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Author Topic: I tested positive one month ago  (Read 6946 times)

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Offline Esquare

  • Member
  • Posts: 237
I tested positive one month ago
« on: October 03, 2006, 02:27:43 AM »
It is very difficult for me to type this message but I'll do the best I can.  At the end of August I tested positive.  I was so in shock that I really didn't say too much at the time to the doctor.  I just had that sick, stomach in knots, neuce around my neck feeling.  The only reason I was tested is that I was experiencing a slight uptick in high blood pressure and due to a family problem with it my doctor did tons of tests and I said to even test me for all STDs.  If a friend of mine had not have had a light stroke I wouldn't have even tested the high blood pressure so its still quite weird how I even asked.  Anyway, so the doctor told me that they were doing the western blot and would know the next day for sure and referred me to an HIV doctor's office in a neighboring city.  He gave me an appointment time of 9 am the next morning.  Well, my big decision was when to tell my wife.  We have only been married for a few months.  I decided that it would be better to be upfront since I was scared because I had it but I was terrified that I might have given it to her and wanted her to get tested.  Well I bit the bullet and told her when I got home that evening and it was a rough night of crying and soul searching.  We had a billion questions and were scared out of our minds that we would be shunned by society and all.  I found out the next day that I was definitely positive.  She tested that afternoon and it was still a very sad scene at the house.  I started to read the literature that the wonderful nurse gave me (she is really great) and some made me feel better because I started to understand the virus and the rest scared the shit out of me.  We got great news the next afternoon that her test came back negative.  They told us to be cool because we need to do another test in 3 months.  We are being cool on that one but it was certainly a lift.

Now, I have a great doctor who is highly regarded in the southeast (where I'm at) and he has a great staff that is very supportive.  On the Friday of the week I found out on Monday I got the news that my CD4 count was 112 and that my viral load was very high.  The only good news was that I had no hepititis which I was very happy about once I came back to reality.  I then hit my low point that afternoon and really started to bury myself thinking of all the bad things that were about to happen to me.  I cried like a baby, something that's hard to admit or do for me.  That afternoon I anonomously called a local AIDS hotline and the guy on the phone calmed me down a ton telling me that there was some good news for positive people now.

The turning point for me emotionally was when the doctor had his official visit with me to determine our course and talk about treatment.  After that meeting I was introduced to a wonderful lady that is positive and she told me a lot of things about how to deal with the challenge and to live my life.  She gave me some Poz magazines which were great by the way because I got to see people living with this virus and not letting it lead their lives.  That magazine led me to this site and I have read through many threads.  Some parts of the forums I have not read because I'm afraid that I'm going to read about something I'm not aware of that will scare the crap out of me but overall the site has been very helpful.  My wife is the biggest thing for me.  She is totally committed to our relationship and we are doing great.  She has broke down a few times in tears but overall she has been a rock.

Within the last week its been a little tougher.  I hit a snag with Dapsone as I did not know I was allergic to the sulfur.  I got laid up with a major fever all of last week that scared us a lot.  That put off my drug treatment start date by a week as the doctor wanted me to be back to 100% before starting.  Then I had to learn that my drug coverage makes you file a claim so you have to pay upfront.  My nurse hooked me up with a service that will allow me to pay the lower percentage first (damn these drugs are expensive) and they file the claim and collect from my insurance company.  I'm going to do the claim myself in the first month in order to avoid the delay though.

So now I'm getting myself psyched up for the meds and those wonderful side effects.  He is starting me with Atripla so I'm ready for my first "trip".  My greatest fears right now are keeping my work up despite side effects from the meds and keeping this secret.  My wife and I have decided that we only want us to know.  Neither of our families can handle it.  I don't want others knowing and am taking every step to keep this out of my local town's gossip.  I am going to the doctor 30 minutes from home and also am using a nearby pharmacy for prescriptions in order to keep me anonymous.  As long as my health care provider doesn't share with my employer I should be good. I hope so.

Anyways, I am sorry if that was too long but thank goodness for this forum and I look forward to getting to know many of you around here although I'd rather that I never stopped by.  ;)

Offline Teresa

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,753
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2006, 11:16:59 AM »
Hello and Welcome to the forums. Glad you found us.

My hubby tested HIV+ in May of this year. We have been together for 6 yrs married for 4. I have tested negative so far. We go back to the Dr next week for his bloodwork and the DR wants me to get tested again, so I will.

I can understand all that you and your wife are going thru. Its been one hell of a summer for us. My hubby started out taking Truvada and Sustiva and when Atripla came out she put him on it. Hes been doing great on it. No bad side effects for him but each person is different. I hope you do as well on it and he does. Hubbys CD4 was 85 and VL was over 280,000 when he had his first labs done. Its now CD4 198 and VL is <75.

