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Author Topic: Living with HIV and dealing with College, medication, and Life  (Read 935 times)

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Offline Johnperk

  • Member
  • Posts: 7
    • John Perkins | just my journey...
Living with HIV and dealing with College, medication, and Life
« on: January 25, 2014, 03:07:11 PM »
Hello, I'm John. I'm 25 and was diagnosed hiv pos back in December of 2012. I have been part of a  clinical trial study since summer of 2013 via care of a Infectious disease medical doctor. I'm taking medications by Gilead Sciences and it has the following; elvitegravir(150),cobicistat(150),emtricitabine(200mg), tenofovir alafenamide 10mg or placebo film coated tablets. So far I've been told I am undetectable with counts around 500. I am only doing this study because I can not afford meds and I get payed 50 per visit to do this. I am under my dad's insurance until this summer when I turn 26. I haven't even taken advantaged of this insurance. I fear I will not be able to afford insurance or future medications for hiv in the future.

Meanwhile,I am in school and I'm very passionate about a Digital Media. I lift weights twice a week, I quit smoking, rarely drink ,I don't hook up, I take a multi vitimin, and eat what I can afford (potatoes, oatmeal, eggs, milk, ground beef, bananas, rice, collard greens, black beans, & peanut butter mostly). I don't want to get very thin and what to look and feel healthy. Which leads me to wanting to know whether it is still possible to gain weight/ muscle being hiv pos?

I'd really like to live as long as possible. I want to continue to do art and digital media, I want a career, my own home someday and car, maybe a dog or a cat I can care for. I just want to live decently and so far I'm very blessed. I just have so many worries and I just pray I will be able to take care of myself. Being hiv pos as really opened my eyes on a lot. Before I had unsafe sex with my ex boyfriend and was also smoking crystal meth. I haven't touched the stuff since like May of 2013. I will admit after I was diagnosed I spiraled down and did more drugs and ended up in jail for stealing gas. I was dealing with my diagnose, trying to get these people out of my life included the ex, and jail woke me up. I lost everything, but luckily my family is supporting me with a roof over my head and my education. I'm so blessed, but I really don't expect my family to pay my medical bills and I know hiv meds are very expensive. I just want to be happy with life and I'm doing pretty good with that. I want to live normally and don't want to get sick. Also, I take my meds not always at the same time my doctor told me 9am every morning with food but sometimes I take at 8am or 10am without food. I feel good..I just want to be cautious because I really don't want this disease interfering with my education AT ALL ..I really want to get through my bachelors.

Offline surf18

  • Member
  • Posts: 525
Re: Living with HIV and dealing with College, medication, and Life
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 03:13:53 PM »
Listen to your doc's. Take the med's when your supposed to. Though the longer you are undetectable you have a little more leeway.
Glad you are on the right track now. On your muscle question. I was dx'd in June of 2010 and I have never looked better. So yes you can get the body you want even being poz. You still gotta put the work in just like if you werent poz. Lift heavy, and eat as much as you can if muscle gain is your goal. Protein is your friend.

Offline gavelkind

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
Re: Living with HIV and dealing with College, medication, and Life
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 03:52:33 PM »
Quote
I fear I will not be able to afford insurance or future medications for hiv in the future.

If you're in the USA, I assume there are programs you don't know about? It's much cheaper to treat patients than it is to let them go around untreated so if you can't afford meds, I'm sure there's a program that can help you out? IN NY, I'm o ADAP. Makes me nervous to think about losing that.

Quote
Which leads me to wanting to know whether it is still possible to gain weight/ muscle being hiv pos?

Yep. In many cases it's even easier since most positive people become better eaters, more concerned with their health, and healthier overall.  After a year being positive, eating better and working out more, I feel and think I look better actually.

Quote
I'd really like to live as long as possible. I want to continue to do art and digital media, I want a career, my own home someday and car, maybe a dog or a cat I can care for. I just want to live decently and so far I'm very blessed. I just have so many worries and I just pray I will be able to take care of myself.

This can all still happen. Best wishes! :)
2/13- Diagnosed
3/13- CD4,  885/39%   VL, 135,542
5/13- CD4,  867/46%   VL, 553
6/13- CD4,  720/42%   VL, 32
7/13- CD4,  1095/36%  VL, <20
10/13- CD4, 884/47%   VL, 42
1/14- CD4,  1165/48%  VL, 31
2/14- CD4,  1214/46%  VL, <20
5/14- CD4,  1715/49%  VL, <20

Offline BT65

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  • Member
  • Posts: 9,868
  • Vegas baby!
Re: Living with HIV and dealing with College, medication, and Life
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 06:33:32 PM »
John, welcome to the forums. 

I've been diagnosed over 20 years, and after being diagnosed got my undergrad and worked for an Aids service organization.  Oh, and my cat is laying by me.

I would suggest you get a hold of your nearest ASO and talk with them about medical care.  Someone has already mentioned ADAP, and if you get a good case manager they should be able to make it easy for you. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,770
Re: Living with HIV and dealing with College, medication, and Life
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 11:56:37 PM »
John,

Welcome to the forums, although I wish you didn't have to be here.  You've done several great things for your health.  You got tested; you got into treatment; you quit smoking and you quit meth.  All those are very commendable. 

I would definitely start now to reach out to your local ASO.  A google search of HIV/AIDS services in your city or state should give you the contact info.  ADAP will cover your meds, as it sounds like you have very limited resources.  The university hospital here in Louisville runs the HIV clinic.  If you cannot afford care, then you get your doc visits and labs for free-- or a small fee if you do make more than what's allowed for free.  Do you know if your state expanded Medicaid coverage? 

About gaining weight-- Unless someone has some issue, then you can gain as much weight as you want, or don't want.  And, I know many poz folks who work out all the time.  There's a least one member here who is a body builder.  But, of course, some do have issues with gaining weight and muscle mass.  But, I think most are just like any neg person in regard to maintaining or gaining weight, or working out.  Poz people can get heavy or muscular.  It really depends on your health. 

Keep in touch,

Ted

 


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