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Author Topic: Newly diagnosed....  (Read 4316 times)

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Offline Seeker

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
Newly diagnosed....
« on: August 27, 2009, 07:02:20 PM »
First of all I want to thank all of you you contribute to this forum...the last few weeks have been a bit of a blur and I have found a wealth of information and encouragement here....I am 55 years old and found out on August 3rd that i tested positive....in mid-June I had a swollen lymph node in my neck and after a couple of visits to the doctor testing was done that included an HIV test. I have had no other symptons-no weight loss or any other problems... I had my first visit with my infectious disease doctor on August 14th -felt it was a good match and lots of blood work done and then last week I was notified of my cd4 count-which was 198...don't know viral load at this point, doctor put me on Bactrim which I have been on now for a week-no side affects....I see my doctor again in two weeks.....the node on the back of my neck has continued to be enlarged-but  the same size-now for almost two months....hopefully I'll know more at next visit with the doctor---I see everyone's numbers and it's hard to make sense of it all....I had not had a test in several years so at this point don't know if I'm looking at a situation that has been going on for some time or if possibly my count is low because of something current----anyway...just wanted to thank all of you......
tested positive Aug 2009
Sept 2009   CD4  198  VL  13,090
started Atripla
Oct 2009    CD4  248   VL  820
Feb 2010    CD4  237   VL  undetectable
Jun 2010    CD4  341   VL  undet
Oct 2010    CD4  281   VL  undet
Mar 2011    CD4  344   VL  undet
Jan 2012    CD4  334    VL  30
Jun 2012    CD4  347    VL  20
Nov 2012   CD 4  349   VL  undetectable
Apr 2013    CD 4  340   VL  undet
Oct 2013    CD 4  387   VL  undet
Apr 2014    CD4   356   VL  undet
Oct 2014    CD4   389   VL  undet
Nov 2014   changed to Triumeq
Feb 2015    CD 4  410   VL  undet
Aug 2015    CD 4  349   VL  undet
Feb 2016    CD 4  399   VL  undet
Aug 2016    CD 4  351   VL  undet
Feb 2017    CD 4  420   VL   undet
Aug 2017    CD 4  409   VL  undet

Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,175
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Newly diagnosed....
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2009, 07:18:58 PM »
Welcome to the forums Seeker

I'm in my 50's too and just wanted to say hi -- sounds like you've got things moving along in the right direction.

5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%
2014 VL UD - 48
2015 VL 130 Moved to Triumeq

Offline GNYC09

  • Member
  • Posts: 702
Re: Newly diagnosed....
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2009, 10:33:20 PM »
Seeker, welcome to the forum.  I'm sorry to hear the news and wish you improved health.  You'll find lots of valuable information on these forums.

Offline ruralguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 141
Re: Newly diagnosed....
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2009, 10:34:16 AM »
Welcome Seeker-

I'm only 2 months into this. And I'm 56.  I found out in a routine physical without any warning or being sick at all.  All I know is that I got it sometime in the 18 months between tests. 

I went through what was the worst emotional crash of my life.  It has eased now.  It has not completely passed but I can tell that it will.

My first tests results were vr9000 and cd4 300.  The doc wanted a second set of numbers and other tests before moving to meds.  Your cd4 is quite low which is probably why he put you on Bactrim.  So you are doing the right things.  These boards are full of knowledgable helpful people. 

I get my next test results next Monday and will post them here to get feedback and insight from others.

The best thing someone said to me early on here was a suggestion to take a break and go do something nice for yourself.....anything that comes to mind.  You deserve it.
You will be fine, but recognize that itis hard now...and it is the work you do now that will put you back on a more normal path.

tested positive June 19, 2009
7/3/09 vrl 9000 cd4 - 300
8/14/09 cd4 - 350, 20%
started Atripla 9/14/09
10/5/09 vrl undetectable, WOW so fast!
12/28/09 vrl undetectable, CD4 - 615  27% cholesterol down, kidney function normal
4/26/10 vrl undetectable, CD4-600, kidney and liver numbers normal
9/9/10 vrl undetectable, CD4-685
1/3/11 vrl undetectable, CD4-700
all 2011 and Jan 2012 visits vrl undetectable CD4 ranged from 715-645
5/7/2012  vrl undetectable, CD4-615, all liver, kidney, lipids, heart functions, etc normal

On Atripla:  "Your mileage may vary"

Offline ruralguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 141
Re: Newly diagnosed....
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2009, 10:36:17 AM »
positivematt sent this to me for Gallant's book (which you should read):

