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Author Topic: Seeking Answers for a Loved One  (Read 2199 times)

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Offline tmp1970

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Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« on: June 18, 2013, 07:05:18 PM »
Hi All,

I am new to the forum, so please forgive me if I seem to be a bit out of 'line' but I have an issue that is scaring me a bit.

My son tested POZ about four years ago, but didn't tell me until about two years ago. Once he told me I insisted he seek medical help, get on some meds and begin to take better care of himself (stop drinking and smoking, stop 'running' the streets, and eat better). He did as I asked; he was provided meds and he began to take them. He was actually a bit excited about it considering that he had been told he might have been going through the 'wasting syndrome' in such a short time after diagnosis. After a few weeks he began not taking the meds everyday, or on time; then after about four or five months he stopped going to the doctor, missing his appointments. Not long after that he stopped taking the medicataion all together saying that he had done research and found that the medication was not necessary if he took care of himself (eating well, etc.); and he was under the impression that taking the medication was a way of making the pharmaceutical companies rich...you know the whole conspiriacy.

Now, after about a year of giving up the medication idea all together he is going through some other stuff. Whether it has to do with the disease or not I don't know which is why I am on the forum. He doesn't sleep; when he does its no more than an hour at a time and is ususally during the day. He has lost his job; he does absolutely nothing all day long but stare into space; his motivation to do anything (very artistic and not even working on his art) is absolutely gone. He says he is hearing voices, he feels as though he is battling with something that is trying to take his soul. He has lost a lot of weight, but is eating when he is hungry. He quit smoking and drinking for about a month or so, and started smoking again yesterday (very disappointing).

The big question is, what are the side effects of untreated HIV??? My mother says that he may be experiencing some sort of overload because his body is fighting the virus, and to add he is not taking the best care of himself considering that he doesnt sleep, smoking, etc. Is there a such thing as an 'overload'; the body fighting the virus? Can anyone provide some good information about the importance of the medication and what could happen if he doesn't take it? I would like to show him information to counter what he has found online.

Thank all of you in advance for any help that you can provide!

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 07:28:03 PM »
Those all sound like textbook symptoms of depression to me.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Online Jeff G

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 08:08:40 PM »
Hi Tmp , Untreated HIV can cause a whole host of central nervous system disorders and there are some virus's and parasites that can effect his cognitive ability's .

If he wont listen to you then maybe you can have a family intervention of sorts . Try to get him to sigh up here for an account so we may offer support .

There is no other way to put it , he will most likely get sick and die if he doesn't get medical treatment . Your sons doctor put him on meds because he needs them to survive this dreadful virus so your son isn't being honest with you about finding out he doesn't need them .   

We have member of this forum that just lost a brother in a similar circumstance as you describe . At one point his brother wanted to live but it was too late for meds to save him . In the end you cant make your son take meds if he chooses not to but you came here and asked so I feel an obligation to be straight up honest with you , so do whatever you can to get him back into treatment , that way you will always have the fact that you tried and tying is all you can be expected to do .

I moved your thread into the Someone I care about forum so that it gets more views and I'm wishing you the best of luck . 

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 08:39:10 PM »
Those all sound like textbook symptoms of depression to me.

It sounds as though depression plus some sort of chemical intervention. Not sleeping? Hearing voices? If he has no history of phychosis, it could well be meth.


I hate to say this, but it sounds like your son is in the hands of AIDS denialists. And the crossover with party/play people (who use meth and encourage unprotected sex, often up for days at a time) is fairly large among the young gay community.

Sadly, I wonder if a family intervention would work. Perhaps an ultimatum? Stay under your roof, take the meds. You son's difficulties go beyond mere denialism (if be truly believed that eating well and taking care of ones' self prevented the disease from progression, he would not be taking such poor care of himself).

I truly hope he comes to his senses before it's too late.



"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

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Offline mecch

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 09:45:26 PM »
Don't get side tracked on smoking and drinking and all.....

His two major challenges are 1) getting on HAART and sticking to it, AND 2) coming back to reality about HIV, living with HIV, treatment...moving past his ignorance, denial, delusion. etc.   

Won't be easy but I hope that puts things in perspective... He's in a very bad space.

Learning the what ifs of untreated HIV.  I hope you don't have to learn this because i hope you figure out way to drag him back to reality.

He can join here.
He can go to an ASO and get a counselor.
Does he have access to private therapy??

You can tell him point blank that he's misinformed and will die of HIV if he doesn't follow medical treatment. Not only will he die, but he will SUFFER before he dies...

It's a clear, compact message, and has nothing much to do with smoking, drinking, unemployment, depression, etc etc.  Maybe all that is feeding his denial and dispair, but all that can be dealt with in due time when he's back in his senses with a will to live and correct info about HIV in his head, and heart.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 09:59:54 PM »
To clarify.
A smoker's immune system can be repaired and protected by HAART.
Nobody should smoke but its not the issue, is it.
I know a woman in my town who is HIV+ and addicted to heroin. She lost her husband to AIDS quite some time ago. She lost her kids to foster care. She kept her job, her heroin, and takes her medicine. She has no delusions about HIV at least, and she's not dying...

