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Author Topic: Newly Diagnosed, 1st Labs, & Starting Meds  (Read 2387 times)

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Offline jah1120

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  • Posts: 1
Newly Diagnosed, 1st Labs, & Starting Meds
« on: October 17, 2013, 05:46:34 PM »
Hey everyone!

I'm brand new to this site and looking forward to reading the posts that have already been made on this site so far.  But a little about me...

I was diagnosed as HIV+ on August 12th after going to my family practice doctor due a lymph node that had been on my neck for a few months.  I didn't know what it was for and thought it would just go away but it never did.  So I went in for lab work and it was time for my regular HIV test anyway.  I tried to get tested every six months but things didn't work out this time.  The lab tests came back so the nurse called me at work and told me that I was HIV+.  Naturally I didn't take the news very well as I was at work and was getting this news over the phone.  The nurse then told me that my doctor wanted me to come in to redo the lab work as someone else had also tested positive.  She said that the doctor felt that there might have been a problem at the lab and wanted both patients to redo the tests.  This time they were going to repeat the tests I had and then do a DNA test that would truly confirm my HIV+ diagnosis.

A couple of weeks went by and the nurse called me again at work to inform me that the tests came back and I was in fact HIV+.  I scheduled a doctor's appointment to go in and see my family practice doctor to see what would be the next steps.  Needless to say she said that she wasn't in the best position to treat me because she was a family practice doctor and wanted me to see a Infectious Disease Specialist.  She referred me out and it took nearly a month to actually get someone at the clinic to call me back for an actual appointment.  I was persistent in trying to get seen because I knew that it was important to get seen right away to see where I stood.

I had my first doctor's appointment yesterday with the Infectious Disease Specialist and was informed that my CD4 was 286 (14%) and Viral Load was 126,000.  The doctor said that I was right on the borderline and that he highly recommended that I start taking Stribild as soon as possible.

So that's where I'm at.  I haven't told anyone in my family of my diagnosis as it will only make things worse between us.  When I first came out my parents didn't really talk to me for nearly three years so telling them this would definitely push them away even more.  I feel alone most of the time and don't really have anyone to talk to about what I'm going through.  I have told four friends but I don't want to burden them with my problems as I know everyone has problems.  The doctor's at the clinic have not referred me out to someone to talk to so I'm guessing my next step is to seek someone to talk to professionally. 

I'm just really new to all of this and really wasn't expecting the news I got yesterday.  A few of the people I talked to said it's rare that someone newly diagnosed as to start meds but I guess I fell in that 'rare' bucket.

I've rambled on long enough.  Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

Offline Jeff G

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  • Member
  • Posts: 17,062
  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Newly Diagnosed, 1st Labs, & Starting Meds
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 07:11:28 PM »
Welcome to the forums Jah . We offer support and information so please remember that you are not alone in this . It takes time but it does get easier .
HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline Jmarksto

  • Member
  • Posts: 655
Re: Newly Diagnosed, 1st Labs, & Starting Meds
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2013, 11:56:21 AM »
Hey Jah, Welcome to the forums.

I am one year into this - and the one thing that I can say is that it does get better as you educate yourself and process.  You sound pretty even keel compared to how I reacted.  The things that helped me were to go talk to a therapist that dealt with HIV and to establish a relationship with my doctor - who is really good. 

It is difficult for me to comment on disclosure because I haven't crossed that bridge beyond my significant other -- although your comment about not wanting to burden your friends may warrant some discussion with the therapist.  Given that you have already disclosed, there must be a way to get the support you need (which is what friendship is really all about) without taxing your friends too much.

Again, it will get better and I wish you well through the process,

03/15/12 Negative
06/15/12 Positive
07/11/12 CD4 790          VL 4,000
08/06/12 CD4 816/38%   VL 49,300
08/20/12 Started Complera
11/06/12 CD4   819/41% VL 38
02/11/13 CD4   935/41% VL UD
06/06/13 CD4   816/41% VL UD
10/28/13 CD4 1131/45% VL 25
02/25/14 CD4   792/37% VL UD
07/09/14 CD4 1004/39% VL UD
11/03/14 CD4   711/34% VL UD
03/13/15 CD4   833/36% VL UD
04/??/15 Truvada & Tivicay
06/01/15 CD4 1100/50% VL UD
10/16/15 CD4   826/43% VL UD

Offline harleymc

  • Member
  • Posts: 930
Re: Newly Diagnosed, 1st Labs, & Starting Meds
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 06:28:09 PM »
Welcome Jah,
Firstly may I say that you sound very focused and very proactive about managing your health. It is good that you persisted in pushing to get the appointment with the infectious diseases doctor. This is good.

I have no experience with Stribild, so can't offer any firm advice in regard to that particular medication. It will be up to you to do some research as to possible side effects and any medication interactions and on how to best self manage any potential issues. You will find that pharmacists are very knowledgeable people and can be an asset to your health care team.

Here's a link to an information sheet on Stribild.... do note the interactions with several medications. http://www.aidsmeds.com/archive/stribild_elvitegravir_cobicistat_2716.shtml  Your ID doctor will keep you well monitored for any metabolic issues.

Find someone that you trust to be able to share this aspect of your life with. HIV is someting we acquire when we're searching for love, it's someting we acquire in a moment of trust. Trust and love are not things to be ashamed of, they are things of beauty that make us whole human beings.

Take care


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