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Author Topic: I'm 19 and positive and have questions?  (Read 4209 times)

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  • Member
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I'm 19 and positive and have questions?
« on: February 17, 2012, 01:02:38 PM »
I totally jacked up. I have been :P diagnosed for 6 daysnow and I feel like I've gotten through the rawest of emotions. I am terribly ashamed I'm eating away at myself for not using a condom with my ex. I've had my CD4 and viral load tests which stood at 860 and 400 respectively which is fine I think. But in terms of progression how rapid does the CD4 figure drop and the viral load increase. I know of rapid progressors and everyone. When does treatment begin?

Offline DanMo

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  • Finally undetectable! ;D
Re: I'm 19 and positive and have questions?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 01:40:27 PM »
Hey Double_Decker,

First off: I'm sorry to hear that you've been diagnosed. I was just diagnosed last year myself and the initial feelings are still fresh in my mind.

Honestly, your numbers look great! A CD4 of 860 and a VL of 400 is not that serious. From what I understand, progression is different for everyone; it depends on how your body reacts to combating the virus. That's why you have to closely monitor your CD4 and VL regularly with the advice of a specialist. The usual consensus is every three months.

There's different opinions on when treatment should start. A lot of people believe to just start right away once you are diagnosed. Other guidelines focus on CD4 levels: in the U.S. right now, the new recommendation is to begin treatment once CD4 levels are consistently below 500. (In Europe, I think the recommendation is 350).

Remember to base your decisions on the trend that your labs indicate and not just one lab.

- Dan
“I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.” —Frida Kahlo

11 Feb 2011 - Preliminary positive
07 Mar 11 - Inconclusive WB
14 Mar 11 - Diagnosed positive
05 Apr 11 - 355 (21%) / VL: 186,054
27 Apr 11 - 390 (20%) / VL: 285,095
06 Jun 11 - 298 (19%) / VL:  78,380
01 Aug 11 - > STARTED ATRIPLA <
30 Aug 11 - 699 (31%) / VL: 1,938
03 Nov 11 -                / VL: 645
27 Dec 11 - 559 (35%) / VL: 1,189
11 Jan 12 -                 / VL: <20
09 Apr 12 - 686 (40%) / VL: UD
11 Jul 12 - 793 (37%) / VL: 25

Offline wolfter

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Re: I'm 19 and positive and have questions?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 02:01:14 PM »
Glad you found us.  You've rec'd some devistating news and we all understand the raw emotions.  I refrain from the usual how it will get better and so forth.  I'll just lend some practical advice. 

Your numbers are fine and you have a while before thinking about meds, treatments, OI's and such.  I'll give the advice that I wish I had been given.  First, you need to handle the emotional and mental parts of this infection.   In all the years I've lived with this infection and witnessing friends deal with it, I've determined that a positive attitude to match a positive body is paramount. 

This is  just a virus that can now be controlled.  Beyond that, the mental aspects can completely ruin a person.  But it doesn't have to. 

I hope you take a deep breath and determine to relax and think this through just as you would any other crisis.  Don't make rash decisions, think through your options, and don't be afraid to seek support.  We're a pretty decent bunch here if you need us. 

Take care and best wishes.
Being honest is not wronging others, continuing the dishonesty is.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: I'm 19 and positive and have questions?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2012, 08:08:09 AM »
Hi DD, welcome to the forums.

You have time to adjust to your new situation in life before you start worrying too much about treatment. Your numbers are fantastic.

In the UK, the CD4 guidelines governing when-to-start are between 350 and 500 - and many Health Care Trusts will want you to be consistently closer to 350 before they allow treatment. Some Trusts are less stringent in making doctors stick to the guidelines. My clinic is in Liverpool and they're pretty strict.

The UK-based i-base website has a lot of easy-to-digest information that is specific to how things are done in the UK. There is a section in their booklet Introduction to Combination Therapy called When to Start that will address your specific concerns. Be sure to continue to click through the sections - the next section is called CD4 count and guidelines and there are several more after that.

