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Author Topic: Hi guys.  (Read 4416 times)

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Offline jayson702

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Hi guys.
« on: April 20, 2012, 04:36:48 PM »
My name is Henry. I just found out i have aids. My cd4 is only 5 and my viral is over 200k. I just started my medication today, but i am so scared. I feel fine and healthy. But this sadness wont go away. Im scared of dying. Can anyone tell me if it will get better? Ive been reading stories, and they are helping. Im just scared of the road ahead. I was already denied health insurance too. Im so scared. Please anyone?

Offline jkinatl2

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,007
  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 05:17:23 PM »
Hey Henry! Welcome to the forums!

Sorry you had to seek us out, but you'll be glad you found us.

As for your situation, you certainly made a wise choice to go on meds. And yes, it will get better. I've had cd4 counts in the same neighborhood, and last year my viral load was well over two million. After about three months of medications (Prezista, Truvada, Norvir and Isentres) my cd4 count went up to over 200 and my viral load hovers around undetectable.

So yeah, things will get better. You will notice a huge increase in energy as the meds knock down your viral load. Your body is running in circles trying to fend off that infection, and as soon as it's given a break, you will feel better.

What meds are you on, by the way? With a cd4 count like yours, it's usually a great idea to take a medication to prevent PCP, a type of pneumonia common among HIV positive folks. You'll likely take that until your cd4 count maintains over 200 for a bit. The most common med prescribed for that is called Bactrim. This site has one of the most comprehensive and easy to read pages that list all the meds and what they do.

http://www.aidsmeds.com/list.shtml

The road ahead is paved with hope. But you really need access to meds for that. Not having insurance is an issue. If you are in the US, there are several options for you. First is to get in touch with your local ASO (AIDS Service Organization.) SOmeone there can help walk you through the steps you need to see if you qualify for assistance from your state or from the drug companies. It's paperwork, and a hassle, but it's there especially for folks like yourself.

I have every confidence that you will be OK.

Being sad is natural. Having HIV/AIDS is a life changing thing, no doubt. You will need to process that, and that takes time. Feel free to talk about that stuff here. Also, you might want to see if there are any support groups in your area for face-to-face stuff. That helps a lot of people.

What sucks of course is that right now you might feel like shutting down and not dealing with it. But it's important that you get your meds. Try to take care of yourself, no mater how sad you feel. Get rest, eat healthy, watch the recreational party stuff. It's easy to lose a few months down the rabbit hole of depression, trust me. But you really need to get that cd4 count up.

I've had HIV/AIDS since 1993. And I have NOT been anything remotely resembling the poster boy for Great Patients. But I'm not only still here, I am feeling really good.

Again, welcome. You've found a great place full of educated and wise people.

"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 jayson702

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 06:05:19 PM »
Wow, jkinatl2, thank you for taking the time to respond.

As for the meds im on truvada 1 a day and isentress twice a day. Plus my doc put me tmz/smz for antibody i think he said. He also put me on an antifungal because i have folliculitis.

He is still waiting for my genotype to come in so the meds might change.

And thank you for the reassuring words. It gives me hope, which is something i need right now. Im just so scared you know? I want to live i really do. Im trying to find support groups in my area of las vegas to see if thatll help.


Offline Cojo

  • Member
  • Posts: 196
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 09:47:22 PM »
Hi Henry,

I am really glad as well that you found us here. I tested positive about a year ago, and it is indeed a terrifying experience. Like you, i was literally afraid for my very life. I took lots of time reading as much as I could on this site and other LEGITIMATE sites that give up to date, informed information. Over and over again, folks on here kept saying with time it will get better and things return pretty much to normal. I was so stressed, I couldn't imagine that to be true. I can tell you today, it is. Trust them, trust me - you will land on your feet again and all will be well. It just takes time and a whole series of " firsts".  You have already made a huge decision to get yourself back to normal health by starting the meds. I am on the same ones as you and they are miracle workers. Right now, the meds are literally squashing the virus to an incapacitated minimum and then your body can really kick in and bounce back. Look at my numbers and you will see how the drugs really do work so well.
One piece of advice I'd pass on is about disclosure. In the first few months when I was scared and panicked most of the time, I really felt a need to tell folks. I don't know completely why, I just did - and luckily I didn't. I enjoy the fact that HIV is not on the mindscape of all those around me at this point in my journey. So it is of course up to you, but I'd suggest stepping back and choosing one or two important supporters (outside of professionals) and leave it at that for now.
This forum is filled with super kind and generous folks who will help you (us) get through this.
May 2011 - Tested Positive
June 2011 - CD4 330   16%   VL182,000 no resistance
Oct 6, 2011 - CD4 300  20%  VL 60,000
Oct 7, 2011 - start Truvada / Isentress
Nov 29, 2011 CD4 280 26% VL 54
Feb 7 2012 CD4 260 25% UD!
Mar 20 2012 CD4 400 28%
June 2012 CD4 330 26% UD
Sept 2012 CD4 450 32% UD
Dec 2012 CD4 310 28% UD
May 2013 CD4 500 32% UD
Oct 2013 CD4 460 33% UD
May 2014 CD4 360 33% UD
Aug 2014 swap out Isentress for Tivicay

