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Author Topic: Newly Diagnosed  (Read 5478 times)

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Offline futureRN

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  • Posts: 12
Newly Diagnosed
« on: April 27, 2013, 09:16:45 PM »
I am a 23 year old gay male. I went in the clinic for a phone call saying I had been potentially exposed to syphilis. I went in to get tested and in a week and a half I get a knock on my door from a lady that works in the office and I pretty much knew I was HIV positive at that point. I went back in this past monday and I had my CD4 count and Viral Load drawn. I'll get these results on monday-wed.

I don't really know what to do. I can't tell my family, and I'm embarrassed to tell my friends for the fear that I'll be ostracized. My bf is my rock. He tested negative, but he was exposed (bottom). He wants to stay if he continues to test negative. My ex is the culprit... before my current bf, my ex and I were in a 4 year relationship that I had thought was monogamous.

I plan to start my meds immediately. I am just looking for people going through the same thing I am. Since I live in a really condensed community that is known for its "shade", I am afraid to go to a support group in fears it will get out.

Thanks for listening
- FutureRN
April 19 2013: Diagnosed HIV+
CD4: 416
VL: 69015
May 21: Started Complera
June 28: CD4:586
VL: 16

Offline Elkan

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  • Posts: 33
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2013, 09:53:19 PM »
Hey, i am only 21 years old and i just got diagnosed 2 weeks ago. I can't tell anyone around me so i have to take all the pressure on my own. it's good that you still have your bf by your side. have you told him? if yes, try to talk it out. i've still been thinking about it a lot everyday, so i easily get depressed.. :( sometimes i just don't know how to continue my life.

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2013, 11:10:21 PM »
I'm sorry both of you had to get this news.

futureRN - its a bit worrying the way you worded your bf's intentions. He said he's staying with you if he stays negative, and what.... ? Unsaid.  Leaving you if he's positive?  Yikes....  I hope you are talking a lot together. Its normal to have mixed and hard to pin down thoughts and emotions about the couple at a time like this... But that's pretty ambivalent so I hope the relationship gets stronger.

(The ex was a cad to cheat and bring HIV into the relationship. If you broke up with him and found a new guy, it was up to the two of you, new to the relationship, to check out your status before having unsafe sex.  If your current bf took a risk with you, of unknown status, it pretty much has nothing to do with the "culprit" you say your ex is.)

I hope you two find support from your friends at least, if you aren't ready to tell your families very much.  Don't try to carry it all alone on your shoulders in isolation.  Well at least you found this board, thats already good. 

Try to identify friends you can confide in.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 11:13:24 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2013, 11:49:00 PM »
I plan to start my meds immediately.
sorry to hear that you're positive. However, depending on how those cd4 and VL counts come back, you might not need to go onto meds yet - maybe even for years. Breathe and take things slowly. Get the results back from at least two tests to determine what your numbers are doing. You might want to read through the LESSONS section here to understand the tests, what the counts means (that you may have a huge VL if this is near the start of being infected; but it will drop off for yrs before rising again and you beginning to get sick), and when things indicate that it's time to start meds. Then you'll have all the worries of obtaining meds (insurance, adap, medicaid/medicare) - but those are worries/issues for another day. LOL

i've still been thinking about it a lot everyday, so i easily get depressed.. :( sometimes i just don't know how to continue my life.
it's like that at first; but things will get better. Read through that LESSONS section to understand this disease and the treatment better. When you realize that ART meds do very well for people here in the 2010's you shouldn't be quite so depressed. You'll just have to get used to dealing with HIV.

having been poz for 27 yrs, I've been poz longer than you've even been alive. ;D And I was poz so long ago that we had either no meds at all or really crappy meds. Yet here I am decades later - and that's how you'll continue your life too. For years now, studies have been showing that people receiving good and proper treatment go on to live "normal" lifespans. So you'll take meds when needed; you'll work and save for retirement; you'll get a home; you'll get a mate; and ... well, the limits are only what you put on yourself


as we say to people around here, I am sorry that both of you have had to find this place; but I'm glad you did find us because you found a place with lots of good answers, support, and advice. ;) Best wishes to both of y'all. Just take it as it comes and learn all you can about getting the best treatment for yourself.  ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Elkan

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Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2013, 12:22:06 AM »
Thank you two. Reading replies from you guys is always so relieving and inspiring. :)

Offline futureRN

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  • Posts: 12
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2013, 08:02:27 PM »
Just got my immune panel and viral load
CD4 is 416
and my viral load is 69042
April 19 2013: Diagnosed HIV+
CD4: 416
VL: 69015
May 21: Started Complera
June 28: CD4:586
VL: 16

