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Author Topic: Hello!  (Read 7627 times)

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Offline SteveInToronto

  • Member
  • Posts: 55
Hello!
« on: October 22, 2010, 01:25:51 pm »
Hi Everyone,

I have been lurking on these forums for a month now since I was diagnosed on September 22. I just wanted to say hi and let everyone know how useful and informative it is to have this space available - especially for newbies. Reading through 100s of threads here has helped me keep my sanity in check and not freak out as much as I otherwise might have. So thanks.

I'm not sure if this is the right forum to introduce myself, but here goes...

I'm in my mid 30s and live in Toronto. I contracted HIV sometime between 2007 and the spring of 2010. The first indication something was wrong was a Zoster outbreak in May. I am married to the most amazing guy (yay, Canada!) in the universe, and thankfully he is negative. His stress level is clearly elevated, but he's doing his best to not show it and being incredibly supportive.

I think I am really lucky to have been seen by one of the top HIV specialists in Canada only two weeks after my positive test. Upon my diagnosis my CD4 count was 290 (32%) and my viral load was 70,000. Two weeks later my CD4 count dropped to 264 (29%). My specialist prescribed Atripla which I started taking on October 7. A week ago I develped the "Sustiva Rash". It is making me crazy itchy despite the fact that most of the redness has now subsided. I understand it goes away usually in a week and can't wait to be rid of it. I feel like I can't stay still, and scratching it just makes it worse. :(

The only person who knows about my HIV diagnosis is my husband, and I don't plan on telling anyone else at this stage. While a conscious decision, it has left me feeling isolated and alone. Because of my reluctance to disclose this to others, having this online community available has been very therapudic -- despite my silence until now.

I don't really have any questions or issues to raise, but just wanted to say hello and thank you to you all.

Steve


Offline Joe K

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  • Member
  • Posts: 5,821
  • 31 Years Poz
Re: Hello!
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2010, 01:32:31 pm »
Hey Steve,

Welcome to the forums, from a fellow Canadian in Montreal.

Offline skeebo1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,923
Re: Hello!
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2010, 01:38:35 pm »


   Welcome to the forums Steve!
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline AuroraCOGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 29
Re: Hello!
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2010, 01:39:29 pm »
Hey mate, welcome! I love Toronto. Was just there on my first work trip away from home since I was diagnosed. One of my favorite cities in the world (behind London and Munich).
Infected 04-17-2010
Diagnosed 07-05-2010

07/2010 - CD4 741, 40%   VL ~4500 (initial labs)
08/2010 - CD4 751, 41%   VL ~3000 (one month after initial labs)
09/2010 - CD4 732, 40%   VL ~2000
10/2010 - CD4 738, 40%   VL < 1000
11/2010 - CD4 761, 41%   VL 430
12/2010 - CD4 758, 41%   VL 194
01/2011 - CD4 745, 40%   VL 103
02/2011 - CD4 782, 41%   VL 77
03/2011 - CD4 763, 41%   VL < 50 / UD
04/2011 - CD4 758, 41%,  VL < 50 / UD
05/2011 - CD4 761, 41%   VL < 50 / UD
09/2011 - still UD, still strong
06/2013 - still UD, never a blip

Never taken any therapy/meds

Offline Jeff G

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 17,064
  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Hello!
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2010, 01:53:56 pm »
Welcome Steve . 
HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline SteveInToronto

  • Member
  • Posts: 55
Re: Hello!
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2010, 02:01:50 pm »
Thanks for the warm welcome, folks.

Steve

Offline phildinftlaudy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,985
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Hello!
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2010, 02:05:56 pm »
Welcome to the Forums Steve -  sorry about your recent diagnosis, but glad you found AIDSMEDS.

Also, sorry to hear that you are one of the Atripla users that got "the rash."  I have been on Atripla for about a year and fortunately did not experience that effect.  I do get the occasional vivid dream.  The rash should pass soon enough.

Once again, welcome!

-Phil
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline Rev. Moon

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,787
  • Smart ass faggot
Re: Hello!
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2010, 02:53:00 pm »
Hey there Steve. Welcome aboard, sorry about your diagnosis, but glad that you found us and decided to participate.  Stick around for joy.
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline hope_for_a_cure

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,517
Re: Hello!
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2010, 05:26:04 pm »
Welcome to our world Steve!  I think you will do well on Atripla and from what I have read, the side effects should be history soon.  I have found that these forums can be a great place for support and information.  Keep us posted on how you are doing ok!