Offline jayson702

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2012, 11:28:04 AM »
Thank you so much Cojo. It really helps put me at ease when i read your posts.

Would you guys know what a genotype is? My doc took some blood for that.

But honestly guys thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to me. It means the world to me.

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,507
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2012, 03:07:10 PM »
Welcome here.
Diagnosis is a shock.
Diagnosis + AIDS diagnosis + starting treatment - quite a lot to deal with!

One of the silver linings you might keep in mind is to thank your stars everyday that you feel fine, and that you do know the facts now.  Also, you will live.

But medical care and treatment is going to be part of that so I think the most important task before you, since you are not feeling sick and don't need to be dealing with being sick, knock on wood, is to start figuring out the financing of your doctors and treatment. 

Have you seen a social worker or talk to anyone yet who can help you find the solutions you will need?
http://www.lasvegasema.org/servicesinlasvegas.html
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline jayson702

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2012, 03:46:11 PM »
Thank you meech.

I have a small insruance right now but my deductible is 5000 dollars.

The health district was the one that diagnosed me and they are going to help me with adap for the meds. im still scared of everything though. Like how hard or expensive it is to find insurance for us. i hope that changes soon.

Im doing somewhat better too, i broke down earlier because i remembered that im still poz. Im finding it a little hard to deal with it, but im praying and hoping itll get better.

Sorry if im being such a negative nancy guys.

Offline Cojo

  • Member
  • Posts: 196
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2012, 05:58:47 PM »
Hey Henry - you are not being negative at all bud, you are in shock and that is OK to feel a whole range of emotion from panic to hope, calm to despair, optimism to negative - be gentle with yourself right now.
Genotype is a test that tests your blood to see if the virus you have has any resistance to particular medications. Now before you panic, only 10-15% of new diagnosis folks have any resistance AND if so, there are many options available...thank our lucky stars it is 2012. That's why when you start meds, it is not guesswork but based on data and science. Hang in there buddy, right now you are going through some real turbulence, but the air WILL smooth out. Don't you love the aircraft imagery? Chin up. Where abouts are you from btw?
May 2011 - Tested Positive
June 2011 - CD4 330   16%   VL182,000 no resistance
Oct 6, 2011 - CD4 300  20%  VL 60,000
Oct 7, 2011 - start Truvada / Isentress
Nov 29, 2011 CD4 280 26% VL 54
Feb 7 2012 CD4 260 25% UD!
Mar 20 2012 CD4 400 28%
June 2012 CD4 330 26% UD
Sept 2012 CD4 450 32% UD
Dec 2012 CD4 310 28% UD
May 2013 CD4 500 32% UD
Oct 2013 CD4 460 33% UD
May 2014 CD4 360 33% UD
Aug 2014 swap out Isentress for Tivicay

Offline jayson702

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2012, 06:55:25 PM »
Thank you Cojo. You have no idea how much it helps me hearing that from you. I live in Las Vegas currently. I moved here years ago from Los Angeles. Im turning 25 soon too.

Offline Cojo

  • Member
  • Posts: 196
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2012, 09:25:50 PM »
I am in Toronto, Canada, land of socialized medicine, thank God, but the times I have been in Vegas, it seems to have a pretty strong gay community so I imagine that there is plenty of HIV/AIDS advocacy groups. You are in good hands my friend.
May 2011 - Tested Positive
June 2011 - CD4 330   16%   VL182,000 no resistance
Oct 6, 2011 - CD4 300  20%  VL 60,000
Oct 7, 2011 - start Truvada / Isentress
Nov 29, 2011 CD4 280 26% VL 54
Feb 7 2012 CD4 260 25% UD!
Mar 20 2012 CD4 400 28%
June 2012 CD4 330 26% UD
Sept 2012 CD4 450 32% UD
Dec 2012 CD4 310 28% UD
May 2013 CD4 500 32% UD
Oct 2013 CD4 460 33% UD
May 2014 CD4 360 33% UD
Aug 2014 swap out Isentress for Tivicay

Offline jayson702

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2012, 02:05:02 PM »
Hi everyone! I have a small update. I've been on truvada and isentress for about two months and also some preventatives! And I got my labs back today! Initally my CD4 was only 5 and Viral load was over 200k! Yikes.

