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Author Topic: HELP! Advise Needed  (Read 2691 times)

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Offline lostboy

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
HELP! Advise Needed
« on: August 25, 2006, 06:17:02 AM »
Hello All,

I have been "lurking" on the board since I tested positive four weeks ago.   I have really appreciated reading the experiences of this community through this forum, it has given me strength in this difficult time.

I thought I was quite recently infected, but I cannot be sure.  I am in shock after the results of my first blood work came back today.  My CD4+ is only 67 and my VL 87,200.  My doctor "strongly" recommends starting antiretroviral therapy as soon as possible.  I have heard that there are fluctuations in one's blood counts first year of infection, but 67 seems a little too low.  I had hoped not to go on medication so soon after my diagnosis.  Then again I might have had the infection for several years, since I hadn't  had a test unil recently. Right now I am asymptomatic and was feeling in really good shape. I am a runner and just in the last few weeks I have been achieving some of my best distances and times on the track.  Should I get a second set of blood work done to confirm my numbers? or do as the doctor suggests and start meds ASAP?

To further complicate my situation.  I live in a poor Asian country without decent treatment facilities.  I tested positive and did my blood work in Singapore.  But since I tested positive there, my doctor tells me that there is a chance that I will now be banned from entering the country (the doctor has to send the result to the government by law).  He says my other option is to try treatment in Australia.  This however would be a much more expensive flight if I am to be making this a regular trip.  So should I try to go to Singapore again and risk being blocked at immigration or try Australia? 

I am married with two beautiful young children ages (2 & 6).  My wife and kids have all tested negative.  I want to stay around to watch my kids grow up.  I need to fight this as long as I can. 
"There is no gene for the human spirit"

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Posts: 12,228
  • Ninja Please
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2006, 06:27:54 AM »
Lost,

Welcome to the Forums!

With a CD4 count of 67 I would think medications need to be considered sooner rather than later. I would recommend you have second set of labs done soon, not because I doubt the veracity of the first but because monitoring HIV is about trends over time.

That said, with a CD4 count under 100, time is of the essence. I appreciate that you're in a developing country, but some prophylactic medication (if you can get it) would be in order too. Bactrim at the very least. Maybe some of our members from Asia might have a better idea as to what services you can access.

Fondly

MtD

Offline IzPoz

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  • Posts: 332
  • God, grant me the serenity...
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2006, 06:32:13 AM »
First, let me tell you that I am sorry about your dianosis.  It's never an easy piece of news to try and digest.

Getting a second opinion, or second set of labs, probably wouldn't hurt, but I don't know how expensive it would be for you to do that.  Do you have any insurance that could help subsidise the cost?

Unfortunately, being in the US, I don't understand the Asian country laws.  I really wish I could offer you more information on that.

Just try not to let all this get you down.  It's going to be difficult at first, but you will do well.

Be well, and certainly good luck.
The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly. ~ Chesterton G. K.

Offline joemutt

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  • Posts: 1,042
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2006, 07:05:39 AM »
If you're in Thailand (which I feel is unlikely) PM me, adequate help and meds are available here, I've been on meds here for 9 years.Otherwise consider flying to BKK. Be Well. JoeM.

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Ninja Please
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2006, 07:56:09 AM »
Lost,

I just had a thought. If you're in a developing nation in SE Asia, there are often international aid programmes for people with HIV. Many are funded through the Australian government. I'm in Australia and can help you find out if such a programme exists in your nation/region.

If you want feel free to PM me.

Regards,

MtD

Offline lostboy

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2006, 12:17:12 AM »
Matty,

It's good to see another linux user on the board.  Thanks for your encouragement and advice.

I am a Canadian ex-pat and I do have insurance through my company.

After sleeping on the problem I am now leaning towards treatment in Australia. I don't think I could handle being turned away at Singapore immigration in my fragile state.  Can anyone recommend doctors in Perth? I am planning on going next weekend. 

I suppose I should take meds, but even with a count of 67 I am hesitant as I am still asymptomatic.  I am probably being way too naive.

Thanks again,

Lost
"There is no gene for the human spirit"

Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2006, 12:36:29 AM »
Hello Lost, I am sorry to hear that you tested positive. With your CD4 count as low as it is, you do want to start on anti-viral meds as soon as possible to suppress the virus.

