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Author Topic: the first months challenges  (Read 2170 times)

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Offline ohwell

  • Member
  • Posts: 42
the first months challenges
« on: June 24, 2013, 12:50:17 PM »
Hi I am 28 and new to this forum (well not new, i've been just watching) this is my first post, 3 months ago I tested positive for HIV. After that I did what i thought had to be done in order to do things right. I told my boyfriend, when I got the news and he got tested, so far he's hiv negative (he took one test when i told him and another one recently). I gave the news to some friends and after a month I was able to tell my family. It was a big thing for me and them, not only i told them about my HIV status but I also came out of the closet. It took some time but things are ok, I guess my mother is more concerned about me being gay than me having HIV.
After telling my family I went to a doctor got all the tests done and all that stuff. My CD4 was 195, so I immediately  started medication, right now I'm on Sustiva+Truvada, the skin rash and the muscle pain were horrible at the beginning but this is subject will be addressed in another post.
I got tested because I had an enlarged lymph node, but I'm in good health, no OI, no nothing.
So I'm on medication, I told friends and family, I told my partner who is still with me, I have no money problems, I even told my boss about it... but i still feel like shit. Well, i don't feel as bad as i felt the first days but now that everything's settled it doesn't work as well as it did before.

There are 3 things to consider maybe the cause of my problems

-ME: I'm prone to depression, so maybe it's the mental state i tend to be, i had eating disorders (that thing is ok now), i tend to abuse alcohol and weed, i could say i'm a functional mild junkie.

-SERODISCORDANT relationship: I remember the first time I read about it, i was reading and the term "magnetic" i thought bullshit there's nothing magnetic about it. Anyway, I got informed and the idea of staying with my boyfriend didn't seem as selfish or bad after all, we have been together for over a year. The thing is he might not want to stay with me. It seems like he flip flops in his mind. He doesn't tell me that but i can feel it whenever we have problems (we had our issues before but now we have problems often). It seems like some days he's ok with me being HIV+ and us having a relationship and some days it seems he wants to run away.
I have read plenty about serodiscordant relationships, no article, not even these posts can really give me advice, each relationship is different and i see mine falling to pieces and i don't know what to do. The thing is that when we are fine we are extremely fine but when we are not OK it's hell. So I don't know if it's the new situation we are facing causing trouble or maybe we are not meant to be. Plus i've become a little bit needy and clingy because im anxious and that's not helping either, and that might have to do with the next thing on the list

-Sustiva: I've been on sustiva/truvada for almost 2 months, and i don't know if the pill are driving me nuts or not, maybe it's my situation maybe it's me I don't know, i feel anxiety adn even when i'm ok and happy i get random thought about killing myself, which i'm not going to do (i think) those are irrational thoughts that show up in my mind out of nothing. But maybe it's me maybe it's not maybe it'll go away, i mean i dont have the skin rash anymore so maybe the weird thought would go away with time

So now that i have everything in order i dont know what to do with my boyfriend, medication and my mental state



they made me do it

Offline mecch

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  • Posts: 11,434
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2013, 01:10:37 PM »
Hey ohwell welcome to the forums.
I'm really impressed with how you matter of factly dealt with all this.  Congrats. That took grit and guts to get through three tumultuous months with all the changes etc etc.

Priority - discuss with your doctor ASAP, like yesterday, getting off the atripla.

It is well known in these forums and among HIV+ people that Atripla is NOT the combo for people prone to depression or anxiety issues...  Somehow, sadly, some doctors have missed the memo!!!!! 

Suicide ideation - oh, not good. You shouldn't have to experience this, even as fleeting.... No.

If your doctor resists, or stalls, or does anything or everything but give you a prescription for a different combo, better suited to your needs, change doctors and don't delay. 

Wishing you luck and the best on managing the serodiscordant relation.  I hope he can grow a spine and make up his mind if he's got your back or not...  I do hope it works out but if in the end it doesn't there are other fish in the sea, as they say. I'm sure you are a good catch.