Today, my nurse told me my viral load and cd4 are :

VL 346 (Yeah!)
CD4 24

Im estatic Im almost UD. I am almost there!!

My CD4s only went up about 20 but its better than nothing!

im really happy right now and i would like to thank everyone who took the time to talk to me. you guys are incredible! thanks everyone!

Offline Cojo

  • Member
  • Posts: 196
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2012, 03:19:20 PM »
Super news!! The drugs REALLY do work! All shall be well with time. Go out and celebrate tonight my friend.
May 2011 - Tested Positive
June 2011 - CD4 330   16%   VL182,000 no resistance
Oct 6, 2011 - CD4 300  20%  VL 60,000
Oct 7, 2011 - start Truvada / Isentress
Nov 29, 2011 CD4 280 26% VL 54
Feb 7 2012 CD4 260 25% UD!
Mar 20 2012 CD4 400 28%
June 2012 CD4 330 26% UD
Sept 2012 CD4 450 32% UD
Dec 2012 CD4 310 28% UD
May 2013 CD4 500 32% UD
Oct 2013 CD4 460 33% UD
May 2014 CD4 360 33% UD
Aug 2014 swap out Isentress for Tivicay

Offline sshortguy1

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2012, 03:41:11 PM »
cojo i hate to say this
 but a close friend of mine was recently diognosed just b4 i was but he had a resistant test done as well b/c his v/l went up and cd4 dropped some
he's of 5 different type of meds 3 in the morning and 2 at night when i was with him at our dr's office i had no resistants but he had like 6-7 in the red from total resistant to minimal resistant like the atripla he was on was working like 80 % not the full effect  like it should not to scare any1 but seen the resistant tests from his results

Offline jkinatl2

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,007
  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2012, 04:07:46 PM »
cojo i hate to say this
 but a close friend of mine was recently diognosed just b4 i was but he had a resistant test done as well b/c his v/l went up and cd4 dropped some
he's of 5 different type of meds 3 in the morning and 2 at night when i was with him at our dr's office i had no resistants but he had like 6-7 in the red from total resistant to minimal resistant like the atripla he was on was working like 80 % not the full effect  like it should not to scare any1 but seen the resistant tests from his results

So, besides lacking a legitimate understanding of resistance profiles and drug efficacy, what;s your point?
"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 sshortguy1

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2012, 04:22:24 PM »
jk do u have a problem ? if you read up to where jayson asked about a resistant test u would know from the last few times i mention on any forum u attack me ,,,,,,,, 4 what ? what i seen and know ? how i know about this disease is b/c i know alot of people that do testing and and talk to others about it ,,,,,,, like 1 for instance  st louis effort for aids ,,,,,,,,and known guys that have hiv over 15 yrs and 1 for intance that had hiv for over 27 yrs and been through the hard  medication infact to be honest i probably know alot more people personally i seen on a weekly basis than any1 i ever talked to online

Offline jayson702

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2012, 05:35:33 PM »
Thanks Cojo! I think ill go spoil myself and go have a nice dinner today at Cheesecake Factory! Lol.

Im really happy right now  :)

Offline sshortguy1

  • Member
  • Posts: 118
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2012, 06:11:16 PM »
jk you tell me i'm lacking of resistance knowledge ??
 

1 resistance develops when hiv mutates and reproduces itself where hiv meds keeps it down from reproducing when it reproduces sometimes they are not the exact same as the others that's where resistance comes in

2. when some1 gets infected from some1 that has hiv with multiple resistants  not only that they get hiv , they get the resistants that hiv mutated from the original  person that contracted it

Offline Cojo

  • Member
  • Posts: 196
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2012, 11:51:20 PM »
Cheescake, a cocktail and a deep breath of gratitude....right on my friend!
May 2011 - Tested Positive
June 2011 - CD4 330   16%   VL182,000 no resistance
Oct 6, 2011 - CD4 300  20%  VL 60,000
Oct 7, 2011 - start Truvada / Isentress
Nov 29, 2011 CD4 280 26% VL 54
Feb 7 2012 CD4 260 25% UD!
Mar 20 2012 CD4 400 28%
June 2012 CD4 330 26% UD
Sept 2012 CD4 450 32% UD
Dec 2012 CD4 310 28% UD
May 2013 CD4 500 32% UD
Oct 2013 CD4 460 33% UD
May 2014 CD4 360 33% UD
Aug 2014 swap out Isentress for Tivicay

