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Author Topic: Ah...Disclosure!!  (Read 3806 times)

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Offline pozguy75

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Ah...Disclosure!!
« on: November 29, 2006, 04:18:23 PM »
Well...I disclosed to the rest of my family outside my immediate family...I wrote a nice letter with all kinds of information in it and I have to tell you...It was so cathardic! I feel free...and I don't have to hide those damned pills anymore...

My mom called me and told me how proud she was and that though the letter mad her sad, she said, that no matter what, I will always be loved and welcomed by the entire family. That was good to hear...

I got several other calls from cousins and an aunt, saying the same! How nice it is to find out that they aren't a bunch of assholes...they really do love me...that felt good.

I just wanted to share with you all, especially the newbies, that ontop of being a terminal illness, this HIV thing does have a good side to it!

Well...anyway...just feeling warm and loved right now and wanted to share that feeling!

Jeromy
(Who loves his AIDSMEDS family more than he can express!!)

Below is the letter I sent:

Quote
Open Letter to the Family

My Dearest Family,

I have toiled over how to best to tell everyone this news, as well as the best approach and it seems that this is the best way for me to express some anxiety I have been experiencing lately and have not had the chance to explain why, until now.

In January of 2005 I was diagnosed as being HIV positive. It appears I have been HIV positive for a long time, though I carry a recent diagnosis, my doctors have estimated I have been positive for at least eight years prior to my diagnosis. What I want to make you understand here, is I have not yet been diagnosed with AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In order to get that diagnosis, my T-Cells (CD4) count would need to drop below 200 and usually is accompanied by some sort of opportunistic infection, which are listed here and links to find out what they are and treatment options:
 
Bacterial Infections
•   Bacterial Diarrhea (Salmonellosis, Campylobacteriosis, Shigellosis)
•   Bacterial Pneumonia
•   Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC)
•   Mycobacterium Kansasii
•   Syphilis & Neurosyphilis
•   Tuberculosis (TB)
Malignancies (Cancers)
•   Anal Dysplasia/Cancer
•   Cervical Dysplasia/Cancer
•   Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS)
•   Lymphomas
Viral Infections
•   Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
•   Hepatitis C
•   Herpes Simplex Virus (oral & genital herpes)
•   Herpes Zoster Virus (shingles)
•   Human Papilloma Virus (HPV, genital warts, anal/cervical dysplasia/cancer)
•   Molluscum Contagiosum
•   Oral Hairy Leukoplakia (OHL)
•   Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML)
Fungal Infections
•   Aspergillosis
•   Candidiasis (thrush, yeast infection)
•   Coccidioidomycosis
•   Cryptococcal Meningitis
•   Histoplasmosis
Protozoal Infections
•   Cryptosporidiosis
•   Isosporiasis
•   Microsporidiosis
•   Pneumocystis Pneumonia (PCP)
•   Toxoplasmosis
Neurological Conditions
•   AIDS Dementia Complex (ADC)
•   Peripheral Neuropathy
Other Conditions and Complications
•   Aphthous Ulcers (Canker Sores)
•   Thrombocytopenia (low platelets)
•   Wasting Syndrome



I am explaining to you all, the facts of this situation and what has been a contributing factor to my general mood over the last couple of years. I am putting myself out there so you all can get to know all of me. I want you all to know the facts. Also, I am on treatment now, I was placed on treatment immediately when my initial labs were done. My CD4 (explained below) count was low below 300, and my viral load was quite high, and with that the decision to start treatment was made.

Now, I know this news will come to many of you as quite a shock. Some of you will be angry, some sad, some un-moved. What ever you feel, I can appreciate and accept that. I also want you to know that I am extremely healthy, no issues…I exercise 6 days a week, have completely changed my diet and feel and look better than I ever have. I am just sorry that it took this to make me do it.

I also understand and expect that many of you may not know what to expect or understand fully from this disease. So, I would like to take a moment to explain a few things to you all.

