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Author Topic: well i am POZ... and i need some advice  (Read 2560 times)

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Offline thescent

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« on: September 24, 2012, 06:08:22 PM »
well i just found out that i am HIV+. first week i found out felt way depressed, suicidal, and down right bad. just need some advice on how to handle everythng im only 23 years old. blood work getting back in a week or so so i dont know what my cells are at yet, but kinda worried because i have no insurance yet, and cant get any until april of next year with my job, how do i pay for meds, doctors visits very worried. all i can say is after a week of just sitting in my room and just wanting to die, i pretty much just sucked it up and told myself that i can either let them kill me or live my life to the fullest. \i havent told any one yet because everyone's so proud of me hearing this would probbaly break my parents heart.. i need some words of encouragement. how long can i live....how much will meds cost... will i get help.... anything please..

Lee

Offline jkinatl2

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,007
  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 07:25:42 PM »
well i just found out that i am HIV+. first week i found out felt way depressed, suicidal, and down right bad. just need some advice on how to handle everythng im only 23 years old. blood work getting back in a week or so so i dont know what my cells are at yet, but kinda worried because i have no insurance yet, and cant get any until april of next year with my job, how do i pay for meds, doctors visits very worried. all i can say is after a week of just sitting in my room and just wanting to die, i pretty much just sucked it up and told myself that i can either let them kill me or live my life to the fullest. \i havent told any one yet because everyone's so proud of me hearing this would probbaly break my parents heart.. i need some words of encouragement. how long can i live....how much will meds cost... will i get help.... anything please..

Lee

While I am so sorry that you have found yourself in need of these forums, I am glad that you did, indeed, find them. They are the best HIV support and informational forums on the internet, period.

I will assume (correct me!) that you live in the USA. If so, is there an AIDS Support Organization close to where you live/work? I believe the URL is here:

http://directory.poz.com/

They will likely be able to assist you in finding medical care until your insurance kicks in. BTW, PLEASE don't opt out of wither short OR long term disability through your insurance. Might cost a few dollars up front, but the peace of mind ALONE is worth it.

Until you get your numbers back from the lab, I can't really say very much except that under NO circumstances should you think you are going to die from this. With monitoring and (likely eventually) medication, you should never even develop AIDS as it is currently defined.

Yes, your circumstances have changed. But you are still the same person, same hopes and dreams and flaws. What you CAN do is to take care of yourself. Find an ASO, seek out face-to-face counseling/support groups if you need them. The upkeep for your health has gotten a bit more complicated, but it should not be anything you can't handle.

We are certainly here for you.

"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 thescent

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 07:54:42 PM »
thanks a bunch ur words are very encouraging...

Offline softballdude2012

  • Member
  • Posts: 31
  • Diagnosed July 2012
Re: well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 08:34:44 PM »
Hello Lee,

I am so sorry to hear of the diagnosis but welcome.  I was just diagnosed in July 2012.  I hear you on some of your thoughts.  Do not panic.

Everyone here is willing to help you out.  You will want to find a case worker who will be able to get you medical help.  I was most worried about this as well. 

Your life will go on and you can lead a long, satistying and healthy life.  Getting your numbers can be very nerve wracking.  The doctors have been very helpful and their main concern is you.

Please remember you are not alone.  We are hear to help you out.  Relax.  Breathe.

You are going to be A ok...

SBdude2012
"the past is just that the past, the future isn't here, today is a gift, that is why it's called the present"

June/July 2013 CD4 694 VL-undectable
September 2012 CD4 752 VL 11,669
started Atripla 09/13/2012

Offline phildinftlaudy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,959
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 08:48:42 PM »
Welcome to the forums Scent... Sorry for the reason you found us - but glad you are here with us.

As already said, take each step a day at a time.
There are many members on here who have lived with HIV (and AIDS) for more than a decade or two - so, don't let fears of sickness/dying weigh you down.

With the proper medical care (and meds, if needed) you should be fine.

There are plenty of programs that are available to assist you (if you let us know what state and/or city you live in, there may be members who can give you more focused direction as to where to go and services offered).

When I didn't have insurance, I was able to get care through the local publicly funded hospital and their clinic (through Ryan White funding and their taxpayer funded indigent care program).

As someone who just "celebrated" 4 years being positive - I work everyday, am in school full-time going for my MBA, do private consulting, and still have an active social life. I have my share of health issues (but I can't necessarily attribute all of them to HIV - some may just be the result of getting older - lol).

HIV does not have to hold you back... and the people who are proud of you - can still be proud --- proud of the way you handle your diagnosis and your life post-diagnosis (should you choose to disclose to them)....

So, don't beat yourself up; don't let yourself stay down too long; and take one step at a time.

Welcome again!
Phil
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline Cojo

  • Member
  • Posts: 189
Re: well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 09:09:53 PM »
Hi Lee,

Like the rest of the folks said, it is too bad how you had to find us, but glad you did.

I have been positive for about 16 months now and reading your post reminded me of exactly where I was when I found out. I felt shame, embarrassment, fear and tons of sudden uncertainty. The day before I found out, I was a guy who thought he really had it all together and then in an instant, wack, it seemed everything changed. And it really felt like it.

