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Author Topic: Applied for the defense force, discovered HIV...  (Read 3620 times)

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Offline Moreth

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Applied for the defense force, discovered HIV...
« on: September 19, 2011, 12:50:26 PM »
Hey guys...

So my story starts with my application to join the Navy. I'm a 22 year old gay man and I've been in the recruitment process for the last 9 months, various tests, interviews, psych exams and everything... I was finally approved for entry, and I was booked in to begin training in January. All I had to do was provide them with a blood sample to test for HIV, HEP B and HEP C.

I got called into the recruitment office today to discuss my results.

I tested Positive for HIV.

I find it strange that I'm not all that concerned about the diagnosis itself... The doctor told me not to worry before I have it confirmed with a sexual health clinic (The doctor told me the tests that they did aren't always 100% conclusive, and can give false positives.... But, my mother works in medicine, and told me the tests they did are pretty conclusive.... But I suppose I'll find out at my sexual health clinic tomorrow...)

So I can't join the defense force anymore... 9 months of hard work towards a future I really wanted, down the drain. I have to find a new goal now.

If someone can interpret these results for me into plain english, that would be lovely....

The results sheet says this:


Serology: HIV Antigen & Antibody- POSITIVE
Result from Abbot Architect HIV Ag/Ab Combo assay (repeated to confirm): HIV p24 Antigen (pg/mL)- NEGATIVE
Result from BioRad Genscreen HIV-1 Antigen assay: Serodia HIV-1 Antibody- POSITIVE.
gp160 Antibody- +++
gp120 Antibody- +++
p65 Antibody- +++
p55 Antibody- ++
p51 Antibody- +++
gp41-43 Antibody- +++
p32 Antibody- +++
p24 Antibody- +++
p18 Antibody- +
gp36 Antibody-  -
Western Blot Interpretaton- POSITIVE

So I'm pretty sure all those pretty plus signs don't mean anything wonderful.

I told my mother. She was angry at me. She was concentrating on the fact that HIV is preventable, and this is all my fault. Because I'm not beating myself up thinking the exact same thing.

Is it normal to not be able to pinpoint the moment you may have been infected? I don't use intravenous drugs, never have. Every sexual encounter I've had has been safe, to my knowledge, no breakages or whatnot. I also tested negative 12 months ago, and I'm not all that sexually active, so I could count my partners on one hand.

I also may have jumped the gun, and contacted my recent sexual partners. I figured, better safe than sorry.. Again, I've been met with a lot of hostility....


What I can say is thank god for my friends. The first thing my two closest girlfriends did was pick me up from home with a giant pizza, cookie dough and a monopoly board. They've all been amazing and supportive (and in most cases, a lot more concerned with the diagnosis than I was...)


I really don't know what I'm expecting, posting this here... I guess I just wanted to get it all out. But if anyone has some words of wisdom, or anything they can shed some light on for me, that would be wonderful...

<3
Thanks
Diagnosed: 09/19/2011

Offline spacebarsux

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
  • Survival of the Fittest
Re: Applied for the defense force, discovered HIV...
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2011, 01:12:37 PM »
Hi Moreth,

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. If I'm reading your test results correctly, it means that you have tested positive on the Western Blot test, which means you're indeed HIV +. You may want to go to a Sexual Health Clinic and get retested though, just in case.

When one tests positive a host of emotions are bound to occur, as is only natural. You're probably thinking 'why me?', 'how me ?', 'what's going to happen' etc. In the beginning things can seem a bit overwhelming, but in time things will start to settle in your mind and you'll see that you're really the same person and now just have this infection to manage. The good news is that while testing positive is not a cakewalk it is not the end of the world either- with modern medication you can expect to have a long, healthy and productive life.  :)

For now, I suggest you go to the doctor, get your test confirmed and also check your CD4 and viral load counts. It is impossible to determine precisely when you were infected. You can make a guess on your last 'negative' test result and your sexual activity in the meantime.

Also, this is just my personal opinion but if I were you, I would refrain from hastily disclosing my status to people that I can't trust (and don't know too well) until I am totally comfortable with it and prepared for whatever consequences may ensue. Thing is, once you disclose, you can't take it back.