1.   HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Meaning that this is only a human disease, it can not pass to or from other animals. It is unique to the human condition.
2.   I do not pose any risk to anyone at anytime. This is something I am sure many are thinking, “Am I safe? Are my children safe?” The answer to both of these questions is, yes. This virus is transmitted via body fluids, and there are four: blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk. There would need to an exchange of these fluids to put anyone at risk; this disease can not be transmitted through saliva, kissing, hugging, sharing a drinking glass, toilet seat, utensils, or any other casual contact.
3.   I am very healthy right now. I am on medication. My meds of increased my CD4 (T-Cell) count and lowered the viral load to undetectable. Viral load is the amount of virus in your blood per cubic millimeter of blood. Undetectable means that there is <50 copies of the virus in each cubic millimeter of blood.
4.   Medications: I am on what is called a Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor (NRTI) aka NUKE, my particular medication is Combivir ® (AZT & Epivir) at one pill 2x a day and a Protease Inhibitor (PI) called Kaletra ® (Lopinavir & Ritonavir) 2 pills at 2x times a day. 
5.   Below is a description of what a CD4 cell is and how HIV works:

What are T-Cells?

A T-cell is a type of lymphocyte. Okay, so what's a lymphocyte? Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. About 15 to 40 percent of your white blood cells are lymphocytes. And they are some of the most important cells in your immune system – protecting you from viral infections; helping other cells fight bacterial and fungal infections; producing antibodies; fighting cancers; and coordinating the activities of other cells in the immune system.

The two main types of lymphocytes are B-cells and T-cells. B-cells are created and mature in your bone marrow, while T-cells are created in bone marrow, but mature in your thymus gland (T for thymus). B-cells produce antibodies. Antibodies help the body destroy abnormal cells and infective organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

T-cells are divided into three groups:

•   Helper T-Cells (also called T4 or CD4+ cells) help other cells destroy infective organisms.
•   Suppressor T-Cells (also called T8 or CD8+ cells) suppress the activity of other lymphocytes so they don't destroy normal tissue.
•   Killer T-Cells (also called cytotoxic T lymphocytes, or CTLs, and are another kind of T8 or CD8+ cell) recognize and destroy abnormal or infected cells.

What is a T4 Cell Count?

T4 cells. CD4+ cells. T-helper cells. No matter what you call them, these cells are important to know about if you are HIV-positive. (Note: whenever I generically refer to "T cells" through out this letter, I am specifically referring to T4 cells).

Knowing how many T4 cells you have – which is determined by blood tests ordered by your doctor – can tell you how healthy your immune system is and how well it is holding up in the fight against HIV. Your T4 cell count will also be helpful in figuring out when to start anti-HIV therapy and whether or not you should start taking medications to prevent AIDS-related infections.

T4 cells are responsible for signaling other immune system cells to fight an infection in the body. They are also the prime target of HIV, which can cause the number of these cells to decrease over time. Too few T4 cells means that the immune system will no longer functions like it is supposed to.

The normal T4 count is somewhere between 500 and 1500 cells per cubic millimeter of blood (a drop, more or less). In the absence of anti-HIV treatment, the T4 cell count decreases, on average, about 50 to 100 cells each year. AIDS-related diseases (opportunistic infections) such as Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP) can occur if your T4 count falls below 200. And a large number of other infections can occur if it drops below 50 to 100 cells. Because of this, drugs to prevent these infections (prophylactic treatment) are started once the T4 cell count falls below certain levels, such as 200 in the case of PCP.

Used in combination with viral load testing, your T4 cell count will also help you figure out when to start anti-HIV therapies. Most experts agree that anti-HIV therapy should be started when the T4 count is 350 or lower. There is considerable debate about whether to start therapy before then.

What is the T4 Percentage?

If you look at your lab report, you will also see something called your CD4+ percentage (%). This is an important number for you and your doctor to know. In healthy adults, the number of T4 cells make up between 32% and 68% of the total number of lymphocytes – a large group of white blood cells that include T4 cells, T8 cells (see below), and B-cells. In fact, the lab uses the T4 percentage to determine the number of T4 cells in a sample of blood.

The T4 percentage is sometimes a more reliable measurement than the T4 count because it tends to vary less between measurements. For example, one person's T4 count may vary between 200 and 300 over a several month period while their T4 percentage remains constant at, say, 21%. Provided that the T4 percentage stays at 21% or higher, the immune system still appears to be functioning properly, regardless of what the T4 count is. At the same time, a T4 percentage at or below 13% – regardless of what the actual T4 count is – usually means that the immune system is damaged and that it is time to begin prophylactic treatment (drugs to prevent diseases) for opportunistic infections like PCP.

