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Author Topic: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(  (Read 4416 times)

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Offline CODgamerz

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  • Posts: 20
Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« on: May 19, 2012, 09:25:13 PM »
Wow...I really don't know how to approach typing this here, but here goes nothing.

I am in my mid 20's, a straight male and a graduate student in the Midwest at a university I am sure you have never heard of working on a masters in communications studies. I came down with an upper respiratory infection right before finals week this past semester and had some blood work done as a precaution after the campus Dr. prescribed me Z-Pac.

What followed 5 days later when I came back by was a moment in my life that I shall never forget, but filled me with more gloom and heartbreak than I possibly have the words to describe.

I racked my brain thinking how could this possibly happen to me? Best time frame I was able to workout with my ID doc is that I can basically trace it to some not so wise decisions I made on spring break a few years back while in the Caribbean as an undergrad. I am just exceedingly glad that I have not been very sexually active in the past couple of years since. My Ex-GF has since been tested and I am at least thankful she was not also infected. I am an 18 credit hour a semester kind of guy, and I stay far too busy generally to peruse relationships. My parents and family I have not told yet. I know it is something that will have to happen at some point, but it is a task I am not ready to handle for the time being.

For about a solid 2 weeks after I got done with my finals, (which I did so bad on most of my professors called me to inquire what was wrong as I normally excel academically), I drank profusely. I was convinced my life was over.

Finally, one of my really close friends I decided to confide in, and He convinced me that I was being a big baby and that I needed to man up and take responsibility. I was not going to die, and that I needed to find some support. That lead me to some internet searches, and ultimately to here.  In all honesty, I have been lingering in the background of these forums for a couple of weeks now, and I finally decided to post this.

My CD4 counts have dropped just under 400 as of Friday, and my ID doc wants me to make the move to go on Atripla. I have spent more time reading about ARV drugs in the past month than you can possibly imagine, but I trust the man's judgement and I will get the prescription filled next week. I admit I am almost scared to go to the pharmacy to pick them up.

I really do not know much of anything else relevant to say right now, other than I am scared and feeling more alone than I have in my entire life.

Thanks for listening. 
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 01:56:39 AM by CODgamerz »
03/22/2012 Tested HIV+
04/12/2012 CD4 392 VL 128,000
04/21/2012 Began Atripla

Offline Cojo

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  • Posts: 201
Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 11:36:56 PM »
Hey there C...just read through your post and it is heart wrenching to hear of the pain you are going through. I was diagnosed almost a year ago, and your story, like so many of us rings true in many empathetic ways. Fright for our very lives, shock, disbelief and bouncing around for weeks in a fog of bewilderment was hoe my first month was.
You are overwhelmed right now and info comes from all over. It is hard to focus and all of what you are experiencing is completely normal. There are many good, knowledgeable folks on here who will have a ton to offer you as they did me, but in this moment, I want to pass on a few immediate thoughts as I remember the experience of my first while.

- You are not dying. Medical science has this well under control and all is manageable. I became undetectable within four months and has no side effects. You will to. You will live a full, healthy life ...just a mindful one of keeping healthy and adherent to a few pills ( or one ) a day
- It gets better, much better with time..really, it does
- Try to resist wide disclosure right now till you land on your feet - once out, it is a one way ticket
- get research from credible sites like this. Arm your self with knowledge which is power
You are not alone - many have braved and beaten this
Come here often and ask away - we are here to journey with you
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
Oct 2014 CD4 320 33% UD

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2012, 10:39:02 AM »
Hi Gamerz, welcome to the forum.

I'm glad you told your friend who gave you a kick up your backside. It sounds like it's just what you needed.

And he's absolutely right - you're not going to die. Well, not if you become proactive (like you have) and make sure you're seeing your doctor regularly and taking care of yourself in general.

In industrialised countries, the main people who are still dying from this are people who only get diagnosed very late on when they're very ill. I'm glad you were diagnosed early on. And yes, even if you were infected a few years ago, in the greater scheme of all things hiv, it's early on. You're going to live for a long time yet. You're in this for the long-haul.

Don't worry about telling your family just yet. You'll know when the time is right. And you do have time.

Don't give up on any of your dreams and plans for the future. You still have a future, so make it the best future you possibly can. You'll thank yourself 30, 40, 50 years down the road.

It gets better in time, it really does. Hang in there, ok?