Offline jethro

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Hello!
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2010, 07:11:59 pm »
Welcome Steve from a fellow lurker.

Granny60

  • Guest
Re: Hello!
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2010, 09:08:10 pm »
Welcome! This place is full of people/answers if you need us.  Give your guy a great big hug. :-* It is Magnificent News that he is supportive. Gotta be a keeper! :)

Offline GSOgymrat

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,122
  • HIV+ since 1993. Relentlessly gay.
Re: Hello!
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2010, 02:07:58 am »
Welcome to the forums.  :)

Offline wolfter

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,470
Re: Hello!
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2010, 07:57:26 am »
First, let me welcome you.  I too had that damn Sustiva rash.  My doctor didn't seemed concerned but it continued to drive me crazy.  Luckily, my new ID doctor switched to my currents regiment and I have a lot less issues.  Good luck

Greg
Being honest is not wronging others, continuing the dishonesty is.

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,945
  • Positive since 1985, joined forums 12/03
Re: Hello!
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2010, 07:11:40 pm »


Hello Steve,   Welcome to the forums !!



Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune / Epzicom , 20 mg of Atorvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Amlodipine Besolate 5mg-- Updated 12/11/20

Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of Jan 8th,21,  Viral load remains Undetectable

CD 4 @535 /  CD4 % @ 16 %
69 YEARS YOUNG
  
WEAR A MASK !! COVID KILLS !

Offline Jeffreyj

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,403
Re: Hello!
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2010, 07:15:32 pm »
Welcome to the forums Steve!
Positive since 1985

Offline eric48

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  • Member
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Re: Hello!
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2010, 07:19:03 pm »
Welcome... Not disclosing puts a bit more pressure on you but it all depends on your personnal circumstances.
(I am falling in the non disclosing bag, so I consider it as an OK thing). And this place can very well be the shoutbox (crybox) you may need at some point. Eric
NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD ; CD4 > 900; CD4/CD8 ~ 1.5   stock : 6 months (2013: FOTO= 5d. ON 2d. OFF ; 2014: Clin. Trial NCT02157311 = 4days ON, 3days OFF ; 2015: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02157311 ; 2016: use of granted patent US9101633, 3 days ON, 4days OFF; 2017: added TDF, so NVP/TDF/ABC/3TC, once weekly

Offline numbersguy82

  • Member
  • Posts: 292
Re: Hello!
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2010, 07:36:59 pm »
Hey Steve! Welcome to the forums. I'm newly diagnosed as you are, and I hope you find this site as informative and supportive as I have!
8/10- 73 cd4, 7%, and 300k VL *First Labs*
9/10- Started Norvir, Prezista, and Truvada
10/10- 511 cd4, 22%, and 886 VL
12/10- 498 cd4, 22%, and 106 VL
3/11- 529 cd4, 29%, and 101 VL
8/11- 620 cd4, 30%, and 74 VL- Switched to Atripla
10/11- 580 ce4, 30%, and 62 VL
12/11- 684 cd4, 31%, and FINALLY *UD*

Offline bocker3

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,277
  • You gotta enjoy life......
Re: Hello!
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2010, 08:14:27 pm »
Hi Steve,

Welcome!  Sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but you've found a great place to learn, vent, cry and laugh.

I, too, have a supportive, negative partner -- we can't marry here in Virginia.......  Feel free to PM me if you ever need to talk.

Hugs,
Mike

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,730
Re: Hello!
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2010, 12:52:29 am »
Nice to meet you.  I look forward to hearing more from you.

Offline SteveInToronto

  • Member
  • Posts: 55
Re: Hello!
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2010, 12:03:33 pm »
Thanks again everyone for saying hi.

I got my labs done last week 4 weeks after starting Atripla. It was worth the itchy rash and the headache. My CD4 count improved by 45% - so I'm now at 391. My CD4% also increased and is at 31%. VL will take another week to come in. The nurse cautioned me that it likely won't be undetectable just yet, but I'd be happy with any improvement so soon after starting meds.

I'm finally starting to feel like my anxiety level is tapering off... Whew!

Steve

Offline peteb

  • Member
  • Posts: 203
Re: Hello!
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2010, 12:26:47 pm »
Hello Steve
this  is a great place for info
Pete

Granny60

  • Guest
Re: Hello!
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2010, 12:57:59 pm »
Thanks again everyone for saying hi.

I got my labs done last week 4 weeks after starting Atripla. It was worth the itchy rash and the headache. My CD4 count improved by 45% - so I'm now at 391. My CD4% also increased and is at 31%. VL will take another week to come in. The nurse cautioned me that it likely won't be undetectable just yet, but I'd be happy with any improvement so soon after starting meds.

