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Tested + 2months ago, on meds for a month and the results are in...

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I absolutely LOVE your story and your outlook!!  Reading this makes me appreciate the times we are living in and the science that has gone into the medications we enjoy today.

"So in sum, hurrah for the new meds, for all the brilliant research constantly being produced, for the amazing people here who are willing to share their experiences and for ourselves too - for not letting it get to us!"

I must say that reading your story has confirmed what I believe in an what I stand for. I was diagnosed a month ago, and to be honest when the Doc told me I was hiv+ I nearly jumped out of my skin could not wake up the next morning thinking its pointless, but I'm glad have found this forum and ever since have realised just how much I can live for. I know my life is normal and I'm glad God gave me the strength to carry on and be strong, things are looking good.

I feel blessed that we have such genius scientist/researcher's that have come up with such good treatments and pray that God helps them to do more to beat this, I'm so grateful to all the guys that made it possible for me to have hope through them sharing their stories 

Travelling to the family for holidays so thought I'd wish you all a happy Christmas and drop you a line by way of an update (haven't posted in quite a while but read the forum at least once a week!).

All still going super! The meds have worked like a charm, undetectable and around 850 by way of the clever little cd4 cells. So no complaints, weirdly enough.

Just wanted to write in to say again how great it was to find the forum, read everyone's stories and hear from people. Felt that the old timers' (if you'll pardon the expression) comments were incredibly valuable: they managed very quickly to put all of this into perspective. HIV, a pain though it can be, doesn't have to be the centre of everything you say and do. Life goes on, and boy has it. It was also really good to read people in similar situation: in my case, youngish people who perhaps previously hadn't had much occasion to think about HIV and its impacts on others' lives.

My rambunctious opening note was written quite soon after diagnosis and now that it's been over half a year with popping my daily Atripla, quite a few trips out of the country, it really makes me appreciate how lucky I was to pick this early and not have anything serious happen to me. For anyone in a similar situation, I can only say that in addition to the cod liver oil pills I take religiously thanks to my mum's life-long ultimatums, the Atripla really doesn't feel like a chore at all. I think I missed it once in the last 6 months and accidentally double dosed once. But Ann's constant (and excellent!) advice made me invest in a weekly dispenser and it's just the easiest thing to check whether the pill has been popped or not (also room for cod liver tabs - hurrah!).

It's of course true that everyone with this burden has a different experience. Mine has thus far been a really straightforward experience - and I hope it will be for many others.

Before I hop off the train, some bullets on the positive things that might put HIV in context for you:

- The meds really are amazing. Different combos work for different people, but we should all count ourselves lucky to live in a time with cART is effective. Now we just need to make sure the access question is addressed in countries that still struggle

- The research seems to be moving at an unprecedented speed. The basic science is making constant leaps, we understand the reservoir better, there are vaccines and other treatments which will undoubtedly yield results in the foreseeable future. As soon as I find the time, I'll be volunteering for whatever clinical trials are appropriate and available here in London.

- This forum is full of just astonishing people. I've still got all sorts of thoughts that need to be organised, but based in what I read the prospects for all of us aren't too shabby at all! And the fact there's a community out there who will support, answer tough questions (from reinfection to bowel problems, v impressive!)  and just share their own stories is pretty amazing. Hope everyone remembered this place during thanksgiving...

And a couple of personal ones:

- My daily life really hasn't changed to the worse. Yes I had to hop to the hospital to get some vampires suck some blood out of me a few times, but my daily routine is exactly the same. If anything, I've taken more care of my health than before and even got a flu shot to make sure the people sneezing at me on the tube will be less likely to floor me with their lurgies.

- Work continues as hectic as ever but i feel I've got a much better handle on my priorities and goals. This may have been just the kick up the arse I needed!

- I've got a great set of friends  and wouldn't exchange them for a well-grafting gene therapy with or without the pokey zinc fingers.

All in all life is good. It remains finite so best make use of the time we've got. Oh, and have a great Christmas and a brilliant new year!

Glad to hear things are well.  Merry Christmas to you.

VERY encouraging words to read for a 11 day newbie on ATRIPLA...Thanks for the follow up and hope to stay abreast of your progress...!! 


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