and your health (as is evident) but also do not serve the purpose that you so keenly want- i.e. your family to net get hurt and that their status not be compromised or whatever.

Seriously, unless you come from a village in tribal areas of Pakistan where all the women are covered from head to toe (and you said you don't) and 'honour killings' take place if one doesn't marry as per their parents wishes, I think you're being a tad dramatic. You're not just underestimating your parents ability to love their child (i.e. you) unconditionally but you might also be insulting their common-sense and intelligence. I really think your parents would be more concerned about their son's health and well-being then any of this 'honour' or 'status' bullshit.  And in any case, its not like your family is going to go around waving a placard saying that their son is a positive homosexual (only to give fodder to gossipy relatives) if you are so concerned about their social standing.

Good luck in whatever you decide but I do think you've got your cost-benefit analyis a bit wrong and I would be upset if it starts to tell on your health.  

PS- You don't get to give me that excuse that I don't understand your culture. :)

« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 03:46:34 AM by spacebarsux »
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 Since2005

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2011, 03:31:00 PM »
Thanks LM, Raf, and Space for responding. LM, mail issue, I have explained earlier (one of the comments). Raf, I know, I don’t want them to find out about my status in the hospital bed and that’s why I am ‘thinking differently’ which is to start the medical treatment process.  Space, please see the comments below for you to understand the difference between you and me..


Seriously, unless you come from a village in tribal areas of Pakistan where all the women are covered from head to toe (and you said you don't) and 'honour killings' take place if one doesn't marry as per their parent’s wishes,


-- Not far from it. Hope that says it all. You are from India where gay rights takes place, have access to medicine and HIV+ is a rising issue for your country. From yours, women come to compete in a beauty pageant, mine its not an option for women. Where I am from "shit happens" what you just mentioned above. Sodomy law exist where gay people are put in Jail for being gay and HIV you could only imagine….
 
Having said that I don’t’ think it was any easier for you given your cultural context. It never is for anyone. I was just pointing out some key differences between your culture and mine. I know you understand better than lots of others but there are still a lot of differences. A LOT..

I hope to keep my status a secret from my family life long since I live in USA and they live far away from me (well some times they come and visit me.), still I do think I have a good chance (I hope) for them not to find out so I could protect them from social heterism.

I am very glad I got myself tested. Knowing my HIV status is huge so you could protect others. So, for others who are reading this thread and are worried if you have HIV and not, please go get yourselves tested. Not only for you but also for others!!! Knowing my HIV status, it helped to take care of myself, I have been eating healthy, working out and always knew these days will come so in a way it helped me to prepare myself.

I accept myself fully (Again, if I take my family out of the equation). Whatever I do in my bedroom its my damn business. HIV is just a virus. Big deal I had unprotected sex which caused me to be in this situation .. So what!! I am HIV+ meaning I have a chronic condition, which means I am no different than someone who has cancer. I know all that. I will make friends that I could be open with and live my life. I deserve that for myself.

One thing, some people here got it wrong. “I WILL GO TO DOCTORS”.  I was explaining earlier on I had a plan to die when times comes (symptomatic stage/AIDS) just to protect my family. Now that I want to live (Yaa I Do!!!!), I will go to doctor to treat myself and will try to find the balance (between me and my family) and hope to work on this unbearing situation so that I COULD LIVE!!
« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 06:44:13 PM by Since2005 »

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #55 on: August 09, 2011, 03:39:59 PM »
Well Ok. But at least go to the doctor and get your tests done ASAP and go on treatment if need be.

These internal deadlines that you've set is just another way to procrastinate- and there's only so much everyone here can say.
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 buginme2

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #56 on: August 09, 2011, 04:56:02 PM »
Its been a week since you first posted and you are STILL saying you "will go" to the doctor yet apparently you havent.  Stop posting how you WILL go to the doctor and just go.

PS.  Unless you are on effective treatment, HIV is not a chronic disease.  Its a fatal condition without treatment.  Stop kidding youself.

Offline Since2005

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #57 on: August 09, 2011, 07:37:06 PM »
Buginme2, I have to tell you I do not appreciate your ‘tone of voice’. I have shared my very personal information with everyone writing pages, you completely ignored ‘ALL’. You don’t have to understand where I am coming from, just acknowledge my situation is all. If you don’t, that’s fine.  Like I said, I might need your help or support some other time. Everyone else said the same thing what you just said but what you lack is not being able to be compassionate. If you have said the same thing with a little more compassion, showed some acknowledgement and knew where I was coming from (don’t’ have to understand or agree) I would have not had any problems. I am sure you have a good heart and good intention but I already have explained to you how I feel about your comments and you know it. It is a public forum and you could post your opinion as much as you like (I hope you don’t. not right now… please. I am sure I will get along with you some other time…. cuz I know you care but sometimes its better to stay away from each other even if you like ‘em). I am sorry if I am being harsh or not kind but please don’t forget, you made me cry once. I could tell you I didn’t like that feeling. Also, please don’t tell me what I can and cannot post.

P.S. I have a deadline it’s a month (not week). I have waited six and half years so I guess one month is reasonable. May be I am procrastinating, may be I am getting myself ready. I will keep you all posted with my appointments etc. later.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 02:18:43 AM by Since2005 »

Offline mecch

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #58 on: August 09, 2011, 08:04:15 PM »
I understand its a real cultural challenge for you coming out as gay, and on top of that, having HIV.  Thanks for sharing.

Its two different issues -  keeping yourself healthy by addressing your HIV, and who and when you disclose that you are gay and HIV+.  So, three issues, even!

Are you a permanent resident of the US?  If its so awful for gays in your country, you will probably never be living there again.  Why would you want to?  Family is not enough. Trust me on this.  Also, how are HIV+ people treated in your country?  Is there insurance, and treatment?  I know a lot about Saudi Arabia in fact.  There are horrible laws against gays there.  There is supposed to be horrible stigma - thats what society says.  But also there are many gays there and they do have a community, its just different than the West and difficult to explain.  Also, in Saudi, they changed their attitude about HIV, and there is treatment for all Saudi HIV+ citizens. Of course, they still treat foreigners like crap. 

