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Author Topic: questions of a newb  (Read 2025 times)

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Offline EggplantP

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questions of a newb
« on: February 19, 2013, 01:01:50 AM »
I'm sure you guys have both experienced and seen others situations over the years. I wanted to ask...

Are folks that have a CD4 count <200 able to bounce back to normal numbers with medication, or is there a noticeably higher difference in cell count if you catch the infection earlier and are able to treat?

Is it uncommon for people with HIV in the earlier stages to acquire an OI (such as PCP), or is that usually only seen in the latter stages of HIV? Is it more difficult for someone with a CD4 count <200 to bounce back from an OI, even after starting HIV meds?

Knowing what you guys know now...what questions would you ask your ID doctor on the first appointment or what would you have done differently as far as your treatment regimen is concerned?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 12:14:41 AM by EggplantP »

Offline mecch

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Re: questions of a newb
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 01:23:30 AM »
Sorry, just to be clear, who got the Western Blot confirmation of HIV+?
You?
Your friend?
Both?
Neither?
http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=47381.msg577035#msg577035
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline DrewEm

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Re: questions of a newb
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 01:25:32 AM »
I did, I had an ex who, as it turns out, was a whore. The only way I could have been infected was through him as I rarely fooled around with anyone else - and if I did it was safely.

I spent nine days in the hospital in the spring og 2010 with a host of opportunistic infections. I was on an IV pump for two weeks after discharge.

Thanks to Norvir, Prezista and Truvada I had a VL of 59 and CD4 over 500 at my December visit. My numbers bounce around a bit, something that happens in some people, but the CD4 is always high in comparison to the viral load. That is the number my doc looks at most heavily.

Offline DrewEm

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Re: questions of a newb
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 01:27:56 AM »
I should mention it was 7 years between my hospital stay and when the ex and I split. I had the western blot test in the hospital. I didn't have PCP but KS and CMV but the doc still put me on Bactrim. I continued to take the Bactrim for five months after starting HAART.

The doc figures I carried and controlled the virus for at least a decade before things went off the track.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 01:30:07 AM by DrewEm »

Offline EggplantP

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Re: questions of a newb
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 02:23:09 AM »
Boyfriend got a positive ELISA and Western Blot. Since his oral swab was negative when he was HIV+, I'm worried that mine may have also been incorrect. I'm going to wait another week or so and take an ELISA to be sure. (Just to be clear, we've been in a committed long term relationship for several years now. ..So if he has been infected for awhile, then I think my chances of also having contracted it are probably greater).
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 01:27:22 PM by EggplantP »

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: questions of a newb
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2013, 02:26:03 AM »
Are you HIV positive?

Your post in AM IN INFECTED SAYS:

Quote
Boyfriend had pneumonia (bacterial antibiotics and steroids given at dr.'s office did not phase it). He was admitted to hospital and treatment was only partially effective (iv antibiotics/steroids). Dr.'s did Tb test...negative. Dr.'s took blood test (not sure if it was a rapid blood test or ELISA), but the result came back HIV+. They sent off for a Western Blot, which we will not know the results of until Tuesday. They discharged him a few days ago, and we went today to get an anonymous test (oraquick oral swab) for me, at a local clinic. On a whim he decided to take another one too (oraquick oral swab), and we both tested negative. We are both still very worried with his tests producing two different results. I should think that if he were unknowingly infected with HIV years back, that it would have shown up in the rapid oral swab. However, since it did not, that leads me to believe he is either negative or was recently infected within the last 3 or 4 months. Any ideas...what is going on?


Please respond. This area of the forums is specifically for those with HIV, thanks.



"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 EggplantP

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Re: questions of a newb
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2013, 02:47:47 AM »
Oh, sorry...meant to post in Living with HIV section.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 02:54:12 AM by EggplantP »

Offline Ann

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Re: questions of a newb
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2013, 08:17:39 AM »
Eggplant, the proper place for you to post this is in the Someone I Care About Has HIV forum - not the Living With forum - and for this reason, I've moved it. As you have not been diagnosed yourself, you may only post in the Someone, Am I Infected and [/i]Off Topic[/i] forums. Thank you for your cooperation.

