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Author Topic: my new friend has hiv  (Read 3199 times)

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Offline renton212

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  • Posts: 4
my new friend has hiv
« on: August 23, 2013, 09:18:06 PM »
Ive known a male escort for about a year and last week he has just told he is recently positive. I am neg and recently tested so I am not concerned for myself.

I just feel really bad for him. He told me he sees me as a friend now not a client and even without the money, he wants me in his life. Truth be told i have a crush on him and he knows it :-)  Ive read other topics about how just to be normal and treat him the same and I want to help and encourage him. What is the best way to do this without going on about all the time? It must be on his mind 24/7 as its recent news. He takes a fair few drugs but I dont want to preach or be the parent figure. Most of his social "friends" dont want to know him now, just me, his only client..who is now his friend. What is the best approach for me to take?

Online mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: my new friend has hiv
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2013, 11:59:29 PM »
You can ask him if he needs any help or a sounding board about following up his diagnosis. He will be fine if he gets regular medical attention and makes the decisions at the appropriate time.

Second, I guess you can be a resource if he wants to or needs to change his vocation. He can't be a rent boy forever, plus the drugs, he may need a push to start taking the steps to have a better job and lifestyle for his future. I don't think thats being the parent figure if you discuss these things frankly, man to man as friends.

I think you risk heartbreak if you fall too much in love with him and he doesn't feel that way.  Try to protect yourself and focus on him as a friend not a lover.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 12:06:01 AM by mecch »
“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: my new friend has hiv
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2013, 02:48:52 AM »
Ive known a male escort for about a year and last week he has just told he is recently positive. I am neg and recently tested so I am not concerned for myself.

I just feel really bad for him. He told me he sees me as a friend now not a client and even without the money, he wants me in his life. Truth be told i have a crush on him and he knows it :-)  Ive read other topics about how just to be normal and treat him the same and I want to help and encourage him. What is the best way to do this without going on about all the time? It must be on his mind 24/7 as its recent news. He takes a fair few drugs but I dont want to preach or be the parent figure. Most of his social "friends" dont want to know him now, just me, his only client..who is now his friend. What is the best approach for me to take?

Hey, renton.

I'm saying "should" here throughout, but that's shorthand for "it might be a good idea to..." Only you know the full situation.

You should let him take the lead on talking about it. He may want to bring it up all the time (I did for a while), or he may not want to talk about it at all. Just be sure he knows you'll listen either way. I think it's great that you want to be there for him, btw.

Drugs: did you mean illegal type drugs or his meds? About his meds, I'd say 'preach away'. I have a friend who's really bad about taking his pills, and even though he grimaces, I kind of think he likes me to nag him a little about it. Either way, your friend needs to take his meds, and if there's no one else in his life who's keeping an eye on him...

If you meant illicit drugs, then I'd advise not to be too preachy there, but that's just me. Harm reduction is the way to go in my opinion. If he shoots up, make sure he knows to have clean needles. If he's taking uppers, be sure he knows to get some rest and to eat and to take his pills. I have another friend I want to smack because he gets high, stays up for days and completely forgets to take his pills. I just wanna scream "Get. A. Watch. fer chrissakes." He has an iPhone, and I even set up a daily reminder... Sometimes I think he isn't actually "forgetting" but he just doesn't want to take them. Sorry for the tangent.

It's not your job, of course, but if you really want to help, there's my recommendation.
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (?) off treatment ☣ CD4 (?) off treatment
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 renton212

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  • Posts: 4
Re: my new friend has hiv
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2013, 03:30:45 AM »
thanks both for your replies.

Yes i mean illegal drugs, mcat and coke. He is not on any HIV med because he has a very high cd4 count (he says 1000+) and he only has to visit his doctor in maybe six months.  I am trying to keep my heart safe too :-)

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: my new friend has hiv
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2013, 05:30:09 AM »
Hi Renton, welcome to the forums.

Your friend needs to know that if he's overindulging in the recreational drugs he's taking, there's a good chance that his CD4s won't stay high very long. Occasional use won't make a big difference, but heavy-duty use can and possibly will.

I remember reading a study a few years ago about coke use and CD4s in the treatment-naive and it wasn't pretty. I don't have it bookmarked and don't have the time to search it out right now, but presumably you have google too? It's an older study from back in the days when there were more treatment-naive people about (early to mid-90s), due to the lack of effective hiv meds.

That mcat can't be doing him any favours either. I know a group of people who were using that stuff - a lot - and after a few months they all ended up acting very strangely even when not high, and seemed to be getting sick constantly. These people aren't poz.

The problem is that he's probably not going to stop using recreational drugs unless he decides he needs to stop. If he's not ready to do that, you'll be wasting your breath. All you can do is arm him with some of the facts (again, google for that study) and let him make his own mind up. Other than that, all you can do is not enable him by using with him.