Hugs,
Ann
xxx
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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 Joe K

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  • Posts: 3,878
  • 31 Years Poz
Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2012, 02:07:34 PM »
Hey Gamerz,

I'm sorry to hear about your infection, but glad you found your way here.  I know your head is spinning with so many thoughts and feelings and all of it is perfectly normal.  Nobody can prepare us for testing poz, so we each must find our way, however, you don't have to go it alone.  I've been poz for 27 years and there is no reason that you cannot live a long and meaningful life.

Right now, I suggest you give yourself permission, to feel whatever you feel, without the need to do anything about any of it and try to remember, that just because you feel something, does not make it true.  I caution you against being too hard on yourself, for we can never change the past.  What we can change, is the future, so give yourself some time to adjust and take care of you.  That includes your mind, spirit and body and do something that you truly love, at least once each day.

You are still the same person you were prior to infection and that's very important, because you have not changed, rather you have acquired the HIV virus.  Also, be wary of giving your HIV any power over you, because it is just a virus.  It does not think, it does not care, it just is.  You are not defined by being poz, so just be careful in how you view yourself.

As for the rest, all I can offer is that with time, it will get better.  We don't have any short cuts to adjusting to being poz, but we will be here for you.

Welcome to the forums.

Joe

Offline CODgamerz

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 03:30:35 PM »
Thank you so much guys for the words of wisdom and encouragement. I am in a very strange place right now emotionally, and I try to do everything I can in my spare time to not think about it (which has proven to be an impossible proposition).

I have been trying to carry on my day to day affairs as if everything is normal, but nearly everyone that knows me can tell something is wrong. I am not that good at having a poker face I suppose. I am working a summer internship for a PR firm right now and keeping my head in the game has been almost impossible since I started. I also have not taken the time to go online and enroll for next semester either. I am starting to wonder if I am going to be able to handle my academic load next semester with all that is going on. I lack 27 credit hours for my Masters of Communications Studies in Rhetoric (not including my capstone review and my masters thesis). Technically, I should be spending part of my time this summer researching for my thesis, but instead I spend my time online reading up on HIV.

I had another rather dire thought in the last day or so that (like most other revelations of late) smacked me in the face like a cast iron frying pan; am I ever going to be able to have a normal relationship with another girl again? I am an only child, so I guess my bloodline will now end with me? What girl in her right mind would want anything to do with me now? I feel like damaged goods. I know that may seem relatively minor in the grand scope of my train wreck of a life of late, but I would be lying to say it was not a concern.

As I said in my original post, I pick up my prescription for my meds tomorrow and the process fills me with gloom. Is the pharmacy tech that gives it to me going to look at like the spawn of satan at the checkout?

I feel like an angst filled teenager all over again in light of all this development. I apologize if I sound frantic and irrational right now, as my coping skills have never been on par with the majority of my peers. Until recently, about the only worry I have had in my life is trying to avoid 8 AM classes when I make my schedule each semester. I am just not very well equipped to handle this.

Thank you again for taking the time to try to help me deal with all this. Your compassion and encouragement during this time in my life means a great deal to me.
03/22/2012 Tested HIV+
04/12/2012 CD4 392 VL 128,000
04/21/2012 Began Atripla

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 04:35:55 PM »
There are tons of serodiscordant heterosexual couples out there - and on these forums. And your chances of having a child depend solely on you. With an undetectable viral load, many couples conceive naturally.

Some go for in vitro fertilization or "sperm washing" but these are really expensive and (someone correct me if I'm wrong) no one has had their partner OR baby seroconvert on these forums from conceiving naturally provided the poz partner had an Undetectable viral load.

You asked what girl in her right mind would want you now. Trust me, that thought occurs to almost everyone here at one time or another. But you know, it would be idiotic to suggest that it's going to be as easy/effortless as before you seroconverted - but it will happen. Just might have to fish in a deeper pond, maybe :)

There's a saying I roll around in my head sometimes when I'm feeling lost or down.

 I know I will be ok the very moment that I believe that eventually I will be okay.

Meaning, the first step towards feeling better is having the inner strength to pick up your foot and move it forward. After that, you'll have momentum on your side.



"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 spacebarsux

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  • Posts: 1,350
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Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 04:47:55 PM »
Hi CODgamerz,

Sorry you tested poz but glad you found your way here.

It's normal for your mind to spin with a host of fears and questions upon diagnosis. Or to think that you've got HIV stamped on your forehead when you're walking around. But do believe me, like others have said, in time it gets MUCH better.

You can do practically everything you did before except that now you need to make some minor adjustments, that's all. There's no reason you won't find a girl, have kids or anything. You can do all of those things. There are some serodiscordant couples on this site itself.