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

Offline ohwell

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  • Posts: 42
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2013, 01:38:31 PM »
I know atripla can fuck people's minds, and and even though i am prone to depression and stuff i thought it was going to be ok. i know for sure I'm not going to kill myself even if those thoughts come to me, it bothers me but it's a big problem. My big problem is anxiety, but i dont know if it's the pills or the stress caused by my newly discovered illness.
I don't want to switch to other drugs because i dont want to become resistant and i think i'm in the point where i can wait a little bit, the question is how long is worth waiting? is there anybody here that had anxiety while on atripla and later it went away? how long did it take?
Also Sustiva and truvada are pretty common so here in Mexico you will have access to them most of the time through the social security system(sometimes there's not enough of some other drugs), so it's easy to be on that regimen, plus the pills are free.
About my doctors, i have 2. I have a very good infectologist that i have around $85USD each time(here in mexico that's a lot for a doctor) and another one for free provided by the social security system, i have to visit the free one because i get the free pills from him. So I guess Ill have to talk to both about it. But i'm still unsure i still think there's a possibility if i wait it'll go away by itself.

By the way i think there should be a main forum for serodiscordant reationships, it was hard to find questions and advice related to that here and many of us are, will or were in one.
they made me do it

Offline darryaz

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  • Posts: 450
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2013, 01:53:23 PM »
I normally sing the praise of Atripla, but I agree with Mecch - it's clearly not for you.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 01:55:51 PM by darryaz »

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • Posts: 23,987
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2013, 01:57:50 PM »

I don't want to switch to other drugs because i dont want to become resistant

You don't become resistant when you change to another drug combo. Where did you get this idea?
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Joe K

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  • Member
  • Posts: 3,599
  • 31 Years Poz
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2013, 01:59:11 PM »
By the way i think there should be a main forum for serodiscordant reationships, it was hard to find questions and advice related to that here and many of us are, will or were in one.

You will find a lot of posts by sero-couples in the Someone I Care About Has HIV Forum.  It was created for couples where only one is poz and has some excellent posts.  There is also the I Just Tested Poz forum, where we encourage newly tested members to post their concerns and questions.  The Living With HIV forum is where folks, who have been poz for a bit and have generally moved past the initial impact of testing poz.  We even have a LTS (Long Term Survivors) forum, for those who were infected prior to 1996.

The forum has many resources, so take your time and find the forum that works for you.

Welcome to the forums.

Joe

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,434
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 02:12:19 PM »
I don't want to be flippant about the financial considerations. Since you got good docs, you must explain to them about the suicidal ideas. I hear you that you won't be acting on it, but its quite likely that the sustiva is culprit here.

Obviously if you have no choice but to stay on this, because of Mexico's or your personal restraints, you can find work arounds... And you should.  But please, make sure the docs try to find a solution to get you off it within your means, and soon.
 
Also, get a list of all the combos that are available to you, free, or not free but still within your means, and list it here on the forum. There are people here with a lot of knowledge who might be able to give you guidance how to swap out the sustiva, and you can take it back to your docs. 

Atripla did NOT mix well with me, and my doc stalled, it was my first combo, its very effective, blah blah.

Even in Switzerland there are restraints, there were at the time two more appropriate combos but not yet approved by combinations of the fed and thus insurance. etc etc.  Finally got off it onto a protease inhibitor, and that was gobs better for my mind. 

All over the world people face resistances and challenges from docs, insurance, etc, but part of living well with hiv is making sure that you are living as well as possible, not just getting by or biding time, until.....

Its our human right and this can be lost in the system.  Its not that the system is evil, but its trying to do its best for populations, and one individual's experience can get overlooked.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 02:16:39 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline ohwell

  • Member
  • Posts: 42
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 02:19:59 PM »
Thanks for the replies

"You will find a lot of posts by sero-couples in the Someone I Care About Has HIV Forum.  It was created for couples where only one is poz and has some excellent posts."

Sorry maybe the title is a little bit misleading i thought "Someone I Care about has hiv" was related to friends and family of someone who is positive, now I know it also includes a neg partner.

I posted in the "Living with HIV"  section, maybe I should've posted it in the "I just tested poz" for newly tested people, by the way how recent does it have to be?

"The Living With HIV forum is where folks, who have been poz for a bit and have generally moved past the initial impact of testing poz."

I posted in the other section because i had some concern about my medication, of course i'm new in the club but i'm already facing problems of people living with HIV, some people test positive and after some years start taking pills, so i thought it was a matter of discussion in the other forum.