If you're a bit of a geek, you may want to read the guidelines from their original source. You can read the current BHIVA (British HIV Association) guidelines at http://www.bhiva.org/TreatmentofHIV1_2008.aspx

You can also see what their current guidelines are for various other aspects of hiv by clicking on what links interest you at http://www.bhiva.org/PublishedandApproved.aspx

There's a current thread here that you may find informative. It was started by another newly diagnosed person who is also wondering about treatment. (Keep in mind that he is in the States, and their guidelines are a little different, which you'll know when you look at the i-base site I linked you to above.)

It's totally understandable that you're feeling emotionally raw at the moment. This will pass in time. Please do not panic - you're in no immediate danger with numbers like yours. You do have time to get your head around this and start learning.

You may also find the Lessons section here useful, in addition to the info at i-base. They don't quite cover everything we do, and they cover some things we don't. Feel free to come back into the forum to ask any question that may arise while you read.

BTW, I'm in the Isle of Man. :)

Hang in there. You're going to be ok.


Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline mikeyb39

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Re: I'm 19 and positive and have questions?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 09:00:07 AM »
Welcome to the forums Double,

Take a deep breath your numbers are real good so far, so no need to make any hasty decisions.  I didn't have those decisions when I was diagnosed my numbers were 'in the can' so to speak.

This is a good place to start, lots of kind folks on here that can answer questions and so forth and provide support.  You will be just fine though, it will take some time to get a grasp on the situation, so just be kind to yourself and try to relax and stop the blaming yourself.  We are all human and make mistakes.
11/02/2010  cd4-251, vl-591000
12/09/2010  started Atripla
02/18/2011  cd4-425, vl-800
06/10/2011  cd4-447, vl-70
10/10/2011  cd4-666, vl-80
01/05/2012  swiched med (prezista,norvir ,isentress, )
02/10/2012  cd4-733, vl-UD  Viread removed
06/10/2012  cd4-614, vl-UD
12/14/2012  cd4-764, vl-UD
09/01/2013  cd4-785, vl-UD
03/06/2014. cd4- 1078, VL-UD
09/05/2014  cd4-850 , VL-UD
09/05/2014 switched meds isentress, prezcobix -still only two antivirals
10/14/2015  cd4-600 , VL-UD

Offline emeraldize

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  • Posts: 3,398
Re: I'm 19 and positive and have questions?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 09:16:12 AM »
Hi Double-Decker,

I want to welcome you to the forums. While I'm sorry you found this busstop, I'm glad for you that many other riders can give you guidance on routes and schedules.

Please intend to take a seat on the upper deck as you'll want to have the best and sunniest view possible.


Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: I'm 19 and positive and have questions?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 09:42:26 AM »
Welcome to the forums.
You've got some lessons to read to learn about living with HIV and you got some good links above.
I don't know if anywhere there is a good discussion of the shame issue in infection, diagnosis, etc. 

Please don't feel like you are alone feeling shame.  Fear of disease will die when you learn more about HIV and usually that's when the shame also falls away, as well. 

When you realize LOTS of people make all kinds of "mistakes" in sex cause its human.  Getting HIV is one of the possible results and that's a doozy but there are all sorts of other possible negative consequences.  Some of them we fixate on, some we can repair quickly, some we shrug away, some might hurt us emotionally or financially or physically. 

On the other side, sex is great and an important part of life.  So dont forget all the good parts of sex, just cause you got a nasty STD. 

Eventually for me, HIV had to wind way down, from this monstrous loaded virus filled with morals and judgements and all these fears I had on my back from the 80''s and 90's. All that stuff had to slowly drain out of me over a few years.  Now I really see HIV as a virus and only that, and don't feel any shame about having it, having got it, etc etc.  Life's too short.  I don't feel shame about getting the flu, after all.  I didn't feel shame about when I got Hep A.  Or Anal Warts.  Or mononucleosis.  And so on. 

Shame will decline as you know more about HIV and calm down and start living with it as just another part of your daily life.

« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 09:44:44 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx


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