HIV is not to be fooled with, but Lee the medical advancements are truly miraculous. A year into meds, the virus is crushed to undetectable and my immune system is almost back to "normal". I have never been sick, and I've had zero side effects from the meds. This WILL be your story as well if you are committed to it.

Folks on here kept telling me, with time it gets better. They are 100% right. You gotta believe it that although alot seems out of control and scary it will get better and you will feel your old self again - that's a promise!

So hang in there, breathe, look for small signs of gratitude where you can and know you have tons of learned support here.
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

Offline thescent

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 09:13:54 PM »
i live in anchorage alaska, not sure if we have a big HIV establishment here tho, but thanks for all the input it really helps me get by.

Offline Miss Philicia

  • Member
  • Posts: 23,869
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 09:17:37 PM »
i live in anchorage alaska, not sure if we have a big HIV establishment here tho, but thanks for all the input it really helps me get by.

http://www.communitydrum.org/html/agencies.html

From the looks of it you might start with the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center listing, as they provide integrated medical care and case management, so should be able to sort out how you would be covered.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline phildinftlaudy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,959
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 09:19:58 PM »
i live in anchorage alaska, not sure if we have a big HIV establishment here tho, but thanks for all the input it really helps me get by.

You can probably start getting familiar with some of the services by checking out this site:
http://www.epi.hss.state.ak.us/hivstd/hiv.stm

Scroll down on it and they have the following links to client service providers:
http://www.alaskanaids.org/splash.htm

Here is direct link to phone number/address for those who are newly diagnosed to contact them:
http://www.alaskanaids.org/2011/resources/newlydiagnosed/newlydiagnosed.html

From that site:
When You Come For Your Appointment, Please Bring:
Proof of your income and the income of other members of your family living with you. Examples are:
1 months of pay stubs
Social Security Printout
Unemployment documentation
Proof of medical insurance
Proof of your HIV/AIDS Diagnosis - letter from your doctor or who performed the HIV test
Be prepared to answer questions of a personal nature. Through answering these questions and completing the screening/in-take process, you can help us determine how best to serve you. Possible outcomes from this meeting will be assistance in locating a medical provider, housing assistance, food, etc. A list of services is available on our website.
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline lincoln6echo

  • Member
  • Posts: 109
Re: well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 09:37:25 PM »
Hi Scent.
I'm only 3 weeks or so into this myself so I know what it's like.

It's easy to feel alone and isolated but know that there are people who are willing to help you get through it and this forum is a great place to start.   

The one thing I have found encouraging is that between my GP, my ID doc, the nutritionist (who I met with today for the first time), counsellors and the info on these forums, the info about HIV and it's treatment is very very consistent. 

I take comfort in this since the science of it all is very reassuring and i'm only now myself coming to terms with the fact that people like us have a more than excellent chance of being AOK. At first I kinda thought people were just being pie in the sky and hoping for the best, as there was no other alternative.  But, that's not the case at all.  As long as we work with our health care providers, take their advice and direction and take good care of ourselves, things will work out better than I ever knew they could. 

Take the time to invest in educating yourself about your health, take one day at a time, be patient with yourself. Be good to yourself. 

Lincoln. 

Offline thescent

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2012, 07:42:40 PM »
well just an update guys, still waiting for my results feels like for ever. just dont really know what to do atm, i have a vacation coming up going to disney world with my family but not sure if i can cope with it. i havent told anyone yet so i wanna keep a brave face for everyone. was feeling sick the whole week, alot better now not sure if i wwanna risk going to florida for a week or just sit at home, any advice would be apprciated.

L

Online drewm

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,033
  • Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm!
Re: well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2012, 10:29:07 PM »
well just an update guys, still waiting for my results feels like for ever. just dont really know what to do atm, i have a vacation coming up going to disney world with my family but not sure if i can cope with it. i havent told anyone yet so i wanna keep a brave face for everyone. was feeling sick the whole week, alot better now not sure if i wwanna risk going to florida for a week or just sit at home, any advice would be apprciated.

L

Glad you found us Lee. Here's the deal, if I didn't feel like going on vacation, I wouldn't go. This next part is tough. Being diagnosed is a BIG deal. It really is. I was dxd with full blown AIDS two years ago and I can tell you that physically (in hospital with pneumonia) and mentally, I could not have kept up a "brave face." I really feel you on this. The only thing I can tell you is that you are the only one who can honestly decide whether you can go on this vacation or not. I can tell you that with treatment, this disease is totally manageable and while it is important to keep an eye on it (get lab work done and see doctor on regular basis) it is not something to stop living over.

Drew  ;)
MAY 2010
VL>500,000 CD4>8

JUNE 2010 STARTED ATRIPLA

DEC 2010
VL>30 CD4>323

Atripla. Valtrex, Trilipix, Fluoxotine

Offline Cojo

  • Member
  • Posts: 189
Re: well i am POZ... and i need some advice
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2012, 11:12:30 PM »
Hey Lee,

I was in the exact same position as you...2 weeks after diagnosis I was scheduled to go to California for a week from Toronto. I was so worried about the what ifs about getting sick ( I didn't have my numbers yet) that I was going to cancel.
My doc and folks on here reminded me that things with this virus develop over time and their advice is if I was feeling OK, then i should go. So I did. It was very therapeutic to just get away, chill and be in the sun. Just my two cents.
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

 


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