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Just got + results yesterday.


So, here I am in uncharted waters and completely lost. It's usually me on the other side of the table talking to someone about their new diagnosis but now I'm in their shoes. I'm numb. Nurses don't often make good patients and have a hard time listening to their own advise at that. I am, however a gay man that is now HIV+.

I don't blame anyone but myself for this occurrence, as with many, I was overly confident and usually unsafe. My partner has been poz and undetectable for a number of years and we have honestly never used condoms and have always been okay. He keeps his health in check and follows doctors orders to a "t", always knows his numbers and always compliant with his meds. I religiously get tested every 3 months. Within this past year, we decided to start playing around with other guys, not separately but together. He told me he'd be more comfortable only playing with other poz/undetec guys as it was safer for the both of us. I agreed. We never used protection. We were always okay. I'm pretty sure it was the most recent person we were with, with whom "the question" was never really asked for whatever reason this time. I'm assuming he didn't know his status and I'm assuming he knew ours-it's not been a secret, we don't hide it to our friends, etc...

I've always been okay with poz guys, I've always tried to stay as educated as I could, especially having a partner that was. This was just a routine test. I really had no symptoms or acute illness at all...I've always had allergies, those symptoms are common for me...but nothing seemed abnormal...When the rest of my labwork came back online but my HIV test did not, I pretty much knew without knowing. So, I went to my Dr. and asked if I was. She told me that I was, and that it was confirmed, which is why I didn't get the result via online. She further told me "It's going to be okay, you're the picture of health, we got it early, you're going to be fine, our treatment success rates are amongst the best in the nation". Then she did something I've never seen a doctor do. She hugged me. If I could have lost it at any moment, that would have been it.

Last night of course I had to tell my partner, which was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do and of course he's beating himself up, too. I also had to tell my best friend who is also poz and my boss, as it seems like this next year at least is going to be full of doctors visits. It still hasn't sunk in. I keep saying it to myself over and over "you are poz". nope...hasn't clicked yet. I don't look any different, I don't feel any different...I even went out last night after work and ate my emotions in the form of a very large, meaty pizza which I'm paying for today.

I have not started treatment yet, I have only been referred to the ID specialist at this point and I'm awaiting my appointment. So many things are going through my mind, it won't slow down. I know I have a good deal of friends that are poz and I'm sure at some point I'll be reaching out but it just feels so weird and surreal and I'm just trying to reach out in other ways too. I'm thankful in a way that my partner has been in my shoes before and has some insight as to what I'm about to embark on and has of course said he would do everything he could to help me through it and be there. Everyone says it gets better day by day. I really hope that's true. I'm totally lost. This place seems very supportive with a lot of great people.

I really understand what you are going through. I was lost for one whole month. Some of my friends asked me why I seemed to be 10 years older. Now I am telling myself that I am as eveverybody else except that I must take everyday a pill at 1 pm.

Nobody knows for me, neither my family, nor my friends. And it is just fine. But you are lucky to have a poz boyfriend.

Thank you. I do feel fortunate, in a way to have a poz partner, these last few days he's been very supportive and encourging to me. I should clarify, I didn't tell my boss I was poz, just that I had some new medical issues to take care of and that I'd be needing some extra time for appointments and what not. I likely will not tell many more if any at all. I've also been strongly cautioned by my partner and also ID provider about disclosure.

I saw the ID Specialist for the first time this past Thursday, 2 days after my diagnosis. I can't believe I got an appointment so quickly but very thankful for that. All of the information I was given was overwhelming but she didn't miss a thing. My partner came with me to that appointment and he said "wow, she's an amazing doctor-I didn't even get that thorough of exam or explanation". She was also very personable and "dumbed things down" for me. She also explained that as many, she wanted to treat me for "adjustment disorder" ..."just in case, and to make sure I was getting enough rest".

This morning I had my first set of labs to find baselines, genotype and all the other stuff...18 tubes of blood later...Then on the 31st I've got more labs (she said to see progression) and then the plan is to start arv meds on 4/14/14, which is my next visit once she's seen all the lab work she's requested. She ran down the 8 possible treatment regimens that I could potentially be started on depending on lab results and told me "we have to get it right on the first try...and I'm pretty darn good at that". Still, though, that is pretty nerve racking...first try? gulp. She told me to let her do all the worrying for me and to trust her. Hard to let that go but I'm going to.

It's still hard to accept, but every day has been a little easier so far.  I feel better knowing I'm under good medical care and it's also comforting to know I'm not alone. It's still hard not to see myself as everyone else, hopefully that day will come sooner rather than later.


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