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Author Topic: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment  (Read 2894 times)

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Offline childofgod

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Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« on: August 18, 2013, 10:34:29 PM »
Contracted HIV about a month and a half ago, I know this to be sure because I began to have Acute HIV Infection Symptoms about 3 weeks ago. Very scared about the treatments as I have heard that many have a hard time with treatment (side effects). I don't want to wait till my CD4 count is low to start treatment, what's is you guys opinion. Can the virus achieve resistance from multiple drugs? How long can one take the drugs and they keep working? I can afford treatment for the rest of my life but really scared of the resistance part. Please comment and give your opinions!

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2013, 10:38:46 PM »
Welcome to the forum ! ... Have you had a western blot HIV test to confirm your diagnosis ?

Offline childofgod

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2013, 10:42:56 PM »
Jeff I did have a WB it too was Positive. Very scared I'm only 21, never participated in risky behavior but the condom broke and I think he broke it on purpose to intentionally infect me.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 10:48:00 PM »
It may seem overwhelming right now but it does get better in time . If it makes you feel any better was infected at your age and Im doing well at 51 and you can too .

Im going to move this thread into just tested poz so you can get the support you need .

Offline childofgod

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 11:04:38 PM »
How many meds have you tried? I have came to grips with the situation, I know that it obviously occurred for a reason and I have taken it as a wake up call. Have you experienced resistance? What was your CD4 count when you began treatment? Do you have side effects?

Offline mecch

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 11:10:00 PM »
Sorry you got HIV.  Welcome here anyway.
You are young, and immediately identified that you have HIV.  If you heard "many" people have problems with HAART, try not to apply this to yourself. Many people do NOT have much problems.  Many people in fact have minimal issues, and many have no side effects.  What will happen 20 or 30 years down the road, well, we don't know.  But if you start drugs now, side effects probably won't be issue. If someone gets a combo that causes problems there are other combos to switch to.
Your doc will do a test to see if your virus has any resistance to any combos, from the get-go, and not prescribe them. It's not constructive to worry about resistance, if you are adherent you'll be go to go for many years.  There are and will always be other combos to change to, if god forbid you got some resistance to a combo you were on.
Factor out resistance and side effects as considerations when deciding if you will start meds quickly.  There are other more important questions.  Are you ready to adhere?  Are you interested in being undetectable now, rather than waiting? Are you in interested in possible advantages to very early treatment, which has been making the news again this year...  Etc.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline childofgod

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 11:16:43 PM »
Meech-


Thanks for the sympathy it's very scary but I know this will not hold me back, I'm in college and am still willing to fight and go forward with my degree and start graduate school. I still live with my parents who are a big support system for me and have agreed to help me with taking my meds. I don't plan leaving home for the next 5 years as I am in school, so I feel I would have no problem with adherence. I too have heard that early diagnosis does lead to benefits, I hope it's true. I never want to die from this and I don't want to have a shorter life from it either. Truly I'm scared of the side effects mainly of treatment. But I do want to be undetectable and have the lowest numbers to avoid resistance and HIV affecting my body.

Offline mecch

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 11:18:57 PM »
What country, please?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline childofgod

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2013, 11:26:28 PM »
USA

Offline mecch

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2013, 11:30:30 PM »
There are plenty of different HIV med combinations available in the USA.  If your first combo doesn't suit you, you can switch. The worst case scenario would be the brief time between development of a side effect, and the switch.  Really, its not constructive to be worried about side effects.
Of course, newly diagnosed do worry about such things, so going there for a moment, maybe we can dispel your fears if you say specifically what they are. If they are unfounded, we can tell you.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2013, 12:07:57 AM »
Most people who do a modicum of research can get on a med regimen that's one pill a day with few or zero side effects. The stuff about "a lot of people" having adverse side effects is a decade old. Meds have come a long way, and continue to come a long way.

If you have a history of depressive disorders you might want to avoid meds like Atripla, which can have serious psychological side effects. If you aren't married to the notion of one pill a day (how about three?) there are tons more alternatives. You and your ID doctor will find the regimen that works best for you.

