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Author Topic: My First Post  (Read 496 times)

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Offline arlvarunner

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
My First Post
« on: March 06, 2012, 08:57:07 AM »
Hi, everyone. I'm new to the boards, and this is my first post. I just wanted to introduce myself, and tell a little bit about my experience in hopes that maybe someone can identify, or might have some advice for me for the future.

I was diagnosed with HIV in May 2007 when I was serving in the military. After my diagnosis, I was full steam ahead for going on meds. I wanted to hit the disease hard and fast before it had a chance to wreak havoc on my immune system. My doctors had a different point of view. I had biannual checkups, and was never put on medication. My CD4 count and viral loads were pretty stable between 450 and 500 and 14000-16000 respectively for those first three years. This was at the time that doctors didn't believe putting a patient with these levels on medication was necessary. This was also the time that the meds available were not as "streamlined" and side effect free as they are now. When I left the military in May of 2010, I lost my insurance, and I didn't see a doctor again until last week, Monday, February 27, 2012. I just spoke with her last night, and it appears that I've taken a bit of a downturn. My CD4 count is at 288 and my viral load is 55,000. I'm asymptomatic, and I have only been sick with a cold once since seroconverting in February 2007 (hindsight is always the best foresight, I know now when it was). My doctor is suggesting I start Complera since my strain is resistant to Efavirenz.

As I said, I was ready to go on meds at the beginning, but after having HIV live with me for five years, and seeing no noticeable effect on my overall health, I think I had gotten used to it, and stopped thinking about it. After having my labs drawn last week, I started to think about it again, and to worry how having to start meds now would effect my life. I've worked through my apprehension, both by talking to my mom (who takes blood pressure medication everyday) and to my partner (who is HIV- and healthy as an ox). I also read through some of the posts on this board and they have alleviated most of my fears and concerns as well.

Other than general support, and just wanting to formally introduce myself, I guess I'm just curious to know if anyone has experience with Complera and if you can tell me what I should expect after beginning treatment.

If you've gotten this far in my blathering, thanks for reading and I hope to hear from all of you. It would be great to have some support in this anxious time for me.

AVR
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." - Winston Churchill

Offline wolfter

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,368
Re: My First Post
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2012, 09:21:47 AM »
Welcome to the forums.  I can't address this particular drug, but I'm sure you'll hear from some of the others who take it.

It's awesome you have a support structure but I also know the benefits of support from those who have the same struggles.  I too have my family and friends whom I can discuss my HIV issues with, but I prefer the group of people here who have first hand knowledge and experience.  I prefer to use my family and friends for all the other BS things that happen in life. ;D

Again, welcome and take care.

Wolfie
productivity breeds content

Offline arlvarunner

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: My First Post
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2012, 09:46:44 AM »
Welcome to the forums.  I can't address this particular drug, but I'm sure you'll hear from some of the others who take it.

It's awesome you have a support structure but I also know the benefits of support from those who have the same struggles.  I too have my family and friends whom I can discuss my HIV issues with, but I prefer the group of people here who have first hand knowledge and experience.  I prefer to use my family and friends for all the other BS things that happen in life. ;D

Again, welcome and take care.

Wolfie

Thanks for the welcome. I'm glad to have found this forum. I'm hoping to find a support group in my area, but it may be hard for me to make it a regular thing because of my hectic daily schedule. I was hoping that in the mean time, the boards would fill the "first hand knowledge" void. I look forward to hearing more from everyone, and thanks again for the welcome.  :)
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." - Winston Churchill

Offline Ann

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  • Member
  • Posts: 28,136
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: My First Post
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2012, 10:09:13 AM »
Hi AVR, welcome to the forums.

Have you had a look through the Treatments forum? There are plenty of Complera threads and you could also start your own.

I've been poz for fifteen years and I'm still not on meds - but hope to be on them sometime soon. I also had stable numbers for years and years, but I'm slowly dropping and feel I should start. There's a detailed explanation of my situation in this thread if you're interested. I've been meaning to go back to that thread with what transpired at my last appointment (Feb 21) but I procrastinate. ;D

Again, welcome!

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline arlvarunner

  • Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: My First Post
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2012, 10:56:31 AM »
Hi AVR, welcome to the forums.

Have you had a look through the Treatments forum? There are plenty of Complera threads and you could also start your own.

I've been poz for fifteen years and I'm still not on meds - but hope to be on them sometime soon. I also had stable numbers for years and years, but I'm slowly dropping and feel I should start. There's a detailed explanation of my situation in this thread if you're interested. I've been meaning to go back to that thread with what transpired at my last appointment (Feb 21) but I procrastinate. ;D

Again, welcome!

Ann

Thanks for the welcome, Ann! I actually have been following that thread for a few days now. :-) As to the treatments forum, suggestion, I was just looking through it! We're on the same page, I think. :-)

Hope to hear more from you as time goes on!

AVR
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." - Winston Churchill

 


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