Your boyfriend may have tested negative on the oral swab because he's been recently infected, like in the past four weeks or so. The vast majority of people will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, with the average time to seroconversion being only 22 days.

This may mean that you're not in the "committed" relationship you think you are.

You will need to test again at six weeks following your last incident of unprotected intercourse. Provided that is negative, you must confirm your negative status at the three month point.

It's not unusual for a person who is recently infected to be diagnosed with a very low CD4 count. This number will usually improve given time, even without meds. It can take up to ten years (sometimes more) before the CD4 number goes south, although some people will progress much faster. It's down to each individual's genetics more than anything. Everyone's body will react differently to the virus.
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Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

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Offline aaware72

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Re: questions of a newb
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2013, 12:02:09 PM »

How common is it to be diagnosed with a full blown case of AIDS (CD4 count <200) the first time you find out you are HIV+? I guess I'm asking, do most people find out years after being infected when they suddenly get sick; or do most people discover they have it before being infected for several years?

Are folks that have a CD4 count <200 able to bounce back to normal numbers with medication, or is there a noticeably higher difference in cell count if you catch the infection earlier and are able to treat?

I would consider myself a person that is a newb and trying to grasp and learn as much as I can.

Personally I tested neg on 5/1/12 and then recently tested pos on 1/18/13.  When I had my first set of blood work done my CD4 count was 230 and my viral load was 50,000.   

So what  does that mean? 
 
It my understanding it is like any other that has to do with a human being.  It all has to do with the person.  Everyone is different and the virus effect everyone different.  I was surprised that my first CD4 count was that low.  I have a recent infection and my CD4 count has become low fairly quick.   

Just goes to show how important it is to get tested and know your status. 

Now with that said.  I do know of a person who CD4 count was 6 and with medications his CD4 count rebounded up to over 600.


 
"Yes, knowledge is power. Self-knowledge brings mastery of one's body."

Offline EggplantP

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Re: questions of a newb
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 06:13:57 AM »
Thank you all for responding. We got the viral load test back for him last week, and were a little disappointed with the results. His cd4 was 72 @ 9% and a viral load of 188k, so they decided to start him on meds. His doctor said that she thinks he has probably been positive for at least a decade (I suppose because he has suffered some immune damage).

So, I suppose I have a new set of questions.
The doctor told him that once he started antiretrovirals it would also fight off any other OI's that he had, but it could also leave him susceptible to catching other infections. Can someone explain that? How can it fight off one infection, but leave you vulnerable to getting another?

My second question is a little more personal. Thus far, my ELISA @ 3 weeks was negative, but I still have to get tested every 3 months. I haven't had much problem in dealing with the possibility that I might be positive, although I am worried sick about his health. But I almost feel guilty that he's positive and I'm not. I know that sounds totally crazy..I don't want HIV..nobody does. I guess I feel guilty that he has to deal with this alone. Has anyone else experienced this, and if so how did you deal with it?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 06:17:44 AM by EggplantP »

Offline mecch

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Re: questions of a newb
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 07:35:33 AM »
My second question is a little more personal. Thus far, my ELISA @ 3 weeks was negative, but I still have to get tested every 3 months. I haven't had much problem in dealing with the possibility that I might be positive, although I am worried sick about his health. But I almost feel guilty that he's positive and I'm not. I know that sounds totally crazy..I don't want HIV..nobody does. I guess I feel guilty that he has to deal with this alone. Has anyone else experienced this, and if so how did you deal with it?

He doesn't have to deal with it alone, He has friends, family, doctors, and you, right??

Are you sure its *guilt" you feel?  You are not responsible for his HIV infection. 

Would you feel guilty if the two of you were bike-riding and he fell and broke his shoulder, and you were fine? I would feel sad. Concerned for him. Worried. Id be relieved it wasn't me and I wouldn't feel guilty that it wasn't me.
   
I don't get where the guilt feeling comes in.   Its normal enough to feel at wits end in your situation. But if you think again, maybe its not guilt you are feeling...

« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 07:38:07 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

 


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