I am sorry you are having to deal with this at the age of 21. But I was 27 when I was infected and I've made it through almost twenty years. People infected today (or in your case, a month and a half ago) ought to be able to pick and choose the treatment that works for them with very few side effects (and those usually go away in a couple of months regardless).

I wouldn't spend an awful lot of time blaming whomever you got the virus from. Condoms break. It happens. It's exceedingly rare for a person to get infected from a one-off instance, but that's also how a lot of babies are accidentally made. What maters now is that you move forward and do your best to not let this have any more impact in your life that it needs to.

I am glad you are moving forward with your doctors. Please let us know what your first labs are! It's up to you whether you want to start treatment right away, and lots of things will factor in (including, unfortunately, paying for treatment) but you have a LONG time to set all that up.

Welcome to the forums by the way! I am really sorry you HAD to find this place, but glad you did.

"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 childofgod

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2013, 12:29:52 AM »
Meech-
Yeah I was worried that switching would leave me at a resistant point for that medication, and I would never be able to use that med again. I just hope that all goes well for my first combo and it brings me to an undetectable level within 3 months. I'm having a lot of emotional pain due to ignorant family members whom are uneducated on the virus and it's transmission via daily activities

JK-
Thanks for the encouraging words I know I can't let the virus beat me psychologically. He did know that the condom broke as he texted me days later and told me to get tested and disappeared from the face of the earth. I hate that I have to go through this but I know that it's for a reason.

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2013, 01:28:59 AM »
Sorry you tested poz, but welcome to the forums.  This is a great place for info, discussion, and forming friendships.  It is good you know your status so soon, as many don't until ending up in the hospital. 

All the best on picking the regimen that you feel is right for you.  It sounds like you have things together.  I don't know you, but it sounds like you have the access, the support, and the readiness to start and be adherent.  I admire your readiness to start treatment.  It sounds like you do have some questions to get out of the way first.

About the guy you believe you acquired your infection-- While it is good to move past how it happened, I think it is good to deal with those feelings, that he may have done this intentionally.  I wish I was already seeing my current therapist, when I had those feelings.  I had a very similar experience.  You may have already move past it, and you were just telling us how it happened.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2013, 01:44:54 AM »
You should know that even if you can't tolerate one regimen, you can (and should) switch without worrying about resistance. Resistance usually occurs when you take a sub-standard dose over time (missing half your meds each week and the like) and almost NEVER happens when your doc switches you from one drug to another.

No reason why you can't find a regimen you like (even if it takes several tries) and remain totally non-resistant. And remember, the regimen you like this year might be improved in the next thre or four years. I am actually switching after five years from twice-a-day dosing of Prezista and Norvir to once a day, which will mean my GI issues with Norvir might actually be resolved (or resolving).

Of course remember I am a LTS on "salvage therapy" so I am on the equivalent of two (if not three) traditional combos. But shit, I take ten pills a day and I remain alive. I have little to bitch about.

In the next few years, we will likely be finding weekly or monthly treatments for some people. And a lot of folks will switch, obviously, when that happens. Let your doctor help decide the combo that is right for you (but you really REALLY ought to research his/her recomendation - there's plenty of that info on this site) and if you need to adjust it, do it with his/her help.

Most of the problems arise when people try to play doctor for themselves without knowledge, experience, or understanding. We get that a lot here, with people reading (and not comprehending) a study and then deciding to take their meds every other day, or every other week, without any input/communication with their doctor.

I like to call these people idiots.

Of course we should know our meds, understnad our treatment, and not put something unto our bodies until we understand what it does, and are prepared for it. Duh.

But also find a doctor you trust. One who has experience with HIV and treatment. Me, I like doctors that are involved in research and ongoing science. Then you will know they aren't going to prescribe an ancient treatment "just because it worked all these years." Me, I like my doctors a little more forward-thinking than that.

