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7 Month Post Diagnosis Update

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Tguid13:
Hey everyone! Just wanted to give an update and share a post diagnosis update!

I have officially reached a <20 VL, my CD4 is rising, and I have officially reached durably undetectable status (obtaining <200 VL for 6 months consecutively

I believe my story is in my post history, but TLDR; I was diagnosed in November.

Month + Year / VL / CD4 / Medication

November 2021 / 440,000 / 151 / Biktarvy + Bactrim

January 2022 /  95 / 274 / Biktarvy + Bactrim (holy shit, Biktarvy is a miracle drug, also no side effects not even weight gain)

February 2022 / 50 / 333 / Biktarvy + Bactrim

April 2022 / 57 / (didn't test CD4) / Biktarvy (my kidneys started to show stress most likely from the Bactrim, so my ID ordered me to get off the Bactrim and drink more water than normal. Especially because I sustained an above 200 CD4)

June 2022 / <20 / 355 / Biktarvy (kidney levels went up after being removed off of Bactrim, so this is likely the source)

--

I have honestly forgotten I have HIV for the most part. I was just discussing with my partner how we forget that we even have it because we both take other daily medications that our ART is just thrown into at the same time. Life is honestly really great, and I can officially say that I am no longer afraid of HIV like I once was. The beginning is scary as fuck, we all can agree. However, give it some time and you'll be living the same life you lived before, except you'll be even healthier because your body is being consistently monitored for abnormalities, which honestly gives me a sense of peace because things will be caught early like my kidney function if there are issues that may arise. The only things that I would consider are nuisance for HIV (and please notice my word choice and think about the progress society and medicine has made are):

1. Having to take medicine in weird places sometimes (I just carry this small pill carrier that you can fit with comfort in your pockets and it hasn't been an issue at all. I take it every single time I leave the house where I may be unsure if I'll be back home at time, don't let HIV define your life and make you leave somewhere. The pill carriers are called macrons, and my partner (who is also UD+) will always say - don't forget the macrons!))

2. If you change insurances or have a fear of losing insurance, it can be a bit annoying and scary. However, shoutout to linkage to care coordinators, they do everything for you! Moving cities is the same too, just ensuring you have access to quality healthcare with knowledgeable providers. 

3. Despite blood tests being beneficial, it is always scary to see if something is wrong or abnormal, but this is rare and ultimately a good thing for fast treatment.

4. Okay, this is also a good thing, but just annoys me because I don't particularly like needles, but vaccines/bloodwork. My ID encouraged me to get vaccines for every popular disease that I don't have immunity for. I'm actually almost done with everything, but for the past 7 months I generally get 2 vaccines every time (HPV, Hep A + B, Covid 4th Booster, Pneumonia, the list goes on), but I'm grateful and after that it is done really it's just the basic ones like flu.

Overall, life gets so much better, I promise. You're still beautiful and amazing, so hang in there, especially once you get more established and comfortable with the diagnosis and processes.

I did recently get diagnosed with gHSV1, but I'll answer questions about that in the comments, if there are any. It's really nothing to worry about, and my HIV diagnosis helped me process it quickly and understand it is nothing.

I'm always here if you need support!

Jim Allen:
Glad to hear things are getting better and your labs are looking good.


--- Quote ---I have honestly forgotten I have HIV for the most part.
--- End quote ---

Good.

Tguid13:
Thank you! I hope you're doing well, Jim!

Jim Allen:

--- Quote from: Tguid13 on June 18, 2022, 05:00:02 pm ---Thank you! I hope you're doing well, Jim!

--- End quote ---

 :) I'm grand, thanks.

daveR:
All is looking very good, congratulations. Good to see your doctor is on top of the kidney function. I took Biktarvy for a while, I was switched to it because of minor kidney function issues caused by Complera. Unfortunately it didn't help. I had to get off the Tenofovir. Luckily there are so many options out there now a days.

Dave

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