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dannylino:
I was diagnosed with HIV in march 1987 and probably was infected four years previous to that so by my reckoning I have had it for 24 years. Im still not on meds and my last count, 3 weeks ago, was CD4 425, VL 19,000 and im in great health. I guess i have been lucky to have stayed so well on it for so long, and i want to stay off meds for as long as i reasonably can.

When i first was diagnosed back in the 80s i knew a lot of people living and dying with AIDS, but for the last 10 years have been out of hte HIV loop, and have been feeling a need to reconnect with others who have been living with this disease, just to see how they are all getting on. Its easy to say, and ive said it myself many times, that you can just get on with your life and not think about having hiv, and i have done that for years at a time, but of course  the REALITY is that its a  life changing event, and I would like to hear from others, both new and long termers on what has changed, for the better and for the worse. I guess i want to redraw the map of my life and would like to swap notes with others about what s it been like living with this particular Virus...

In Peace and Love

Emmet

allopathicholistic:
Hi Emmet - Welcome - Have you ever heard the term "LTNP"? What do you think of the following thread?:

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=411.0  ???


  :)

Teresa:

Glad you found us.

Hugs
Teresa

Queen Tokelove:
Danny,

Welcome! You've finally found us! Since you want to know personal experiences, I will share mine gladly, if you can get something from it great, if not, I atleast hope it was a good read. I was infected by an ex when I lived in Miami. I found out by a co-worker, who had known someone who was a nurse in a correctional facility. He also knew my ex. I'm not sure how long he had been infected but we had been together 5 yrs, so when I found out this information, I cried (was at work). When I got home I asked him about it and he admitted it was true, even then I wanted to still be with him, but to show you how much life has a sense of humor, he left me for a crackhead. Try to figure that one out! So, I continued to be tested and everything remained negative until 1997. I went through the usual emotional rollercoaster of how my life was over and no one would want me but the one thing I never did was deny that I had it.

I tried to get support from my sisters but instead they decided to disclose it to the world. Thanks to them, I now have disclosure issues as well as trust issues. I have lost a husband and some friends behind it. But I have also gained from it also. I have a different outlook on life and I cherish it more. Instead of worrying about everything and everyone, I take life one day at a time, and if something is out of my control, FUCK IT!
I have learned how quick some may turn their backs on you or how some will remain loyal. I have learned from others who are infected and share their knowledge with me. Although not out in the open about my condition, it is these people who have made me atleast want to open the door and make an effort to educate someone to hiv.

What has suffered most for me has been my lovelife. Capricorns are such emotional creatures! I feel I thrive in a relationship and although I may not have riches to offer, I have the richness of heart. I have tried to be picky with who I want to be with, who doesn't, hiv has just made the list get smaller but whoever it may be will be cherished for life. I have tried to have relationships with negs but that doesn't seem to work out well for me, so this time around I'm looking for a Poz Prince. Nothing comes when you want it to but when you least expect it.

Namaste,

Queen Akasha

aztecan:
Hey Emmett,

Welcome aboard, glad you found us.

OK, a little background.

I tested positive in 1985. My first doc thought I was probably infected in June 1980 (a rather lengthy explanation that is really not important at the moment), which, if accurate, means I have had the bug for about 26 years now.

I started meds in May 1996, not long after the first triple-drug cocktail was put on the market. My CD4s had never dropped below 400 and my viral load never exceeded 65,000.

I had an aggressive doctor, and tend to be aggressive in fighting this disease myself.

In June 1996, I dropped Saquinavir (Invirase) for Crixivan. Been on Crix, AZT and 3TC (Epivir) ever since.

Current CD4s range between 1,100 and 1,400, most of the time. I yo-yo a lot. My viral load has been undetectable since July 1996.

I have had a few problems with side effects. Some gravel in the kidneys thanks to the Crix, a little touch of anemia, but nothing to worry about, thanks to the AZT and a hint or two of neuropathy and, of course, a relatively healthy dose of lipoatrophy.

I complain of brain fog, but I can still function relatively well.

All in all, I have been very lucky,

My first doc labeled me a LTNP, mainly because I managed to go 16 years without the meds. Whether my starting the meds when I did disqualifies me from the ranks of the LTNPs, I don't know.

It really doesn't matter. I have lived longer than I thought I ever would, and better than I had ever hoped.

I hope to continue doing so for some time to come.

HUGS,

Mark

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