But seriously, don't worry too much about resistance. That's a few chapters into a thick book, and you're not even past the "table of contents" yet. Patience. HIV isn't an event (though I suppose the test results are an event). It's a journey. And until a cure, it's a lifelong journey. You have time to learn.

"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: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2013, 08:31:04 AM »
I'm having a lot of emotional pain due to ignorant family members whom are uneducated on the virus and it's transmission via daily activities


That must be annoying to deal with.  How are you instructing them?

Why does it cause you emotional pain?  Because they are ignorant and therefore are afraid of you, but its people you care about? 

Two things - 1) if its people you care about, give them the facts.  Try not to let society's ignorance about HIV hurt you.  People in the same household, obviously they all have to come up to speed, learn, and drop the fear. 
2) If you are like me, you will have some battles within yourself to clear up, and thats important, to live well.  To adjust to the new you. 

Once one is really ok about being HIV+ and living well with it, then ignorance and bias one encounters in life about HIV - it is annoying and angry making.  (Sometimes its laughable and pathetic.). But its much less hurtful because its their ignorance, thir problem, if one is ok with oneself.

« Last Edit: August 19, 2013, 08:35:21 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2013, 08:36:40 AM »
But that all takes time.
Instruct the family on the facts and try to pull back and let them have time to digest it.
Most of your energy - save it for yourself for adapting to all these changes.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline EUINAU

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2013, 04:10:56 PM »
As everyone else said here don't worry about side effects... I have been infected 4 months ago and started my meds 3 months ago and have no side effects and almost undetectable at my last labs I had a month ago.

I am sure you will be fine!

Offline ratcat

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2013, 01:39:50 PM »
Hmmmm....don't let your parents railroad you into taking medication too early dude.  It's your life not theirs,  You are 21 years old.  If I were you I would just get my labs done every 3-4 months (cd4 only...vl is expensive and not especially important at your stage)...wait a couple of years!!!!!  You are young and strong.  Go have some beers.

Offline Ann

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2013, 01:47:55 PM »
Hmmmm....don't let your parents railroad you into taking medication too early dude.  It's your life not theirs,  You are 21 years old.  If I were you I would just get my labs done every 3-4 months (cd4 only...vl is expensive and not especially important at your stage)...wait a couple of years!!!!!  You are young and strong.  Go have some beers.

You're hardly anyone to discourage people from starting treatment, seeing how your girlfriend recently died due to not treating her hiv soon enough. I'm starting to wonder if you weren't discouraging her from treating as well.

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 ratcat

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2013, 08:59:05 PM »
Ann, actually I made countless doctors appointments for her that she refused to attend, and made her promise to see her doctors this past March.  She felt that I was paranoid and that I researched  the subject too much.  I basically told her that if she didn't start ART this summer that I would terminate our relations.

She agreed, went to the doctor, got her labs done, got sick, got mis-diagnosed, and died.  She died from stage 4, metastatic colorectal cancer due to hpv related anal dysplasia.  She said she had hemorrhoids. She was a former prostitute! This was a very aggressive and fast growing cancer.  She went from healthy and active to dead in 4 months. My family figured out that I have HIV due to her death and I received some pressure to begin treatment myself, and I gave in.

Ann, you are entitled to your opinion about me and I certainly understand how I can be seen as a culprit and I take no offense.  Actually I was the only force in her life pushing her to be responsible about her infection but I was too late, and her doctors sucked.

I am on meds now after waiting 2.5 years.  Ann, you waited 10.  This young person can probably wait for at least a couple of years, but should recieve regular cd4 lab tests and physical examinations.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2013, 11:51:26 PM »
Hmmmm....don't let your parents railroad you into taking medication too early dude.  It's your life not theirs,  You are 21 years old.  If I were you I would just get my labs done every 3-4 months (cd4 only...vl is expensive and not especially important at your stage)...wait a couple of years!!!!!  You are young and strong.  Go have some beers.

This is not great advice. I am actually amazed, and not in the good way, that you would offer it.

