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I tested poz 11/1/2006

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madbrain:
I was going for my annual physical on 10/27/2006 and got an HIV test as I usually do.
5 days later, my doctor - who is an HIV specialist - gave me the news that it had come back positive.

I was devasted . I was also very surprised by this result.

I'm still struggling to figure out how it happened. Even though I had a number of sex partners during the year , I thought I took sufficient precautions. But clearly not :(
Earlier in the year I had broken up with my ex of 3 years whom I was having unprotected sex with. He has reported being neg since, though I'm not sure if I believe him .

I had many hookups between january and march 2006, but I used protection for anal every time. I'm mostly a top, but bottomed a couple of times. I didn't use protection for oral, but nobody came in my mouth. However there could have been some precum in my mouth, and my gums do bleed regularly when I brush my teeth - though they never did during sex.
I also formed a new relationship, but it didn't become exclusive until april. I had gotten a negative HIV test in early march, and my bf had gotten a negative one in late april (I saw all his STD results in writing from his doc), and we started having unprotected sex on that basis.

Unfortunately, in late june, for my 30th birthday, I got a not-so-nice present - chlamydia, with bad symptoms. I got tested for HIV . Fortunately I was neg. I couldn't explain how I got the chlamydia, but I was thankful to be HIV-. Or so I thought.

There were a few other contacts between my late june neg test and my late october poz one, but none that I think were risky - I jacked off a guy in a steam room in early september, and a couple of 3-ways, one in late september with a guy who didn't cum used a condom, and another one in late october the day before my poz test, too early to have been the source of infection ...

I had a very severe strep throat infection in april. It got cured with antibiotics. But I didn't get too worried since I get weird shit like that all the time ever since I was a kid.
My bf got a little sick too during that period, and he says he normally never gets sick.
In retrospect, I think this strep throat infection could have been subsequent to my HIV infection. But I'm not sure. I would think the HIV test in late june would have come positive since it would have been 3 months after my last probable date of infection which I believe is march (one of the hookups possibly). But this june test was negative, strangely. It seems odd that it would take me more than 3 months to develop antibodies that could be detected.

I told my bf immediately when I got my result so he got tested on nov 2, and my blood was drawn for VL and CD4. I got my result one week later - CD4 716, CD4 32%, and VL 598. My doc thought those good numbers indicated a recent infection. I just couldn't correlate it to recent behavior of mine.

Unfortunately my bf's insurance took a long time for his test results - 2 weeks - and on nov 16 delivered the bad news : he was HIV positive too. Then it took a few more weeks to get his first numbers - CD4 at 400 only, and VL at 3500 .

My bf says he hasn't been with anyone but me all of 2006, except for the 3ways that included me. So I'm definitely the one who got it first, and I infected him :-(.

My doc recommended another test for me one month later. My CD4 went down to 655, and VL went up to 2477. My CD8 are very high at 46%. My help/supp ratio is low at .65 . I'm not on meds yet. I'm due for a third reading in early february.

We have both been on anti-depressants ever since I got my diagnosis. It has been extremely hard . I have a bipolar disorder which doesn't help processing this news. And I was taking a new job as of the day before I got my poz result ... There is never a good time to get that news, but that was a particularly bad time. Oh, and my therapist left on a 3-weeks vacation the day I got the news, too. I have been useless at the new job pretty much. I feel like shit - I sleep 14 hours, split between 2-3 periods, usually not at night.

I'm supposed to be fine for years to come with the numbers I have according to the doc, but I can't feel upbeat about my diagnosis. 2 members of my family flew 5500 miles for 2 weeks to comfort me during the holidays, and that was good, but now it's just the 2 of us again fighting with the disease, and so much unknown.

I have always had a piss-poor immune system, being sick 3 months of the year (basically all winter long) as a kid/teenager back in Europe, and only about 4 weeks every year since I moved to warmer northern California. Who knows what HIV is going to do to me on top of that ?

Javicho:
Welcome to the forum, I'm glad you find us, you will see that here is a lot of people that will help you with your question and I hope this process will go fast. The first couple of months are the worse but you will see that you will be OK, just take care of your self and go to your doctor periodically. i found my status the same way as you. I have been oz since October of 2001, hope you stick here for awhile  ;)

Javier

Andy Velez:
"Who knows what HIV is going to do to me on top of that ?"

Mad, who knows indeed! Right now you seem to be feeling overwhelmed. Believe me, that is something that happens to just about everyone when they are first diagnosed. As daunting as it may feel at this moment, gradually you're going to find that matters will fall into place. Your life is going to go on and it's still going to be a good life.

It's most important that you have a doctor who's watching your numbers regularly and you seem to have that in place. You and your doctor are partners in keeping you well.

Gradually you're going to learn everything you need to know about staying well. Some of that involves good nutrition and exercise, which are things everyone needs. Check out what your local AIDS service organization(s) offer in the way of services including individual and group counseling. The experience of others who have gone through the process you are experiencing can be very helpful.

And of course you're always welcome here to read, to ask questions and to bring up anything that's on your mind.

Cheers,

rick21007:
And a welcome and big hug from me too, Madbrain!  Like you I am newly diagnosed. We all pretty much go through the same kinds of emotions and experience the same fears, that's for sure.

I am amazed to be honest how quickly I seem to have been able to take it all in stride and go on about the business of life. I can tell you nothing has really changed in terms of what I do in a day, except I am more grateful than I ever was before for even the small blessings in life.  I just got over a bad bowel/urinary tract infection so am enjoying feeling good again and having the old energy back.  Credit is due to the support that people have given me.  These forums have given me more good information that encourages me than anyplace else.  One reason being that the pozes on the board who have been around the block know pretty much what we "new recruits"  are going through and what we are needing right now.

You have great numbers, my friend.  That is good news.  Be encouraged by every little thing the universe sends into your life for this journey.

Rick

koi1:
Hi Madbrain,

I hope you are feeling a little better. I was diagnosed on 11/20/06. I had broken up with my ex a few months before and it was very difficult to tell him. He tested negative so that was a big relief. You are lucky that you don't have to start meds. I had to start on sustiva and truvada this weeks. I have lost 30 pounds. So you see, things can always be worse. Now that you know, you can take care of yourself, and not drink
and party too hard because that can make you progress to AIDS very quickly. You have to eat healthy and exercise, and keep your mind healthy as well. I hope that the support here will keep your attitute up. If you are near the bay area, there is this this organization called Stop AIDS San Francisco. I was there this week and stopped by for an informal counseling session. It really helped me out to talk to other people face to face going through this. They were really nice and helpful. If you want their contact info, you can instant message me.


Take Care,

rob (Southern California)

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