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Author Topic: Paper Anniversary  (Read 1043 times)

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Offline Ptrk3

  • Member
  • Posts: 396
Paper Anniversary
« on: August 06, 2014, 09:34:45 PM »
Iíve been reading the forum for nearly a year now and canít compliment all of the active participants enough.  You have made my journey easier and much less lonely.  Thank you for that.
My deal:  Paper anniversary, male, 50ís, diagnosed a year ago in hospital with CD4 of 9, VL of 111,000, and PCP, no clue that I was positive until the moment the doctor came to my bedside with ďbad news.Ē  Life then turned upside down, felt that I was listening to him from the bottom of a deep well.  Always thought I played safe (MSM) and engaged in the ďriskiestĒ activity only once, more than 10 years before my diagnosis, used proper protection, too, but it is what it is, so here I am...same old story, just new to me. 
Immediately started on Atripla and a couple of prophylactic meds for OIís (azithromycin for MAC, Bactrim to stop any recurrence of PCP).  VL down to undetectable within three months and CD4 slowly but surely elevating (October 2013,  to 64; February 2014, to 103;  May 2014, to 131, so no more azithromycin).
Never have I missed a dosage and no bad side effects yet (since I enjoy the vivid dreams), nor any illnesses since the initial PCP bout, but still reeling a bit from the shock of diagnosis, feeling ashamed and guilty.  But Iím grateful for the scientific advances and for the treatment that keeps me--and all of us--alive (old enough to remember the early 80ís).
Iím also grateful for folks like you, who selflessly share your stories to help others.  I have much to learn, and I hope to become an active participant here to help others, as I have been helped by all of you very special people.

Offline Jeff G

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 17,055
  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Paper Anniversary
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2014, 09:42:02 PM »
Welcome to the Forum, looking forward to hearing more from you .
HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline Ptrk3

  • Member
  • Posts: 396
Re: Paper Anniversary
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2014, 11:18:04 PM »
Thank for the kind welcome.  I appreciate it and look forward to getting to know folks better.

I think I may have been infected for 14 years before my diagnosis (my only "most risky" receptive incident took place, I can reconstruct, March 1, 1999) and can't remember any type of seroconversion.  Is this much of a time lag usual?  I guess there's a bell curve for everything.  I'm just wondering if so-called less risky behavior (oral) may be more risky than people think, since I certainly engaged in that behavior with fair frequency over the years, up to a few weeks before my diagnosis.  Any perspective from folks? 

Offline Handydan

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
  • Since 1994
Re: Paper Anniversary
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2014, 12:18:45 AM »
This is my first post here and I haven't read all that many posts so I hope not to step on any toes.

As far as how the infection happened, there is rarely ever a definitive answer. I have been poz since 1994. I used to think I knew when it happened for me and my story was that it was from a monogamous relationship with someone who died in 1999. Ultimately, I gave up long ago trying cover my own conduct as far as risky behavior. I'm actually surprised I didn't get it much sooner. The point for me is that answering the question of how it happened is usually more about negating/assigning our own responsibility for our infection because we live in a culture that wants to hold us accountable for sexual "crimes".

My advice is to move past searching for the event that got you infected and get on with living your life today.

Don't give in to judging yourself for the way your life has unfolded. You can't have been in absolute control of all your behavior because none of us ever really is. That kind of control is only an illusion. Life happens. Seize the day, every day. What matters is that you are still here.

Sounds to me like your a survivor. I look forward to your contributions to us all.
I'm still here!

Offline Ptrk3

  • Member
  • Posts: 396
Re: Paper Anniversary
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 12:44:06 AM »
Thank you, Handydan. 

You're right, of course, I am prone to rumination and need to stop and move past the "searching."  That leads nowhere, but to the fruitless "would have, could have, should have" road of regrets and (self) recrimination.  Still, I can't help myself sometimes.  I appreciate your clear-eyed perspective of the situation and will try to take it to heart.  My post that started this thread is my first post, too, so there's a bit of fate, perhaps, that your first post directs me to a more productive passage.  Thanks again.


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