If your government law states that your diagnosis has to be reported, then plan on going to Australia. Remember, your health is the most important thing. PM Matty for the information in Australia.

In the interim, eat a healthy diet, get some exercise, drink plenty of fluids, and get plenty of rest.

Aside from that, WELCOME to the forums where you will find love, understanding, encouragement, support, and many answers to your questions relating to HIV/AIDS. As you see, we are a great group of people and there is a lot of information here for you.

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Posts: 12,228
  • Ninja Please
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2006, 02:13:39 AM »
Matty,

It's good to see another linux user on the board.  Thanks for your encouragement and advice.

I am a Canadian ex-pat and I do have insurance through my company.

After sleeping on the problem I am now leaning towards treatment in Australia. I don't think I could handle being turned away at Singapore immigration in my fragile state.  Can anyone recommend doctors in Perth? I am planning on going next weekend.

I suppose I should take meds, but even with a count of 67 I am hesitant as I am still asymptomatic.  I am probably being way too naive.

Thanks again,

Lost


Well since you're a fellow penguin, I can't resist helping you out. ;) Which distro do you use, by the way? I'm a Fedora Core 5 geek. ;D

Ok, as you're a Canadian ex-pat you may be eligible for coverage under Medicare (the Australian Universal Health System) by virtue of reciprocal arrangement. Given that you're talking about Perth, I'm gonna go out on a limb and presume you're in Indonesia.

I'd recommend you get in contact with your Embassy/High Commission and see what they can do. If you want you can PM me with some details and we can see what we can do from this end.

Keep smilin'

MtD


Offline frenchpat

  • Member
  • Posts: 516
  • Love your friends, don't eat them.
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2006, 02:25:48 AM »
Bonjour Lostboy,

welcome to this big family!

I am sorry that you had to join us but very happy that you did so soon after your diagnosis. The advice and support you will get here will help you in making the right decisions and avoid wasting time.
So here you are, and the good news is that  you're not alone in this.

a big (((((((((((((((((((HUG)))))))))))))))))) to you

Pat
People have the power - Patti Smith

Offline lostboy

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2006, 05:38:45 AM »

IsPoz, Eldon & frenchpat,

Thanks for your kind words.  It is really nice to have some sympathy as I don't know any +ve folks out here.  I'm been quite moved and I'm going to use my first emoticon:  :-*

Lost
"There is no gene for the human spirit"

Offline bobik

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  • Posts: 315
    • My worksite
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2006, 06:44:48 AM »
Dear Lostboy,

My advice on treatment is not to wait. A cd4 count of 67 is really low, and if you really get opportunistic infections the way back to recovery is much longer. Waiting with treatment is like knowing that the groundfloor of a flat is on fire and waiting to call the fire depertment because your appartment on the 13th floor is still not on fire.....

I hope everything works out fine for you, I am glad your family is neg and I wish you lots of strength.

Coen
Coen Honig at Facebook

Offline philo

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2006, 12:41:56 PM »
If you're in Thailand (which I feel is unlikely) PM me, adequate help and meds are available here, I've been on meds here for 9 years.Otherwise consider flying to BKK. Be Well. JoeM.

I also have recently tested poz and need advice on how to get cheap meds in Thailand.  I have known for nine months now but have yet to talk to anyone who is in a similar situation as me.

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,350
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2006, 06:47:34 PM »
*
« Last Edit: October 31, 2006, 09:54:21 PM by emeraldize »

Offline lostboy

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2006, 09:32:40 PM »
G'day,

Thought I'd add a quick update.  I did get a second set of test run.  This time CD4 was 51 and VL > 100,000.   SO definately (past) time for meds.  Doc started me on abacavir, ritonavir, atazanavir, epivir.  I started taking them 10 days ago and so far no side effects. 

Thnaks again for the support.

Lost
"There is no gene for the human spirit"

Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: HELP! Advise Needed
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2006, 10:47:39 PM »
Hello Lost, it is Eldon.

It is good news to hear that your Doctor has started you on anti-viral therapy. Please DO take your meds as your Doctor has prescribed them to you. It is important as you are on your way to suppressing the virus in your system.

Also, add a multi-vitamin to your diet, change your eating habits, drink plenty of fluids, add an exercise routine, and most importantly, get your proper amount of rest. The body requires it. it was good hearing from you today and I wish you the BEST in your rebound efforts.


Have the BEST Day!

 


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