* (first sentences in the book) Your prognosis is excellent! HIV infection is not the progressive, fatal illness it was in the late 80's and early 90's.
    * With the right treatment, HIV infection is now a chronic, manageable disease.
    * If it didn't come with so much emotional, social, and historical baggage, people would react to the diagnosis the way they might if they learned they had diabetes or arthritis.....treatment for HIV is now easier and more effective than treatment for either of those diseases.
    * The development of antiretroviral therapy is up there with the discovery of penicillin as one of the most important and effective medical achievements of the 20'th century, and treatment keeps getting better in the 21'st.  ART has completely changed the outlook for people with HIV infection
    * If you take your medications faithfully, you can keep HIV in check indefinitely, having to change therapy only because of side effects or because better drugs come along....you should plan on sticking around for a long time, living long enough to die of old age
    * ...I do feel comfortable telling my patients that,together, we can almost eliminate the possibility that they'll ever die of AIDS
    * It may be hard to believe now but in time HIV infection may be low on your list of daily concerns, having little impact on the life you lead and the decisions you make
    * ....fortunately, treatment today is highly effective, and deaths from HIV disease are now mostly preventable in countries where therapy is available and affordable
    * ....treatment can prevent HIV infection from turning into AIDS, and it can restore the health of people with AIDS
    * It's also worth noting that most of the other diseases that we suffer from in the developed world are also chronic, incurable, but treatable diseases.  Think of diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease,  heart failure, arthritis - none of them curable, all of them manageable (though not always as easily manageable as HIV infection)
    * Someday - maybe not in my lifetime, we'll cure HIV infection
    * In about 15 years, we've seen HIV infection go from being an almost universally fatal, untreatable illness to a manageable, chronic disease and treatment became easier and better in the 10 years that followed.
tested positive June 19, 2009
7/3/09 vrl 9000 cd4 - 300
8/14/09 cd4 - 350, 20%
started Atripla 9/14/09
10/5/09 vrl undetectable, WOW so fast!
12/28/09 vrl undetectable, CD4 - 615  27% cholesterol down, kidney function normal
4/26/10 vrl undetectable, CD4-600, kidney and liver numbers normal
9/9/10 vrl undetectable, CD4-685
1/3/11 vrl undetectable, CD4-700
all 2011 and Jan 2012 visits vrl undetectable CD4 ranged from 715-645
5/7/2012  vrl undetectable, CD4-615, all liver, kidney, lipids, heart functions, etc normal

On Atripla:  "Your mileage may vary"

Offline boneil

  • Member
  • Posts: 18
Re: Newly diagnosed....
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2009, 12:27:58 AM »
Thanks for that post ruralguy via positivematt - those are really encouraging statements.  I am in my 40s and just the other day was questioning my retirement accounts - would I live to 62?  I guess I have my answer.  :)
07/05/09  Infected
07/25/09  ARS symptoms
08/05/09  ELISA+, WB indeterminate
08/10/09  cd4 480 31% vl 18579
09/24/09  cd4 633 33% vl 764
12/21/09  cd4 611 37% vl 1211
04/05/10  cd4 610 29% vl 2661
07/19/10  cd4 615 30% vl 8875
12/06/10  cd4 686 31% vl 29204
03/28/11  cd4 718 29% vl 32868
06/27/11 waiting
07/01/11 started Truvada/Isentress

Offline confidentIwillbeOK

  • Member
  • Posts: 131
Re: Newly diagnosed....
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2009, 12:40:37 AM »
RuralGuy....I sent you those quotes!  :)  They were part of an email I put together for my mother the night I told her.  She has been great and has done a lot of additional research and has asked some very good questions since then.  Glad I told her so soon and didn't wait for a year or so which was my initial plan.  Next to tell is Pop. 

Offline jay195

  • Member
  • Posts: 67
Re: Newly diagnosed....
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2009, 06:49:31 AM »
Hi ! I am a 56 year old female and I was diagnosed hiv+ June 2008. It was a routine check up that I had done every year when I went for my pap test.I reckon I got infected in September 2007 as about fifteen days later I came down with the worst sore throat I had ever had in my whole life.I had no other symptoms apart from that and still don't.I sometimes feel a little tired but I think that might have more to do with my age and also leading an active life, and me still thinking I'm still a spring chicken lol.I was put on meds straight away ,CD 247 VL 5 thousand something  (Truvada and Kaletra for three months )then was changed to Norvir, Truvada and Reyataz CD 750 VL undetectable with no side effects.I drink at least one and a half litres of water a day, eat plenty of fruit and veggies etc . I take 2 fish oil capsules in  the mornings with the meds and a calcium + vitamin D tablet later on in the day and do spinning three times a week.So far so good.

Offline Joe K

  • Standard
  • Member
  • Posts: 5,820
  • 31 Years Poz
Re: Newly diagnosed....
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2009, 11:17:25 AM »
Hello Seeker,

I'm sorry to hear about your recent infection and welcome to the forums. I know your head is spinning and a million thoughts are racing around right now and I want you to know that all of that is perfectly normal. You have received some life altering news, so give yourself some time to just absorb it all. Allow yourself to feel what you feel and seek support wherever you can. I'm 55 and one advantage that I believe older folks have is the ability to see things in a more level headed approach. You are treating your infection medically, which is great, but don't forget about feeding your mind, body and soul. Do something nice for yourself everyday, even if it's only for 20 minutes. If you feel the need to scream and shout or cry, just do it. When you feel the walls closing in, try to just stop and take five deep breaths and remember that "What if I's" can make you crazy.

You have started on a journey and while no one can tell how it will progress, we will be here to walk with you. At some point you will go from being recently infected, to living with HIV. Until then, take care of you and begin to address whatever role you may have played in becoming poz. Now is not the time for blame, but rather forgiveness, for while you cannot change your HIV status, you can begin to forgive yourself. Please remember that you are the same person today, that you were before your infection. You have done nothing wrong, nor do you deserve HIV. Sadly you have it, but I have found that how you approach yourself and your infection will strongly influence how well you can live and thrive with HIV.

So let me leave you with this. My key to living with HIV is to accept and treat it, but I will not allow some stinking virus to run my life. I have forgiven myself for becoming pos and most importantly, I have learned to accept those things over which I have no control. I am proactive in treating my health and I know that I am worthy of all that life has to offer. I have a disease and I am far from dead. Trust me, things will get better, you just need to give yourself some time. I guarantee there will come a day when HIV will be just another facet of your life and there is no reason you will not lead a long and fulfilling life. I should know. I have been doing it for 25 years.


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