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Author Topic: Over 12 mths poz, only just diagnosed  (Read 2817 times)

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Offline Big_Ted

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Over 12 mths poz, only just diagnosed
« on: April 12, 2013, 09:56:23 PM »
Hey all.  Wanted to share my tale.

In feb 2012, I got sick.  Real sick.  I had this bloody awful flu, my muscles ached, my hearing was massively hyper sensitive, and all my lymph nodes went hard.  ALL of em.

I went to my GP in outer eastern Melbourne, Australia, and they took some blood.  They tested me for Dengue Fever, Scarlet fever, glandular fever, even lymphoma and typhoid!  But they didn't test me for HIV, because I didn't ask.

They told me lymph nodes only come up as a result of viral contact, so even though they had not found the infection, they gave me some anti virals.  I took the course, and my symptoms faded - except the muscle fatigue which has plagued me since.

In July I packed my car, sold my stuff and took off to drive solo around Australia.  It was amazing and I had the time of my life.  I didn't get sick again all year - not even a cold!  I was healthy as a horse.

I returned to Melbourne in February this year, and settled into a new happy stress-free life.  Then last weekend, I got a phone call.  It was a man I met in cairns, who had just tested positive for HIV.  He explained that he seroconverted in late January, about 3 months after he and I had been frequent lovers.

Almost immediately I started getting a cold.  Didn't think much of that, as I was a bit busy getting my butt to a doctor!  I was lucky that I live a few blocks away from the clinic in Australia which is offering the rapid tests.  I went in 11:45 Wednesday morning, and by 12:30 the same day I knew I had HIV as well.

What was worse, after telling the doc my tale, he told me that I most likely seroconverted more than 12 months ago.  Then he told me my cold had all the markers of an immune-response.

I was floored.  But then he gave me some good news - my muscle fatigue (which I thought was just my body being unfit) is quite possibly treatable :)

It's now Saturday, and shockingly I'm alright.  I treated my diagnosis like a bandaid on hair, and just "ripped it off" quickly.  I have now fully disclosed to all my lovers since feb 2012, I have added my poz symbol to my scruff and growlr profiles.

I have to say, I don't see storm clouds on my horizon.  As I have been poz for over 12 months, my body has reached benchmark point for my counts - so when I get my counts I may be eligible for immediate treatment.  Even if my counts aren't high enough, my amazing doctor wants to put me in a study and get me medicated ASAP, to fix my fatigue.

I have a great doctor, amazing friends, a supportive (if naive) flatmate, and a positive outlook.  Being poz won't kill me, it will just make me a more responsible person.

Offline Big_Ted

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: Over 12 mths poz, only just diagnosed
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2013, 10:05:02 PM »
As an FYI, I will be receiving my formative results on Monday.  But the doctor and I have both discussed, and really, the formative diagnosis is just a formality in my case.  Symptomatically, the truth is undeniable.  But for those out there who say "you're not poz till its formative", I guess I'll be HIV positive on Monday...  Lol.

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,886
Re: Over 12 mths poz, only just diagnosed
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 12:27:28 AM »
I am sorry you are positive, but it sounds like you're dealing with this as best as can be expected.  That is good to hear. 

The illness you describe, from February 2012, certainly sounds like seroconversion illness.  I had the lymph nodes swollen all over and the most awful fatigue.  I could barely brush my teeth and bathe.  I blamed it on mono.  It's interesting to talk to some, who say they never had any seroconversion illness. 

You've learned your status fairly quickly, as many don't find out until they have AIDS.  That will allow you to know your health status, as well as not inadvertently infect others.  Glad to hear you have a support system.

Keep in touch,

Ted

Offline Big_Ted

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: Over 12 mths poz, only just diagnosed
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 12:50:55 AM »
Hey Ted!

I honestly look at this as a sign from the universe that my life will never be mundane or ordinary.  So I should go do something extraordinary with my life.

There's no point being upset or sad about it, the medication available ensures that I won't lose a minute of my life to this virus, and frankly it's easier to manage than diabetes, so why worry?

I'm hoping that I fit the criteria for medication sooner rather than later, so that I can get back to doing what I wanted to do - travel the world.

Much love, and I hope I can be an inspiration to some of you struggling out there!

Ted #2

Offline fer00

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
Re: Over 12 mths poz, only just diagnosed
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2013, 11:05:30 PM »
Its great that you are so positive Ted its very admirable!
Diagnosed February 2013
CD4 354, VL 4,000
March started on Truvada, Viramune
June Cd4 450, VL 20
Aug VL undetectable
Oct Cd4 503, VL undetectable

Offline Big_Ted

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: Over 12 mths poz, only just diagnosed
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 01:12:15 AM »
So, for those of you paying attention in class, you'll know it's Monday here in oz.

My western blots came back today, an confirmed the rapid diagnosis (along with the symptoms, the back story and the fact that I really was misbehaving).

So, I have survived the "sh*t just got real" appointment.  Doc took 3 samples for counts, and discussed giving me my hepatitis boosters as a precaution once my counts come back.

Naturally, I'm a little bit miffed about having to make myself sick so soon after get in diagnosed, but on the upside, it's the sickest I'm gonna be, it's all up from there.

Has anyone got experience with hep boosters?  Doc says depending on my lymphocyte count the boosters may make me pretty unwell for a week or so.  Was hoping someone might have had this done, and can tell me what to expect?

Offline msavoy

  • Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Over 12 mths poz, only just diagnosed
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 10:41:51 AM »
Hey Big_Ted,
I'm like you, was just recently diagnosed and they wanted to give me my hep b shot because one I got a few years back didn't take.  Anyway, it was a quick and unpleasant poke in my left shoulder which left it kind of tender for the next couple of days, but besides that, I felt fine afterwards.  They did have me wait in the waiting room after the shot for 15 minutes just to make sure I didn't have a reaction. 

Good luck!
Mark

 


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