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Author Topic: First time having hope and willing for the future but still vulnerable  (Read 1811 times)

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Offline Proparask

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After 5 months living abroad in Norway for studies, i am back to my country Greece. I am feeling more stable and safe here as i have my friends and i am financially free. Right when i came here i received 3.500 euros retroactive pay for hiv and from now on i will receive a steady monthly allowance, tax free and with a right to work at the same time. It is more than the minimum wage in Greece, 753 at the end of every month. So the bueaucracy is over and now i don't have to think about money anymore but my parents don't know so it will be hard to explain that i am more financially free when i visit them. On the other hand the situation at the infectious desease unit in Greece is terrible. We have competely free heatlhcare and free ART's but the hospitals are very understaffed. 5 doctors in one hospital for 2.500 patients that every year patients are getting even more. The staff after covid is exhausted and some times offensive or inaccessible. After six months i am still waiting for a blood exam for the genotype and even tho they promised to give me the resaults until June they now say that it may take up to 4 more months (10 months in total) and this takes me back as i wanted to change from Bictarvy to Dovato (the doctors in Norway suggested), but the doctors in Greece told me they need to have the genotype first to decide if i can change to the Dovato that consists two substanses instead of three that Bictarvy has. Viral loads takes up to 3 months or more and some doctors makes you scared without a reason, they are aggresive talking and in the past they even refused to give me the drugs when i was diagnosed on November 2023 because of a beraucracy problem with cdc and the goverment (same thing happend now with the genotype as the university lab that handles the viral load and the genotype tests had no contract with cdc for many months so all the tests were frozen).
The doctors take 5 or maximum 10 to 15m. to talk to each patient.
The good news is that we have a great hiv association, called positive voice that fights for our rights and has achieved a lot for the well being of people living with the virus. Every other week we have a support group of people living with the virus and after that we hang-out. I am volunteer and an official member of the association now and i will take part at the pride with the association. At the same time i have free online sessions with a therapist from another city every week. But i still suffer with nightmares every single night, i am very vulnerable if something bad happens to my day and i have thoughts of ending my life(just the need to do it, no plans or real willing). It comes once or twice per month when i have an anxiety or panic attack. In contradiction of the gay community in Norway, the gay community in Greece, especially in my city is very toxic and everyone knows each other. People are not educated of U=U even inside the community and for that reason i am very scared of rejection. I know i don't have to tell my partner or people that i date since i am undetectable and under treatment but i feel bad that i have to hide my truth, avoid conversations or be afraid that if someone found out after we had sex he would tell many other gay guys from my city. It's a toxic community here and the hospitals are not making hiv positive people feel safe about their health. I want to get better mentally but the burden of not telling my familly (they are prejudice and uneducatde) is so heavy. I have a hospital visit again at the first week of July and all this situation at the hospital makes me nervous and at the same period i have to extract a teeth at the infectious desease unit by an offensive doctor (the only one). On top of all that i owe an important amount of courses for the rexamination in September in Greece as i had to deal with my health status and i was experiencing severe panic attaks and depression at the last two uni examinations since my diagnoses. I know that my text is very long and i am sorry but i felt like i want to share my story and mabe receive some feedback from people that are out of the situation and maybe can see some things with less emotions and more logic.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2023, 10:01:03 pm by Jim Allen »

Online Jim Allen

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Hiya,

Did the nightmares start before or after you began treatment? Are you taking your meds in the Morning, Afternoon or night?

Quote
On top of all that i owe an important amount of courses for the rexamination in September in Greece as i had to deal with my health status and i was experiencing severe panic attaks and depression at the last two uni examinations since my diagnoses.

Sorry to hear about the panic attacks, and I hope resitting the exams goes well. :)

Quote
i am very vulnerable if something bad happens to my day and i have thoughts of ending my life(just the need to do it, no plans or real willing). It comes once or twice per month when i have an anxiety or panic attack.

Concerned to hear you feel overwhelmed and sometimes like ending your life. I presume you have told your therapist about this and your HIV doctor? Hope things get more settled for you.

Quote
i wanted to change from Bictarvy to Dovato (the doctors in Norway suggested)

Why switch, what's the problem and why Dovato?

Also, Dovato contains Dolutegravir (DTG), which works fine for many but it's not everyone's cup of tea. I wonder of the Doctors in Norway knew that you suffer panic attacks, depression and suicidal feelings at times when they suggested Dovato?

Quote
Every other week we have a support group of people living with the virus and after that we hang-out. I am volunteer and an official member of the association now and i will take part at the pride with the association. At the same time i have free online sessions with a therapist from another city every week.

Glad to hear you have access to peer support and a therapist to help you. Keep at it.  :)


Quote
Right when i came here i received 3.500 euros retroactive pay for hiv and from now on i will receive a steady monthly allowance, tax free and with a right to work at the same time.

I must be missing part of the story or misunderstanding, you are being paid for having HIV?

Quote
On the other hand the situation at the infectious desease unit in Greece is terrible. We have competely free heatlhcare and free ART's but the hospitals are very understaffed. 5 doctors in one hospital for 2.500 patients that every year patients are getting even more. The staff after covid is exhausted and some times offensive or inaccessible.

Hospital staff were overworked, offensive and irritable before COVID where I am  ;D

Quote
the doctors in Greece told me they need to have the genotype first

Yeah, kinda makes sense. The same would happen here.

Quote
The doctors take 5 or maximum 10 to 15m. to talk to each patient.

To me, this is perfection. 10 or 15 mins would annoy me, under 5 mins is ideal.

It took me years to get them to shut up, tell me the latest results and give me a new prescription, done! VL suppressed, done, see you in six months. 

Understand being new to this you might want to spend more time with the doctor or have questions, but generally speaking, HIV management nowadays is relatively simple. 

Quote
In contradiction of the gay community in Norway, the gay community in Greece, especially in my city is very toxic and everyone knows each other. People are not educated of U=U even inside the community and for that reason i am very scared of rejection. I know i don't have to tell my partner or people that i date since i am undetectable and under treatment but i feel bad that i have to hide my truth, avoid conversations or be afraid that if someone found out after we had sex he would tell many other gay guys from my city.

Rejection and sex or dating will happen. It's a part of life, if not for your HIV status, then a dozen other reasons. The U=U slogan isn't going to change that; I got rejected all the time for various reasons, it's normal, and that just means you move on. 

Anyhow, I hope you have a great time taking part in Pride with the HIV peer association. Of course, if you are all wearing something to identify as living with HIV everyone attending will know about your HIV status afterwards, it's brave you are putting yourself out there.

Wish you well, and try to take it easy, Jim.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2023, 04:02:47 am by Jim Allen »
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