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Author Topic: ...and the virus spreads  (Read 2696 times)

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Offline Richy24

  • New Member
  • Posts: 2
...and the virus spreads
« on: November 25, 2014, 02:49:03 AM »
Greetings from Montreal, Canada!

I was diagnosed HIV+ on October 28th, 2014... here's my story of how it went down...  I had gone to one of our local gay STD clinics for a regular checkup.. however, I had just gotten some kind of skin infection on my face (Impetigo from what the ER doc told me - I'm a Respiratory Therapist and it's fairly easy to go to the ER for consults and whatever, she prescribed me a cream and it went away, but then a weird purple looking patch appeared on my left leg and I also started swollen lymph nodes around that time... that's when it prompted me to go for an STD checkup).  The doctor at the clinic called me back a few days later and said I had tested + for throat Gonorrhoea and to come in for an antibiotic injection and 3 pills to take.  So no biggy I thought... unfortunately when I went in, I was told that they had a preliminary HIV test that came back poz, and that my blood test was now going under a secondary confirmation test. 

I didn't know what to say... or how to react.  It came as somewhat of a shock,  I just turned 25, and have always thought that getting HIV would never happen to me.  I dislike anal sex, and I usually only engage in oral sex... The last time I had anal sex was back in March when I had went to Miami for the Gay Winter festival and had a late night drunken Grindr hookup, and the guy said he was clean and I stupidly made the decision to top him. When in Rome right?  After coming back from Miami, a couple weeks after, I had also gone for an STD checkup precisely because of what happened.  I came back - for HIV, but + for anal ghonorrhea (which I thoroughly do not wish upon anyone, it's so painful!!).  I was also having a general feeling of malaise at nights, and some night sweats.  But I thought these were the symptoms of my gonorrea.  I underwent treatment and everything went away.

So here I am now... like 8 months since Miami...newly diagnosed.  I can't think of any other risky situations since then.. but I know trying to find out who infected you is not important. Regardless, I think it's normal trying to figure that out at first... The first couple of days after finding out I was HIV+ were horrible, I actually went to work after finding out thinking that it would keep my mind busy, but I found myself thinking of other things.. I broke down crying to one of my close coworkers... she's been thoroughly supportive since and hasn't told anybody else.  I gradually felt better, it's definitely been an up and down rollercoaster ever since I've found out.  But working in the healthcare field I feel has definitely helped me in some way in that I grasp medical terms and whatnot pretty easily. I already knew what HIV was in general, but I have been doing more and more research on my own.  I think that's why I don't feel like this is a death sentence anymore and that I can still live healthy..

The worst is that I just started this new relationship with this awesome guy, we've been dating for three months now.  I was so scared that I infected him, but I knew I had to tell him for his own health (even though we had only done oral sex since we've dated).  I chose to wait a couple weeks before telling him... because I was still coping, and I wanted to wait until my next consultation with the Doctor who is now my family physician...

Secondary testing came back poz (like I thought it would... not sure if they do the Western Blot in Canada?).. either way I got my VL and CD4 counts back a few days ago. VL 47500 and CD4 450.  We hadn't had the genotype/HIV strand back as of yet, so he prescribed me Kivexa/Prezista/Norvir combo but said he was likely going to be changing it once he got the genotype result back.  Being nervous and anxious I went ahead and got the meds at the pharmacy right after.  I get a call back from him the next day saying he got the genotype back and that there's no resistance for the one pill a day med (I forget the name of the actual medication he's switching me too, gah).  I told him I had already bought the previous meds so he basically just told me to not waste them and to complete the 30 days with them and to switch to the new med after.

So finally my bf came over last weekend, and I told him.  He surprisingly took it better than I originally believed.  Of course there were tears and emotions all over the place, but he made sure to tell me that he is there for me and that he will be continuing to see me. :) He is more sad about the fact that I've gone through this for about three weeks on my own than him not knowing.  We definitely have a rough road ahead, but I'm staying positive.

That's about it for now, I haven't started taking the meds yet, I'm waiting till I have my 6 days off of work before starting which is this Thursday .(I work 8 days straight and then I have 6 days off, always). I just want to be safe if I ever have crazy side effects.

So here I am, about to start the meds, I know my counts could be worse, but I'm hoping for an undetectable VL in the near future... Only 3 people know about my status now (apart from the doctor) , and I'm definitely scared about telling my family... I'll be going down to visit them for xmas time.  It's not perfect timing to tell them... I can just see it now "Hey guys, Merry Christmas, I have HIV!!" Not the greatest present to receive from their son lol. I think I'll wait, it's not something I want to tell them over the phone, but the thing is we only see each other about 3 times a year cuz I live in another province.

Anyway, thank you guys for reading, if you've read actually everything I'm surprised haha! Any advice for help would be kind :)

Oct. 28th 2014 : First + test
Nov. 6th 2014 : WB positive
Nov. 19th 2014 : CD4: 450, VL:47500
Nov. 27th 2014 : Started on Kivexa/Prezista/Norvir combo
Dec. 27th 2014 : Started on Triumeq
Jan. 7th 2015 : CD4: 620, VL: UD !! :)

Offline tednlou2

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  • Posts: 5,662
Re: ...and the virus spreads
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2014, 01:05:58 AM »
Welcome to the forums.  I am sorry you tested positive.  It is great you have this Bf in your life now.  What was the purple spot btw?  Has that gone away? 