What is a T8 Cell Count, and the T-cell Ratio?

T8 cells, also called CD8+ or Suppressor cells play a major role in fighting infections such as HIV. A healthy adult usually has between 150 and 1,000 T8 cells per cubic millimeter of blood. Unlike T4 cells, people living with HIV tend to have higher-than-average T8 cell counts. Unfortunately, nobody fully understands the reasons for this. Therefore, this test result is rarely used in making treatment decisions.

Lab reports may also list the T-cell (CD4+/CD8+) ratio, which is the number of T4 cells divided by the number of T8 cells. Since the T4 count is usually lower than normal in people living with HIV, and the T8 count is usually higher, the ratio is usually low. A normal ratio is usually between 0.9 and 6.0. Like the T8 cell count, nobody really knows what this low number means. However, most experts agree that once anti-HIV therapy is started, an increase in the T-cell ratio (i.e. a rising T4 count and a falling T8 count) is a telltale sign that drug treatment is working.
 
So, hopefully this explains and helps you understand what is going on with our immune systems…Now, how does HIV work?

In order for viruses to reproduce, they must infect a cell. Viruses are not technically alive: they are sort of like a brain with no body. In order to make new viruses, they must hi-jack a cell, and use it to make new viruses. Just as your body is constantly making new skin cells, or new blood cells, each cell often makes new proteins in order to stay alive and to reproduce it. Viruses hide their own DNA in the DNA of the cell, and then, when the cell tries to make new proteins, it accidentally makes new viruses as well. HIV mostly infects cells in the immune system.

Infection: Several different kinds of cells have proteins on their surface that are called CD4 receptors. HIV searches for cells that have CD4 surface receptors, because this particular protein enables the virus to bind to the cell. Although HIV infects a variety of cells, its main target is the T4-lymphocyte (also called the "T-helper cell"), a kind of white blood cell that has lots of CD4 receptors. The T4-cell is responsible for warning your immune system that there are invaders in the system.

Replication: Once HIV binds to a cell, it hides HIV DNA inside the cell's DNA: this turns the cell into a sort of HIV factory

There are a few things you need to know in order to understand HIV infection.

DNA: DNA is like the "blueprint" for building living cells.

Enzymes: Enzymes are like the workers of a cell. They build new proteins, transport materials around the cell, and carry out other important cellular functions.

RNA: RNA is like the construction boss. Cells use RNA to tell enzymes how to build a specific part of a cell. To make a new protein, enzymes will copy a specific part of the DNA into a piece of RNA. This RNA is then used by other enzymes to build a new protein or enzyme.

Proteins: The building blocks that are used to make living things.

Nucleus: A small package inside the cell where the genetic material is kept.

Step 1: Binding
A virus consists of an outer envelope of protein, fat and sugar wrapped around a set of genes (in the case of HIV, genetic information is carried as RNA instead of DNA) and special enzymes.

HIV has proteins on its envelope that are strongly attracted to the CD4+ surface receptor on the outside of the T4-cell. When HIV binds to a CD4+ surface receptor, it activates other proteins on the cell's surface, allowing the HIV envelope to fuse to the outside of the cell.

Step 2: Reverse Transcription
HIV's genes are carried in two strands of RNA, while the genetic material of human cells is found in DNA. In order for the virus to infect the cell, a process called "reverse transcription" makes a DNA copy of the virus's RNA.

After the binding process, the viral capsid (the inside of the virus which contains the RNA and important enzymes) is released into the host cell. A viral enzyme called reverse transcriptase makes a DNA copy of the RNA. This new DNA is called "proviral DNA."

Step 3: Integration
The HIV DNA is then carried to the cell's nucleus (center), where the cell's DNA is kept. Then, another viral enzyme called integrase hides the proviral DNA into the cell's DNA. Then, when the cell tries to make new proteins, it can accidentally make new HIVs.

Step 4: Transcription
Once HIV's genetic material is inside the cell's nucleus, it directs the cell to produce new HIV.

The strands of viral DNA in the nucleus separate and special enzymes create a complementary strand of genetic material called messenger RNA or mRNA (instructions for making new HIV).

