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Author Topic: Am I going crazy? Help please  (Read 2691 times)

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Offline Dragonette

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Am I going crazy? Help please
« on: January 06, 2007, 01:47:16 PM »
Hi there,

A few days ago I returned from a wonderful vacation with my BF, and I posted here on making the first year since my diagnosis.

Thing is, I have become obssessed with finding out HOW I was infected. Since I don't belong to a risk group and had unprotected sex with 3 men in the past 10 years since my last test, I could find out that they were negative. When I first started treatment in the Netherlands, my doctors asked me straight out if I have ever received blood transfuisions. I said no. Then they asked me about my tattooes. I said I was certain that clean needles had been used since it was a reputable place and I saw them take the needles out of the wrapping myself (it was even on my mind at the time). The only thing I am left with is a dodgy abortion procedure, and my docs and social worker, as well as a doctor friend from my home country, seem to think it likely that a HIV+ woman was treated just before me and I was infected by unsterilized equipment. Since then I have gathered a lot of stories from the net about infections in hospitals. NOT HIV infections mind you, but others, and cases were 100s of patients were sent to be tested for HIV, Hep and other diseases because of unsterlized equipment.

I contacted some lawyer that specializes in these kind of lawsuits but the bottom line is that it was too long ago and I had too much sex, never mind that most of it was protected, and been all over the globe, to prove anything, and that the abortion clinic will never let me access their records. In fact, I was warned that even filing for any sort of investigation will result in my name being trashed beyond repair, and that it isn't worth it. This is from someone in the know who does negligence court appearances all the time. I posted on a HIV forum in my country trying to find a poz woman who had an abortion at the same place, same time, but no one came through. Admittedly I only posted once because part of me knows that it is unhealthy.

But I am still obessessed. I just wish that I could find out a positive guy that infected me! It feels so wierd to think this could have happened. I want to PROVE that it happened, so I keep reading. And in the meantime I stumble across AIDS conspiracy theories, you know, the "man-made virus", "the gay experiments" and all that, and I just don't know what is true and what isn't. The other week me and my BF watched Farenheit 9/11, what can I say, the world is full of conspiracies and lies, I also watched another documentary that affected  me terribly, Darwin's Nightmare.

All these things are closing in on me. I find myself obessessing more and more about how I got this disease and how in fact it even started. I know this is unhealthy, but I somehow find some terrible consolation in this.

Opinion anyone?

Be blessed
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline alisenjafi

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  • They say HIV comes from monkeys!
Re: Am I going crazy? Help please
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2007, 08:30:58 PM »
Since I don't belong to a risk group
As long as you are human you belong to to not just a risk group but are part of the risk group. This is my biggest problem with all the pr on
the new face of AIDS
and such- we all can get it!

But that doesn't address your issues.
 First off, have you gotten any counseling? You would be better served talking to someone upfront and face to face all we can offer are opinions or anecdotes  since we all have different experiences.
Secondly you have to ask yourself what are you goals in finding this out. Are you doing it to make sure others don't get infected? Are you looking for some sort of financial/ punitive retribution? Are you just looking for some sort of closure?

Does your b/f now know?  You have to ask yourself what is the best way forward for you, now you are going to have  alot of life style changes to make. Perhaps you need to make a list and then when you see a counselor bring the things that are bothering you up. In the end looking to blame someone isn't going to be much of a benefit- but this is easier said. You are going to need to put alot of effort in just staying healthy.

Good luck
"You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does"
The Smiths

Offline Dragonette

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Thanks for your response
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2007, 09:10:17 PM »
I thought a lot about posting this b/c it is so controversial. YES, I had unprotected sex, and it took months for me to find out that the 3 men it was with were negative. Yes, I am being councelled by both a social worker and a psychologist at my hospital, and they think this is likely... It would be easier for me if someone said, "come off it you are crazy, it's all in your mind".

I have answered questioned from on a HIV forum in my own country and whenever someone came out with the question if they can get HIV from a dentist or the like, my answer was always: theoretically, yes, in reality, no. It is a huge crisis for me to think that I don't trust what went on in that clinic, on top of me having gotten pregnant while using prescrcibed contraception, that was taken off the shelves while I was waiting for an abortion by the health authorities b/c it was deemed uneffective. I should have sued there and then for the pregnancy. Or something. But I was just so stunned by the whole thing. The day of the abortion, it was scheduled in a public hospital, but a strike broke out, and everyone was moved to a private clinic, and that's why it was so crowded and unhygenic. So blunder over blunder over blunder of the health system.