The time to start meds is when a person can commit to it. FInancially, emotionally.  More and more research is showing that early treatment is optimal. In some cases, it serves as a fuctional cure. At the very least, it preseves the innate immune system and allows far better odds for avoiding opportunistic infections and later-life complications.

*editd to add: And don't even get me started on treatment as prevention, should the OP want to engage in a serodiscordant relationship. Removing THAT sword of Damocles does wonders for a person's social life.

Ann was a slow progressor - an anomaly. Moreover, the science behind HIV had changed drastically int he last ten years. PLEASE at the very least offer your advice from the perspective of scientific validity before holding yourself up as an anecdotal example.

Your claim of having done a great deal of research is certainly not illustrated in your posts.
"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 ratcat

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2013, 03:51:05 AM »
jkinatl2 and Ann definitely have a point!!!,,,my advice should be considered as background noise lol.  My old girlfriend made a mess of my reputation in real life and even on this forum.  I just wanted to offer another side of the coin to the OP as no-one else had.  I recall that 2 years ago the consensus regarding early treatment was different and more inclined towards waiting a short time to determine the rate of progression, and that I was given the same advice that I am offering, right here on this forum!!! ;p 

here is how I rate the advice that you receive-


On this forum- 33% professional and sound 33% background noise 33% misery wants company

Doctors-  60% good 40% financially motivated

family  100%- I want my baby to live spattered with ignorance and a bit of jumping into treatment too quick

friends-  Don't tell them!!!! lol

Me-  what the hell are you listening to me for!!!

Your Brain- 100% your decision...make choices that will prolong your life and make you happy without hurting anyone else

Hey everybody, sorry for giving advice and sorry for hijacking this thread. I'll just post my observations regarding my own experience and ask for advice myself for a while until I regain credibility.  I am at a point in my life when I need your advice myself. ;)

 


Offline Ann

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Re: Tested Positive Last Week Considering Treatment
« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2013, 04:56:08 AM »

I recall that 2 years ago the consensus regarding early treatment was different and more inclined towards waiting a short time to determine the rate of progression, and that I was given the same advice that I am offering, right here on this forum!!! ;p 


The problem we had with your "advice" was that you were employing blanket statements like:


Dude...all of the people who have replied to this thread are pushing the medication stance too hard.  The vl will go down on it's own and your cd4 will go up.  Get your labs done in another 4 months and you will see.  No need for meds for at least 2 years, if not much longer.  Your fine.  Don't listen to this hogwash.  Once again...you don't need meds yet!!!! ok!!!!


and


Hmmmm....don't let your parents railroad you into taking medication too early dude.  It's your life not theirs,  You are 21 years old.  If I were you I would just get my labs done every 3-4 months (cd4 only...vl is expensive and not especially important at your stage)...wait a couple of years!!!!! You are young and strong.  Go have some beers.


I myself have cautioned people against starting meds too early, it's true, but I never once told anyone a definite time-line in which they'd have to start. I've advised people to be regularly monitored, keeping a close eye on their numbers, and to discuss with their doctor when would be the best time to start.

And as Jonathan pointed out, the "when to start" question involves more than numbers anyway. A person needs to be ready to commit to taking the meds every single day, and they need to have their affairs in order regarding how they're going to continue to pay for the meds.

But to tell a newly diagnosed person flat-out that they won't need meds for two (or a couple) years can be detrimental to that person. What if that's what they want to hear, but not what they actually need to hear?

You could be causing a newly diagnosed person to think they can ignore their virus for two years, possibly more if they're feeling "fine", or "young and strong" and by that time it's totally possible that they could re-enter into the medical system with a diagnosis of aids. Some people progress frighteningly fast, while others, like me, progress very slowly.

I have a feeling you were drunk-posting again last night, like you admitted you were when you made the post telling someone, "Dude get over it.  HIV is only a big deal if you let it be." You come in and drunk-post at night, then come back the next morning full of remorse for what you said the night before.

Please, stop posting when you're drunk. Keep it up and you'll end up with an official warning, if not a mute. Seriously.

Ann
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

 


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