Step 5: Translation
The mRNA carries instructions for making new viral proteins from the nucleus to a kind of workshop in the cell. Each section of the mRNA corresponds to a protein building block for making a part of HIV.

As each mRNA strand is processed, a corresponding string of proteins is made. This process continues until the mRNA strand has been transformed or "translated" into new viral proteins needed to make a new virus.

Step 6: Viral Assembly and Maturation
The final step begins with the assembly of new virus. Long strings of proteins are cut up by a viral enzyme called protease into smaller proteins. These proteins serve a variety of functions; some become structural elements of new HIV, while others become enzymes, such as reverse transcriptase.

Once the new viral particles are assembled, they bud off the host cell, and create a new virus. The virus then enters the maturation stage, which involves the processing of viral proteins. Maturation is the final step in the process and is required for the virus to become infectious.

With viral assembly and maturation completed, the virus is able to infect new cells. Each infected cell can produce a lot of new viruses.

I know this is a lot of information to take in, which is why I placed it in this letter, so if need be you can go back to it, once the initial shock of this news has passed.

What is very important to understand is that because there is cure at this time, this disease is treated as a chronic illness. With the appropriate treatment and provided that I adhere to the treatment outlined, I am expected to have a normal to near normal life expectancy. The treatment is almost the easy part, except for some of the side effects from some of the medications. There once was a time when this virus was an absolute death sentence, it would take three years from diagnosis to death, but since the advent of the Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) aka, the “drug cocktail” in 1996 people are living longer, enriched and fuller life expectancies. There is no reason to think otherwise.

This is something I have wanted to do, something that has been a long time in coming, and I wanted you to have it in my own words.

In closing, there is a quote that I wish to share with you: “Be comfortable with who you are and say what you feel, because the people that mind don’t matter and the people that matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss and I don’t think truer words were ever spoken.

I hold each and every one of you close to my heart, I love you all deeply, and I know I don’t express it often enough, but I do. I am not looking for sympathy or worse your rejection. But I am looking to have you apart of my support system…families don’t choose one another, we are kind of thrown into the mix as it were. All we really have in common is each other, and with the passing of one of mine and Joshua’s cousins, Tammy Dunn this past March, she was only 38, it really brought home the fact that we need to love and support each other till it hurts.

I have taken a huge risk in disclosing my status to you all, because I felt that you all being my family should understand the real me, and part of me, is HIV (unfortunate yes, but life limiting, NO.)

I love you all,
Jeromy

P.S.
For more information here are some resources to consider:

www.aidsinfonet.org
www.aidsmeds.com
www.cdc.gov/hiv
www.poz.com
www.thebody.com

-j



« Last Edit: November 30, 2006, 11:02:40 PM by pozguy75 »
Dx 2005
ATRIPLA

Offline ACinKC

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  • Bring it VIRUS! #2 Ranked In-crowd Member!
Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2006, 04:20:53 PM »
You're HIV POSITIVE :o WHAT  :o

Seriously, it is the worlds greatest feeling to get love in return for your openness.  They say true love is giving someone the power to destroy you, and trusting them not to.  And this is how I felt when I disclosed to my GF/Now Wife for the first time.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline Andy Velez

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  • Member
  • Posts: 24,914
Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2006, 06:14:32 PM »
Jeromy, that's great. Glad you got the kind of response you may have hoped for but which doesn't always happen.

There maybe some backlash and blips every now and then, but you'll deal with that IF it happens.

In the meantime you've dumped a load off of your mind and that's a very good thing. What a good way to head into the holiday season.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline Longislander

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,486
Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2006, 06:25:04 PM »
that is truly awesome. Good idea about the letter. Did you mail them? I'm really happy this has been lifted off your shoulders and the results were great!

p.s. You can share your warm and loving feelings with us anytime ;)
infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline fearless

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  • Posts: 2,191
Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2006, 06:44:19 PM »
How could they not love Jeromy? You appear to be one great man.

I wish I had your balls, both figuratively and literally  ;D
I've told my closest sister only.
I know mum and dad wouldn't reject me, but I'm scared the anxiety would drive my mum into an early grave.
Her only experience with HIV is from the late 80's when all my friends were dropping like flies, and my sister worked on the AIDS ward. Could I re-educate her - perhaps. Hence my need for your balls.  ::)

Steve
ps. did you tell them about the movie and invite them to the premier.  ;D
Be forgiving, be grateful, be optimistic

Offline dad1216

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  • Posts: 135
Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2006, 07:54:08 PM »
I am glad that this went well for you, I bet you do feel warm and loved right now.  Your family has to know that your letter really came from the heart.  CONGRATS to you!!