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

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 10:00:41 PM »
Don't get side tracked on smoking and drinking and all.....


I hardly call those "side tracks" when the OP's son is convinced that "clean" living will prevent AIDS and yet eshews that "clean living." Those are symptoms of a larger issue,as even the BOGUS information he clings to is not something to which he can adhere. This person needs an interention, ASAP.
"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 mecch

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 10:06:21 PM »
You can also tell him that EVERYONE knows that the only treatment for HIV is HAART, and that it is effective.
He can be a radical marxist, conspiracy theorist, whatever, good for him. And he can take the HAART and still fight his battles against big pharma or whatever, whoever, and he will be healthy enough to do it...  He won't effect any change if he's dead.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 10:08:27 PM »
I hardly call those "side tracks" when the OP's son is convinced that "clean" living will prevent AIDS and yet eshews that "clean living." Those are symptoms of a larger issue,as even the BOGUS information he clings to is not something to which he can adhere. This person needs an interention, ASAP.
I agree, but the principal challenge as you point out is bringing the cognitive dissonance to the foreground and the person back to reality about HIV.
If he's into drugs, its not helping, I agree.
If he's really depressed, will only make it harder.  I agree.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 10:22:10 PM »
You might find this site helpful:   http://www.aidstruth.org
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2013, 06:13:08 AM »
You might find this site helpful:   http://www.aidstruth.org

I was also going to link to aidstruth.

TMP - please check that website out. It will give you informed counter-arguments for when your son starts telling you about the meds being a scam etc.

I hope you can get him the medical help he needs before it's too late.

((((((TMP))))))
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline newt

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2013, 01:24:38 PM »
Hello

A difficult situation...

The key things are:

1. Does he want to live? An existential question

2. Can he stick with the meds? A practical question

The smoking, drinking, even the meth are secondary (although the meth might make saying YES to 1 and 2 hard).

Clean living is neither here nor there. The meds work even for drug users and drinkers (and like me, smokers). And people who stay up late, eat bad, drive too fast etc etc etc

If the answer is YES the the outlook is promising.

So, you could put it to him, take the meds, humour the docs, you can go on being your same old fast-living, sassy, sexy self. Then there will be time enough for other stuff.

Getting older is often a great brake on shit living.

All the best

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline newt

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2013, 01:33:00 PM »
PS- as for "side effects" of untreated HIV...

Aside from dying looking like a skeleton, check here for key opportunistic infections and how they are treated:

http://i-base.info/ttfa/5-opportunistic-infections-ois-and-coinfections/

Losing weight, losing sight, breathlessness, pain, endless squits, sores, ulcers, fever, not being able to eat, sleeping all day, not being able to sleep, difficulty walking, summation of symptoms. Drips, tablets, X-rays, blood draws, time in hospital, lots of tablets, different time of day to take lots of tablets, sleeping 18 hrs a day, not sleeping, fearing the bathroom, summation of your life.

The meds for the infections causing these symptoms are, generally, worse that the meds to treat HIV.

I have seen people go this way, it's painful all round, so prayers, eh? that it doesn't come to pass.

Sorry to be graphic.

- matt
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 01:35:21 PM by newt »
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline myjade_84

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2013, 06:52:32 PM »
Your son might be taking drugs. Talk to him and ask him if he's into it. If he admits, ask him to stop and if he gets worse, bring him to a rehab. I couldn't blame him though if he's into drugs. He's having a hard time facing the truth about HIV so he looked for a way to forget about it. And unfortunately, he turned to a wrong path to cross. I'm sure as a mother, you're in pain also. Seeing your kid became like that and can't do anything much to help him.

Offline mecch

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2013, 06:59:26 PM »
Your son might be taking drugs. Talk to him and ask him if he's into it. If he admits, ask him to stop and if he gets worse, bring him to a rehab. I couldn't blame him though if he's into drugs. He's having a hard time facing the truth about HIV so he looked for a way to forget about it. And unfortunately, he turned to a wrong path to cross. I'm sure as a mother, you're in pain also. Seeing your kid became like that and can't do anything much to help him.
Please, enough with the spoken or unspoken moralising about drugs in this thread...  Just my opinion, of course.

But the OP, tmp1970, has posted 1, ONCE, and there has been nothing mentioned let alone confirmed about drug use!!!!

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

Offline mecch

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Re: Seeking Answers for a Loved One
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2013, 07:52:24 PM »
Ps - I think I misspoke.  Really meant to say, enough with the speculation about drug abuse.
The clear information, for the moment, was about denial or running away from an HIV infection and what needs to be done.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

 


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