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 Joe K

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  • Posts: 3,878
  • 31 Years Poz
Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 07:41:49 PM »
I had another rather dire thought in the last day or so that (like most other revelations of late) smacked me in the face like a cast iron frying pan; am I ever going to be able to have a normal relationship with another girl again? I am an only child, so I guess my bloodline will now end with me? What girl in her right mind would want anything to do with me now? I feel like damaged goods. I know that may seem relatively minor in the grand scope of my train wreck of a life of late, but I would be lying to say it was not a concern.

Thoughts like these are why I suggest you merely feel, rather than playing the what if game.  Do not become trapped into exploring every permutation of what might happen, asking what if I did this, or did that, because it changes nothing.  You are on emotional overload right now and you are not thinking clearly.  It's a normal reaction but the emotions it conjures can be quite overwhelming.  Just give it some time and force yourself to lead your life as normally as you can.

That last part is crucial.  You cannot surrender to the virus, nor can you allow it to destroy your self-esteem.  You have done nothing wrong and once you are more adjusted, you will realize that while your life has changed, it has hardly ended.  I wish I had more for you.  Believe me, it does get better.

Joe

Offline Lad_Liam

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  • it's a hitchhiker, not a hijacker
Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2012, 12:34:48 AM »
Hey CODgamerz
I'm feeling for you after reading your posts. It sure is a frying pan in the face kind of situation to begin with. I hope you are traveling better now you've found this forum and whatever else is helping for you right now.

You've already attracted the cream of the crop to respond to this post. Their messages are spot on. It will not remain a frying pan situation, things will settle in your mind, drugs work, there are options for your future fertility and intimate relationships.

I notice your feeling of being alone. Being able to speak to other people in similar situations is useful to me. There maybe peer info networks for hetosexual people available to you, I've seen then advertised online and at the support orgs I use. Not that us homos aren't here for you, but I know I prefer to also sometimes specifically speak peeps in my situation as their lived experience is what I want assurance on. 

Good news is it does seem to me that many popular heterosexual sex practices are generally lower risk than some of the male to male stuff, and your ability to research might be a strength and source of comfort to you for these topics. Education is key.

I've got a similar professional background to you. I know us types can be way harsh on ourselves, and keep on with a PR style everything's fine smile, at the expense of our real feelings and needs. Let's face it, we hate giving bad news, especially about ourselves. I can barely do it, but I've had to take some work pressure off myself so I can give priority to adapting my life to this new situation.

I can see from the people posting online here and all the medical knowledge that adapting to be able to manage this is critical for treatment succeess. And happiness in your life, which is still going to go on, largely as before you knew.

Good luck and welcome to the forums.

Liam


a new dark passenger joins the ride

Offline CODgamerz

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2012, 05:07:24 PM »
Again, I want to thank all of you who took the time out of your day to reach out to me. I am also thankful for the wealth of information that I have found on this website.

I would be lying if I said my head is still not bouncing around like a pinball, but at least I am not on the verge of panic attacks where my heart races and I can't seem to regulate my breathing. Since this whole debacle started for me, I have been unable to sleep at night without the help of a few over-the-counter sleep aids on an empty stomach.

I got my script for Atripla filled today from the pharmacy. To my surprise, the pharmacy tech did not stare daggars at me like she wanted to stone me as I had originally feared.

I just plan to take things one day at at time. I think part of my problem is that I can't seem to slow down my thinking. At every turn another doomsday scenario seems to creep into my subconscious. I have never in my life had any kind of anxiety problems, so I hope that the more I read and interact with many of you who are in my same predicament, the more I will be able to relax to the point of being more functional.

Functional meaning I can at least attempt to make a more serious effort at managing my life that is not related to my infection.

Thanks for all the PM's too. You guys are wonderful, and the discussion on the off topic forum did a great deal to help take my mind off of things, even for the briefest of moments. 
03/22/2012 Tested HIV+
04/12/2012 CD4 392 VL 128,000
04/21/2012 Began Atripla

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • Posts: 24,522
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2012, 05:19:22 PM »
I think part of my problem is that I can't seem to slow down my thinking. At every turn another doomsday scenario seems to creep into my subconscious. I have never in my life had any kind of anxiety problems, so I hope that the more I read and interact with many of you who are in my same predicament, the more I will be able to relax to the point of being more functional.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy would help you to control this, and I'd recommend it, but I recall you stating in another thread that psychology is half bullshit and rest PR. So I guess good luck on making it go away in some other manner.
"Ive slept with enough men to know that Im not gay"

Offline aelizabeth1019

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Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2012, 12:08:16 AM »
...
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 04:19:27 PM by aelizabeth1019 »

Offline Valmont

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Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2012, 09:24:37 AM »
Elisabeth, it is normal you cannot answer.  You need to post 3 times in the forum for your PM being available...


