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Author Topic: New to this forum, tested positive July 5, 2010  (Read 4156 times)

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Offline zach

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  • Posts: 3,429
New to this forum, tested positive July 5, 2010
« on: September 24, 2010, 10:50:36 PM »
Hello everyone, I'm Zach

On 7/5/10 I tested positive for HIV/AIDS. Lousy day. Doctors told me that although I had just found out, I had HIV for a long time, he said I have AIDS. I was sick with pneumonia, and immediately hospitalized. Due to my lung xrays doc suspected TB as well, so I got the pleasure of being quarantined for my stay. Everyone that came in the room wore a mask, cozy. Looking back, I had been sick last year pretty bad, but got over and went on with life like nothing was wrong. When I was admitted my  t cell count was 8, and my viral load was 120426. I was released on Jul 16 and I was put on Atripla on Aug 1, and on Sep 1 my t cell count was 83, and my viral load was 230.

Phsically I'm feeling much better now, emotionally I'm a wreck. Thought of suicide, thought better of it. Drank to much beer, at least it'll help me gain weight. I just returned to work this week. That was cool. Spent weeks as a shut in not coping well. Now I'm trying to figure out how to face this intelligently. There is so much I realize I need to learn. I've only just starting reading this forum. I see alot of mention of percentages... of what? Other than tcell/cd4 count, and viral load, are there other numbers I should be tracking and aware of? My doctor didn't give me copies of my labs, just told me the numbers.

Besides the Atripla, I also take Azithromycin once a week, and Sulfamethoxazole everyday, and a seven day course of Levaquin when I got out of the hospital. Ferrous Sulfate twice a day, B12 once a day. And I used to think I was a healthy in shape guy!

Its been a difficult time. Trying to adjust to a new reality. I don't know anyone with AIDS, and was hoping this site would at least give me some people to talk too. Hopefully educate me. I live in Atlanta, and next month will be doing the Aids Walk. Suddenly I have a cause I guess.

hope you all are feeling well,
I set into a downward spiral
Caught an illness that was literally viral

With all the vapors that the vile humans brew
Shining through the blight of you

Offline phildinftlaudy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,985
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: New to this forum, tested positive July 5, 2010
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2010, 10:57:47 PM »
Hi Zach -
Welcome to the Forums - real glad you found us.  Also, glad that you made it over a real rough spot physically.  In regards to percentage, that would be your cd4 percentage.  CD4 count can fluctuate a lot depending on time of day of the blood draw and a host of other factors.  CD4 %, according to my doc and a couple of others I have spoken to, is a better indicator of the strength of your immune system.

Glad to hear that you are participating in the Atlanta AIDS Walk - I did the Florida one in Fort Lauderdale - It was a great experience.

Having HIV/AIDS can be a tough pill to swallow at first - but, it can also bring into your life a lot of new and wonderful experiences.  Many of the people on here are Long Term Survivors who have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.  You will also find other newbies who also have a lot of experience to share.  It is all about support and knowing that you are not alone.

Thanks for sharing.  Hopefully, we will hear more from you.  Welcome to the Forum Family.  Check out the other threads and the Lessons and feel comfortable to ask questions and share.  Welcome again Zach.
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
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 alliance

  • Member
  • Posts: 159
  • hmmmm. . .
Re: New to this forum, tested positive July 5, 2010
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2010, 12:27:13 AM »
Hi Zach
sorry about your diagnosis- you've been through alot. But welcome!
Take it one day at a time, let the Atripla do it's thing. I hope you check in here often, where you're never alone.
Take Care!
"The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality."
10/10/12   CD4=378  %=32   VL=UD
5/10/12     CD4=426  %=32  VL=UD
11/15/11   CD4=296  %=29  VL=UD(20)
6/15/11     CD4=345  %=29  VL=UD(38)
3/15/11     CD4=317  %=31  VL=UD
12/1/10     CD4=315  %=28  VL=UD
8/11/10     CD4=250  %=25  VL=UD
6/10/10     CD4=380  %=24  VL=UD
3/4/10       CD4=340  %=22   VL=UD
1/11/10     CD4=312  %=22   VL =130
11/30/09   CD4=228  %=19  VL=1726
11/20/09    started atripla
10/15/09   CD4=281  %=18   VL=85,000

Offline littleprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 201
Re: New to this forum, tested positive July 5, 2010
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2010, 03:05:37 AM »
Hi Zach,

My story is almost an exact copy of yours. In hospital for a total of 5 weeks (2 admissions) since May 2010. A pretty bad case of PCP and then a round of IRS when I started Kaletra/Truvada. I was off work for 2.5 months. Getting back really helped me. I felt like everything was going back to normal... life was moving on like it should. I'm glad you're well enough to get back to work. Try and get back to your old routines.

It's a bit of a bumpy road getting back from such a low CD4 count as I'm sure you don't need to be told. Things do start getting better pretty quickly. Just this week I've been thinking that I feel better now then I have in 12 months. My CD4 has hit 90... it's all up from here.

I'm on Azithromycin and Sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim) also. I'm also on fluconazole to prevent thrush but I haven't heard of too many others that are on it daily as a prevention. Usually only taken if you end up getting thrush. If the Azithromycin causes you stomach pains you can try taking it just before bed. Maybe I'm just a heavy sleeper but I never it never troubles me when I'm asleep. I would always get pains if I took it during the day.