You might ask for copies of all your labs. Someone suggested that to me and I keep them in a binder. I also have a notebook that I take with me and if I have questions I write them down and then write down the answers because i don't want to forget.

 If you haven't read the lessons here i urge you to do so. It helped me so much. Have your wife read them too....it will help her. And she is more than welcome to come here and ask questions too and vent if she needs too. My hubby has yet to post here and he never reads the forums unless i see something I think he needs to read. The forums here have helped me a great deal. There are a bunch of knowledgeable and loving people here.

You and your wife are not alone in this. You have a new family here at Aidsmed.

Again WELCOME!

Hugs
Teresa
Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
CD4:320
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)
 

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 25,425
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2006, 04:25:48 PM »
ES, you sure wrote a mouthful. I'm also glad you found your way to this site. It sounds like medically things are getting in place. Having a good doctor with whom you can form a real partnership is one of the most basic tools for staying healthy.

I understand that waiting to know about your wife's status is really tough. Although I don't ordinarily recommend it, she could do a PCR at 28 days past the most recent unprotected intercourse she had with you. It's a highly sensitive test which sometimes yields a false positive. But a negative at that point is the next-best-thing to an all clear. She would still have to re-test at 13 weeks to get a definitive negative.

From here on in of course you need to be wearing a condom everytime you have intercourse. Thousands of sero-dystonic couples are having good lives in every way together, including sexually, and you can too. Great advances have even been made with regard to being able to have children without the sero-negative partner becoming infected. That's something you may want to look into further down the line.

You're always welcome here to ask questions or to discuss anything that's on your mind.

This is tough stuff to handle and you two are doing very well in facing the challenge.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2006, 09:22:42 PM »
Hello Esquare, it is Eldon.

It is unfortunate that you have tested positive. However, it is a good thing that you DO now know rather than not knowing so that you can take action with your health. Your wife is an excellent source for your support system. Please DO educate yourself as much as you can on the topic.

I wish to extend to you a warm WELCOME to the forums, here you will find encouragement, understanding, communication, support, some cries, some laughter and many of your questions answered relating to HIV/AIDS. This site has a lot of information for you at your disposal.

We have a great group of individuals from all walks of life. We will listen and answer you as well. I understand that there is a lot on your mind. Please DO come and vent from time-to-time. 

Again, Welcome! and make the BEST of each Day!

Offline Esquare

  • Member
  • Posts: 237
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2006, 08:09:32 PM »
Teresa, Andy, and Eldon thanks for the kind words.

It does help knowing there are others out there that I can lean on if I need to. The same here by the way, I am here for you guys.

Teresa, my wife isn't much for the internet forums but she has already purchased some books off amazon on HIV and has read one of them and shared some of the things that stood out with me.  I have read through the lessons. It was helpful but I'm starting to hit a point where I'm overloaded with the new knowledge and am getting really paranoid as I'm about to start the treatment. Also, the wife and I still want to have kids and hopefully we can get to that point.  I'm just very happy she is supportive and is ok with staying married with me after finding out I have HIV.

Today I went and picked up my first bottle of atripla pills and that was a little freaky. The first one comes Friday night.  I probably wouldn't be so afraid of taking them if I hadn't had that reaction to the dapsone. Maybe I'm not allergic to this stuff.  If I am from what I understand the doctor can switch me to another drug combination.  I'll be glad when I can buy into things that are more long term.  I seem to be on such a short term approach with work and everything.  Hopefully my mood will change if I can see my numbers improve.

Anyways thanks for the comments guys.  My wife read them with me and they were helpful.

Offline dingowarrior

  • Member
  • Posts: 191
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2006, 08:05:44 AM »
ES,
Hi and welcome..you and your wife are in a very similar situation as me an mine as well as Teresa (who is great)..read my post under newly diaignosed in april 06 and read my story..i'm sure you can relate to my story..you can pm me any time and we can chat..we too are newly weds..as my post states we have been married just over 12months when we found out..any questions,feel freee to pm me brother..

DW

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,430
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2006, 10:19:51 AM »
Hey Esquare,
First, let me say it really sucks this has happened. But, I am very glad you have come here and joined our eclectic family.

You seem to have been handling this very well. It isn't an easy thing to learn, especially with your wife. I am glad her initial test was negative and hope she remains so.

The good news is Atripla is an easy regimen to take. One pill a day. Is it possible for you to start the meds on a weekend or on your days off? That would give you a couple of days to adjust to any side effects or at least know if they will affect you.