It's great you have supportive friends- that's really great and it's going to help you a lot.

You can always come here to ask questions, vent and just hang around- I know it helped me immensely since I was diagnosed in January 2011.

Welcome to the Forums.

Hugs.


« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 01:21:59 PM 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 WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,196
  • Fall is in the air!
Re: Applied for the defense force, discovered HIV...
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2011, 07:45:43 PM »
Wow you really took the bull by the horns there Moreth! Told your mother, told your friends, told your sex partners  :)

Sounds like you have a good grasp on things. I am sorry about your letdown over the Navy. It's tough when we put so much into something like that and it's pulled out from under us. But I am sure you will find something else that will fulfill you.

I really dont have any info to add about your test, just wanted to say hello and welcome you to the Forums.

Welcome aboard

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,910
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Applied for the defense force, discovered HIV...
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2011, 08:45:07 PM »
Let's assume you got it through sexual transmission.  So there was some risky act. Most people can identify their risky acts that may have led to seroconversion.  A very small minority cannot.  So in fact you may never find out.  Unless one of those partners eventually gets over the hostility and tells you he is hiv+ too (though in fact, its possible the person who transmitted does not himself know.)  So, you just have to table that issue pending future revelations.

It sounds good that you are relatively "cool" emotionally about the news.  Its right that its a kind of confusing message to digest these days.  On the one hand, its a very serious disease so a very shocking diagnosis, perhaps even more shocking because for you it was unexpected.  On the other hand, with continued medical care, the prognosis for a long life with a "manageable disease" is very much the truth as well.

As you learn more about HIV there will be time to have periods of anxiety but its just as well you are not falling apart now.  The disappointment about the military career is enough of a blow already!

What did you imagine doing in the military for a speciality.  Maybe you can start planning to still pursue that, but as a civilian.  Or maybe you will come up with an entirely new, exciting and motivating goal.  You're young and have your whole life ahead of you, as they say!
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline vaguesbleues

  • Member
  • Posts: 93
Re: Applied for the defense force, discovered HIV...
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2011, 09:48:51 PM »
I'm really sorry to hear about your diagnosis.  I found out this past April when I volunteered to take part in an HIV vaccine study, and I had a similar experience to yours.  I'm not very sexually active, always use condoms, and cannot pinpoint for sure how I got it.  In many ways, I'm glad I don't know how I got it, because then I'd have someone that I could direct all the anger and overwhelming emotion I felt in the first few months.  In many ways, I played by the rules (well...except the whole being gay thing according to my family  ;) ) and still got burned.  And I'd agree as well, there is no rush in telling everyone in your life.  I have told only a select few of my close friends who I knew I'd need to rely on for support.  I have not, and never plan to tell, any of my family.  I figure that my status is on a "need to know" basis.  Otherwise, it's honestly none of their business. 

In the short term, be sure to take care of yourself.  The biggest struggle early on is stressing out.  If there are support groups in your area, go to one if you think it would help.  For me, the biggest obstacle to getting over it was realizing that there are still a lot of guys our age becoming infected, and finding a few to befriend helped out a ton as I had so many questions.  If you can, find a Dr. who specializes in HIV treatment, and be sure you feel comfortable with him or her.  Do not be afraid to fire a doctor if they're not working with you.

And know that not too far in the distant future, you won't always have HIV at the front of your mind.  It's a process, and you're not alone and there are many who've gone through this before you.  Take care of yourself.

