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Author Topic: Here's my story.  (Read 2294 times)

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Offline Dantheman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Here's my story.
« on: June 25, 2014, 01:50:21 PM »
Hey everyone.  I've been in and out of this forum since I found out in January 2014.  Its been a great resource on finding more information about HIV as well as finding a community of people. 


I'm one of those who got checked every three months out of fear.  The first thing I always do at the doctor's office is get my status checked.  It takes 20 minutes and I always thought of it as a sense of pride that I was knowledgeable about my status and was staying safe.  After all, I only started being sexually active a couple years prior.  I wanted to have fun, but be smart about it and protect myself.  It took me a long time to accept being openly gay.

I go to Thailand once a year to visit family.  This past December 2013 I was there visiting, and one night I went out to meet someone.  It was someone whom I never met, however knew who he was, and had several mutual friends in the same social circle.

We chat for hours, developed a sense of trust and decided to have sex.  I always use condoms but there was a moment where he took it off as a break per my request.  In that euphoria, he decides to not put the condom back on and started fucking.  It only took a couple of seconds for me to demand that he put it back on.  I wasn't that stupid or drunk to let it go.  I was however, stupid to trust him afterwards when I asked if he was clean (hated term, I know, but that is what I asked.) And not seek a doctor to prevent a serious infection, one as serious as HIV.

I got sick, this weird fever, fatigue and nothing else exactly two weeks after the initial contact.  It lasted over a week and after seeing two doctors in Thailand who said it was definitely some sort of viral infection, I started to get worried.  They didn't bother to check if it was HIV, and at the time, I didn't think it was either.  I actually thought it was from too much partying~ 

I came back to the US, saw my doctor, took the test as usual, but this time, the test came out undetermined. 

It actually took about two weeks after I saw my doctor in the US to confirm I indeed had been infected with HIV.  Apparently, I was going through the sero phase.  That's how early I got checked, although I wish it was earlier.  Needless to say, I was shocked.  You think that you would just cry and melt to the floor but I was almost stoic.  As if I entered a parallel universe where this wasn't happening.  But it was.  The first time I cried was when the doctor took out a chart with all the medication.  That's when you know it's for real.  I went to the pharmacy and started that day.

The good news is it only took only about a month for me to become undetectable.  In the realm of this world, that's as good as it gets.  For now.

I used to be a happy person, one filled with goals and dreams.  I used to go out and meet new people all the time.  I used to laugh.  I was healthy as a horse.  After taking so long to be comfortable with myself being gay, and open, I was looking forward to dating and perhaps, just perhaps, be in a relationship. 

Now, I'm 30, HIV positive, and I find myself hollow.  Its been five months since I found out, and about six months since I've been infected.  I'm hitting a low point in this journey, in which I never thought I had to take.  Taking meds everyday is hard for me, because it's a constant reminder of a mistake I made only a few months ago.  My friends are telling me I'm cranky all the time.  And I find myself seeping into a deep depression that I never thought I would.  I feel completely lost in my own identity.  My job requires interacting and meeting new people all the time and I'm finding it hard to do. 

I can't even imagine having this for the rest of my life.  I cry at the thought of not being able to achieve my goals, be in a loving relationship (which I've never been in at the age of 30), and having to think about whatever will happen to me if I don't take meds.  It weighs heavy on you.  Although I don't feel as contagious due to my undetectable status, I feel different.  I walk on the streets and all I can think about is all the healthy people who don't have HIV.


I don't really know what question I have.  Does anyone still have hope?  What hopes do you have?  Mine has disappeared somewhere.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 02:19:12 PM by Dantheman »

Online Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 02:03:45 PM »
Welcome to the forums Dan . I'm happy you found us but sad you needed to . I'm sure others will be by to welcome you soon .

Offline zach

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,446
  • not fade away
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2014, 02:28:28 PM »
dan, welcome

thailand is beautiful isn't it. no regrets. stop beating yourself up.

it gets better sounds like such condescending crap doesn't it? but completely true. your life isn't over.

my advice. accept where you are right now. move forward. stop looking back.

you couldn't be in a better position right now. you caught it early, got into treatment early.

i got great news for you dan!!