I tell you this just as a comparison. 

Anyhow, you have to cut the crap about not seeing doctors - in fact now while you can do so with COMPLETE discretion in the US.  Nobody needs to know, not your family, not your community in the homeland.  Take baby steps and tell them when you feel like it.

DO NOT DENY YOURSELF to live full happy life -  because you ARE who you are.  If a family or a culture can't deal with it, that's terrible, but in the end, that means you have to say well, too bad for them.  What are you going to do. Never have a lover, boyfriend?  Not treat your HIV.  Get horribly sick?  Not have a career?  Go back home to die a horrible mess and whats more, as a pariah - as you put it....  PULEASE.  Grow up, child.

You don't owe people more than respect and love and if they can't give it in return, tough shit for them.  You live your life.  You have EVERY advantage.  Imagine gays in repressive cultures who can't go live in NYC and don't have university educations.  And if they get HIV or other tough diseases, they die horrible deaths.  You're being VERY selfish, my dear. 

Now the next post we want to hear that you have gone to a clinic and started the process.  Enough is enough.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #59 on: August 10, 2011, 01:20:39 AM »
"PULEASE.  Grow up, child"     

It's so much easier said than done.....I guess;  when fearing / facing possible deportation at some point, having no insurance or access to health care AND dealing with the earlier mentioned "family dilemma's".
Ditch the family, and next what when he HAS to return to his native country ....in a place he doesn't want to be for obvious reasons?

@ the OP: wish you strength and courage to make the appropriate decisions. = Stay healthy and save your life.

Offline buginme2

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #60 on: August 10, 2011, 01:30:40 AM »
"PULEASE.  Grow up, child"      

It's so much easier said than done.....I guess;  when fearing / facing possible deportation at some point, having no insurance or access to health care AND dealing with the earlier mentioned "family dilemma's".
Ditch the family, and next what when he HAS to return to his native country ....in a place he doesn't want to be for obvious reasons?

@ the OP: wish you strength and courage to make the appropriate decisions. = Stay healthy and save your life.

Where did the op ever state he would be "facing deportation or has no insurance or access to health care?"  

Regardless Grasshopper, even if all those were true there is really only 2 choices, get sick and die or go to the doctor and start treatment. We can make excuses, and some of them may be very valid and may be extremely tough choices.  But in the end, it comes back to you either get sick or get treatment.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 01:40:38 AM by buginme2 »

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #61 on: August 10, 2011, 01:51:07 AM »
Where did the op ever state he would be "facing deportation or has no insurance or access to health care?" 

Regardless Grasshopper, even if all those were true there is really only 2 choices, get sick and die or go to the doctor and start treatment. We can make excuses, and some of them may be very valid and may be extremely tough choices.  But in the end, it comes back to you either get sick or get treatment.

No prospects for a green card and sponsored but no job as of yet !

You just conveniently omitted the @the OP comment I made
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 05:19:41 AM by Grasshopper »

Offline mecch

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #62 on: August 10, 2011, 07:18:41 AM »
I understand its a real cultural challenge for you coming out as gay, and on top of that, having HIV.  Thanks for sharing.

Its two different issues -  keeping yourself healthy by addressing your HIV, and who and when you disclose that you are gay and HIV+.  So, three issues, even!

Are you a permanent resident of the US? 
:_____________

DO NOT DENY YOURSELF to live full happy life -  because you ARE who you are.  If a family or a culture can't deal with it, that's terrible, but in the end, that means you have to say well, too bad for them.  What are you going to do. Never have a lover, boyfriend?  Not treat your HIV.  Get horribly sick?  Not have a career?  Go back home to die a horrible mess and whats more, as a pariah - as you put it....  PULEASE.  Grow up, child.

You don't owe people more than respect and love and if they can't give it in return, tough shit for them.  You live your life.  You have EVERY advantage.  Imagine gays in repressive cultures who can't go live in NYC and don't have university educations.  And if they get HIV or other tough diseases, they die horrible deaths.  You're being VERY selfish, my dear. 

Now the next post we want to hear that you have gone to a clinic and started the process.  Enough is enough.

The PULEASE was meant to go with the former sentence.  GRASSHOPPERS cut and paste makes it sound callous.  Pulease, you do not want to go home a sick dying pariah. 

In other words, grow up and treat yourself.

And I asked about insurance and citizenship, so we can get clearer picture on this situation.

Since has TREMENDOUS hesitation and anxiety for dealing with his HIV and probably all the causes are mixed up together so its best to unwind them, but WHILE he starts the medical oversight. Not before.

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Since2005

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #63 on: August 11, 2011, 02:42:05 PM »
I believe some of you here are irritated, surprised, shocked, worried. What can I say? I am not seeking medical help on purpose. Who does that? Has anyone heard of anyone doing this to oneself (unless of course one is HIV denailist). Thanks Grasshopper and everyone else wishing me the courage and strengths. I really needed to have those to make the appropriate decisions. At the end of the day, nothing is worth more than one’s life.

I feel fatigue, it seems like my body is really tired. Either I am feeling depressed or my immune is getting wicker. The only way to find out is to go to doctors. I have lots of hesitation going to doctor due to my ‘family/cultural dilemma’ as you already know about that. I could never ‘ditch’ my family. All I worry about that they will get hurt because of me and they will have to ‘disown’ me. I can’t think of losing them.