Cheers!
03/10/2011 - Tested HIV negative
04/26/2011 - Inconclusive WB result
05/19/2011 - Confirmed HIV positive
                    VL < 50, T-Cell 747 (30%)
06/13/2011 - VL 345, T-Cell 841 (30%)
08/23/2011 - VL 50,100, T-Cell 1155 (19%) - CMV
09/18/2011 - Started Atripla!!
11/07/2011 - VL 489, T-Cell 881 (31%)
02/08/2012 - VL Undetectable!!, T-Cell 772 (34%)
08/08/2012 - VL UD, T-Cell 1070 (42%)
11/05/2012 - VL UD, T-Cell 1174 (35%)
03/18/2013 - VL UD, T-Cell 972 (28%)
10/04/2013 - VL UD, T-Cell 1025 (34%)

Offline denb45

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,051
  • "1987 Classic Old School POZ+"
Re: Applied for the defense force, discovered HIV...
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 09:57:50 PM »
Your Young, and you have your whole life ahead of you still.............besides the NAVY is over rated anyway, I did 8 yrs. but you can always do something else in the private sector, it pays way better than the Military, and what  I recall from being in it was way to political & controversial for me, back then you couldn't be out  :)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline Moreth

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: Applied for the defense force, discovered HIV...
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2011, 03:21:49 AM »
Thanks very much for all the support guys :)
I'll admit I got a little emotional today, reading your responses. Not in a negative way! It's just great to know I have the support there, and you guys know so much more about all of this than I do!

Had my appointment with an HIV specialist (she's the best in Australia, so I feel like I'm in really good hands!)

I spent 2 hours today at the sexual health clinic. What I feared would be an entirely awkward and robotic experience turned out to be one of the most personable, open, even fun interactions I've ever had with medical staff.

So the vampires sucked me dry today! (they had to use both my arms they were taking so much!), testing for anything and everything. I have another appointment in 2 weeks to discuss all the results, and get my Hep B immunization (since I haven't been immunized yet! Though I tested negative for it, so that was a relief).
The medical staff here are absolutely amazing. I feel so comfortable and safe with them.

I think now that I know I'm going to be okay, and I have a great basis for a support network, I had a bit of an overwhelming sense of relief. My first little breakdown, yay hehe. And it's all your fault! (in a good way!)

I'll keep you guys posted, and I look forward to chatting to you all :)

So glad I found this forum... You're all amazing.

<3
Diagnosed: 09/19/2011

Offline paradiseboy

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Applied for the defense force, discovered HIV...
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 01:13:59 PM »
dear Moreth,
 looks like you have found a good foundation in health care,it really helps when the medical team are so kind it made my exceptence of my new reality more bearable,keep us posted about your lab results,

a very big hug to you my friend...

Offline vaguesbleues

  • Member
  • Posts: 93
Re: Applied for the defense force, discovered HIV...
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2011, 02:04:57 PM »
Ahh yes!  I remember my first blood draw seemed to take forever as well.  Was over 15 vials if I remember right.  But once you get those results back, most of your checkups will only be a few (mine the last few times have just been 3).  I definitely appreciate fewer vials as just one makes me get a bit sick to my stomach.  But then again, I don't handle needles very well.   :-\
03/10/2011 - Tested HIV negative
04/26/2011 - Inconclusive WB result
05/19/2011 - Confirmed HIV positive
                    VL < 50, T-Cell 747 (30%)
06/13/2011 - VL 345, T-Cell 841 (30%)
08/23/2011 - VL 50,100, T-Cell 1155 (19%) - CMV
09/18/2011 - Started Atripla!!
11/07/2011 - VL 489, T-Cell 881 (31%)
02/08/2012 - VL Undetectable!!, T-Cell 772 (34%)
08/08/2012 - VL UD, T-Cell 1070 (42%)
11/05/2012 - VL UD, T-Cell 1174 (35%)
03/18/2013 - VL UD, T-Cell 972 (28%)
10/04/2013 - VL UD, T-Cell 1025 (34%)

Offline spacebarsux

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
  • Survival of the Fittest
Re: Applied for the defense force, discovered HIV...
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2011, 03:20:57 PM »
You've got a great positive outlook mate. It's more than half the battle won. Hugs.  :)
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 Moreth

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: Applied for the defense force, discovered HIV...
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2011, 06:50:20 AM »
Thanks Paradiseboy :) I've been sent to get a chest x-ray, and TB testing which I'll do tomorrow... It'll be almost 2 weeks till I find out any more I'm afraid! :(

Poor vaguesbleues! Yeah I felt kinda woozy afterwards, the nurse was making fun of me and everything. Hehe :)
Diagnosed: 09/19/2011

 


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