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 09:44:12 PM »
Just got my immune panel and viral load
CD4 is 416
and my viral load is 69042
well that's not too terrible. I say that because you VL is still under 100k and your cd4 is above 350. Though, always remember that if you didn't have a cd4 count done BEFORE you were infected, you'll never know what your baseline good immune system number was.  ;)

However your cd4 is in the range of 350 and 500, so you should be considering meds. Though you shouldn't be thinking of that as a terrible thing. Plenty of people take daily medications to stay alive and taking meds now just means you start saving and improving your immune system now (before things get worse!)

hang in there. take all these issues that come one at a time and one day at a time. You have the rest of your life still before you to deal with being poz, to handling the meds, to work out things with the bf and even to consider who, when and why to disclose your status. And to be honest after 27 year of being poz, I'm still working on all those issues too.

definitely keep us informed about what happens with you next. We're here for you. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 11:27:10 PM »
Just got my immune panel and viral load
CD4 is 416
and my viral load is 69042

How long do you think you've been infected?  If recently, you may still see improved numbers without meds.  However, I know you said you plan to start right away, which is what current recommendations say is best.  I am also wondering about your comment about your partner.  You said if he stays neg, he plans to stay.  Did that come out wrong, or is he planning to leave if he tests poz?

I wish you all the best, as you make your way on this journey.  I can appreciate your concerns with privacy.  I grew up in a small town.  Well, it has about 60,000 people in the county.  News traveled fast, and everyone was connected by a few degrees of separation.  In a really small town, that would be even worse.  My partner is my rock.  Other than him, only my brother and his partner know.  However, they offer no support.  Although, I don't discuss it with them either. 

Keep in touch.  I look forward to hearing more from you. 

Ted

Offline futureRN

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  • Posts: 12
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2013, 04:58:20 AM »
My boyfriend is staying with me regardless of his status. Doctor is putting me on complera as of right now. I am getting lab work done for the geno/phenotype of my strain.
As of my infection date, it is most likely around December/January
April 19 2013: Diagnosed HIV+
CD4: 416
VL: 69015
May 21: Started Complera
June 28: CD4:586
VL: 16

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2013, 09:07:39 AM »
My boyfriend is staying with me regardless of his status. Doctor is putting me on complera as of right now. I am getting lab work done for the geno/phenotype of my strain.
As of my infection date, it is most likely around December/January
the geno/phenotype will determine if you were infected by a virus that has mutated any from developing any resistance. You shouldn't be starting any meds until that comes back so you start out on the right combo of meds.

Has your BF been tested yet? He should be able to take a 15ish minute oral swab and find out his status. Now that you two already you that you are poz, there's really no sense in not finding out ASAP. Don't let this drag out too long. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline futureRN

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  • Posts: 12
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2013, 07:51:27 PM »
My bf has been tested twice... Came out negative both times.
April 19 2013: Diagnosed HIV+
CD4: 416
VL: 69015
May 21: Started Complera
June 28: CD4:586
VL: 16

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2013, 09:55:44 PM »
My bf has been tested twice... Came out negative both times.
awesome!!

make sure to use safer sex practices and y'all should do just fine. There are more and more sero-discordant couples all the time. ;)

Make sure the BF gets tested once or twice a year, just as a precaution. We would all hate for y'all to have any problems; but if (heaven forbid!!) something should happen, you'd find out in time to get proper treatment for him too.

I speak from personal experience. We didn't have my partner test and didn't know he had been infected - not till he was very sick and hospitalized. Just a few days ago on May 1st, I "celebrated" 5 yrs since he died :'( I still feel guilty - daily - for not making him get tested, finding out his status change yrs ago, and getting him treated so he wouldn't die of AIDS.

I sure don't think y'all should freak out about being a poz/neg "magnetic" couple; but I do expect y'all to take the precautions of condoms and testing. ;)

leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline futureRN

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  • Posts: 12
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2013, 10:37:42 PM »
I'm terribly sorry to hear about your partner. My boyfriend and I are doing everything we can to protect himself. I'm having a slip-up with my insurance and getting approved for my Complera. I am going to get him to get truvada to help protect him as well.
April 19 2013: Diagnosed HIV+
CD4: 416
VL: 69015
May 21: Started Complera
June 28: CD4:586
VL: 16

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2013, 10:54:01 AM »
He doesn't need Truvada if you have safe sex. And if you are going to be on HAART soon, then you'll be undetectable in due time, and he definitely won't need Truvada.  Unless you want at that time, to go bareback.. And even then, not necessarily.