As for insurance goes, ADAP is the only choice and I am going to take that route. My sponsorship is in the process (hoping that to go through). I currently don’t have job but looking and that’s why I need to be healthy and be able to take care of myself. No prospect for green card especially since I am HIV+ now. I can’t see myself living back home (for obvious reasons.. as I explained why…). I may be wrong.. Can anyone help me with this – “Is HIV is not a mandatory test as part of medical test process for applying for permanent residency in US due to the recent law changes? Is this information is correct?  I believe the recent law changes reflects something similar to that but I am not hundred percent sure. If that’s true, I could use my education and experiences to hopefully make a living in US without worrying about going back home! Is this information correct? If that were true I would be the happiest guy in the world. I would be able to see some lights at the end of the tunnel.

I appreciate all of your support and understanding of my situation. It meant a lot!!! I come here everyday to learn about others and talk about myself. Its been helping me tremendously. I have been dealing with my ‘HIV issues’ for so long…. It is time to take next steps. I did not tell you, I did an appointment last week and ended up canceling it as I was feeling so wired about it. It’s hard to explain. Good news is I have made another appointment with a clinic and I hope to keep it. I want to start the process. I can’t explain in words how I felt when I have made that appointment ( as they were asking my DOB, address, name etc.) but I did. Hope this is it!!!!

Offline mecch

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #64 on: August 11, 2011, 09:27:30 PM »
You are already HIV+.  It is already posing challenges to where you can live.  Don't let HIV have too much power.

You can go to get info now, it's free at least to get some numbers, and see where you really stand. 

Who knows, you may be worn down from stress and your numbers are good!  Getting info will make the situation better. Its not going to do you ANY harm to know more.  Where you are today is where you are, whether you have the info or not. Its better to have the info.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline leatherman

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #65 on: August 11, 2011, 10:29:12 PM »
I have been dealing with my ‘HIV issues’ for so long…. It is time to take next steps. I did not tell you, I did an appointment last week and ended up canceling it as I was feeling so wired about it. It’s hard to explain. Good news is I have made another appointment with a clinic and I hope to keep it. I want to start the process. I can’t explain in words how I felt when I have made that appointment ( as they were asking my DOB, address, name etc.) but I did. Hope this is it!!!!
I have waited six and half years so I guess one month is reasonable. May be I am procrastinating, may be I am getting myself ready.
You shouldn't lie to yourself anymore (or to us but that's neither here nor there LOL). If you have not done anything about your HIV for 6.5 yrs, don't fool yourself into thinking that you have been "dealing with your HIV issues for so long". All you have been doing are worrying about your HIV issues. Without having done any labwork, speaking with a doctor, or getting treatment, you've actually done nothing towards really dealing with your HIV issues. Thinking and worrying about HIV is not really "dealing with" HIV, it's just procrastinating (there's no "maybe" about it). "Dealing with" HIV issues at least requires seeing a doctor and finding out the status of your viral load and tcell count.

Of course, the clinic/doctor is going to ask personal information about you because that's how businesses, jobs, medical, social services, etc track and help their customers or employees. That's also your personal private data and it's downright silly (and potentially deadly) to let worries about that information get between you and medical services and/or ADAP. People are not just going to give you anonymous medical treatment for free with no accountability.

I wish you luck and hope that you can actually go through at least getting the medical services to have labwork  done to see what condition you are in with HIV. Until you have bloodwork done, as Mecch insinuated, you will have given HIV all the power and not actually be doing anything to "deal" with your HIV issues.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada


Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #67 on: August 12, 2011, 05:25:33 AM »
I have lots of hesitation going to doctor due to my ‘family/cultural dilemma’ as you already know about that. I could never ‘ditch’ my family. All I worry about that they will get hurt because of me and they will have to ‘disown’ me. I can’t think of losing them.


Sorry, this makes no sense. Your cultural issues should have no bearing on your health! None. You owe yourself that much. What you are doing is absolutely criminal to your body.

Going to the doctor and getting your health in order has nothing to do with disclosure issues.

There are HIV doctors in Saudi Arabia too you know.
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 Since2005

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #68 on: August 12, 2011, 08:36:20 AM »
Wait a second ! Now  I am a criminal ( to my body), I am selfish, Thanks guys, I really needed  that. How about " Hey since, I am glad you made an appointment, good luck with that".

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #69 on: August 12, 2011, 08:50:06 AM »
Wait a second ! Now  I am a criminal ( to my body), I am selfish, Thanks guys, I really needed  that. How about " Hey since, I am glad you made an appointment, good luck with that".

Oh C'mon Since. No one is attacking you.  I and everyone here would be most happy once you actually go to the doctor.

And I never said you're selfish. A selfish person would not treat himself this way.
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 Since2005

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #70 on: August 12, 2011, 09:42:09 AM »
Hi,

Space, I know you and everyone here in this Forum cares. Meech, Its good to know the numbers, I agree, I am not scared to know if its bad or good. If it is good then great, if it is bad, at least I will have the process started then. Leatherman, I am not sure I agree with what you said about ‘dealing’. Everyone deals with things differently (some are mental and some are actual works). I understand where you are coming from after ‘dealing’ with HIV for so long. Thanks for wishing me good luck with starting the process. Em, thanks for sending me the link. I just found out couple days ago about ‘HIV testing is now being excluded from routine medical test when someone apply for residency in US’. Its been such a relief knowing that. This tells to the world again HIV is not a big deal like it used to be. Thanks Obama Admin and people who are fighting for gay/AIDS rights. I salute you guys for making our lives easier.

P.S. I will be (sure hope) keeping my appointment to get my med stat this time to end THESE all.

Offline leatherman

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #71 on: August 12, 2011, 09:44:12 AM »
Oh C'mon Since. No one is attacking you.  I and everyone here would be most happy once you actually go to the doctor.
nor was I attacking you. I was just telling you the truth.

If you tested poz and have never gone to the doctor to even have the blood work done to find out your current status (VL and CD4s) then you haven't been dealing with your HIV, you've been ignoring it. And countless people who have already passed away can attest that ignoring HIV is something you do at your own peril.