I never had to go through the whole family disclosure thing with my family and can't imagine how hard it must be sometimes to tell your family. 

I found out while in recovery from an outpatient surgery and forgot that I had an HIV test done prior to the surgery (just a routine test).  The doc walked in and my Dad was sitting next to me, he asked if I wanted him in the room while we talked about the results.  Sure why not, I thought the surgery results, but no it was that I was +.

I will never forget that ride home, I never felt closer to my Dad then at that time.  He took the burden off me and told the rest of my family, I think he felt the need as a father to take care of his son. 

He passed away a year ago from cancer, 3 weeks after being diagnosed. 

I will never forget how he did this for me.

Again, Congrats to you!!

Dad
23 years HIV+ (Oct 88)
11 years AIDS (March 00)

CD4=83  VL=47,000  (May 2011)
CD4=63  VL=78,470  (Oct 2010)
Prezista..Norvir..Truvada

Offline Longislander

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2006, 08:00:58 PM »
Dad, sounds like a great dad. I'm sorry you lost him.
When I told my mom I was gay, she informed the rest of the family while I went on vacation!
infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline ndrew

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  • ....-.-.-.-.-.....
Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2006, 08:02:43 PM »
Actions like this effect not only you, but ripple out into the world.  This makes me happy...  and it makes it easier for others...  thanks!

Drew

Offline poet

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  • Posts: 934
  • Poet living and working in Central Maine
Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2006, 08:06:10 PM »
Great news about disclosure, Jeromy.   :)  My outer family found out when the still head of the GLBT community center disclosed for me to my then ex-wife of a cousin who, of course, made the rounds to let all her former relatives know.  Much better to have had the control over things.  Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline Eldon

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2006, 08:11:37 PM »
Hello Jeromy,

Certainly that is good news to hear that your family took the news well. In fact, my family did just the same as well. It is a good feeling when you know that they are in your corner.



Make the BEST of each Day!

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2006, 09:34:15 PM »


   Jeromy,

        Sounds like you have a great family.  My sister asked me to sign over my house to her when I told her.  I kept an open mind thinking maybe she's just looking out for me, but told her no I would be keeping it for myself and my kids...  What she told me next damn near floored me, "I can probably get it the first time you get sick."   We have not talked since..

      Having the support of your family must be really reassuring I'm sure.

   Thomas
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Amosboy

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  • Music is the panacea.
Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2006, 10:19:51 PM »
Jeromy,

What incredible news for you.  It is a great day when you are able to lessen the load for yourself.  I held my HIV+ status hostage inside of myself for nearly ten years.  I think that self-imposed solitude kept me from truly experiencing the intimacy (both emotionally and physically) that I craved so desperately.  When I did finally disclose my status, it was like a huge world opened up for me.  Like another person that posted here, I was afraid that the "bad news" would put my mother in the grave.  I suppose my entire family has protected her from things throughout my life, but I finally caved in.  I think telling the my family and the rest of the world was like way of finally comfronting my own fear about having HIV, especially since I didn't go to a doctor the entire time...Yes, you heard me...ten years of denial and self-medication.  Fortunately, my parents forced me to go to a doctor (hmm...maybe I knew they would) and within a month my VL was undectable and my CD4 count was around 500. 

I'm so glad you decided to have a "coming out party" for yourself...and what great timing...just a few days before the big event on Friday.  I suspect you'll have many reasons to celebrate for many years to come.  I hope someone reads your post and gets inspired to do the same.  It can only get better from here on out.  If I were there, I'd give you a great, big hug!

Congratulations!

Brooks
"Love isn't love unless it's not painfully absurb."

-Charlotte Martin

Offline RobT

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2006, 01:34:52 AM »
Jeromy-
I am glad that u have had a rather successful experience in disclosure. Mine was the exact opposite, but what can I really expect. My sister helped me in telling my parents. She put it into simple terms like it was similar ti diabetes. I begged to differ, but it did ease the 'disclosure process'. I really h8 it when ppl claim it is similar to other 'treatable' illnesses such as diabetes, cuz really it is not.
Glad ur experience was pleasent.
Have u received my picture? If u have, please resize it.