PM me if you have any any questions. Since our stories are so similar I'm sure that if you have a problem/questions then I'm having/had the same thing.

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,367
Re: New to this forum, tested positive July 5, 2010
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2010, 09:24:53 AM »
Hi Zach, welcome to our humble abode, but of course I'm sorry there is a need for you to be here.

Atripla is an amazing drug, and sounds like it is working very well for you, congrats.

The emotions you are feeling, while not a fun thing, is something all of us have gone through to some degree or another but I can absolutely promise you things get better. Each day things get a little better, and seize the "wins" on these days no matter how small, heck you've already got several "wins" under your belt! You've addressed the infection and are getting it treated (win!), You've gotten off the couch and returned to work (win, win!) You've come here to seek companionship and information (win, win, win!), etc..

There are many things that helped me when I was first diagnosed, first of all the links and lessons (at the top of the page here) were invaluable to me and helped me to understand so many things about HIV and treatments. Also just merely browsing through the posts and reading the stories here empowered me and helped me realize that even though I have this pesky virus I am still the same person as I was before!

You have many friends here!

As far as the beer drinking, in the early stages of treatment (and pretty much always) you need to strive for a 100% adherence rate with your Atripla, that is dosing every day at the same time. Enjoy your beer but make sure you dont over do it and forge to take your Atripla :)

Again, welcome and look forward to seeing you around!

POZ since '08

Last Labs-
11-6-14 CD4- 871, UD
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir

Offline Assurbanipal

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,175
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: New to this forum, tested positive July 5, 2010
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2010, 11:22:56 AM »
Welcome to the forums Zach

I was diagnosed with AIDS and pneumonia too, about 4 years and a month before you -- same amount of time in the hospital.... 

It's a lot of change and new perspectives on life, death and disease to process when you find out  that way, but it does get easier over time.

A great resource is the lessons on this site -- they talk about a lot of the things we all need to learn over time including labs... and disclosure, how to protect others, drugs, dealing with doctors.... They are up above in the header under "Treatment" or just click on this link  http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Introduction_4702.shtml

Be well
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 zach

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,429
Re: New to this forum, tested positive July 5, 2010
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2010, 11:29:31 PM »
@Willy, adhereance hasn't been an issue. I've got an alarm on my watch. But acting like a drunken fool in my neighborhood has. Luckily we're all friends and family. The nights are nice, so I was sitting on my porch. I woke up the next morning broken beer bottle laying next to me. My buddy few houses up said I wandered around the walking trails, no memory of it. Obviously not handling the depression all that well. I take paxil, but I don't think it does anything. Its not so bad I'm depressed all the time and can't function. But I've been drinking 3-4 beers every night, weekends 5-6. Doctor said at least the beer wil help me gain weight.

Thanks to both of your for the heads up on the lessons, I've been reading them.
I set into a downward spiral
Caught an illness that was literally viral

With all the vapors that the vile humans brew
Shining through the blight of you

Offline anniebc

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,174
  • AM member since 2003
Re: New to this forum, tested positive July 5, 2010
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2010, 01:59:12 AM »
Hi Zach

Welome to the forums.

Reaction to the results is difffernt for everyone, but over time you will find a way of coping with the virus that suits you and it might be quite differnt from how others deal with it.

No one here will ever tell you it's easy, it's ok to get angry or scared but don't let it take over your life, stress is natural it can actually help some of us get through certain situations but excessive stress can cause you physical symptoms and can damage your immune system further, just find ways to manage any stress you may be feeling, learn to relax and listen to your body.

Along with HIV comes anxiety and one way of tackling this is through information. gaining confidence in yourself and making informed decisions about your future.

Support is very important and you can get this from a qualified ID doctor , family and friend that you trust and there are many support organizations out there...just make sure whoever you discuss this with is sympathetic ,supporting and non judgmental about your HIV status.

Most important of all you have to remember that being HIV+ does not top you from being the person you were before your dianosis.

Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline wtfimpoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 418
  • Let's make biscuits!
Re: New to this forum, tested positive July 5, 2010
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2010, 03:06:59 AM »
Hang in there.  The cliche is true, you're going to be alright.  Does your ASO have a support group you can attend?  It'll give you a chance to meet real people one on one who are infected.  Don't think you have to throw yourself into working for the cure by going to AIDS walks right from the start, you'll have plenty of time for that.  Go and do those things when you think it'll be helpful for you. 

It sounds like your t-cell count has made an amazing recovery, which is all the more reason to be optimistic.  I know how you feel, but day by day you'll feel better.  In theI meantime, I recommend doing something dopey and uplifting for yourself, something which you wouldn't normally do which'll make you happy.  Someone on here mentioned a while ago that he eats kid's cereals, like Lucky Charms.  I ran out and bought myself a few new pairs of clothes at a time of year when I normally wouldn't have.  I'm now the shameless proud owner of a transformers lunch box, and yes, I bring it to work :) 
mid april, 2010, "flu like illness".
06/01/2010-weakly reactive ELISA, indeterminant WB
06/06/2010-reactive ELISA, confirmed positive.

DATE       CD4     %     VL
07/15/10  423     33    88k
08/28/10  489     19    189k
09/06/10-Started ATRIPLA
09/15/10  420     38    1400
11/21/10  517     25    51


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