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Author Topic: Just tested poz and need help... Please? Anybody??  (Read 2203 times)

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Offline survivor703

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  • Posts: 104
Just tested poz and need help... Please? Anybody??
« on: March 16, 2012, 10:40:43 PM »
hello guys, I'm new to being poz and I'm a little concerned about my health and how I should approach it now that I know I have these conditions. Let me give you a little background. I think I may have had HIV for some time now, but I finally got the nerve to go and get it checked last month around valentines day. As I suspected, I have the virus. The results were confirmed by two different tests. My Cd cells are 504 (21%) and VL 69,000. My specialist is getting me to consider going on meds... he thinks it's a fairly new infection though, but I disagree based upon my numbers. Thats a high viral load. Anyway, I wanted to know what do you guys/girls think a good first line treatment is? And what are your experiences with whatever you suggest? I don't have any health problems, except for being overweight, but I'm working out and excercising now. I tested positive for a Hep B antibody, but no virus was found. Doctor said I either had the virus in the past but my system cleared it out, OR I have had the vaccine. I don't recall having a vaccine. So yeah, what would be a good first line regimen?

And more importantly, I keep hearing people say, "you can live a near normal life span with this virus. It isn't the death sentence that it used to be anymore." And I tell myself that regularly to keep myself positive about things, but isn't this kinda based upong the success of the drugs? what if they stop working? My question is, how long does a typical 1st time therapy work? And then, how long does a second line therapy work? How long before cross resistance? Do I have to develop AIDS one day, eventually? Any help to these questions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to all of you for your support and reading my looooong question -- lol. Oh yeah, I have also seen a lot of reccomdations stating that HIV may not cause AIDS, and that taking certain supplements and living a healthy lifestyle will keep the virus at bay. I want the truth thats all... Thanks guys. 
02/14/2012 Diagnosed (Happy valentines day)
02/15/2012 CD4 502 21%, VL 69,134
04/10/2012 CD4 607 22%, VL 60,893
10/08/2012 CD4 615 15%, VL 155,981
03/01/2014 CD4 340 17%  VL 65,689
05/05/2014 1:18PM EST Started Truvada + Tivicay
06/03/2014 CD4 620 20% VL 30 (almost UD!)
Next Labs 08/2014

Offline Stlguy1976

  • Member
  • Posts: 37
Re: Just tested poz and need help... Please? Anybody??
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 12:09:09 AM »
Sorry to hear your news but welcome to the forum.  There a lot of folks here that are very knowledgable and will offer some great advice.  I am still fairly new to HIV my self as I am coming up on 6 months of being diagnosed.  As you can see from my numbers below I was in fairly bad shape when I was diagnosed.  I can say that almost 6 months later I am doing great and things are getting better every day.  I am pretty much back to my normal life. 

As far as your numbers, I do not believe you can really tell how long you have been infected other than going off of prior  negative tests, etc.  There are a lot of factors that go into your numbers and they can fluctuate depending on when the test is taken.  Hopefully some others can chime in on this as I am still figuring alot of this out.  From what I know your numbers are not that bad and you have some time to figure out what your next step is.  End of the day treatment is what will utlimately keep us all alive and things are always developing. 

I started Atripla after I was diagnosed.  I barely had any CD4 left and within 6 weeks jumped up quick.  I am eagerly awaiting my last lab results on Monday.  So far have not had any major issues with the meds. 

I am sorry I cannot offer much more but like I said I am still fairly new to alot of this.  Only thing I can say is to keep educating yourself.  I was completely clueless at first.  There are alot of people here that have been poz for quite some time who can give you some great advice. 

Good Luck and hang in there. 

Diagnosed: October 4, 2011
11/2/11 - CD4 21 2% VL 1,200,000 (started Atripla)
12/16/2011 - CD4 207 13% VL???
03/14/2012- CD4 148 11% VL UD
06/13/2012 - CD4 230 12% VL UD
09/27/2012 - CD4 220 13% VL
1/2/2013 - CD4 237 12% VL UD
4/27/2013 - CD4 251 12% VL 290
6/26/2013 - CD4 256 15% VL UD
6/26/2013 switched to Complera
10/16/2013 - CD4 278 15% VL UD?
1/18/2014 - CD4 308 VL UD

Offline sshortguy1

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
Re: Just tested poz and need help... Please? Anybody??
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 03:06:31 AM »
survivor its good that u found out early as 4 me i got tested every 6 monthes but came back neg so i stopped getting tested a yr and a half went by tilli found a very close friend of mine was infested and asked me to go to his caseworker they talked me into getting tested so i did but this time came back poz  as the results from my 1st test back in jan of this yr was cd 4 was around 200 with a vl of 250k his was lower but we gotten on our meds and doing fine ,been reading about hiv theres around 250 of meds out there to treat it

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: Just tested poz and need help... Please? Anybody??
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2012, 03:22:00 AM »
Hello!

Welcome to the forums! I am sorry you had to locate us, but glad you found us.

It IS kind of hard to tell whether or not yours is a new infection. But your viral  load is, all things considered, not that high. They can measure it well into the millions.

Your CD4 count is also VERY good. There is some consensus that one should not start looking at meds until the CD4 count reaches 350. And this is of course disputed by those who believe one should start as soon as possible, in order to preserve the innate immune system. That's a journey you will have to make for yourself, but know that deciding to start meds means taking them all the time (every day).

as for how long a treatment works, that's unique to the person. Depending on your history, your genetics, etc, you can stay on the very first regimen you attempt for as long as you live, perhaps. And of course if one regimen does not work (side effects and such) there are (depending upon where you live) literally thousand of combinations of drugs, with new and different combinations being tested.