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline futureRN

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Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2013, 05:41:41 PM »
well eventually we do want to go bareback. Not right now. We will wait until I'm undetectable.
April 19 2013: Diagnosed HIV+
CD4: 416
VL: 69015
May 21: Started Complera
June 28: CD4:586
VL: 16

Offline justthefacts

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  • Posts: 1
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2013, 08:01:34 PM »
I plan to start my meds immediately. I am just looking for people going through the same thing I am. Since I live in a really condensed community that is known for its "shade", I am afraid to go to a support group in fears it will get out.

Thanks for listening
- FutureRN

I do hope you went ahead with your plans re starting meds immediately.

The proof has been in for a while that not only does starting sooner keep the virus at bay longer, if the meds are able to reduce your viral load to undetectable then you basically become unable to infect another person with HIV.

I am amazed that people don't know this several years after studies started to report this as a finding.

You will still be positive, but by attaining a undetectable viral load via medications, the ability the virus in your body has to infect others through sex or any other means basically drops to nil.

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2013, 08:39:58 PM »
I do hope you went ahead with your plans re starting meds immediately.

The proof has been in for a while that not only does starting sooner keep the virus at bay longer, if the meds are able to reduce your viral load to undetectable then you basically become unable to infect another person with HIV.

I am amazed that people don't know this several years after studies started to report this as a finding.

You will still be positive, but by attaining a undetectable viral load via medications, the ability the virus in your body has to infect others through sex or any other means basically drops to nil.



Well yes and maybe. The spikes in seminal fluid still happen even with an UD VL in the blood, but we don't yet know how sharp these spikes are, if they contain viable viral particles, and if they do, if they do so in enough quantity to be a legitimate risk.

Still a minimal risk, and virtually none depending on the type of sex. Obviously if the positive partner is the receptive anal/ vaginal partner, any risk is theoretical. If the [positive partner is the insertive partner in anal/vaginal sex, that theory becomes a little more murky.

We all decide our level of assumed risk, from nil (oral sex w/UD VL) to virtually nil (receptive anal/vaginal sex with UD VL) to murky-nil (insertive anal/vaginal sex)

"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 leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2013, 09:24:36 PM »
well eventually we do want to go bareback. Not right now. We will wait until I'm undetectable.
I will say that I have never felt THAT :o confident and always continued using condoms with my HIV negative sexual partners. (I used condoms for 9.5 yrs with my last partner - that's the entire time we were together - as we believed he was negative the whole time) More power to you and your partner though if y'all want to take the risk (yikes! not me) - small though it might be.  Just remember to, at least, have annual HIV testing done.  ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2013, 10:08:29 PM »
FutureRN

You've been with your new bf just a few months, if I understood correctly.  There's a youthful, impetuous feeling to some of what you are saying, in my opinion that is.

Please take things one step at a time. You both are new to the relationship. Your bf needs time to adjust to having a bf let alone to being in a serodiscordant relation.

You need time to adjust to your diagnosis.

Throwing him onto Truvada sounds like, I dunno, you want everything to be done and dusted quickly.  Figure out the logistics of eventually going without condoms in due time... 

Take care of your own infection, and have safe sex with him. Time will tell how strong the love and trust is between you two..

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline oksikoko

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  • Writing the congressman again
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2013, 10:39:35 PM »
"My ex is the culprit"

This troubles me. We all got it from someone, and so did they and so did they in a long line back. Some of us have given it to others as well and so will they in a long line forward. We're all in this together, even if we don't like the company. Even the 'alpha culprit' got it from someone or something somehow too, and that must have been one hell of a scary experience. Anyway, it's more important to think about your future than someone else's past. It sounds like you are. I just got hung up on that one phrase. Sorry.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this at all. It's good you have a partner/boyfriend. No one should have to do it all alone. Try to build a circle of friends who you trust and with whom you can share what you feel comfortable sharing. Don't rely totally on the boyfriend as your sole support because it's more difficult on you both that way. And God forbid you do break up or even take a temporary break, it would be an unpleasant situation. I guess I can't speak for you, but for a lot of people it would be unpleasant. Maybe you too. It's something to be aware of.

leatherman said, "However your cd4 is in the range of 350 and 500, so you should be considering meds. Though you shouldn't be thinking of that as a terrible thing."

I view my pill as a blessing and am glad I started within weeks or months of infection even with a high CD4 count. If given the choice again, I wouldn't wait regardless of numbers, and I'm glad that ART was offered to me when so many people don't have access at all.

leatherman, I'm sorry again to read these sad pieces of your story, but it's good you share this info with people here. You're a good guy in general from what I've seen. Wishing you the best,
Lee
Code: [Select]
2014-11-14: CD4 Wars Episode II: Return of the Stribild (released in Europe as Stribild II: Werewolf Bitch)
2014-11-06:                ☣ VL (→) 12,627      ☣ CD4 (→) 639
2014-??-??: off treatment  ☣ VL (?)              ☣ CD4 (?)
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

If no one complains, nothing will ever change.

