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After 7 years of denial, I am getting my 1st labs done next Monday.

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BoiBoy:
At 19, I was diagnosed as being HIV+. Not too long after, I began using meth and other drugs as a means of coping with my diagnosis as well as engaging in risky sex because of the denial I was living in. At certain points, I just didn't care about my health, my future or what was to become of me. Of course, there's a lot more to the story... but that is the basis of it.

A lot has changed since 19 (I'm 26) and now I've been sober for close to a year. I'm finding positive ways to deal with the pain of the past and I feel a lot better than I thought I ever could.

From the time I was diagnosed (at that point, I think I had been positive for a year) I've been relatively healthy. I experienced shingles that lasted close to month when I was 21 as a well as an abscess that I had to get drained at 22... but nothing else. As a teen, I was almost never sick. I think I've always had a pretty strong immune system.

I am getting my first labs done on Monday and I am pretty scared of what my numbers will tell me about what's going on inside of my body. I know that just because I feel well and haven't been sick, it doesn't necessarily mean that I am healthy. I am especially frightened of Hepatitis C. I used meth intravenously a few times and those times were with shared needles. Stupid, I know... But I was not in my right mind and I did not care about how my choices affected me.

I don't honestly think I have Hepatitis C... but I know that I definitely risked exposing myself to it because of my negligence. I have had time to wrap my mind around living with HIV... but living with two viruses is very scary to me, especially since HIV meds are hard on the liver.

Were any of you infected with the virus for years before you got your first labs and started medicine? Did you experience a lot of negative side effects with your prescribed medicines?

I appreciate all of you for creating and maintaining this community. It's appreciated.

emeraldize:
Welcome!  It's dinnertime, end of many work days, nightly news about Ukraine, South Korea and Hilary's first grandchild that accounts for the quiet time following your post.

You asked a question at the end of your post and for me, no, there wasn't a multi-year wait between diagnosis and first labs.  BUT, there was a seven-year stretch before I started meds.

No need to worry about one virus you know you have and one you hope you don't. You 'll have your answers soon. If you can , try to relax, eat a chocolate bunny and jelly beans over the weekend. Put some marshmallow chicks in the microwave ( if you 've never done that.

Celebrate spring and your sobriety. You've waited this long no reason to fret or froth.

drewm:
Welcome to the forums! Meth...AIDS...(Sounds like my story)

I was a meth whore for almost 10 years. Been sober for 4. First diagnosed when I was in the hospital with PCP pneumonia. 8 TCells, VL 500,000. Full blown AIDS. Within 7 months on Atripla, I was undetectable and my TCells are a respectable 300. Yes, there are some side effects to Atripla when first adjusting to it. I'm not going to lie, they were not pleasant at all but within two weeks they had completely subsided.

4 years into this, I seriously don't even think about AIDS most days. My health is overall excellent and life truly does go on. Anyway, CONGRATS on the sobriety!

BoiBoy:

--- Quote from: emeraldize on April 17, 2014, 07:15:06 PM ---Welcome!  It's dinnertime, end of many work days, nightly news about Ukraine, South Korea and Hilary's first grandchild that accounts for the quiet time following your post.

You asked a question at the end of your post and for me, no, there wasn't a multi-year wait between diagnosis and first labs.  BUT, there was a seven-year stretch before I started meds.

No need to worry about one virus you know you have and one you hope you don't. You 'll have your answers soon. If you can , try to relax, eat a chocolate bunny and jelly beans over the weekend. Put some marshmallow chicks in the microwave ( if you 've never done that.

Celebrate spring and your sobriety. You've waited this long no reason to fret or froth.

--- End quote ---

It's okay about the timing. LOL. I am very patient.

You are absolute right and outside of the Hep C scare, I am very optimistic about my future and health.
I just feel nervous and guilty about excess damage to my body.
That's all.
I love your attitude toward being positive. I feel that I will learn a lot from being here.

BoiBoy:

--- Quote from: drewm on April 17, 2014, 07:24:01 PM ---Welcome to the forums! Meth...AIDS...(Sounds like my story)

I was a meth whore for almost 10 years. Been sober for 4. First diagnosed when I was in the hospital with PCP pneumonia. 8 TCells, VL 500,000. Full blown AIDS. Within 7 months on Atripla, I was undetectable and my TCells are a respectable 300. Yes, there are some side effects to Atripla when first adjusting to it. I'm not going to lie, they were not pleasant at all but within two weeks they had completely subsided.

4 years into this, I seriously don't even think about AIDS most days. My health is overall excellent and life truly does go on. Anyway, CONGRATS on the sobriety!

--- End quote ---

Thanks for your response.
I love the fact that I'm going to be able to connect with people with similar pasts and life stories here.
If I may ask you, what were the specific side effects you experienced?

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