Thanks guys, I really needed  that. How about " Hey since, I am glad you made an appointment, good luck with that".
Yes, you did need to hear that. If you can't even go to a doctor to treat a condition you know you have then you sure don't need someone coddling you; but someone to motivate you into getting up and going to properly take care of your health. Making an appointment might be the first step; but it doesn't change anything and doesn't really count as having done anything. Going to actually see the doctor/clinic will be the first actual step towards doing something. There's no reason to tell you "good job" when you haven't really done to change or fix your situation.

Again since you must have missed me saying it the first time, I'll wish you luck (that you're not already terribly sick - because with a destroyed immune system there's usually little to no sign of how sick you are until it's nearly too late) and reiterate that I hope you finally go through with an appointment to at least have the lab work done - soon. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Ann

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #72 on: August 12, 2011, 09:44:55 AM »
Since, welcome to the forum. I've been reading your thread (as well as your comments elsewhere) but I haven't responded yet.

One of the reasons I haven't responded is because it's not totally clear whether you were ever confirmed as hiv positive. From what I've read, you had a positive rapid antibody test, but nothing else.  Are you aware that there are such things as false positive results, particularly on rapid tests?

If you never had follow-up testing with a Western Blot, then you have not ever been confirmed as hiv positive. All these symptoms you have been feeling lately could just as possibly be the result of over six years of worrying, in isolation, about a virus you might not even have.

Even though I was not brought up in your culture, I get it. I really do. However, consider this. Suppose you ARE hiv positive and your numbers ARE at a point where you needed treatment yesterday. If you continue to ignore hiv, then the chances are very good of you ending up in hospital very ill, and if that happens you may very well lose control over whether or not your family finds out. If they do have to find out, wouldn't you rather it be on YOUR terms?

I'm very glad to hear you have scheduled an appointment. PLEASE keep it! Go out of your way to keep it. From my perspective, the FIRST thing you need to find out is whether or not you actually have hiv. Then if you do, you need to know where you stand before you aren't standing at all, but lying in a hospital bed close to death.

Please get to that appointment - we're all rooting for you. Good luck!

Ann
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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 Since2005

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2011, 12:29:15 PM »
Hi,

Thanks Ann for your comment. I am glad when you said "I get it" and understood my problems. I also appreciate wishing me good luck with starting the medical process. Thanks for welcoming me to the forum. To me, its my new found family! I wanted to let you know I have been confirmed positive (As I recall, for the second time, a few days later after the first antibody test and I believe that was WB). I was tested negative six months prior to that as it was too soon to test, one or two weeks after the infection. I had a strange fever out of nowhere that lasted 7-10 days and I had to go the emergency and doctor suggested to test for STD at that time.

You are ABSOLUTELY correct! I need to retest now to know where I stand with my health!  
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 12:41:19 PM by Since2005 »

Offline gerry69

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #74 on: August 12, 2011, 02:21:10 PM »
After reading through this entire thread my head was spinning --

Even though, as Ann said, "I was not brought up in your culture" and that as you said "Everyone deals with things differently" I am amazed at the fact that even after moving to NY which is a world away you continued remained in what sounds to some extent as though it was a deep state of denial for so long.

While it may sound trite there is some truth in the saying that knowledge is power and by not having a clear understanding of your status/numbers, whether they are good or bad, you have inadvertently given the virus power over your life in ways you may not even be conscious of.

I am glad to see that you have finally summoned up the courage to make an appointment and, as leatherman indicated, "go through at least getting the medical services to have labwork done to see what condition you are in with HIV."

I wish you luck with that --


Offline Since2005

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #75 on: August 20, 2011, 10:59:18 AM »
Hi,

I have stated earlier that I had made the decision to go to the doctor before I came to the forum after noticing the symptomatic signs and I am sure I would have started the treatment process but with much harder times! After I found this forum, I felt such a relief to talk with you. You guys were there for me when I needed the most while I was making the decision (Thank you!!!!). For some, it was so hard to understand and some understood my root problems right away. The rest I will let my counselor to handle. I wanted to thank all of you for your comments (positive and negative), suggestions, views and caring.

I finally went to a clinic the other day and kept my appointment with the doctor and started the first step of the medical treatment process. I will let you know about the med stat later some other time when I get them. So, what I want to do is officially close this thread especially after so long (thanks for listening me venting about my issues…  Not sure how to close the thread may need admin/moderator’s help with that.

Hugs to the whole family (((((((( ))))))))
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 11:26:20 AM by Since2005 »

Offline New Poz Guy

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #76 on: August 20, 2011, 03:31:22 PM »
Hi Since,
I'm glad you finally went and had lab work done. THAT is the first step in taking responsibility for your health and potential long life.
My whole HIV + experience isn't even a month old yet but I KNEW that once I had the Dx I waited so long to get, I only had two choices and they've both been discussed here.
Fact of the matter is - I WANT TO LIVE - so I need to do the footwork involved to: a. first know my condition b. see a doctor for labs, counts, and direction c. start meds if required.
I'm glad to say I've done all 3 and I DO FEEL BETTER....even if it's only because I have finally decided to take responsibility for better health & living.
Now I'm dealing with issues of who to disclose to, when, and getting in front of a good therapist as I need to address some of the mental issues (again, all part of a healthy regimen for good living).
I couldn't imagine living in denial once I knew I was poz. That would have done me in as quick as the disease.
So get your results, consult a health care professional you are comfortable with, and do what you need to do.
Less than a month in and I actually feel a bit empowered simply because I stopped procrastinating and took care of business. It's my bet and hope that you will feel something similar.
NPG
Diagnosed 7/27/11
Labs taken 8/2/11
Results 8/12/11 - CD4 428 18.6% VL - 96,939
Began Atripla 8/13/11
Labs taken 9/8/11
Results 9/13/11 - CD4 629 24.2% VL - 930 !!

