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Author Topic: My Story / First Numbers  (Read 4877 times)

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Offline FMB

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  • Posts: 3
My Story / First Numbers
« on: October 10, 2007, 06:39:04 AM »
Hey all, It's been an intense last two months & I'm not sure where to start other than the start so here goes:

I am a healthy athletic 33 year-old man from British Columbia, Canada. I am 99% sure I was exposed on Aug 12, 2007 in Seattle, Washington. 11 days later on Aug 23, 2007 I came down with the worst flu I have ever had in my life (Recent studies show the average time from exposure/infection to seroconversion illness is 10-14 days) In case you were wondering, my exact symptoms were chills and severe fever at the onset, followed by intense headaches and the worst sore throat I have ever had. I'm talking so bad that I couldn't swallow, it was like broken glass. It was near impossible to eat or drink, I proceeded to lose 15 pounds from 215 to 200. I also had night sweats so bad that my sheets were SOAKED right through to the mattress pad. I found that drinking mass quantities of water, as sore as it was, alleviated the headaches quite a bit which were more from dehydration I think. This 'flu' lasted 2 weeks, and I knew something was up, I mean I don't get sick, never had a cold or flu for years. This was despite the fact that I had just tested negative on Aug 9 with an INSTI rapid blood test.

I waited a couple more weeks to make sure that if there were antibodies, they would show up on the test (The CDC average for detectable antibodies with the current tests is 25 days) Then I made an appointment with my doctor and bravely went in to get tested again. I had already prepared myself for the very real possibility that I was poz, but also holding onto the slight hope that it was just the flu. The doctor proceeded to take the pinprick of blood from me for the 1-minute INSTI rapid test and it showed 2 dots, indicating positive. He quietly told me that we needed to do another one to make sure and lo and behold it was poz too. I can't describe the emotion other than it feels like you are outside your body watching it all go down, shock, numb although somehow I was able to stay strong and hold myself together. The doctor immediately drew blood from me to submit for the confirmatory Elisa and WesternBlot tests which I would receive in a week. I spent that week contacting my fuckbuddies, which remarkably during this time period was unusually low 8) ...only because I felt so crappy during this time I wasn't looking for sex. I was amazed at how well they took the news, they were concerned more for me and how I was doing, and were aware they needed to get tested. So I went back a week later to receive the bad news I already knew: I am HIVpositive.

The doctor then gave me a lab requisition for a full blood panel, including titers of immunizations to see which ones were missing, as well as CD4 and ViralLoad counts. I had 10 vials drawn & waited until my appointment yesterday, Aug 9, 2007 for the results. Here's where I started to wonder if I still was the strong, confident, muscular, & healthy guy when he told me my first numbers: After approximately two months post-infection, my CD4 is 260 and my ViralLoad is 80,000. He told me he was not concerned about the numbers and that they are fine, that for the next 3 months I will be getting CD4 and VL done so they can monitor the trend. Correct me if I am wrong, but am I not in the 350>200 danger zone? This is after a nurse at my doctor's office was telling me after the poz test that most guys are around 500-700 and at losing 50 a year, they don't need to go on meds for years. AM I ALREADY THERE?!?! After only 2 months? How is this possible? I have been tested regularly every 6 months for 10 years, always negative, and like I said I know this is recent because of my neg Aug 9 test and the timeline of the seroconversion illness onset. If  any of you have advice I would love to hear it. Is it possible that this is the result of a strong immune response and that I will bounce-back with higher CD4 levels? Or is THIS my new baseline?

So basically my question is: SHOULD I... A.) Wait it out and see what the levels do? (this seems to be the latest approach in BC, as long as the CD4 isn't drastically low, to let your body go through the seroconversion process completely and establish a set-point without interruption from drugs) ...or B.) Start meds now?

Other than this hiccup, I have accepted my reality and I plan on living my life the same way...athletic, outdoors, I don't drink much, don't smoke or do drugs. I feel pretty much back to normal except for the pesky night sweats and a bit more fatigue.

Thanks for taking the time to read and I look forward to chatting with all of you,
Big Hugz,
Aug'07 Seroconversion
Sep'07 Tested Poz
Oct'07 First Bloodwork: CD4 260 / VL 80,000 ???
Nov'07 Second Bloodwork: CD4 670 / VL 3,100 ;D

Offline megasept

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  • Steven here...
Re: My Story / First Numbers
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2007, 09:38:23 AM »
Start meds now? [/b]


C: I wouldn't. The spiking is a predictable phenomenon. Wait until your stable VL is over 100k OR your stable CD4s drop below 350. That might be many years away.

 8) -megasept 

Offline milker

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Re: My Story / First Numbers
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2007, 10:52:41 AM »
The nurse has "forgotten" that you took your blood tests within a month of infection, where the CD4s can drop dramatically before they recover and then set the base line. Your doctor is right, wait three months and see where you are.