Offline Ac75088

  • Member
  • Posts: 228
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2012, 01:17:59 AM »
So sorry to hear of ur diagnosis, but u definitely came to the right place..The people and information on this site gave me so much hope when I tested positive a few years ago..I was so scared and uneducated when I first found out..I didn't even know what the difference between HIV and AIDS was...I am so glad that u are being treated and can now begin the road to recovery. Just take good care of yourself and take ur meds and soon u will feel good as new :)
01-12-08 Tested poz cd4 700 vl 8,000
04-25-11 Lowest cd4 count of 415 vl high at 250,000
05-03-11 Started Atripla
05-16-11 Hospitalized and treated for 2 weeks (neurosyphilis)
07-05-11 CD4 count 585 VL 550
10-04-11 CD4 count 700 VL 75
02-03-12 CD4 count 799 VL UD
08-08-12 CD4 count 838 VL UD

Offline Lad_Liam

  • Member
  • Posts: 56
  • it's a hitchhiker, not a hijacker
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2012, 04:31:12 AM »
Hey jayson702,
Great to read you're getting better and feeling well again. Yippee!  8) As the other replies here have said, you are in the right track, and there is ongoing support and great knowledge here.  Good luck buddy.
Liam
a new dark passenger joins the ride

Offline songs06

  • Member
  • Posts: 114
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2012, 04:46:30 AM »
welcome to another world with lots of trivia, meds, side effects, lymphocyte numbers, viral loads and lots of strange things. hiv is quite a complicated virus for sure. sorry about your diagnosis though. 5 CD4 is a really low to start (even for AIDS) but drugs seem to work, that's great! you should know there are lots of people around here started similar numbers like you and they are really fine now. TMP/SMX (Bactrim) also a really important prophylaxis drug for lots of opportunistic infection (from PCP to cryptococcus neoformans). so you are in good hands. all you have to do is try to get optimistic as much as possible. don't get depressed and believe in drugs. you have lots of friends here, you can ask anything you want to know.
welcome again.
18.03.2012 - infected.
14.04.2012 - first positive elisa - UD western blot
30.04.2012 - western blot confirmation positive
03.05.2012 - first lab- CD4: 256   VL: 2.3 M
01.06.2012 - sec lab- CD4: 390 (end of ARS)
01.07.2012 - third lab- CD4: 388 VL: 150.000
11.07.2012 - Started Truvada + Kaletra
04.08.2012 - CD4: 401 VL: 3800
30.09.2012 - CD4: 510 VL: 709
04.01.2013 - CD4: 650 VL: UD! (aka 20)
01.04.2013 - CD4: 460 VL: UD
09.2013 - CD4: 510
02.2014 - CD4: 490

Offline jayson702

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2012, 01:51:28 PM »
Thanks everyone i really appreciate you all. i mean that will all my heart.

i do have a question though.

would it be wise for me to start exercising? ive changed my diet completely to stay health and ive been feeling great! but part of me wants to start exercising again ( i stopped when i was diagnosed ). i have all this energy right now inside me. i feel like i can climb a mountain! i would love to use it with exercising or maybe even sex lol

i remember reading somewhere that cd4s drop after exercising. is there some truth to that?

i was going to ask my doctor, but i totally forgot once he gave me the news. i suppose it was out of excitment lol. i wont be able to ask him until tuesday since its a holiday here on monday.
 
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 01:54:24 PM by jayson702 »

Offline red_Dragon888

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,811
  • Love and Be Love in Return
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2012, 12:30:32 PM »
I feel that exercising make the body stronger as long as you do not over do it.  Besides, if you do it out doors since it is getting more sunny, you love the fresh air.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

“Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

Offline jayson702

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Hi guys.
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2012, 04:18:11 PM »
Thanks dragon!

I normally do only cardio. But I want to start a little bit of weight training to tone up a little.

Some other good news I got today too everyone, my doc said he would love me to start exersicing, but not to over do it like Dragon said.

Plus I gained a little bit of weight. I was 146 when I was diagnosed, and now I'm at 155 lol. I'm a short dude, 5'5 to be exact, so he said that weight is ideal for me. He also said he strongly believes I'll be UD by the end of the month, fingers crossed!!

Thanks everyone for the support. I appreciate each and everyone of you.  :D

 


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