Yes, my BF knows, I met him after finding out. And he is OK with my being poz, that is, we keep it a secret (my friends and bosses know, but no mutual friends, and of course not his family). He knows I am positive, he knows how to avoid transmition and we have been consulting on it, but he doesn't know how shitty I often feel and how scared.

Anyway Johnny, thank you for your response - I realize this is a red cloth in the face of many HIV+. It matters to me how I got HIV, not b/c I think I was "good" and others weren't (as I said I have also engaged in some unprotected sex), but b/c if I think that this is how it happened it somehow makes it much harder.

"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline alisenjafi

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  • They say HIV comes from monkeys!
Re: Am I going crazy? Help please
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2007, 09:49:14 AM »
Why I said you need to talk to a real person is because for you this is a real issue and needs to be dealt with. it is easy for someone who is far a way to say - get over it or something as glib, but it doesn't help you.
What I think you will find is for most of us, the battle is getting through the day to day, and the past doesn't matter because for what ever reason we are in this place now.
I hope this helps but for issues like this, you really need to know the pro's cons and what you will get out of it.
Btw how sure are you that one of the 3 is neg? Are you just taking their word? I ay this because many here joned this site because they trusted the other party.
Good luck
"You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does"
The Smiths

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Am I going crazy? Help please
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2007, 10:20:56 AM »
Dragonette, it's good that you're talking about this instead of just having the thoughts and feelings running around endlessly in your head.

While I do appreciate that you want to know how you were infected, the truth is you're unlikely to ever have that answer. So it seems to me that it's a matter of how you can come to peace with the reality that HIV is a part of your life. It's only been a year since your diagnosis. That's actually a short time in which to get adjusted.

Although you had a great time on vacation with your bf, it seems as if somehow it also has triggered a burst of feelings about being HIV+. One thought that occurs to me is that you had a great time and then the reality set in again that you're STILL HIV+.

Talking out your thoughts and feelings with your therapist, and saying everything that you can as honestly as possible should be a help. And of course you can continue to talk about it here where I expect you will get some informed responses from HIV veterans.   

Andy Velez

Offline Dragonette

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    • NotPerfectAtAll
Re: Am I going crazy? Help please
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2007, 05:19:56 AM »
Hi thanks again,

I see my therapists once a month so that's why I still vent here. But Andy you were right about the STILL HIV+ thing.

Johnny - 2 of them I found out b/c they were long-terms boyfriends, as a rule I used condoms with them but sometimes I didn't, since I was not on the pill. Anyway they were informed by the health authorities and made contact with me (one) and a friend of mine (the other). Of course people can lie, but I don't think they did. The last one that I wasn't sure about, I was with him for 6 weeks and he moved to the States, that was in 1997. When I wanted to go to the States a couple months ago I found that since 1987 there are strict rules about HIV+ even entering let alone staying, and he got a Green Card and everything so that requires testing. That all took place after we were together.

Since this is a side-effects forum, I will do a 180 degrees turn and say that I am so tired of taking Stokrin, in makes me mentally weak and everyday life so difficult. I work in a job where I need to use my brain (I mean, excessively), and I spend hours just trying to get basic things like household stuff organized, getting dressed etc. I can do anything, but it's so taxing. I am so tired I cry sometimes just from the enormity of everyday tasks (not sleep-tired, emotionally tired and tired of being confused over silly things). Especially if I get less than 10 hours sleep. I have wierd dreams that carry on into the day and a lot of anxiety. I am so fed up because I have already changed drugs once. That could be the reason why I obssess so much, regardless of what really happened. And this is what I hide from my BF - the reality of being HIV. With him I am always optimistic and laughing. I never show him how afraid I am because I am a foriegner and I don't want to stay alone here (and I love him very much), it's tough as it is even without HIV. I went from CD4 77 to 270 in one year, so the drugs are doing me good, but messing me up. I wish sometimes I could quit my job and live a simpler life and maybe this is a lifestyle choice that I need to make, or maybe just accept failure due to my condition and let other people be disappointed if they want. My bosses is a similar story - they don't discriminate on HIV, in fact they told me they would have even hired a poz knowingly, but if they sense what I am going through they look very concerned, and so on haggard days I avoid them, but I am tired of pretending that everything is OK. I don't live in a society where people think HIV is contagious but they don't like to see sick people and they accept HIV, no problem, so long as it doesn't manifest in sickness/weakness.