As for starting a regimen for 30 days because you already got it, more knowledgable folks here on meds can give their opinions.  People switch regimens all the time.  But, I thought there is always a small risk for resistance, especially when your not undetectable yet.  Perhaps the more knowledgable folks here will chime in and give their knowledge on whether that is a perfectly reasonable plan, or given your CD4 count, it would be best to wait for your longterm regimen.  Meds can be donated.  But, I could be totally off and your docs plan is perfectly fine. 

You sure did have a lot to deal with all at once.  It is so good that you tested and are in care.  As for telling your folks, I wish you the best, when you decide the right time.  Keep in touch.


Offline zach

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,848
Re: ...and the virus spreads
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2014, 02:08:12 AM »

Hey Richy, welcome to the party, no door prizes, but you found a good door!

Sorry about your dx. It just fucking sucks, there is no sugar coating it. But you are absolutely right; it's not a death sentence, it is a life sentence. You can live a long healthy life if you take care of yourself. You'll just have this virus in you is all.

This period of time following your dx, it's the worst. A whirlwind of emotions. Bend with the storm, don't break. All the mixed up shit going on in your head, it's normal, just let yourself process it at your own speed. There is no need to rush anything. That includes disclosure. Carefully consider it before telling even close family. Be strong enough to handle it, whatever the reaction.

Your numbers rock! Your idea of waiting until you have days off, solid idea, stick with that. Side effects are rare, you're not gonna grow a third cock or anything (you do have two normal ones right?) But there will be an adjustment. Being home, with the BF, set a mood ya know. Jazz, subdued lighting, glass of wine (or grape juice, start slow) Bubble bath, pity massage. Make it work for you! But when you do start, be ready to commit. Thats the life sentence part. Every day, without fail. Roughly the same time daily, but don't freak out if you're late. Really, don't freak out over anything.

Awesome you're not resistant to anything! Moving forward, resistance is related to adherence. Failing to take your meds regularly allows resistance to develop. Go ahead and stick with the doctors orders. He's the professional with a medical degree. We're just words on a screen. Some of us lucky bastards : :-*:coughtedcough: :-*: don't even have to take meds yet. Some of us take double hand fulls.

You know your folks, I leave that to you. But proceed with caution when it comes to disclosure. Plenty of time. Use your best discretion.

I did read everything, and my one piece of advice. Stay calm. You got this.

Post anytime, anything you need. I'm somewhat infamous for drunken posts, sometimes a guy just needs to vent you know.

Anyway, nice to meet you, hope to hear more from you.

Offline Tonny2

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,135
Re: ...and the virus spreads
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2014, 03:16:50 PM »

      ojo    Hi Richie, welcome....Its good you know your are hiv+, now you can treat yourself....I'm glad you bf is supporting you, you will be fine as long and you take your meds....I, like Ted, Im not sure if its a good idea start a treatment that is going to be switched next month, let's see if some other  members can give us more opinions, you'll be ok,if you wait for the treatment the doctor plans to give you next month, after seeing the genotype test results, your numbers are good, good luck...hugs    ojo

Offline Richy24

  • New Member
  • Posts: 2
Re: ...and the virus spreads
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2014, 09:54:03 PM »
Hey guys :)

Thanks for replying to me.. I'm surprised that people actually care out there! ;)

So today was day 1 on the meds.  I woke up around 1pm (like I usually do) at some toasts and swallowed the pills with some coffee then took a shower.  I noticed after what must've been around an hour of taking the meds that some mild itchy spots with redness appeared on my face and that I was feeling a bit lightheaded, kind of like it was a slight buzz going on.  It all went away after an hour or so... I'm sure it's just my body not being used to it?

Also, I went out and got my new prescription that I will be starting in a month's time, it's for the new drug Triumeq formally known as Trii. It has Abacavir and Lamivudine in it which is the same as Kivexa that I'm currently taking.  So I'm sure it'll be fine to switch to.

What was the purple spot btw?  Has that gone away? 

Yes it did go away, I really don't know what it was, but it had definitely freaked me out. 

 Being home, with the BF, set a mood ya know. Jazz, subdued lighting, glass of wine (or grape juice, start slow) Bubble bath, pity massage. Make it work for you!

Thanks for the kind words :)  My doctor said drinking was allowed with the meds though, am I supposed to avoid the alcohol? :o

Oct. 28th 2014 : First + test
Nov. 6th 2014 : WB positive
Nov. 19th 2014 : CD4: 450, VL:47500
Nov. 27th 2014 : Started on Kivexa/Prezista/Norvir combo
Dec. 27th 2014 : Started on Triumeq
Jan. 7th 2015 : CD4: 620, VL: UD !! :)

Offline Tonny2

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,135
Re: ...and the virus spreads
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2014, 10:26:33 PM »

     ojo    Hi Rich, that's why we are here for, to support each other...I supposed you have a test to see if you were not allergic to the abacavir, didn't you?...I took Abacavir nefore that test and man, I got so sick, I got an awful rash and feel so sick, I had to stop it, right away....so I wish you luck, and yes, you can have some drinks while on meds, just don't get to drunk because you might forget to take your meds,...hugs   ojo

Offline zach

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,848
Re: ...and the virus spreads
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2014, 10:39:02 PM »
i had a terrapin moo hoo chocolate stout with my meds this evening

i tried to avoid it, it kept spilling into my mouth, i didn't want to drink

seriously, it's no big deal... maybe don't drink like a hard core alcoholic, but thats good advice for everyone


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