There is absolutely every reason to think that you will never, ever progress to AIDS, to illness, or death from this virus. Of course it is a serious thing. But it is not what it was even ten years ago.

I urge you to read all you can from this site. Our LESSONS section is amazing. And you have plenty of time to find your way around. One single set of bloodwork is not nearly enough to decide whether you need to start meds. The trick is to look at trends over time. Look at your bloodwork next month (or whenever it is drawn). And then a third set of labs. If the numbers sharply trend ina  certain direction (lower vd4 count and percentage, higher viral load) then you might want to consider treatment options.

But you have time. And you have a lot of options.

It's not a disease of inches. It is a journey of miles and miles and miles. Baby steps are cool right now. And you have come to the right place.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline MarkB

  • Member
  • Posts: 292
Re: Just tested poz and need help... Please? Anybody??
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2012, 05:39:02 AM »
Hi survivor703 and welcome to the forum.

I'm sure that some of the more experienced members will post here to answer your specific questions, but as jkinatl2 has already said, the lessons section on this site is a great resource of information, and will I am sure help you a lot. You might want to make it one of your first jobs to read through what is there.

I think, however, that you need to be warned right now about something you have read online. You said:

Quote
I have also seen a lot of reccomdations stating that HIV may not cause AIDS, and that taking certain supplements and living a healthy lifestyle will keep the virus at bay. I want the truth thats all

I have to tell you that the simple truth is that that is not true. There have been people on this forum who believed all the stuff you have read on denialist websites, and tried to live in the way you describe. They are now dead.

May I respectfully suggest that you stop reading websites which claim the things you mention, and that you put your trust in the science (which is ably represented by the Lessons section) and in the efficacy of the medication regime which your doctor will prescribe. I am old enough to remember what happened to people before the meds we now have became available. I have also worked as a volunteer in a place where they are still not readily available, and I'm here to tell you that stuff like extra portions of beetroot and herbal remedies will not keep the virus at bay.

Your numbers are now at the point where your specialist is absolutely right to get you to consider going on meds. Trust him: that's why he's a specialist. He will talk you through the various medical options available to you; but once you do start on treatment, it's imperative that you adhere without fail to the regime you have been prescribed.

I note your concerns about having a normal lifespan, but put it this way: one guy in the clinic I attend is in his nineties, and there are more than one or two seniors among us on this forum (myself included!)  ;)

Hope this helps: let us know how it goes.

 :)

Offline survivor703

  • Member
  • Posts: 104
Re: Just tested poz and need help... Please? Anybody??
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2012, 08:58:56 AM »
I just want to thank each and every one of you for the encouraging words... I am very grateful to have found this site. I know that all will be well and that I just have to adhere. As previously stated, my biggest concern is starting treatment later than sooner so that I'll have a longer time to worry about drug resistance. I understand that if you develop resistance to one drug, you might be resistant to all the drugs in that class, which is kinda scary to me.  :-[ However, I will not worry too much. I'll keep going to my appointments, and keep healthy for as long as possible. Hopefully on my next visit, my cd4's will be in the same area or may have possibly gone up. When I had my blood drawn for analysis, I had just been diagnosed two days before, and my stress level was through the rough, not to mention I was suffering a severe cold with sore throat... Perhaps my cd4s were lower due to this. I will find out soon, whatever the care. I'll keep you all posted. Oh, and as far as the denialist, that theory does appeal to someone newly diagnosed, unfortunately, but thankfully due to the fact that I'm a chemist, I have better understanding on these issues. All arguments that I've researched have no pertinent data providing proof of their theories. Furthermore, how could ones T cells deplete in the absence of ARVs if HIV is not leading to AIDs (untreated)? (rhetorical). Anyway, I'm dismissing these theories as hogwash. Anyway, thanks again everyone. Please stay well!
02/14/2012 Diagnosed (Happy valentines day)
02/15/2012 CD4 502 21%, VL 69,134
04/10/2012 CD4 607 22%, VL 60,893
10/08/2012 CD4 615 15%, VL 155,981
03/01/2014 CD4 340 17%  VL 65,689
05/05/2014 1:18PM EST Started Truvada + Tivicay
06/03/2014 CD4 620 20% VL 30 (almost UD!)
Next Labs 08/2014

Offline MarkB

  • Member
  • Posts: 292
Re: Just tested poz and need help... Please? Anybody??
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2012, 09:24:49 AM »
Oh, and as far as the denialist, that theory does appeal to someone newly diagnosed, unfortunately, but thankfully due to the fact that I'm a chemist, I have better understanding on these issues. All arguments that I've researched have no pertinent data providing proof of their theories. Furthermore, how could ones T cells deplete in the absence of ARVs if HIV is not leading to AIDs (untreated)? (rhetorical). Anyway, I'm dismissing these theories as hogwash.

Your earlier post was:

Quote
I have also seen a lot of reccomdations stating that HIV may not cause AIDS, and that taking certain supplements and living a healthy lifestyle will keep the virus at bay. I want the truth thats all.

I am sorry that I posted as I did. In responding to your earlier post I was unaware that you are a chemist; and that as such, you already had the truth of the matter. I am, however, confident that your scientific background will stand you in good stead when it comes to considering the implications of medication.

Offline Ann

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  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Just tested poz and need help... Please? Anybody??
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2012, 09:35:12 AM »
Hi Survivor, welcome to the forums.

I agree with what others have said - your numbers aren't that bad and you do have time to get used to everything and learn more before you make any treatment decisions.

Regarding the denialists - you might find this website interesting: AIDStruth.org - The Scientific Evidence for HIV/AIDS.

Hang in there, you're going to be ok.

Ann
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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

 


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