RobT


Current meds: Atripla
VL: undetectable
CD4: 630

Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2006, 06:42:30 AM »
I swear I got goose bumps when I read this. That is SO COOL Jeromy!

I really know how you feel. When I was in Oz, it was so great that all my extended family knew about me (I told them just before I went there). I could talk with them openly about everything, which was great. This journey, nightmare and/or adventure (as one of my friends called her experience with cancer) is indeed arduous. As I navigate myself through the peaks and troughs, I find comfort in the fact that my network of support is forever growing, with every person I disclose to who loves and accepts me.

So happy for you!

Melia :)
/\___/\       /\__/\
(=' . '=)    (=' . '=)
(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs come when called, whereas cats take a message and get back to you.

Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline ChaplinGuy

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  • Eat my left foot
Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2006, 09:01:08 AM »

Jeromy, your post makes me feel all the more confident in sharing my status with my family at the holidays this year. It is something I've been wanting to do - especially because my father is a doctor who specializes in diseases and my brother is a medical student. But I want to do it in person. My biggest concern is that they won't see it as a bump in the road, but rather the end of me. And my biggest hope is that it will drive both my father and my brother towards learning more about HIV and the medical research that might undo this smart bitch of a virus!

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Offline woodshere

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2006, 09:23:33 AM »
How great for you.  I am on the verge of telling my mom, which is really the only family I will need to tell, and hope it goes as well as it do for you.

What a great way to start the holiday season!
Cheers
Woods
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline pozguy75

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2006, 10:02:51 AM »
I will be posting a copy of my letter here this evening...just so you can see what I said...who knows it may assit someone in his or her disclosure!

Thanks for all the support everyone, it means the world to me!

Jeromy
Dx 2005
ATRIPLA

Offline Life

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2006, 10:27:11 AM »
Is it just me Jeromy or are you taller??  ;)

Offline pozguy75

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2006, 11:04:52 PM »
I posted the letter I sent in my original post...thanks again for your support!
Dx 2005
ATRIPLA

Offline tsw923

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2006, 11:26:17 PM »
Jeromy.

Your letter was incredible!  And I am so happy you got such a positive response.  I think I may borrow some of this stuff when I tell my parents.

Thanks for sharing this!

TSW
Help find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood-related cancers by sponsoring me as I walk a 1/2 marathon as a part of the Maryland chapter of Team in Training.  To find out more and to donate, please click on the following site:  http://www.active.com/donate/tntmd/tswtntmd

Offline Teresa

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2006, 11:29:07 PM »
Jeromy,

I agree with what TSW said. Might have "borrow" bits and pieces of your letter when hubby is ready to tell his family. Hope you wont mind!

Hugs
Teresa
Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
CD4:320
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)
 

Offline Longislander

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2006, 11:39:10 PM »
thanks for sharing Jeromy.
infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline joyluckclub

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2006, 11:54:59 PM »
Jeromy,

It took a lot of guts to write that letter!  I'm proud of you!
"Honey, be who you is"  Madea.........

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2006, 12:07:50 AM »
Lovely. And it was worth every minute of effort!! Congratz Jeromy. Y'know I think you might've just created a template for others!

Offline thunter34

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2006, 01:02:37 AM »
Baby Doll!  Congratulations!  I am so happy for you.  And thank you for taking the time to share this event with us.  This post is a good shot in the arm for this site....a realistic, yet positive step for yourself and example for others.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline HIVworker

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  • HIV researcher
Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2006, 01:13:52 AM »
That was a really great letter....and all your facts about HIV....BANG on the money.

Rich
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline pozguy75

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2006, 01:52:01 PM »
I thank you all!
Dx 2005
ATRIPLA

Offline Javicho

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Re: Ah...Disclosure!!
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2006, 02:38:48 PM »
Jeromy you really are my hero in many ways :-* I wish I have your balls to tell my entire family about my status, and also all that information that you have in your letter it was amazing it did help me to understands a lot more about what is going on w/my body. Thank you so much!!!
You really make me cry :'( love you...

 


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