You are absolutely correct regarding who to tell about this. Disclosure is a very personal thing. Only disclose when you are ready, and only to those you wish to know.

Regarding your doc and your workplace, the doctor cannot disclose your status to anyone, including your boss, without your permission.

Glad you are here and look forward to hearing more from you.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Esquare

  • Member
  • Posts: 237
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2006, 12:47:48 PM »
Aztecan thanks for the helpful words. I pray and pray my wife's next test comes back negative as that would be a huge boost for us. I started Atripla on Friday night and have not really had any problems with it other than feeling like I have a drunk buzz a few hours later but that hasn't been a bad thing. Thanks to the govt holiday I'm off today so I have had three days to check the side effects. I'm watching for the rash and am mentally prepared to deal with it if it comes.

One thing that I keep fighting out of my mind is that the doctor told me I've had this for quite a while. Nearly 4 years possibly and that was still in my dumber/wilder days. I've been advised not to go calling sexual partners from then because that can blow up in my face. I no longer feel guilty about having sex while infected then because I didn't know I was hiv+ and every experience was 100% consentual on both sides. I guess I just feel bad that I could have infected another person and that they have no idea and could be spreading it to their current boyfriend or husband. My wife doesn't want me to because she is afraid of an angry husband coming after me/us and making the situation worse. Any thoughts on this one?

Offline dingowarrior

  • Member
  • Posts: 191
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2006, 10:10:11 PM »
Man, Esquare, we have incredibly similar stories..my doctor told me i've had this in my system at least 3 to 4 years..i too initailly felt guilty about possibly infecting someone in my past and they un-knowing passed it to their spouse or boyfriend..but you have to focus on your wife,and if it makes your wife feel more at ease keeping this to yourselves,i recommend you do that especially if it puts her a bit at ease.whatever it takes to help her thru this..try to accomidate that..thats how i've handle it with my wife and it helps the situation..glad to hear you havent had any real effects..

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,430
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2006, 11:28:03 AM »
Hey Esquare,
I don't know how it works where you live, but here in New Mexico you can contact the Department of Health, give them the contact information, and they would, in turn, contact your previous partners.

This is done anonymously. Usually, the person who follows up on this tells the contact the state has received information the contact may have been exposed to something and they should be tested.

But each state works differently. I would check it out before acting because, depending on the former partner's situation, it can blow up on you.

You might check with your local ASO (AIDS service organization) about this.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Esquare

  • Member
  • Posts: 237
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2006, 07:01:40 PM »
The health dept called me yesterday and left a message (and a note on my door) and I called them right back and set up at appt at my home. They came by and it wasn't as bad as I thought.  The worker told me that he was glad I called him right back because most people hide and he has a tough time tracking them down.  Another part of the roller coaster ride but I'm glad its over, now on to the next task. 7 days on the meds and I've taken them the same time every night so the only things that I've been given to do about this thing I have been on top of them and plan to stay that way.

Offline dingowarrior

  • Member
  • Posts: 191
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2006, 10:03:03 PM »
Good luck dude..keep your head up and stay on top of this thing,and we all will be alright..my doctor told me with todays meds its no worse than having diabetes....i mean with the exception of the sex part..as far as living with it,as long as you take your meds,you can control this damn thing.

Offline DingoBoi

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,355
  • Bailey's Infected Cream™ Served since 2004
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2006, 10:32:55 PM »
grrrrrr

Offline Esquare

  • Member
  • Posts: 237
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2006, 10:04:55 PM »
Update:
My wife just retested after first testing 3 months ago and it came back NEGATIVE! That's the best news I have heard in a while. They said she needs to go back and test again in 3 months but this is still great news.

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2006, 10:09:04 PM »
Update:
My wife just retested after first testing 3 months ago and it came back NEGATIVE! That's the best news I have heard in a while. They said she needs to go back and test again in 3 months but this is still great news.

Esquare: SO GLAD FOR YOU BOTH! ---THAT IS FABULOUS NEWS!

Offline dingowarrior

  • Member
  • Posts: 191
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2006, 10:22:27 PM »
Awsome Esquare!! All is going to be ALL RIGHT.   ;)

Offline Esquare

  • Member
  • Posts: 237
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2006, 10:44:47 PM »
Awsome Esquare!! All is going to be ALL RIGHT.   ;)

Thanks man. Its good to hear from you again. We should chat sometime.

Offline dingowarrior

  • Member
  • Posts: 191
Re: I tested positive one month ago
« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2006, 10:03:15 AM »
we can chat anytime brother...just pm me when you like.  ;)

 


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