Offline metekrop

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #77 on: August 20, 2011, 06:09:10 PM »
Since, you have typically denilist perception of the HIV=AIDS.  Everybody here told you a lot.  I have simple words that you should be careful of your health, if you are serious about your life..

« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 06:11:16 PM by metekrop »
Diag on Dec 8, 2000, CD 440 VL 44K, No Meds
Dec/08 - Feb/09 CD< 50 & VL >500k hosp'z.
St. Atripla - July/09 CD 179, VL 197k
Oct/09 CD 300 VL UD Chol 267
Mar/10 CD 468 UD, Ch 220
Aug/10 CD 460 UD, Ch 195
Dec/10 CD 492 UD, Ch 172
Mar/11 CD 636 UD, Ch 201
Aug/11 CD 530 UD, Ch 98
Jan/12 cd 616 UD, ch 189
Jul/12 CD 640 UD, Ch ?
Dec/12 CD 669 Ud, Ch 125
May/7 CD711 Ud, Ch?
Nov/ 22 663 UD, Ch,
April 17 CD 797,
Oct, 14 CD 810 UD

Offline mecch

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #78 on: August 20, 2011, 07:33:13 PM »
I am pretty sure there is no way to "close" a thread. Just stop posting to it.  Why would you not want to come pack to this thread (I am suspicious ?  :'( )

We are waiting for you to POST YOUR LABS when you get them.  Also, tell us how you feel about all this.

Bravo for going finally.  ;D
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 07:38:27 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline socalpoz

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #79 on: August 20, 2011, 10:35:14 PM »
Congrats on taking the courageous step! Please keep us all posted on how everything goes Labs etc!
Diagnosed Jan. 22, 2011
feb/11 cd4 547, cd4% 37, vl 527
mar/11 cd4 650, cd4% 37, vl 97
may/11 cd4 698, cd4% 37, vl 303
jul/11 cd4 744, cd4% 39, vl 239
aug/12 cd4 675, cd4% 39, Vl 42
Jun/13 cd4 594, cd4% 38, Vl 1860
Jul/3/13 started Stribild
Aug/13 cd4 758 cd4% 43, vl ??

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #80 on: August 21, 2011, 03:25:23 AM »
Glad to hear you went Since.

This thread isn't closing or anything, and certainly not until we heard your lab numbers.  :)
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 Since2005

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #81 on: August 22, 2011, 04:41:14 AM »
Thanks everyone for your comments! Originally, I thought I would not post anything in here since the main goal was to express my feelings on how I was acting/reacting/ dealing with the changes going from being asymptomatic to symptomatic. I thought to keep the tradition going by starting a thread like “My first lab”. Then I thought, it would actually make more sense to post the medical stat here in this thread to be consistent as my situation is a bit different than usual. So, no I am not hiding yet!  I will post my lab result (which I am yet to get for weeks still).

I have a confession to make, I don’t know what I am still feeling about this whole HIV+ issues. I am telling everyone else in this forum to stay strong. The bottom line is I am myself very weak. Like today, I could not get out of bed to go to gym. I am still drinking, going to bars and partying as if I don’t have to deal with this issue. I guess I don’t know how to accept the HIV and myself may be. I want to be normal, I want to focus, and all my energies are getting drained out of myself. I don’t like to see myself weak, vulnerable (that's what I am feeling talking about this issue). I want to show myself off as a strong man, which I am not at this moment. I have not started my mental health treatment process yet, I would have to wait till ADAP gets approved for about two more months ( I don’t want to go outside of my clinic). What I am worried about myself is that I am being destructive to myself, loosing focus. Question is how do I accept myself with my HIV issues. I wish I had a group of friends that I could talk to (Really do I?). If that’s true, then why didn’t I call the guy that I met the other day who was HIV+ himself, we clicked, he gave me his number but I couldn’t make the call. I guess I am not ready then to accept myself, am I? But, I want to… I want to come with terms with my sexuality and mostly with my HIV status, I want to get a number or make a call if I see a cute guy that I like, why can’t I do that? I want to stop going out drinking/partying just because….I don’t want to lose focus from my life. I want to live a healthy life. How do I live a normal life like I used to? How do I make peace with myself? The answers I have been looking for myself lately....
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 05:30:22 AM by Since2005 »

Offline buginme2

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #82 on: August 22, 2011, 05:13:17 AM »
Since, I know you think I am too harsh sometimes, so I will try and be more understanding.  You have already taken the first step in going to the clinic and getting your bloodwork done.  You should feel good about that.  Feel good about what you HAVE done and the steps you HAVE taken and focus on that and not what you havent done yet.


Stick with it. Keep going to your appointments. Focus on your health.  The other stuff will come.  When I was a kid I belonged to a swimteam in Massachusetts.  We had to get up at 5am and swim outside.  It was freezing.  Our coach used to grab us and throw us in the pool.  When you hit the water it was horrible.  But after a few minutes it got better and pretty soon you stopped noticing it.  Sometimes you just have to do it.

I hope you dont think im being an ass.  I really do just want you to take care of yourself.

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #83 on: August 22, 2011, 05:36:56 AM »
Since, just seems you're having a bad day and letting all your old fears consume you. Happens to all of us sometimes.

Just keep perservering, you'll be fine. You're not alone. Each baby step that you're taking to fight this fight counts/
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 mecch

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #84 on: August 22, 2011, 08:02:27 AM »
My two bits is that you SHOULD be going out and meeting guys, that sounds positive and forward looking.  
Eventually you'll "make the call" and pursue one of these cuties.

You drink because you have anxiety.  Its human.  Just try to keep it reasonable.  

Going to the gym or not has NOTHING to do with accepting your sexuality or your HIV+ status.  Don't worry about that.

I haven't seen anything convincing that you're "symptomatic" by the way.  Stress and anxiety can knock a lot out of you.  You'll have to wait for the medical info to see.

You did good getting labs.