If he's leading the chaotic life it sounds like he is, then being monitored only once every six months probably isn't the best idea. CD4s in some people can plummet very quickly and if he's not being kind to his body, he can be hastening that.

Good luck. This sounds like an unenviable position to be in - you want to help him but at the end of the day, there's really only so much you can do.
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 renton212

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  • Posts: 4
Re: my new friend has hiv
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2013, 06:03:36 AM »
thanks Ann, I will look up those studies and have them ready should he bring up the topic. I think he wants to blot out a lot so I can't blame him.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: my new friend has hiv
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2013, 06:21:19 AM »
It's not uncommon for newly diagnosed people to go on an alcohol or drug-fuelled binge - it's called "self-medicating". You can tell him that it does get better in time (being poz), but it might not carry much weight with him seeing as how you're not poz yourself. It will mean a lot more to him if it comes from people who have been there, done that, so.....

Can you get him to join us here? We've all been in the same place he is now, namely struggling with a new diagnosis.

Many of us have also had substance misuse issues, so he's not going to get any judgement from us, just support and a generous dose of reality. He's not going to get any judgement from us concerning his profession either - although I'm sure many will urge him to find other means of supporting himself ASAP. He doesn't even need to bring that aspect of his life up if he doesn't feel comfortable about it. He would be wise to bring up the drug use though, as it can really impact on both his mental and physical health.

Give him a hug from me and the rest of us, ok?
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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 renton212

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  • Posts: 4
Re: my new friend has hiv
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2013, 06:27:20 AM »
Yes i did say are you a member of any forums? to which he just shook his head and changed the subject. I'll try again when the time is right. All I want to do is throw my arms around him and hug him but it's not that kind of relationship..yet, who knows maybe as friends and not escort/client,  I will someday have the privilege of doing that for him :-) he's bright and has a good heart.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: my new friend has hiv
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2013, 06:44:02 AM »
A hug doesn't have to be sexual. I can't tell you how much being hugged can mean to a newly diagnosed person - it helps a person to realise that they're not "untouchable".

Rather than ask him if he's joined, just tell him to join. Tell him he's not going to get judged, but he will get the moral support and practical information he needs right now.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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 oksikoko

  • Member
  • Posts: 680
  • Writing the congressman again
Re: my new friend has hiv
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2013, 11:33:51 AM »
Your friend needs to know that if he's overindulging in the recreational drugs he's taking, there's a good chance that his CD4s won't stay high very long. Occasional use won't make a big difference, but heavy-duty use can and possibly will.

snip snip

That mcat can't be doing him any favours either. I know a group of people who were using that stuff - a lot - and after a few months they all ended up acting very strangely even when not high, and seemed to be getting sick constantly. These people aren't poz.

Some disagree (and with valid rebuttals), but I'm in the camp that you hit hard and you hit early regardless of CD4 count. I suppose his doctor knows best, but my first doctor wrote me off from day 1 as a waste of his effort, so I'm wary of doctors' reactions toward drug users. Of course, some people feel about themselves the way my doctor felt about me and would refuse drugs that they didn't think they were 'worthy' of. I hope that's not the case here, because you only get one shot at fighting hard during early infection.

Ann's right about many things but particularly about the overindulging in drugs. Mcat is an amphetamine (right?), and amphetamines have been shown to increase viral replication. They speed everything up, you see...  In this study (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(02)00360-2/fulltext) they show that amphetamines speed up viral replication (in feline immunodeficiency virus disease, but still) by a factor of 15. I'm still in favor of harm reduction, but anyone using amphetamines should know this when they decide how much risk they're willing to take.

Of course, a lot of the things "they say" about drugs, particularly amphetamines are empirically untrue, so I only half trust anything I read on the topic, even if it's in The Lancet.
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (?) off treatment ☣ CD4 (?) off treatment
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 Ann

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  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: my new friend has hiv
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2013, 07:26:07 AM »

Some disagree (and with valid rebuttals), but I'm in the camp that you hit hard and you hit early regardless of CD4 count. I suppose his doctor knows best.....


Not every member is posting from the US and most other countries won't treat when a patient's CD4 count is as high as Renton's friend - and he's in one of those countries.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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 oksikoko

  • Member
  • Posts: 680
  • Writing the congressman again
Re: my new friend has hiv
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2013, 11:35:51 AM »
Not every member is posting from the US and most other countries won't treat when a patient's CD4 count is as high as Renton's friend - and he's in one of those countries.

Oops. 212 meant "New York" to me.
Code: [Select]
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (?) off treatment ☣ CD4 (?) off treatment
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 Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: my new friend has hiv
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2013, 04:38:36 AM »
Oops. 212 meant "New York" to me.

Heh. I had that area code once upon a time in my murky past. ;D
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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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