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Main Forums => Someone I Care About Has HIV => Topic started by: cherrybomb on April 23, 2008, 10:46:20 pm

Title: best friend just tested positive
Post by: cherrybomb on April 23, 2008, 10:46:20 pm
 my best friend in the entire world called me with the devasting news that he is HIV positive. He has been pretty sick with weird marks on his skin, a fever, and a sore throat, and the doctor tested him for everything and this came back positive. I still can't believe it. I think he's still processing it too. I'm just so nervous for him. I've been reading massive amounts of material, and keep getting conflicting reports. I'm trying to stay strong for him, and keep it to gether, but every time he calls me i start crying. I can't stop crying. I would do anythihng in the world for this man. He told me the news before he told his family. I just want to know what I can do for him? I hate it because I live in Boston, and he's far into Connecticut. He is family to me. I'm not ignoring it when he talks to me, we do talk about it, but right now he's putting on a happy face, because I feel like it hasn't sunk in for him yet. I want to learn from everyone's experiences on him, and help find words of comfort. I am here for him no matter what happens and want to do everything in my power to help him.

thank you.
Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: pacerintl on April 24, 2008, 03:34:18 am
By the time most people get tested in the hospital ER they are already really, really sick.  Depending on how strong and responsible he's been in the past, how sick he is will help determine the help he may need, and how readily available he's willing to receive it.  Some people get so sick that their judgement gets blurred or they are at an educational level that they really can't comprehend what's going on or the consequences of their decisions.




Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: structuredjen on April 24, 2008, 10:18:37 am
Hi cherrybomb-

You're already doing the right thing. :)  Just being there for him means so much, trust me. 

When my bf was diagnosed I struggled with the same thing. I felt so helpless.  With time, I realized all you can do is be there.  Listen when he wants to talk about it, give him hugs (even if its just the virtual kind) and make him smile.  When he doesn't want to talk about it -that's okay too. 

When you have questions..ask them here.  The people on this site are full of good information and advice.

Wishing you the best-
Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: cherrybomb on April 24, 2008, 05:00:02 pm
Thank you so much both of you : ) It helps to tlak to people who have been through what I'm going through. If a person is hiv positive, does it take a while for them to get sick? his initials symptoms have gone away. he gets another test result on monday, but they are 99 percent sure he has it. He's trying to be really strong and live his life normally. I talk to him multiple times a day, and let him talk about it if he wants. He's an incredibly strong man, and I know he won't let this hold him back. I just don't for him to be sick :( But I thank you both so much, it means a lot to me ( and him as well ) that there are people like you out there to help get through such a tough time.
Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: BT65 on April 24, 2008, 07:26:59 pm
If a person is hiv positive, does it take a while for them to get sick?

Whether or not one will get sick right away depends on what the initial blood counts (CD4s, %'s, viral load) show.  If he is indeed HIV+, he'll need to find a good infectious disease doctor and get these things taken care of.  Treatment today is so much better than it was when I tested HIV+ (1989).  Most things can be handled within a reasonable time span.

The only thing you can do is what you're doing.  Just be there, be a shoulder.  Sometimes it does take time for an HIV+ diagnosis to sink in.  You're being there for him means everything in the world.  Good luck.
Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: J.R.E. on April 25, 2008, 01:27:45 am
  I just want to know what I can do for him?
thank you.


Sounds as though your doing what a good friend can be doing. Your there for him. He's got someone to talk with, and he needs that right now. Is there a way, that you can arrange a few days to go see him. Talk to him, and see if he is up to that. Just continue to be there for him. Believe me, he will appreciate it. He's got a lot going on right now, keep the communication open.

Take care-----Ray

Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: cherrybomb on April 25, 2008, 06:23:53 am
i was going to go up to see him this weekend, but he wants this time to tell the rest of his family. i'm taking next friday up from work, andgoing up to see him... i just want to give him a giant hug, and i keep telling him this . once again, i thank all of you for your help.
Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: Ann on April 25, 2008, 08:06:02 am
Hi Cherry, welcome to the forum.

If your friend is very newly infected and his recent illness was caused by his seroconversion, his initial numbers might not look very good. However, this is common in the initial stages and as his body begins to adjust, the numbers will get better. I'm telling you this so you (both of you) don't panic if this happens.

Some people can go years without "getting sick" or needing the meds, while others progress more quickly to needing meds. This is why regular monitoring is so very important.

You're friend is lucky to have you there by his side. Keep doing what you're doing and hang in there.

Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: cherrybomb on April 25, 2008, 05:49:11 pm
You guys are awesome, thank you so much for the support. Is seroconversion when the body adjusts to being infected and would it happen so soon?? he would have been infected about 6 weeks ago. I am also wondering if it is ok to drink alcohol with HIV? I'm worried about him ... he's been drinking, but not heavily, and i don't know if it affects the disease. thank you again. it is nice to have people i can talk to who know what i am going through, and what my friend is going through. i have told him about this website and forum, but he is not ready for it yet.
Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: Matty the Damned on April 25, 2008, 06:00:58 pm
Moderate alcohol consumption is generally not a problem for HIV positive people.

Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: Ann on April 25, 2008, 06:20:43 pm

Seroconversion typically happens between two and four weeks after infection has taken place. It literally refers to the change in the blood when enough antibodies have been formed to be detected on an ELISA. Sero = blood, and conversion = change: the blood changes from hiv negative to hiv positive. You could use the same term for any pathogen that produces detectable antibodies.

The so-called "seroconversion illness" (that sometimes accompanies hiv infection) is actually caused by chemicals the body produces while making antibodies to a foreign agent, rather than the foreign agent itself. These chemicals can cause fever, general malaise, rashes, etc... or nothing at all.

Your friend should start feeling better soon.

Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: ga1964 on April 29, 2008, 12:25:20 am

First let me start off by saying you  are a special person and your friend is very lucky to have you on his side. 

Having been diagnosed a little over a year ago, I am fairly new to all this and still trying to find my way.  Just having someone close to rely on when things seem unbearable is more help than you will ever know.  With what I have read in your posts, you are a truly loving and caring person that your friend is lucky to have.  We all need friends like yourself.  Be there for him and let him tell you what he is comfortable discussing at his pace.  I'm still working through my obstacles on what I am comfortable disclosing and to whom I am comfortable letting know.  I still haven't been able to tell my best friend from high school.  He is the only person that I have known ( other than family and my partner ) most of my whole life.  Even though I know I could tell him anything and he would always be there, I haven't been able to draw up the courage to tell him.  I still have feelings of shame that I allowed myself to become exposed to HIV.  I knew all the warnings and I still put myself in harms way.

I know I am just at the start of my journey being HIV+ and I know it's not going to be easy all the time and hopefully some day I can feel comfortable to tell my best friend.  It says a lot about you as a person, that your friend is able to let you into his life and is able to rely on you if not for just being able to talk it out to releave stress.  God bless you.
Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: TimmerInBigD on May 09, 2008, 09:50:04 am

Lot's of great advice from the previous posters, but there's no set of rules for your friend as to when he might face a new challenge, no definite date when he will need to start taking meds, and no expiration date for his future plans.  I'm not trying to confuse you; I'm trying to explain how confusing this positive life can be.

I tested poz in 1992, and 85% of what I learned then doesn't really apply in 2008.  For example, the first doctor to sit down with me and explain what I should expect, gave me 10 or 11 years (max.) before my CD4 count would fall off a cliff -- and she actually drew a diagram of the cells falling off a little cliff!  So the first thing I learned was not to believe everything you hear.

The second was that I needed to find a doctor I could respect, while receiving his or her respect in return, because I had decided to take an active part in my treatment regimen.  Then I decided to educate myself by reading everything I could find on "AIDS Related Complex" (a label that was soon dropped for "HIV").  And one of the best decisions I made in those early weeks was to find a support group because I was able to gain the collective wisdom of more than 400 guys during the next 10 years -- guys who were living with HIV/AIDS every day of their lives, just like me.

Even though your friend may not have a support group in his immediate area, he can probably find one in a nearby town, especially where any mid-size college/university is located.  If he's not comfortable going to a group, there are plenty of online groups (much like AIDSmeds/POZ) and some that are more like dating services than support groups, so your friend may want to shop around.

Hopefully, the shock of learning your friend's HIV status has worn off somewhat by now.  I would encourage you to stay strong for him when he needs you, and there will be times when he needs you without realizing that fact.  Emotional highs and lows, dealing with the side-effects of medications and the added stresses of everyday life may effect your friend in ways that surprise you, but for the most part, you two should be able to have a long and strong friendship.
Title: Re: best friend just tested positive
Post by: WorriedWife on May 15, 2008, 06:43:53 pm

You are doing the right thing now by supporting your friend. My husband is positive and I am negitave we found out a year ago and his numbers were not to terrible as I have learned but they were also not great. His ID doc put him on his HIV meds and he is doing great. We are assuming he had HIV for about a year before we found out and luckily I didnt get it. Over time it will sink in with him but I know the biggest thing I do with my husband is make sure that he knows that I love him and that I am not going anywhere no matter how bad he gets. Hugs and kind words and there are also times your friend will want to forget the fact that he even has it. Nobody ever really forgets but the meds are good and he can lead a "normal" life. In fact my husband and I are actually thinking about having a baby. You and your friend will have questions this is a great site and the people here are wonderful. They were and still are my lifesavers. Just stay strong and know that with the proper medical care and your friend doind exactly what the doc says he will be fine.

God Bless