What other projects are in the works for the coming months?  Job? Studies?   Filling up all your time on "becoming gay" or "dealting with HIV" sounds like a bad idea because both items are so stressful for you.  Find another project to add to these two that takes advantage of your strengths.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 08:06:40 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #85 on: August 22, 2011, 08:12:02 AM »
How do I live a normal life like I used to?


You just do. You're still normal. Say it to yourself: "I'm normal. I'm the same person I was before some stupid virus took up residence in my body. I'm normal."

Ring that positive guy who gave you his phone number. He probably needs a friend too. Just DO it!
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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 Since2005

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #86 on: August 24, 2011, 02:31:38 PM »
@Ann -- You are so sweet to say that! I know I could make the call but it's not about that. Its me coming with terms and be okay with all things that I am going through. I am okay with not having a boyfriend at this point of my life. I want to clear things from my baggage first before I pursue any relationships though I could use some FRIENDS in personal life. Before, I was not ready to have people come into my life, but now, I am getting there. After, I joined to this forum, its making more sense and also seeing others, I have started to understand, it is very important. How do I make friends? I thought to go the HIV gathering place in NYC to meet people there but before anything, I need to be ‘OKAY’ with myself. I am very fortunate that I have you guys here!! Hey, Ann, before I forget to tell you this, I wanted to say, “Thanks for your support and your hard work that you put in for us and the great job you have been doing for years”. It might seem like just a thank you note or a simple sentence but I really mean it and I hope you know that and I know you do :)

@space and Meech, - Thanks for your continuous supports, comments and caring, you know that's get me going. Meech, I have been thinking about what you said about the “Filling up all your time on "becoming gay" or "dealting with HIV" sounds like a bad idea because both items are so stressful for you. Find another project to add to these two that takes advantage of your strengths.” I am putting too much of my time doing the both and as you said its not doing me any good, not for right now. Its hard to forget about this ( not meant totally) but I am focusing too much on this and wasting of my energy and really be doing what I need to be doing which is focusing on looking for job, doing great interviews not going out excessively just to feel better. Yes, I know I should go out and have fun but lately I have been doing that just so that I am okay with the 'gay' atmosphere and not deal with my own culture that I from. I am not sure if you are following what I am saying but making some friends will eliminate lots of my current problems and help me to fill up my time to enrich my life so that I would be more stable with myself.

@Buginme2— I wanted to write to you right away but I did not want to deal with this as I was a bit down. Wow!! I was so surprised and you almost made me cry again ( just kidding) but if must know, you made me feel really good. Thank you for your comment. You did understand. So, you don't have a 'stone like heart' after all :). No matter what I said about your comments earlier, I knew all along that you are supportive from your heart. It was a good analogy when you compared mine with your swimming lesson situation as to express ‘things do get better’ after a while. See, it works!!  I know you want me to take care of myself like everyone here and I want the same for others. We are in this together. Thanks so much for sharing and caring!

Thanks guys!! I know my writings could be long sometimes may be its because I don't know when to shut up :)

Edited to add: spelling, grammar etc.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 05:43:04 PM by Since2005 »

Offline mecch

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #87 on: August 24, 2011, 03:31:04 PM »
Its not a waste of energy to come out and get comfortable as a gay guy, and certainly not a waste of energy to deal with your HIV infection.
Consider this observation and kinda advice:  the goal is that you go through this and it become routine and normal and then voila, eventually there's not much energy required.

Seems like a great idea that you are going out a lot.  Partying and getting comfortable with gays seems to trouble you morally but there will come a point where there's a snap and it just becomes fun and even thrilling to have fun and be who you are.  
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Since2005

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #88 on: August 24, 2011, 04:54:31 PM »
Meech.. you did not get what I said. I have been partying and going to gay clubs (I mean a lot.. A LOTTTTT more than usual..) and I don't think its morally wrong. Please reread then you will understand. I have been partying and going out crazy so that I feel better and feel free. However, it's taking a toll on me. I am going out too much that it's interfering my life as to look for job or just do regular stuff, etc. In no ways, I feel I am wrong going out to bars/clubs ( not since I was 22/23.. ). So, that's not what I am saying here. It is hard to express here as I say one thing and its taken into a different meaning.

Fact - I am going out too much so that I feel good about myself. Going out and meeting other gay/HIV people and I don't think its wrong ( Not sure how you got that I idea. well may be I do... but there are lots of  different types of closeted types and I am almost at the edge of coming out with that issue ( except to my family)..I came out of that 'feeling wrong being gay' phase long time ago.. as far as with HIV issues goes, I am new to this in a way since I have started the medical process recently and trying to come up with terms again from a different angle since my first time diagnosis in 2005..yaa long time .. I know..). I have to admit that I am a bit irritated since I had to explain it again ( sorry.. I didn't mean to be mean..)

Problem - I am going out and partying too much and its interfering my life. I am not saying I have a borderline problem but I am certainly not following 'the moderation concepts'.

Solution - 1) Going to Therapy 2) Meet people that I could be open with my sexuality and HIV  status so I don't have to seek ‘freeness’ just at the bar and by making some close friends that I could be open with, I will get a support system working for me.

These will/may solve my problem (I am a bit down lately) that I am going through as it will be easier and healthy and its not wise just go out so that I could feel good/free about myself. I understand what are you saying to go out and have fun but so far this has been THE ONLY WAY I am coping up with my issues. Hope this time it was clear :)

P.S. I cant say enough when I say 'thank you' to you (Meech.. making up with you...lol..) and others who have been helping me to get through this tough time. I hope, I never stop saying 'Thank you'!!
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 05:39:21 PM by Since2005 »

Offline Since2005

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #89 on: September 01, 2011, 01:02:41 AM »
Finally, I went to my first ID Specialist/Doc visit and got my first med stat since the diagnosis (December,2005). Hey you all know the story! Now, here it comes……..My first long awaited med stat!

