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Author Topic: new to the forum  (Read 3149 times)

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Offline yankygrl

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  • Posts: 7
  • positively alive since 1985
new to the forum
« on: December 16, 2010, 09:45:14 PM »
Hello all, I am new here, and looking forward to finally communicating with others (particularly women)  who are "positively" living. My last friend of Aids died 8 years ago, and for 17 years we were each others support system, being diagnosed at the same time.  I have much support in the recovery community, but no others who have hiv.  I am looking forward to being here.


YG  :)
« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 09:48:25 PM by yankygrl »

Offline BT65

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Re: new to the forum
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2010, 04:56:15 AM »
Hey yank,

Welcome to our women's family.  There's a great group of ladies here, very supportive, and we love to chat about our daily lives in the "ladie's thread."   So, feel free to join us there.

I can relate about losing friends to this damned virus.  I was diagnosed 21 years ago, and have lost many friends, the last of which was just a few weeks ago.  I'm in recovery also, and I'm glad you have support through the recovery community.  That's so important.  My best friend has been clean 21 years, but doesn't have HIV; she has hep C, however.  And I have a few other friends.  My circle of friends isn't huge, but I have some pretty special ones.

Again, welcome.  I look forward in getting to know you!
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

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Offline yankygrl

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  • positively alive since 1985
Re: new to the forum
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2010, 09:56:03 PM »
Thank you Betty, I have quite a few friends who have had liver transplants (3) from Hep C, and I just lost a dear friend in program last month to liver cancer from it.  I have that also, but fortunately, thank you God, it is not problematic (one damn disease at a time!) . Again, thank you for the welcome.


Offline 27years

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Re: new to the forum
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2010, 09:36:55 AM »
Welcome to the ladies forum and am sorry about the loss of your friend, sometimes life just doesnt go the way you want it to be. I have been poz for 4 years and through trials and tribulations life goes on and here you will find nice people who are so helpful and just know you are not alone. Hope to catch up in other threads.
Nobody dies a virgin life screws us all up

Offline Ann

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Re: new to the forum
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2010, 11:06:21 AM »
Hi Yanky, welcome to the forums.

I dabbled in heroin back in the mid-80s and also ended up with hep C as a result. I ended up with hiv in '97 through sex. I quit using heroin by '86 and thought I'd "gotten away with it", until I was diagnosed with hep C in '99.

I did the interferon/ribavirin therapy for a whole year in '02-'03 and had a "sustained response" which was considered a cure after I maintained the sustained response for a few years. I still have no hep C viral load, so I'm still cured. I was lucky, I had one of the easier to treat genotypes (3a).

My ex-husband has the same genotype (but not hiv) but he only treated for six months and failed to have a sustained response; his hep C viral load rebounded two months after he quit treatment. He refuses to try the treatment again because of the side-effects. He doesn't even bother to monitor his hep, so goodness knows if he is near the point of needing a transplant or what.

I wish he would take better care of himself for our daughter's sake, but he's gonna do what he wants regardless of what my daughter or I ask (beg) him to do. Men. I'm just glad he still seems to be relatively healthy and got through our daughter's childhood and teenage years. She's 23 now, will be 24 in April. He's had hep C since around '71 (he'll be 59 in a few weeks, I'm 48), so I guess we're all lucky he's made it this far. Oh, and in case you're wondering, my daughter is hep C negative despite me being hep C poz when I had her.

I'm not in any recovery programs because I haven't felt the need. I was lucky when I quit heroin in that it wasn't a problem - I just made my mind up and did it. I wish I could do the same where cigarettes are concerned! I've always felt that the real test of my being off heroin came when I was diagnosed with hiv. It fleetingly passed my mind to use, but I just told myself to not be so stupid and never thought about it again. During the time I was diagnosed with hiv I was also 100% alcohol free because of the hep and I wasn't even tempted to take a drink. Again, I wish I could not smoke as easily!

If you're wondering about the discrepancy in the dates I've mentioned, although I know I was infected with hiv in the spring of '97, I wasn't diagnosed until February '01. I would have gotten hep C in the fall of '84 when I was sharing needles with my ex. In fact, if it weren't for the hiv, I probably wouldn't have been diagnosed with hep C. Hiv will accelerate hep C progression and it made my liver enzymes sky-rocket for the first time in my life.

I remembered my ex telling me that he had been diagnosed with "non-A/non-B" hepatitis in '71, which is what they called hep C before they really knew what it was and how it acted. He was told he couldn't transmit it to anyone else. How wrong they were! Anyway, I saw a documentary about hep C in '99 around the same time as my enzymes were going nuts and I was also becoming symptomatic with classic hep C symptoms, so I asked to be tested. When I tested poz, I made my ex test too and the rest is history.

I was only diagnosed with hiv after a previous (and once again current) partner tested poz, despite being deathly ill with something in the spring of '97 that the doctor told me was "probably just some virus that will run its course and go away". When I tested poz in '01, that same doctor told me that if I were a gay man, the first thing he would have done in '97 when I was so sick was to test me for hiv. Stupid doctors and their pre-conceived notions of who gets hiv and who doesn't! It still pisses me off to this day to think about it. I'm just lucky I didn't infect anyone else during those four years when I didn't know I had hiv. 

Anyway, again, welcome to the forum. It's always nice to have another woman around the (male dominated) place, even if your reason for being here isn't the best. Hope you become a regular.

And by the way, have you thought about treating your hep C? Do you know what genotype you have? I hope you're lucky like me and have one of the easier to treat ones. It was a tough year for me, but I'm glad I did it. I'm still not on hiv meds, but I know when the time does come to go on meds, my liver is going to be able to handle them.

One more thing - I'm an American, but I've lived on the Isle of Man for the past twenty years. It's an island nation affiliated with the UK in the middle of the Irish Sea. You might see me referring to it as "the Rock" in some of my postings. I mention this because my nickname here on the island is "the Yank". :)

Ha - this was meant to be a short note but sometimes when I get started, you just can't shut me up! :D

Welcoming hugs,
« Last Edit: December 18, 2010, 11:10:28 AM by Ann »
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Offline emeraldize

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Re: new to the forum
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2010, 12:13:43 PM »
Hi YG,



Offline zachysmom

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Re: new to the forum
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2010, 08:29:52 PM »
Hello there,
Welcome. Hope we ladies can be of some comfort and help.
From Russia with love,

Offline yankygrl

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  • Posts: 7
  • positively alive since 1985
Re: new to the forum
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2010, 08:14:01 PM »
Thank you for the warm welcome ladies.  My next blood test will again include Hep C viral load counts, as this was done ten years ago, but the viral load was so low, it was nearly undetectable.  I am hoping for the same, but as we know, it is not in my hands.  I will keep you posted, as for smoking, there is nothing like an HIV diagnosis when there is no treatment and no cure to movtivate one to quit.  No ciggies for me since 87.  I just could not justify it on any level as I was fighting for my life.  To each his own.  These days by noon I am exhausted, and afternoon napping is a daily requirement.  I left employment three years ago after many years on the same job, and thankfully, I have a retirement and insurance.  The gifts are always coming.

Merry Christmas to all,

peace  :)



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