And welcome to the forums, FMB :)

mid-dec: stupid ass
mid-jan: seroconversion
mid-feb: poz
mar 07: cd4 432 (35%) vl 54000
may 07: cd4 399 (28%) vl 27760
jul 07: cd4 403 (26%) vl 99241
oct 07: cd4 353 (24%) vl 29993
jan 08: cd4 332 (26%) vl 33308
mar 08: cd4 392 (23%) vl 75548
jun 08: cd4 325 (27%) vl 45880
oct 08: cd4 197 (20%) vl 154000 <== aids diagnosis
nov 2 08 start Atripla
nov 30 08: cd4 478 (23%) vl 1880 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
feb 19 09: cd4 398 (24%) vl 430 getting there!
apr 23 09: cd4 604 (29%) vl 50 woohoo :D :D
jul 30 09: cd4 512 (29%) vl undetectable :D :D
may 27 10: cd4 655 (32%) vl undetectable :D :D

Now accepting applications from blowjob ninjas™

Offline GaryF

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  • Posts: 1
Re: My Story / First Numbers
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2007, 05:45:42 AM »
I went through conversion illness 15 years ago and my CD4 was 1250 give or take 100 for fifteen years, and how I found out I had it was my vl went over 100,000 and when that happened I started waking up drenched with the night sweats. I then knew I was infected so I went to the Dr. and told him to skip the Elisa and go right for the western blot.  They put me on meds for 6 mos. and I layed  in bed from them sick as a dog for that time.  I went to my ID and she said you have a CD4 of 1250 and a vl of 0.  I was complaining about being laid up in bed from the meds and she said "Well Gary, you really don't need to take these," well at that point I coulda kicked her right in the ass.  So I went up until this year and watched my numbers drop from 1250 to 268 in one year and my doc said it is 100 cd4 points every 3 years and had to begin treatment and I was sick over it. I thought I was gonna get away with getting murdered.  I know CDC guidelines recommend treatment below 300.  I can't understand for the life of me why your numbers are like they are but if I were you I would be demanding treatment.  You have to get yourself mentally ready for it though as it is a task.  I can think of one situation of that may have happened is you were infected and that was the flu and not conversion illness, as some people do not get it.  That's why your numbers are so low. As I said when I got hiv everthing  was cut and dry and now its like trying to find a route on a map of the united states there is so much information always read when articles were printed. Usually a month is fine but things are changing so rapidly, articles are out of date before they are written.  Good Luck and Best Wishes

Offline sacinsc

  • Member
  • Posts: 353
Re: My Story / First Numbers
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2007, 10:03:36 AM »
I tested poz in September and was infected May 30. My first numbers were scary as well CD4 402 and VL 118000. I get my second set of vials drawn a week from Monday. Hopefully things will level out. Then six months later another set so then they will have kinda a baseline for me. He told me that it is normal for the virus to have the upperhand in the beginning and my body would then begin to fight it. I am betting if my numbers would have been similar to yours if I had them drawn in June or July, and that my body is now starting to fight and my CD4 is rising. I really hope my VL drops significantly this next test. (Ive been taking my vitamins :)

Anyway, these guys can answer tons of questions for me and have kept me from going off the deep end several times. Right now you are going to be panicking just like me. Trying to figure out how much your life is going to change and what you are going to do about it. I am taking it one day at a time and these are slow damn days!

Keep us posted bud :)

March 07 - Negative
May 07 - Exposed
June 07 - Seroconversion
September 07 - CD4 402 VL 118000 25%
October 07 -     CD4 294 VL 124000 22%
November 07 - Norvir, Triuvada and Reyataz
December 07 -  CD4 355 VL  550 .... guess the meds are working.
January 08 - CD4 446 VL <48 undetectable!
April 08 - CD4 554 VL <48 undetectable!
July 08 - CD4 666 VL <48 undetectable! Hporay...I have devil CD4's

Offline Florida69

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  • Posts: 428
Re: My Story / First Numbers
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2007, 10:47:18 AM »
I am so sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis, but it seems you have come to the right place.  There are some great avenues to find support here, and seems like you have a good grasp of what to do next and you are very well read on research.  I found out I was positive in January 2006.  I found that forums such as this helped me with questions concerns and I have made some really great friends who have experienced the same things that I have.  Good luck, 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

Offline xyahka

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  • Posts: 799
  • Dance together!! aha!! aha!! I like it!!
Re: My Story / First Numbers
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2007, 09:46:26 AM »
Hi FMB welcome to the forums.

I agree with milker, you should not worry about starting meds right now. It is better to wait until you stablish a trend, plus there are several ways of increasing your CD4 before meds are needed (eating healthy, sleeping, exercise, etc).

Lets say meds are our heavy weapons and we need to use them only when necesssary... there are not too many of them. It is very possible your CD4 will increase after your first test if you look after your health, so don't worry.

 welcome to the Forums

Juan Carlos
13/03/07 1er diagnóstico /Peso: 79kg
19/04/07 CD4: 494 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 80kg
19/07/07 CD4: 659 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79.5kg
06/03/08 CD4: 573 (después de meses muy deprimido) /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79kg
17/09/08 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 84Kg
06/02/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 85Kg /HCV: Neg /HBV: Neg.
07/03/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg / Gym 3días/semana y Natación 2días/semana.
12/05/09 CD4: 470 /Cviral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg.
08/07/09 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 77Kg.
09/12/09 CD4: 510 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg. No medicinas aún
10/01/10 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
15/05/10 CD4: 320 /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
01/02/11 CD4: 291 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
05/05/11 CD4: 366 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
27/07/11 CD4: 255 /CViral: 138000 /Peso: 78kg.

Disfrutando y aceptando una nueva vida...


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