Hi Cod, well, you have to take things easy (mmmm it easy to say...), but what people says here is completely right, with time, youll be better, it is an evidence...  Dont take decision under pressure, take your time to disclose if youre thinking about it, there is no obligation to say it to every one...  Youll fining your studies and find a great job, also be happy with some one...  Dont let HIV managing your life.  About Atripla, despite of some side effects, dont forget that this is what will control your infection, we are so lucky that this exists...

Ive been infected around a year ago, for sure it has been terrible news and affected my life in many ways, but did not stop me in making plans, I have a good job Im doing well (I think...), plans to travel, plan to learn another language, having a girl friend (who is neg and very supportive), also a great son...  It is not easy every day, but in my case, I noticed that things were much better if I stayed distracted with anything, that way I dont hink about HIV and these things and can get a rest...  Try to do what you like to do and meet people, talk with them about anything, it may help you...

Good luck, youll be well

Apr 2011: Diagnotized
Jun 2011: CD4: 504  VL: 176.000
Dic 2011: CD4: 714  VL: 95.000
May 2012: CD4: 395 VL: 67.000
Jun 2012: CD4: 367
Agu 2012: Starting Emtricitabine 200 mg / Tenofovir 300 mg and Efavirenz 600 mg (2 pills) different brands or VIRADAY/ATRIPLA/Mylan....
Sep 2012: VL: 138
Dic 2012: CD4: 708 VL: <34  %CD4: 32%
Jan 2013: CD4: 707 VL: <20
May 2013: CD4: 945 VL: <34 %CD4: 33%
Agu 2013: CD4: 636 VL: <34 %CD4: 50%
Dic 2013: Latent TB, started Isoniazid

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2012, 12:05:39 PM »
CODgamerz,
got your message. For some reason, I'm not allowed to reply to it. No prob. It's more than well wishes. Total truth. Anyway - feel free to email me if you need someone to chat with, though I know there are a lot of people on the forum.  bledlikearose@hotmail.com - ok so it's for my benefit too. It would be nice to have someone to chat with close to my age. (26)

It's not that smart to put your email addy in a posting on this forum -- I found your facebook profile in 2 seconds.

It will also start to show up in google searches.
"Ive slept with enough men to know that Im not gay"

Offline Positivelyhopeful

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  • My life doesn't end here!
Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2012, 12:28:59 PM »
Hey COD, I certainly share your concerns and sentiments. I too am in the mid twenties and got the wretched news a few weeks ago. I am handling it much better than I thought but unlike you, I've told no-one. HIV is still highly stigmatized where I am and I just don't think people will be as supportive or understanding as I need them to be. My doc thinks I should at least tell my parents but I can't.

I am a heterosexual female who was in a relationship with one guy for many years and after coming to my senses and ending it, I discovered that he'd been unfaithful numerous times. He had someone pregnant at the time and had the audacity to try to kill me for walking away. Like that wasn't hard enough, now I've discovered that I'm positive. Its a lot to handle! I'm trying to focus on continuing my educational path and being healthy but the hardest part is that I doubt I'll ever be a wife and mom. Its what I've dreamed of all my life and now it seems so unlikely. I have strong faith and I pray that God will send that true love my way.

In the interim, I'll be doing my first set of CD4 tests this week and I hope the results will be good. The internet is a bit overwhelming right now because of the vast amount of information and how conflicting some are. I pray for us all that we'll find the silver lining on this cloud and that we'll all live long healthy lives. I'll give you the same advice others have and that I've been giving myself: pick up yourself and move on. Go excel in your profession and studies and enjoy each day of your life.

All the best
Hugs

Offline aelizabeth1019

  • Member
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Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2012, 08:00:26 PM »
Oops. Shouldn't have done that. I tried to delete it, but it wouldn't let me.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Just recently diagnosed HIV+ :(
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2012, 08:32:46 PM »
Oops. Shouldn't have done that. I tried to delete it, but it wouldn't let me.

Elizabeth,

Only moderators can delete posts. Once you've posted 3 times you'll have PM privileges.

MtD

 


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