CD4: 564
VL: 2953
CD4%: 25%

Refresher/background on HIV diagnosis:
I was infected with HIV in January/February of 2005. I am very accurate about my infection timing as I tested negative for HIV (it was too early to build  the antibody) in Jan/Feb of 2005 during my seroconversion (I knew that later). I was diagnosed in Dec 2005 (WB testing was done and it was confirmed by the clinic). So, that said, I have been infected with HIV for little over six and half years as of now.

Here is the scoop. My doc wanted me to start meds right away. I was shocked. For two reasons, first, this is my first med stat and second, I believe my stat is good since I have a very low viral count and CD4 is above 500 (though not too sure about the CD4 percentage). I told him that I would want to see at least 4 med stats (unless I see any downtrends) before I decide on taking medications. I will not give in, no way no how. In Europe, guidelines to start meds are under 350 for CD4 counts unless one has an astronomical viral load (and other reasons, etc). The point is by following that guidelines, people there, are doing well with their HIV status. I was not really happy when he told me about starting meds. I told him “ You and I are gonna have to have a long talk about this” (of course with a smile on my face). My motto is “Keep monitoring your health regularly and wait to see the trend in your med stats before you decide on the medications". There is no reason to unnecessarily add something to your body when its not really needed! (Oops, I hope, I am not starting the debate again :)). This is my personal decision. I, of course, have to go on meds at some point like others but I will wait as long as I can before I start meds. I will keep monitoring my health and thinking to go every three months to get med stat. Hopefully, my med stat will be consistent or better somewhat or at least not too downward. Regardless, I want to see at least 3 or 4 med stats before I make a decision on starting meds. I sure hope to be able to afford that meaning med stats don't go too bad within a year.

Well, to be honest, I thought that my CD4 count would be somewhere between 350 to 500 especially after noticing the "symptomatic signs" or it (though chances were less) could have been AIDS defining (CD4 under 200). I am glad it's neither and doc thinks the "symptomatic signs" could very well be stress induced or it could be due to having a compromised immune system. In anyways, I am not worried about that anymore. Before the 'symptomatic signs’, I never got sick since the HIV diagnosis except few times got fever here and there and that’s about it. So, after all these time since the infection, I am glad I am not too sick and I am very happy with my numbers. However, I or any HIV+ person who is not on meds, can never be too happy with the present numbers too much since numbers could change any time of the day as we all know HIV still is a very unknown virus and you never know what effects the virus could bring upon your body! At least, this stat gave me the incentive to take care of myself and I feel very lucky.

I wanted to say thanks to all forum members who have been extremely supportive to my journey dealing with my HIV issues and I know I have you all for a very long time!



*Edited to clear thoughts, spelling etc.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 08:48:14 AM by Since2005 »

Offline buginme2

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #90 on: September 01, 2011, 01:08:50 AM »
Let me be the first to say congratulations on getting your test results and meeting with your doctor.  I hope the anticipation was worse than the actual visit and you are encouraged to continue on this path of regular monitoring of your positive status. 

I raise my wine glass to you for doing this!

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #91 on: September 01, 2011, 01:18:36 AM »
First of all congrats on the numbers.  Still, I can't get over the fact that you waited six years after your initial diagnosis to even bother with lab work.  Others have stated this in nice ways --and others have not sugar-coated it.  You need to become more responsible about this issue (regardless of your fears, depression, cultural background, or whatever it was that prevented you from doing what every responsible and sensible person living with HIV needs to do).

Again, your numbers are fine enough.  Count yourself as fortunate and just keep an eye on these values (and their trends) going forward.  

Oh, and this:

I told him that I would want to see at least 4 med stats ( unless I see a downtrends) before I decide on taking medications. I will not given in, no way no how.

My motto is “Keep monitoring your health and wait to see the trend in your med stat before you decide on the medications".


Make sure that by "monitoring your health" you mean going every three months.  Your next visit should not be in July or August of 2017.

Best,

Moon.
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline leatherman

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #92 on: September 01, 2011, 02:04:55 AM »
congrats on finally getting some lab work done so you can knowledgeably take care of your health.
and congrats on some decent numbers.  ;D

I will wait as long as I can before I start meds.
that's so silly.  ::)

you still talk like the meds are your enemy, when the real enemy is the unchecked HIV slowly by surely destroying your immune system. Just like I say about Google, Meds are your friend.  ;) With numbers like yours right now, I agree that you don't need to start meds yet; but you really need to start getting into the mindset that one day you'll be happily taking those life-saving, life-extending medications that will keep you happy and healthy....

...because that day will be coming, as it does for everyone but those few LTNP. ;)

best wishes and here's hoping your next few sets of numbers in this year and this upcoming year will stay good for some time. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #93 on: September 01, 2011, 03:26:11 AM »
Hey Since,

Many congrats on going to the doctor and your decent lab numbers  :).

My position is quite similar to yours. I was also infected around 2005/06, diagnosed in January this year and not yet on meds (lab numbers in signature line). However, my doctor was not in favour of starting treatment right away. From reading all the posts here, I get the impression that doctors in the US are big “Hit Hard, Hit Early” advocates. The doctors in Asia and Europe prefer to adopt a “Wait and See” approach. I guess there are pros and cons to both views.

I can understand and relate to your ambivalence regarding when to commence therapy. Mental preparation and level of acceptance of this new reality is essential before you make a lifetime commitment to drugs and that cannot be understated, especially when one has the option of waiting- as you and I do at this point. It goes without saying, that had my CD4 been around 350 region I would have started therapy without batting an eyelid.

I still have bouts of getting emotional about my diagnosis and am quite capable of discontinuing the drugs mid-way in a fit of rage or frustration (or so I think any way). Going by your posts, my feeling is that you haven’t yet completely accepted and come to terms with “living with this virus” - at least not yet, and in such a situation it isn’t wise to take the plunge so quickly. Besides, I really don’t think waiting for a couple of labs 3-4 months apart will hurt you in any way.