I'm finally starting to feel like my anxiety level is tapering off... Whew!

Steve

Feels good to kick that virus'  butt doesn't it?   ;D

Offline SteveInToronto

  • Member
  • Posts: 55
Re: Hello!
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2010, 01:44:07 pm »
Feels good to kick that virus'  butt doesn't it?   ;D

You got it, Granny. Especially since I got my VL number today... down to 126 in the span of 4 weeks on treatment (started at 70,000).

Pretty happy with those results  ;D

Offline bmancanfly

  • Member
  • Posts: 784
  • Medicare For All !
Re: Hello!
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2010, 02:16:14 pm »
Excellent results.  Congratulations !!
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 Bertrand Russell

Offline numbers

  • Member
  • Posts: 41
Re: Hello!
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2010, 09:26:28 pm »
Hi Steve, from a fellow Torontonian!  I have been struggling emotionally with my diagnosis since February but I  have been reading these forums for about two months now and find everyone here is very helpful and it is good to see that so many others are managing well.  Some are quite funny too - if you haven't checked him out already see MattytheDamned's recent posts, they're hilarious.  My doctor has also been a great help, one of the top in the country.  Best wishes :)
Tested positive Feb. 2010 VL 181K CD4 161
Started Truvada, Prezista, and Norvir
Sept 2010 VL UD CD4 380
Jan 2011 VL UD CD4 450 I can sleep now thanks to Cipralex!
March 2011 VL UD CD4 490
September 2011 VL UD CD4 500

Offline Snowangel

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,427
Re: Hello!
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2010, 07:27:56 am »
Welcome Steve!   ;D
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important

The heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep...is your word.

One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.

Offline Queen Tokelove

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,031
  • Smokey the Smurf
Re: Hello!
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2010, 01:13:56 pm »
Welcome Steve!!
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

Offline HippieLady

  • Member
  • Posts: 219
Re: Hello!
« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2010, 01:51:35 pm »
Welcome Steve and congrats on the great numbers!
~Katie~
Diagnosed HIV+ April 30, 2010

Current CD4-638  VL-UD  11/2013

Offline redmenaceman

  • New Member
  • Posts: 1
Re: Hello!
« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2010, 09:32:54 pm »
Welcome Steve! Congrats on the numbers.
You don't need to feel isolated and alone anymore, we are all here to support each other.
Best wishes and lots of hugs!

Offline natthai

  • Member
  • Posts: 130
  • The truth is not determined by majority vote.
Re: Hello!
« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2010, 10:58:10 pm »
Hey Steve,

Welcome from another fellow Torontonian. I am new to the city and I am unfamiliar with Ontario's health coverage. Does OHIP pay for the cost of your medications or do you have private insurance?
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 11:11:26 pm by natthai »
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline SteveInToronto

  • Member
  • Posts: 55
Re: Hello!
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2010, 11:41:32 pm »
Hey Steve,

Welcome from another fellow Torontonian. I am new to the city and I am unfamiliar with Ontario's health coverage. Does OHIP pay for the cost of your medications or do you have private insurance?

I sent you a PM...but for those interested:

Ontario's public health insurance pays for the cost of all diagnostic tests, appointments with all doctors and specialists and some vaccinations. Drugs not administered as part of a hospital visit are paid for by individuals. If you have private insurance (a group plan through an employer) the costs of most prescriptions are paid for (but there is usually a % baed co-pay). If you are on disability, welfare or are over 65 years old, the province pays for prescriptions.

If you are new to Ontario, you will have a waiting period before public insurance kicks in. You need coverage from your other province or private insurance for this period.

Steve

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,528
  • 35 years positive, 63 years a pain in the butt
Re: Hello!
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2010, 12:19:37 am »
Hey Steve,

Welcome to the forums.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Theyer

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,701
  • Current ambition. Walk the Dog .
Re: Hello!
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2010, 06:51:02 am »
Welcome Steve. Happy you found the forums helpful and pleased you have joined in.
t
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline Florida69

  • Member
  • Posts: 428
Re: Hello!
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2010, 10:32:16 am »
Welcome to the forums, having the forums have been a great source of information and most the people are very supportive.  I am glad you found Aidsmeds, and look forward to hearing more about you.  Congratulations on your numbers, seems like you are well on your way.  I have known my positive status almost 5 years, it is a difficutl road, but you have found a great place for support.   Again Welcome, D
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Calvin Coolidge

 


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