Main Forums > I Just Tested Poz

New here and need some help understanding everything.

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Without going into too much detail, the only thing I can think of was at my last job, someone was hurt, and I helped out, and I work in a feild were your hands being cut up is not unusual.

Hey Tech...sorry about your diagnosis.  As a newbie myself, I can relate. 
Looks like, Windy, you and myself are in a similar boat as are a few others on the board who joined recently.  I'm sure we'll be able to help each other out as things go along. I have only told one person, my boss and that's it.  So the forum has been pretty helpful.

I started meds a month ago, a month after diagnosis.  I was in the throws of a bad seroconversion as my infection was recent.  I've been feeling awful and sick overall (you can look at some of my posts for the fun details). That and I knew in my mind that I would have to start meds at some point, so all things considered I decided to start meds right away.  Your CD4's are higher than mine and you don't mention being sick right now (not with an opportunistic infection, I just mean your body being run down like mine) so you might make a different decision.

As for resistance and running out of meds, I had the same concern, but in talking to my Doc and from all the things I've read, there are just so many options now than ever before.  And as Mrmojorisin said, it's more about not being adherent to meds that will have an impact on that.  Treat your HIV meds like you do a multivitamin and take them every day, you'll be golden.  The other thing is, if you haven't already been tested, your Doc can run blood tests to figure out if you have a resistant strain or not.  Has he had those tests done?  If you did have a resistant strain, chances are one of the combos will work just fine. 

In thinking about long term side effects such as heart, kidney and liver issues...since you'll be going in for blood tests at various times in the year, your Doc will be able to detect if those things are even happening and can either change course with meds or add other drugs to combat that stuff. I don't see it as something that's going to creep up and bite you in that ass over night without you knowing it and being able to correct it. 

The other thing that made me decide to take meds now, is that recent trending opinion among HIV specialists world wide, is there is evidence to support taking meds as soon as diagnosed as opposed to waiting.  The thought is, even though HIV levels may be low in the body, there are reservoirs that hide it and keep your immune system working at elevated levels causing inflammation. Over time this may have a burn out effect on your body.  With taking meds earlier this dials down how hard your body has to fight the virus even at those low levels. 

There are a few different threads on here discussing that. I'll try and find it and flip the link over to you so you can read about it. 

Here's one link -

Here is the other -

That's my two cents for what it's worth :)

Windy, you are always welcome to give me a shout as well :)

Welcome to the forums.  I hope all is well with you, all things considered.

From what you said, you've had only one lab done at this point?  Most experts now believe anyone with HIV should start meds, regardless of CD4 count.  Even before that recommendation, we had the recommendation to begin therapy (or start preparing for therapy) once your CD4 was below 500.  Your CD4 count would fall into that recommendation, but you've only had the one lab.  Personally, I would want a few more labs to know whether that CD4 of 410 was staying at that level.  Even if I were ready to begin meds, I think I would want to a few more labs.  Your viral load is pretty low.  Do you know your CD4 percentage?  Do you have any idea how long you've been infected?

While well intentioned, I think your doc was being a tad dramatic.  For someone newly dx'd, suggesting they may not be around to regret delaying treatment could make them think they must start meds immediately, or die.  You have time to get a few more labs, see where things are, and to begin to prepare for daily, lifetime medication.  Your CD4 could have been decreased due to stress, lack of sleep, illness, etc.  Future labs could show your CD4 at 800.  Or, not. 

It sounds like you need more time to process this and to make a decision about whether to start meds.  The worst thing a doctor can do is pressure someone not ready to start meds, when they may not be ready.  I mean, unless they are in an urgent situation.  Starting meds when not prepared to be adherent is the main cause of treatment failure.   


Hi Tech

This is my standard reply to all new comers, I hope it will help in some small way.

First of all welcome to the forums, I know you will find a lot of support here.

Reaction to the results is difffernt for everyone, but over time you will find a way of coping with the virus that suits you and it might be quite differnt from how others deal with it.

No one here will ever tell you it's easy, it's ok to get angry or/and scared but don't let it take over your life, stress is natural it can actually help some of us get through certain situations but excessive stress can cause you physical symptoms and can damage your immune system even further, just try and find ways to manage any stress you may be feeling, learn to relax and listen to your body.

Along with HIV comes anxiety and one way of tackling this is through information. gaining confidence in yourself and making informed decisions about your future.

Support is also very important and you can get this from a qualified ID doctor , family and friend's that you trust, and of course there are many support organizations out there...just make sure whoever you discuss this with is sympathetic,supporting and  non judgmental about your HIV status.

Most important of all you have to remember that being HIV+ does not stop you from being the person you were before your dianosis, it really is important to remember that.


Hey Tech, man, I'm sorry to hear of this. Like you, this is all new to me as well. I got diagnosed back in February. Since then, I've just been going to my doctor every couple of months and just kinda forgot about it. However, now is the time to consider starting meds because I'm noticing subtle changes in my body, which from research, seem to be HIV related. I think its probably best to freeze my immune system in this state, a fairly decent state, and just start the meds... but at this point, it's a life long commitment.

Like you, and many others who have posted. I am lonely, and have no one other than the people on this forum to talk to about things. I have not told my family for reasons similar to what WindySkies said. There just seem to be more cons than pros. It's been a lonely road, but I hope to develop a support group on this network. I just turned thirty, an hopefully I will live to see my 60's or 70's.

Cheers to a long life! PM if you'd like to chat. Welcome aboard.


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