What’s critical is that you get your blood work done every 3-4 months and keep monitoring your CD4 and VL and start medication when the time arrives, taking into account your doctor’s expertise, the treatment guidelines and of course your readiness.

Good Luck.
 
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 03:28:35 AM by spacebarsux »
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 mecch

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #94 on: September 01, 2011, 06:24:36 AM »
I can understand and relate to your ambivalence regarding when to commence therapy. Mental preparation and level of acceptance of this new reality is essential before you make a lifetime commitment to drugs and that cannot be understated, especially when one has the option of waiting- as you and I do at this point. It goes without saying, that had my CD4 been around 350 region I would have started therapy without batting an eyelid.

I still have bouts of getting emotional about my diagnosis and am quite capable of discontinuing the drugs mid-way in a fit of rage or frustration (or so I think any way). Going by your posts, my feeling is that you haven’t yet completely accepted and come to terms with “living with this virus” - at least not yet, and in such a situation it isn’t wise to take the plunge so quickly. Besides, I really don’t think waiting for a couple of labs 3-4 months apart will hurt you in any way.

What’s critical is that you get your blood work done every 3-4 months and keep monitoring your CD4 and VL and start medication when the time arrives, taking into account your doctor’s expertise, the treatment guidelines and of course your readiness.

This strikes me as a misread of the thread and since's situation,  some faulty logic, and a fair amount of bad advice mixed in with one or two "true" observation such as one needs to stick to HAART once one starts.  But even that is rather dumb way of looking at it.  

Hypothetically.  If I were a person who values medical advice and medical treatment, I would start HAART when a trusted doctor recommended.  Even if I was not ready for the "commitment of HAART" whatever that means.  (Reality, I am that person and did that and had my little fears of HAART mixed in with great hope for HAART and it all worked out just FINE!)

Look at it this way.  The recommendation to start HAART is to protect health.  Also, half the time, health noticeably improves because of the HAART.  Surely the mind appreciates HAART a bit more the longer one is on it, these days.  This "growing appreciation" while taking it, by hesitant types, I would say is much more the norm, these days.  More common experience than some feared "emotional breakdown" that "I will simply have to quit the HAART out of frustration for being HIV+ or living with HIV."  "Then I will be even worse off than if I never started."  

I think it is quite rare.    And even then, if I were on HAART for a year or two, and then for some psychological reason decided I had to stop, the advantages of that time on HAART are still there in my body!!!!  

I don't get this logic at all, finally.  This fear - "I am not going to be able to psychologically deal with staying on HAART."  

But, if that's someone's reality, OK.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 06:26:59 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #95 on: September 01, 2011, 06:41:28 AM »
Since - congrats for getting more info about the reality of your current situation.  And for steps for dealing with your future!!  Just keep on trucking and also trusting in the experts to give you good advice and treatment when needed!
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #96 on: September 01, 2011, 06:41:47 AM »
Mecch my advice or thoughts rest on this:-

-Since can afford to wait a couple of lab tests before starting HAART. His CD4 is above 500.

-The treatment guidelines are on his side and there is no pressing reason to start right away based on a single (and his first ever) lab test. And as everyone keeps saying that it’s the trend that counts.

-From my reading of all his posts (especially the most recent one) he is not mentally prepared to start right now and that is his choice and is not in my opinion an illogical or dumb choice at all given his current lab results.

-As for the “not going to be able to psychologically deal with being on HAART” is not exactly what I meant. What I meant is that one must be mentally prepared to a lifetime of adherence, and that requires a level of acceptance of the diagnosis.

Given that Since went 6 whole years without even following up on his diagnosis, jumping on the meds bandwagon based on a single test when he himself states that he is not ready is what I would call dumb and hasty.

A person’s readiness level to start HAART cannot be understated.

I stand by what I said.


« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 07:09:53 AM by spacebarsux »
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 mecch

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #97 on: September 01, 2011, 06:59:33 AM »
What I meant is that one must be mentally prepared to a lifetime of adherence, and that requires a level of acceptance of the diagnosis.

Precisely here I disagree. This "mental preparedness" is hardly an obligatory prerequisite to starting HAART.   Many people start without this and find, in addition to the main little benefit of it wiping out an active HIV infection and rebuilding healthy immunity, psychological benefits as well.  Win win. 

A subject for its own thread, perhaps.

a hesitant type supposing himself/herself not "mentally ready" could be just more avoidance, delusion, self-destruction, whatever.  could be.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #98 on: September 01, 2011, 07:07:47 AM »
Precisely here I disagree. This "mental preparedness" is hardly an obligatory prerequisite to starting HAART.   

Well I guess we just have to agree to disagree on this- in the context of Since's predicament.
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 bocker3

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Re: Asymptomatic to Symptomatic
« Reply #99 on: September 01, 2011, 07:30:53 AM »
Precisely here I disagree. This "mental preparedness" is hardly an obligatory prerequisite to starting HAART.   Many people start without this and find, in addition to the main little benefit of it wiping out an active HIV infection and rebuilding healthy immunity, psychological benefits as well.  Win win. 

A subject for its own thread, perhaps.

a hesitant type supposing himself/herself not "mentally ready" could be just more avoidance, delusion, self-destruction, whatever.  could be.

Well this is crazy -- of course one must be "mentally prepared" to take HAART.  Otherwise you get bad adherence and potentially end up with resistance issues. 

did you stop and think at all before you started to pontificate?

Since -- it is critical that you are ready to commit to taking meds before starting.  I don't see any pressing reason to start off this one set of results (and I am an advocate of starting early).  You might want to ask your doc exactly why he wants you to start prior to actually seeing a trend -- not to mention getting a resistance test done.

Congratulations on moving forward with your health care and on your decent results

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

 


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