 ;Dyou've already beat the virus!! ;D

fight now is to stay that way, and to hold your head together while you adjust. thats huge in itself. go ahead and cry, just a normal human emotion that needs to be expressed. and if you need it, get some counseling of some sort. whatever works best for you. 

go ahead and get over that med issue. like right now. just take your meds and place no emotional baggage on that act. it's not a reminder of some dark past. for me, it's something i do, right before i go live loud.

you can't win every fight, but if you never fight, you never win. at some point, you and the virus have to live together on your terms.

you still are healthy as a horse. you've got a virus in you is all, sounds like its in the choke hold. good stuff.

you are the same person you were two months ago. do not let this stop you from living.

think long run, marathon, pace yourself and don't get to overwhelmed

do i have hope? hell yeah man, i have plans. long term goals and stuff.
gonna go up to the mountain, for to find a little peace
looking over the valley, for the beauty i see
out across the hills, forevermore

Offline phoenix

  • Member
  • Posts: 45
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2014, 06:13:11 PM »
dan welcome to the forums.   I've only been on this forum for about five months, which is about a year after my diagnoses. The first thing I did was accept my HIV status and all that goes with it. Took time but I got there. You will too. I once thought that a relationship was out of reach. Can assure you that its not. Couple of months ago I met a guy and so far its looking good. Only time will tell if its lasting. My dreams and goals are still the same  and like everyone else I'm moving toward where I want to be. Its one hell of a ride  so hold on till it slows down. Here's a link that might help  http://aids.about.com/od/newlydiagnosed/tp/newdiagnosis.htm .  Best of luck
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems but it will annoy enough people to make it worthwhile.                              The point of the journey is not to arrive.

Offline absopozilutely

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  • Posts: 268
  • Love to chat/text/talk/encourage!
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2014, 03:27:58 AM »
Welcome! I along with others on here are sorry to see you here on one hand at all, but extremely grateful you have found us. I'm a newbie, diagnosed in February, UD last week, as you can see some of us update signature lines with our info, others don't. In case you get lost like I did, UD=undetectable, OP=original poster, DX=diagnosed, WB=western blot those are the basic ones that threw me for a loop when reading. My best advice, don't overwhelm yourself with anxiety and worry. Truly The words HIV are scary, no doubt, but you will find it's not what it once was, and you may even be able to take only 1 pill a day, at any time during the day, and be fine.
When you have questions just ask anyone here, we all if we know it would answer and jump in to give advice. Most of the people here are not doctors, to me their almost better, they've lived with HIV for a very long time. Look at the bright side of things, at least now you know, now you can manage the HIV and not let it manage you.
I'm no expert, but trust me were all here for you.

Abso!
12/18 Infected
2/4 12:22pm tested POZ via ORAquick
2/19 WB Confirmation
2/4-2/19 VL 104,678 CD4 407
3/2 Genotype back, and Started Complera
4/2-CD4 688 38% and VL 1,600
5/1-CD4 592 42% and VL 336
5/22-CD4 732 31% and VL 109 :( STILL NOT UD!
5/31 Switched to Stribild :( I'll miss you Complera!
6/19 CD4 508 35% and VL UD!!!!! Crying at work like a baby.

Offline muratti

  • Member
  • Posts: 47
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2014, 12:21:06 PM »
i was diagnosed 3 months ago and i don't even know where or when did i get it. and i always used protection. cause HIV was my biggest fear. But this is not important anymore. It is what it is now and i have to find out the best way how to deal with that.
Regarding hope and your future life i would just like to tell u that u r the one who has to decide whether u want to sink into depression and feel miserable about ur self or stand up, lift ur head up, accept ur status and continue ur life as a brave and proud man. I suggest you the second. Life is not over. Yes, it s different but not that much actually.
I decided second for myself and yes, it s not always easy but it s worth it .i want my nephews, my sisters, my father, my friends ...i want people to remember me as a positive, brave and great guy not as someone who just cried over his destiny.
and yes, we never know what is waiting us tomorrow. tomorrow is black. we don t know anything about it. no matter positive or negative, black or white, straight or gay. no one knows anything about tomorrow. so that's why i rather focus on now, on my projects, on my art and try to leave some positive mark on this planet now and today. i know my English sucks and sorry for that but i hope u got the message. lots of love. T.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 12:32:16 PM by muratti »

Offline Dantheman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2014, 04:38:38 PM »
Thanks for the input and encouragement.  Here I am to live and fight another day~

Offline YellowFever

  • Member
  • Posts: 163
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2014, 06:30:46 PM »
I don't really know what question I have.  Does anyone still have hope?  What hopes do you have?  Mine has disappeared somewhere.

