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Tested positive less than 2 weeks ago but been more than 3 years since I've had

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Shayne504:
Just got my initial results on 4/10, confirmatory a week later. My main concern is I've obviously been Poz a few years now with no treatment. About a year ago had skin cancer diagnosis with surgery and then this January again. My surgeon expressed concern that it was abnormal for the type of cancer I had to be so aggressive in someone w/o a depressed immune system. So I got tested and came back positive.

Luckily I thought ahead to bring a friend with me who has been a great help, he's been positive 26 years. I've lately been having some seemingly "minor" health issues but don't have my initial blood work scheduled for 2 weeks and I understand it takes about a month for those to come back. I plan on telling my primary care Dr about my status but not sure if I should wait till the rest of my test results come back.

So far emotionally I've been stable but know at some point I might have issues. I've been clean and sober for awhile and moved towards acceptance since my results came back.

I know they can't recommend meds without the test results but I feel like I'm wasting valuable time till they come back. ???

Ann:
Hi Shayne, welcome to the forums.

It would be unusual for it to take four weeks for your blood results to come back. Normally the CD4 counts (one of the important levels they'll look at) only take a couple days. The viral load (VL) result is the one that can take a little longer, but these results normally only take up to two weeks maximum, and often will be back sooner.

More likely than not, if your CD4s come back at extremely low levels (under 200), your doctor will get in touch with you as soon as these results come back, regardless of whether or not your VL result is back at that time.

Make sure you communicate your anxiety over this to your doctor, and see if you can't get him to agree/promise to keep a watch out for your CD4 results. He will probably already be doing this, but it may help to hear him reassure you that this is the case.

And remember, if you don't hear back sooner, no news is good news. In my experience, as soon as any red flags are raised in a person's blood work, they're on the phone arranging an appointment asap.

In the meantime, don't be worrying that you're suddenly going to drop dead. You're not.

If you haven't already, you may want to read through some of the Lessons available on this website. Of particular interest to you right now would be the Lesson The Blood Tests You'll Need. (BTW, CD4=T-cell.)

Something that may be helpful for you to realise and understand - not everything that goes on with your body will have a direct relation to being poz. The "aggressive" nature of your skin cancer is possibly one of them. Sometimes things like that can simply be down to an individual's genetic make-up.

Similarly, not every cold, sniffle, sore throat, ache or pain or other "minor" health issues are going to have anything to do with hiv. We get all the usual suspects regarding aliments just like our hiv negative counterparts. It's good to keep that in mind going forward.

You should get yourself a small notebook (pocket sized) to keep with you to write down any questions you may have for your doctor. Leave a space after each question where you can write down the answer - even if it's only a few words to jog your memory.

It's all too easy to forget questions you want to ask, and even easier to forget what the answer was once you walk out the office door. I've been attending hiv clinic appointments for years now and I still do this - it's been invaluable over the years.

Try to not sweat things too much while you wait for your appointment. All you really need to do at this point is eat healthily, and get plenty of rest and exercise. Engage in activities you enjoy and keep on living your life. You've got the ball rolling and that's what's important.

You're going to be ok.

Ann


PS - it is totally possible that your appointment in two weeks time is to discuss the results of your blood work, not to draw more blood for the tests. I say this because normally, when the confirmatory tests are run and the result is poz, there will be enough blood left over to at least run a CD4 count, if not also a VL test. This is standard practice in most places.

Shayne504:
Thanks Ann

The appointment in 2 weeks will be the first time the draw blood. The confirmatory test was another oral swab that I had to hold in place for 3 minutes.

My concerns about health issues popping up now are because it has been 3-1/2 years since I've had sex with any one (except my left hand that is 😜)

I was making efforts to eat better and exercise before I got my results, now I just have more incentive to follow through on my plans. There is that old saying about plans: You want to make God laugh? Make Plans! 😉

pittman:
Another expected test when you are first diagnosed is a test to determine if the strain of virus you have exhibits any resistance to drugs. That way the doctor can make sure to proscribe the right combination for you. If I recall, that test may take a bit longer, and hence the time frame.

Shayne504:
Thanks for the note Pittman, I came back with no drug resistance so, that was a good thing. I've since started on Truvada and Isentress so we will see!

Shayne

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