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Neely diagnosed 12/13

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Aaron55:
Thank you Quint for this note. I appreciate your tips and will keep these in mind. Iím feeling a little less helpless and hopeless each day due to the strength of my partner, and the experiences I read about on this site.
I plan to ask questions, but donít know the questions to ask just yet.
Still scared, still sick to my stomach with little to no appetite, but finding comfort little by little.
Again; thank you, and happy, heathy holidays to you.

Aaron55

Jim Allen:
Hiya,

Sorry to hear about the diagnosis and the low CD4 count.

Was the diagnosis based only on an HIV antibody result, and are you getting follow-up labs? Do you know what the viral load is and the CD4%?

Regarding the CD4 count of 160, as its below 200, you may want to start with antibiotics (Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole) to prevent certain opportunistic infections - Example: https://www.poz.com/basics/hiv-basics/pneumocystis-pneumonia-pcp This would be my priority if I were you and I would not be waiting for an appointment in Jan.


--- Quote ---Thinking I asked all the right questions, and feeling a sense of trust from my encounter, I did not use protection
--- End quote ---

It happened, don't beat yourself up over it. Millions of people do this and are fine, but it's a risk, and you are unlucky.

That said, I must mention that there are no correct questions to ask, as the answers are mostly meaningless. Even if someone tested today, it means nothing due to the window period. That is a hard way to learn this lesson, and I only bring it up as others will read this thread, and they should, instead of asking questions, presume the other person is living with untreated STIs/HIV and reduce their risks. 


--- Quote ---Side effects of medication?
--- End quote ---

Side effects can happen with any medication. No point worrying about it and you should not expect anything that isn't manageable or doesn't settle down, and if it is an issue, that's OK, as you will have plenty of combinations to try until you find something that works well for you.

The doctor's recommended treatment options will also depend on things like your preexisting medical needs, the viral load to start with and if the HIV you have has any resistance to treatments.

https://www.poz.com/basics/hiv-basics/starting-hiv-treatment
https://www.poz.com/basics/hiv-basics/hiv-medications


--- Quote ---Will this be my last Christmas?

--- End quote ---

It's just HIV so it will not be your last Christmas unless you have other issues, an accident or don't start HIV treatment and manage this.

--- Quote ---What should I expect from my friends and family should I choose to share this news?
--- End quote ---

It's a manageable health condition, so I am not sure why you would want to share this information. Plenty of people have manageable conditions and don't tell people as they don't need to know.

If you do tell then you can expect questions, so be prepared for that. Some people might not be very understanding and others might share this "news" with other people. Once you tell people it's out there. My situation is everyone knows my HIV status, it doesn't bother me but the truth is everyone knowing this about me has been problematic at times.

Anyhow, take it easy.

Aaron55:
Thank you for all these details, I do appreciate everything. The original diagnosis was at a clinic, and I was then referred to a ID Doctor who did lab work but I havenít reviewed it with him yet (Jan. 4). I checked my patient portal but I donít understand the results. I have not spoke to my PC physician yet but plan to after the holiday, and hopefully he can translate the results before Jan. And get me started on something. In the mean time Iím playing it safe, not putting myself in crowds and wearing a mask .

Thank you again,
Aaron 55

Aaron55:
I have my follow up in two days to my initial appointment with the ID Doctor and Iím not sure what questions to ask. I want to be prepared, and diligent about my treatment so Iím putting a list together. Any suggestions? Thanks

Quint1976:
Hi Aaron,

first of all Happy New Year and may 2023 be a good one for you and your loved ones.

Regarding your request for suggestions i would like to say this....
Its really hard to answer that one, having a conversation with your doctor is very personal because well its about you.
Questions like how is my health with hiv or what side-effects can i expect are some of the examples i can think off but there are WAY more.....
Don't get me wrong here, being prepared is always a good thing but maybe in this appointment you should just talk to your doctor and from his/her answers make up your mind on what question to ask.

Don't be afraid to speak up and talk about the things you want to talk about or ask the questions you want to ask.

Good luck and let us know how it went....

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