Reading your story, I can't help but find the similarities to my own. It just takes one careless romp to get HIV. And I always think of it as the gay equivalent of accidentally getting pregnant. So if its any consolation, you're not the only one who has made this mistake.

I can only say that hope takes time. When I got kicked out of Singapore for testing poz (they test all foreign workers every 2 years), I wondered if I would be able to work again, or travel as freely again. 2 years later, I've managed to move to a more accepting country and found a job doing what I love.

You can look back at how different the pozzies were treated in the past to figure out how much better it will be in the future. If you have not done so, go watch "How to Survive a Plague".

It will change. Things will get better.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 06:33:21 PM by YellowFever »
08/2010 HIV- 08/2012 HIV+
10/2012 CD4 415(15%)
04/2013 CD4 457(15%)
10/2013 CD4 520 (20%) VL 650 (wtf?)
02/2014 CD4 410(20%) VL 390 (yay!)
08/2014 CD4 580(?%)

Offline tryingtostay

  • Member
  • Posts: 197
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2014, 10:27:42 PM »
Hi there Dan, and Welcome.  It's alright, you are going through what most of us have gone through.  If you have time on your hands don't let it slip by and stir about your status, get out and exercise.  Walk around the block or something, just don't sit and let those emotions build up.  They can literally be toxic.  There will be a time sooner or later when you will drop the baggage. 

I have hope.  There is a BOAT load of research over this (Censored) virus.  I don't believe there is a one solution fits all but something will be coming in our lifetime. 

You are going to be fine!!! :)  Keep us posted :)

Cheers
Labs:
March 2014: CD4 1730 @ 41%, VL 87 without meds
May 2014: CD4 1309 @ 42%, VL <20 without meds
Sept 2014: CD4 1655 @ 42%, VL xxxx  - waiting for results

Offline Dantheman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2014, 01:16:22 PM »
I am a fighter at core and some days are better than others.  Last week I went on a few dates and met this incredible guy.  I plan on telling him this week so we shall see.  It's hard enough just dating, adding having to tell him about my status way early is going to be an entirely new experience. 

But today, I have hope.  Hope that he'll be okay with it. 

tryingtostay: Your stats are incredible.  Are you a controller?


Offline zach

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,446
  • not fade away
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2014, 02:39:21 PM »
you went on a FEW dates last week?!? jebus f'n crust, i haven't been on one this year
gonna go up to the mountain, for to find a little peace
looking over the valley, for the beauty i see
out across the hills, forevermore

Offline Dantheman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2014, 12:42:45 PM »
Just a quick update,

I told two guys whom I was dating casually, and it turns out, both of them didn't mind. I must say I was a little surprised! One even said that he was in a relationship with a pos guy for 8 years! 

In a way, this means people are realizing that this disease isn't what it used to be.  Both them said it didn't bother them, and we continued what we were doing. It was surprising how fast the conversation was and it didn't phase them at all.  I even felt weird for telling them like it was a big deal.

Here's to hope~

Offline tryingtostay

  • Member
  • Posts: 197
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2014, 01:49:30 PM »
To Hope!
Labs:
March 2014: CD4 1730 @ 41%, VL 87 without meds
May 2014: CD4 1309 @ 42%, VL <20 without meds
Sept 2014: CD4 1655 @ 42%, VL xxxx  - waiting for results

Offline absopozilutely

  • Member
  • Posts: 268
  • Love to chat/text/talk/encourage!
Re: Here's my story.
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2014, 11:28:53 PM »
See, life does go on! I even met someone who didn't care!
12/18 Infected
2/4 12:22pm tested POZ via ORAquick
2/19 WB Confirmation
2/4-2/19 VL 104,678 CD4 407
3/2 Genotype back, and Started Complera
4/2-CD4 688 38% and VL 1,600
5/1-CD4 592 42% and VL 336
5/22-CD4 732 31% and VL 109 :( STILL NOT UD!
5/31 Switched to Stribild :( I'll miss you Complera!
6/19 CD4 508 35% and VL UD!!!!! Crying at work like a baby.

 


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