Offline futureRN

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2013, 11:46:34 PM »
"My ex is the culprit"

This troubles me. We all got it from someone, and so did they and so did they in a long line back. Some of us have given it to others as well and so will they in a long line forward. We're all in this together, even if we don't like the company. Even the 'alpha culprit' got it from someone or something somehow too, and that must have been one hell of a scary experience. Anyway, it's more important to think about your future than someone else's past. It sounds like you are. I just got hung up on that one phrase. Sorry
Lee

Sorry that my phrasing "upset" you. By culprit, I meant that he was the person that infected me.
April 19 2013: Diagnosed HIV+
CD4: 416
VL: 69015
May 21: Started Complera
June 28: CD4:586
VL: 16

Offline oksikoko

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  • Writing the congressman again
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2013, 12:50:53 AM »
It didn't "upset" me. It troubled me. I knew what you meant. ;) I definitely didn't mean to attack you in any way. I'm sorry if I sounded at all belligerent.

I see that you're newly positive, and I apologize if any this sounds condescending. I mean it to be helpful. If you're not aware, please be aware that HIV criminalization is pernicious and begins with thoughts, words and metaphors. :)

Center for HIV Law and Policy

I'm certainly not the thought police, so if you disagree altogether, that's fine by me. Just pointing out that "culprit" is a loaded word when applied to HIV, and you may inadvertently offend someone more than you meant to.
Code: [Select]
2014-11-14: CD4 Wars Episode II: Return of the Stribild (released in Europe as Stribild II: Werewolf Bitch)
2014-11-06:                ☣ VL (→) 12,627      ☣ CD4 (→) 639
2014-??-??: off treatment  ☣ VL (?)              ☣ CD4 (?)
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

If no one complains, nothing will ever change.

Offline futureRN

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  • Posts: 12
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2013, 12:49:41 PM »
Well just started my first day of complera... getting my insurance to approve it and getting my lab work completed was a nightmare. I'm hoping I have little to no side-effects.
April 19 2013: Diagnosed HIV+
CD4: 416
VL: 69015
May 21: Started Complera
June 28: CD4:586
VL: 16

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2013, 01:24:28 PM »
Well congrats for putting all that together, and quickly! Bravo. I bet you'll do great on this combo. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline futureRN

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Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2013, 07:39:46 PM »
Well now my boyfriend has started pulling away. I have no idea if it's related to this or something else. I think the reality started to sink in. He is dodging hanging out with me. He doesn't text me unless I text him. It was like a sudden change. First he was really supportive saying that I was the love of his life... and now I feel like he's changed over night last week. Without him being here for me, I've sunken into a huge depression. I keep trying to get him to talk to me to tell him how he feels but he is unresponsive. My only saving grace are my friends, without them it'd be much harder... but I understand they have their own lives and I can't be a burden to them all the time. I think it's possible the complera is intensifying these feelings and I'm going to talk to my Doctor to see if there's anything I can do. In the meantime I'm posting here to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading.
April 19 2013: Diagnosed HIV+
CD4: 416
VL: 69015
May 21: Started Complera
June 28: CD4:586
VL: 16

Offline futureRN

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2013, 05:19:16 PM »
Just got my lab work after 1 month on Complera... All I can say is that this medication is absolutely wonderful. I have had barely any side effects and it did it's magic quickly.
My CD4 count went up to 586 and my VL went down to 16.
Things with the boyfriend are still shaky.. I understand being in a newly sero-discordant relationship is difficult; especially for the negative partner.
Thanks to the members who have been kind to me. I have received a few PM's from members and their messages were very heart-felt.
April 19 2013: Diagnosed HIV+
CD4: 416
VL: 69015
May 21: Started Complera
June 28: CD4:586
VL: 16

Offline EUINAU

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Re: Newly Diagnosed
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2013, 06:16:54 PM »
Hi futureRN,

I too have been recently infected and tested and started meds within weeks of seroconversion.... Oh, still trying o learn all the new terms. This forum and people here are so supportive. My partner tested negative and although I had thoughts it would be best to break up when I found out I was positive and he was negative he insisted that wasn't an option. Because of this forum I feel confident we can still lead healthy sex life and for him to stay safe. Couple of days after my test I trae,led overseas and it will be 2 months before I see him and I am sure it will be weird having sex again I am sure it will become natural again. I take my meds twice a day and I am glad I have my meds and hope that I would be UD although it may not be so soon as it wa about 5 million just over a month ago...

Good luck with it all and I am sure you'll do we'll with or without your bf. Stay strong and happy :)

 


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