Thank you guys for your support. Now the sun is shining (rare occasion even with global warming this time of year), so that's one thing to keep in mind... a cliche but it is always darkest before the dawn

"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline koi1

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  • Posts: 713
Re: Am I going crazy? Help please
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2007, 08:39:03 PM »
Can those three men tell you with certainty that they are negative? For example a non anonymous certified test result?

I have not even thought of who infected me. I just don't think it matters now. Though I have somewhat of an idea. I don't think it will help me. Anger and frustration only lower immune systems. At this point I have made peace with the fact that I put myself at risk. Sure the thought that someone knew they were HIV positive and still went on to infect me has crossed my mind, but it is all water under the proverbial bridge. Not thinking about it has helped me inch closer to recovery. Obsessing over who gave it to me is a step backward for me.

diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline ManISOMan

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Re: Am I going crazy? Help please
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2007, 10:28:21 PM »
You say that as a rule, you used condoms, but sometimes you didn't.  I don't mean to be smart or mean any disrespect, but if that was a rule, a rule you made for yourself, you broke that rule.  And, yes you don't need me to tell you this.  But, you ask for opinions.

I know that I have this disease because I made the decision to have unprotected sex, being fully aware of the risks.  The risk being-having unprotected sex, not because I belonged to a risk group known as gay men. 

Perhaps, what the problem is, is that you are angry with yourself.  This does happen, and we do sometimes look to blame other people. 

I often wonder what life would be like for me, had I not made such a unwise decision.  Should I be doing this, no.  Is it normal, perhaps.  But, the real question is---------will this line of thought get me anywhere. 

And as others have stated, the best thing you can do for yourself now, is to treat this disease as your friend.  You can choose to believe it's a conspiracy as well, if you like.  I'm quite certain, it's very real.  I choose to believe it was transmitted from a monkey to men through a bite.  I could be wrong. 

I  wasn't on medications right after being diagnosed, and I'm not advocating here that people should do so.  Well, it was about two years later that I began to get lesions, just two one on my wrist and the other on my shin, and I got shingles for the first time.  Well, I started on hiv-meds and the lesions went away.  And as only one doctor pointed out to me, that didn't mean that they couldn't be elsewhere in my body, such as my organs.  And while the lesions were not biopsied, I feel certain they were KS lesions. 

I believe that people should only take medication if the time is right for them to take medicine.  They need to listen to their bodies and consult with their doctor.  And, if not satisfied with what that doctor tells them, get a second opinion.

But, I do believe this, with all of my life.  That if it were not for the medications that we have today, I would not be alive.  Just as many of our brothers and sisters have been lost to this disease because they did not have these medications.  Perhaps if they were alive, they'd be complaining about their side effects as well.  I could only hope.  But, I know before I utter my complaint, that these side effects are a consequence of a decision that I made some times ago.  And that is the price I pay for my decision.  There is the alternative.........................................................

I'm thankful for my life, and if I need to live it now with some side effects, then so be it.  I think of people that are born with no eyesight or perhaps without a limb or limbs.  Some of these peopole are the most amazing and courageous people.  And, I feel the troubles in my life somehow just don't measure up to what some people endure.  I'm not even sure when  a person is born handicapped that they would consider it to be enduring something, as it is all they've ever known. 

I remember, i have my eyesight............and some have lost it because of this disease or have never had this disease or have never had their eyesight.

I remember, I have two arms and two legs......................while others walk on stubs and type with stubs. (saw this on Oprah, truly amazing, and boy did this person seem incredibly positive and full of life.)

I remember, I have much to be thankful for in life.................in my past, the present, and hopefully the future.  Do, I have my bad moments, sure I do, but I try to give them some perspective.



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