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Suspected ARS in December of 1982.  Tested positive 12 years ago. 28-29 years infected.
One of the ‘most fortunate,’ until recently.  I always had a CD4+ around 850, VL around 2,000. Been in studies at NIH for 9 years having, white blood cells drawn for vaccine research twice a year.

Unfortunately, after all these years, the virus finally mutated and found a way around my relative immunity.  Last CD4+ 480, VL 139,000.  Started Altripla two weeks ago.  Well cared for at Mass General. Experiencing some side effects.

I live in a very small rural community in Maine. No support groups up here.  I guess going through all the turd that most feel when they first discover they are positive, although I’ve known for ages.  All of a sudden it is “life or death,” rather than participating in the scientific process of ending this nightmare for all of us.  Besides health ambivalence now, a major ego blow. No more “being special and somewhat unique.”

Looking for some support or friendship or help during these early days. Don’t know what to expect or where I am going. Doc says HIV will in no way play a significant role in the longevity of my life.  But still feeling pretty hurt and harmed, and not sure what’s coming next.


Hey there.  Welcome, Fisher.

Hey Fisher,

Welcome! I've been around a while, too, but been on meds for more than 16 years.

Glad you have joined in.



Welcome to the forums.  I don't think I've seen two new members in one day.  I'm glad you both found this place and are participating.  Thanks for your work in research. 

Looking forward to hearing more from you.


Welcome to our little club. ;)  I can totally relate to living in a small rural community without local support.  Becoming a regular member has negated that and I hope you find as much value and support here as I have.

Take care and best wishes.



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