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My introduction

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konpisces:
Hello All,

It's my turn to write a new topic in this forum. In the past, I had visited the forum and although i was an MSM, I never imagined I would start to write my experience as a newly diagnosed HIV+ person.
 
It all started a month ago when I did not feel well. I had high fever, mouth ulcers, couldn't swallow and night sweats. I was praying to God and myself "oh please, let it not be it.." I initially saw a pathologist who couldn't imagine this outcome - therefore I was treated with antibiotics. Incidentally, after 2 days I stopped having fevers and the situation was vastly improved. However, I was feeling quite weak and after 4-5 days, the fever just returned (not in the same intensity though). I had more tests, std-related ones and more generic ones. The generic ones came out first - I had a recent EBV infection so I put all my hopes that all this would be just a case of infectious mononucleosis.

Alas, this hope lasted for a couple of days only. When I went to receive the other results, they were not given to me because one of the tests was 'reactive and somehow positive'. So I  was asked to repeat the test in the context of a WB confirmation test. I felt that my world, the person I knew, the person other people knew was shattered. It ended there and I was left numb and helpless in the mercy of the new reality that I am probably HIV+.

I need to mention here that I was tested (rapid blood test) end of August and got a negative result and repeated the same test on 21/9 with the same negative result. The day people told me that I have a somewhat positive result, I repeated this same test.. it now came as slightly positive there as well... just 1 week apart from the previous negative reading

Feeling helpless, I contacted an HIV support group so they guided me towards a different hospital and a good doctor that could at least show some empathy to the situation. I repeated tests, CD4s have plummeted (280) while VL is presumably really high (waiting for the exact figure). My doctor agrees that this is a very recent infection and obviously I came through the acute phase the preceding weeks. He has prescribed Genvoya and today I took the first pill with no noticeable immediate side effects.

I don't know how I am emotionally. Sometimes, I feel I will get crushed under this burden, some other times I feel that now it is done, it cannot change, I need to live with it as I have dealt with other difficult situations in my life. However, it is not just a chronic disease, because it is intrinsically linked to sex, it is something that can be tormenting due to stigma, shelf-same, judgement from others etc.

In the initial days, I couldn't sleep at all. Now I am a bit better (with the help of an anti-histamine) managing to sleep uninterrupted for many days. I try not to think a lot but it is always there. Waiting to return to my workplace and my demanding job so that I can have the old routine running and be busy with something.

I try to keep in touch with people that have been through this. It is inspiring and comforting to know that we can make it, we can live normal lives in the end.. but also that feeling bad is part of the process.

I hope we all feel this companionship here even at this virtual setting.

Sorry for the long story. I wish you all the best. Stay happy, strong and healthy !






Jim Allen:
Hiya,

Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear about the diagnosis but glad to hear you have started treatment and that you caught the infection within its initial few months.

Please keep us posted when you have the VL result.


--- Quote ---CD4s have plummeted (280)
--- End quote ---

What was your baseline over the past year beforehand? See on its own it's somewhat lower than average, not horrendous though, so I'm wondering what it plummeted from?


--- Quote ---I don't know how I am emotionally. Sometimes, I feel I will get crushed under this burden, some other times I feel that now it is done, it cannot change, I need to live with it as I have dealt with other difficult situations in my life.

--- End quote ---


--- Quote ---feeling bad is part of the process.
--- End quote ---

Yeah, I think it would be fair to say it takes most people some time to digest the news.

Anyhow, keep us posted in this thread and I hope things continue to settle for you including managing to get a good nights sleep, without the continued need for antihistamines.

Best. Jim.

konpisces:
Hello Jim,

Thanks a lot for the prompt reply!

I cannot know what my actual CD4 count was, as I was negative before August/September. Therefore, there is no 'healthy' baseline. My doctor said he is not concerned at all as I am in the acute phase and I may have had 450-500 CD4s to start with as a negative person. We will closely monitor the figure now that I am on treatment, in the following months. Hopefully it will rebound

All the best!

Jim Allen:
Hiya,

So your baseline could have been 400 or 1200  ;)

Look the CD4 count you have wouldn't really be a concern at any stage, so don't worry about it. As long as it's more than 14% or 200.

Also, now you have started treatment, your VL should start to reduce and once suppressed the CD4 measurement as a whole becomes irrelevant.

Take it easy



Tonny2:



         ojo.          Welcome!!…it takes time to digest such a dx, you are allowed to feel lost and worried but, as soon as you start seeing your blood work results, showing VL down and cd4 up, you will start learning how to live with hiv…now, all you have to do is to take your med as prescribed and keep looking forward, the med will take control of the virus so you can go back and try to live a normal life…don’t think about sex now, first, learn how to live with hiv then, you can go ahead and go out and meet people…when I got my dx, I went back to work and kept myself busy, that kept me alive even though I was working, with AIDS, for five years…I’m still here after 27 years since my dx.

Wishing you the best, please keep us posted and you are not alone, we are here for you to help you during this difficult first part of this new you…comprende?…hugs

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