Anyway, i'm getting advice and that's all that matters
they made me do it

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,434
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2013, 02:25:34 PM »
Also - weed - too much weed can support paranoia and anxiety, for a few people.
Can you cut back?
Also drinking - well you know, this depresses the mind.
So while you're working on getting a new combo, also start thinking about how to move forward, cope, with less of these two crutches?  Any ideas?
Exercise more? Therapy? Ask your friends for support?
Psychoactive drugs might be better drugs than weed if you want drug support - meaning SSRI's (anti-depressant) or anti-anxiety pills.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 02:28:34 PM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline skeebo1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,702
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2013, 02:27:33 PM »

  Hi ohwell, welcome to the forums.  I agree with Meech about researching the possibilities of a med switch.  If you are having issues with anxiety and depression the Sustiva component in Atripla can exasperate those issues tremendously.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,812
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2013, 12:22:08 AM »
Sorry you had to join the site, but nice to meet you.  So, your mom was more concerned about you being gay than being poz?  I've heard many gay men say their parents weren't necessarily anti-gay, but they worried being gay would lead to becoming poz. 

About your partner-- he is adjusting to this new reality as well.  You may be spot on about his feelings.  I just wanted to say that I became a little paranoid, after I was diagnosed.  If my partner was busy with work or not in a great mood, I would think it was me.  I began to think he was avoiding me.  If you think someone will react in a certain way, sometimes we begin to see things that way, when it isn't the case.  Just throwing that out for consideration.  Obviously you know your partner, and you may be reading him correctly. 

I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing more from you.  If you are having more and more thoughts about suicide, please talk with someone.  It would be a good idea to do that anyway. 

Ted

Offline ohwell

  • Member
  • Posts: 42
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2013, 12:44:06 AM »
thanks, nice to meet you too. I know sometimes i get that feeling, that i dont know how to tell if it's a real problem if it's me if it's hiv or us as a couple sometimes not working the way we should. When it's good it is very good but when it's bad it's very bad so it's a cycle. But now all the problems seem to be bigger and happen more often. I still don't know what to do, taking a break from that but that might also impact my mental health or keep trying.
And about suicide, i dont know how suicide works but i think most people become depresssed and it progresses into that, the thing with me is that for example i'm thinking about my to-do list of the day and i start thinking "i got to buy eggs, milk, then go to work and then kill my self" it's a thought that pops out of nothing and ouyt of context it has happened iven in my happiest moments. So far it's not persistent it's just like a flash and goes away.
But my question still remains unanswered maybe i havent written it properly "do you know about people having the weird thoughts that sustiva gives and they didnt change pills and after that the random suicidal thought went away, like rash did and the sore muscles did?
i mean if you get them you always get them they never go away even if i wait?
they made me do it

Offline ohwell

  • Member
  • Posts: 42
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2013, 01:00:52 AM »
About my mother... when i was i child i got sick i've got something i think it is called nephrotique syndrome (spanish speaker here) it's a kidney disease, i was sick for 10 years, ans she took care of me, so much that when the doctor told me to check my kidneys they were working properly (he was worried the pills could cause damage there). So she knows what it is to deal with desease and i also know. Maybe that thing affected me in the way i reacted to AIDS i mean when i got the news and starting telling family and stuff.
She's a little bit conservative but very open minded at the same time, i never told my parents i was gay and i had girlfriends in the past but and moved to another city when i was 17 so i kinda did my thing without them knowing (i was out to the world but not them), my dad he is very conservative but he ws the one who reacte d the best actually he doesnt care. Weird right?
they made me do it

Offline ohwell

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  • Posts: 42
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2013, 06:54:58 PM »
An update...
Well it's been more than 3 months since i started my treatment, most of the side effects are gone, i'm still a little bit anxious but it is fine. Today i got my VL count and i went from 142k copies to UD :D thank you for your support
they made me do it

Offline bmancanfly

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  • Medicare For All !
Re: the first months challenges
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2013, 07:10:34 PM »
Glad you're doing better.

I'm late to this thread,  but I switched from Sustiva to Viramune for the same reasons that you were considering.  Something to consider if the problem returns.

Viramune is available as a generic,  which could be helpful in your situation.

Best of luck
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 Bertrand Russell

 


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