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Author Topic: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?  (Read 6889 times)

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Offline terrymoore

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Hi guys,
I am not sure if i am posting this in the right section - please move if i am in the wrong place.
One of the challenges i have faced being POZ in Thailand over the past 2 years is the lack of support groups for foreigners/non-Thai speakers. I have been told about a weekly group at the Thai Red Cross, but it is for locals, and, besides the language barrier, we also have completely different issues to face compared to the local Thais (cultural, practical day-to-day etc.).
I have noticed a number of members are in Thailand and was wondering of we should start our own thread to 1. exchange more relevant and focused info in one easy-to-find spot and 2. perhaps start a support group of our own.
Just a though... Feel free to weigh in!

Offline Gladragsguy

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2017, 01:39:20 am »
There is a group in Bangkok message me for more info.

Online JimDublin

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2017, 02:12:05 pm »
Hi Gladragsguy​,

At the moment nobody can pm you yet, for 1 this is not available for new members until they have posted 3 times.

As a new member perhaps you can start your own thread and introduce yourself to the forum. Thanks.

Jim
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
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Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 10:14:17 am »
Quote
Hi Gladragsguy​,

At the moment nobody can pm you yet, for 1 this is not available for new members until they have posted 3 times.

As a new member perhaps you can start your own thread and introduce yourself to the forum. Thanks.

That explains a lot! I thought i was going nuts!

@Gladragsguy - please either post some more or just reply here with the info. Thanks!

Offline Tonny2

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2017, 01:21:02 pm »


       OJO        HI @TERRYMOORE...HAVE YOU TALKED TO VIRGO313?, MAYBE HE CAN HELP YOU WITH SOME INFO...CAN SOMEBODY TELL ME WHAT IS SO GREAT ABOUT THAILAND?, THERE ARE LOTS OF FOREIGNERS, MEMBERS OF THIS FORUM, LIVING THERE...I HOPE YOU CAN FIND A SUPPORT GROUP, I'VE NEVER BEEN IN A SUPPORT GROUP MYSELF, WHEN I WAS DIANOSED 22 YEARS AGO, WHEN GETTING AND HIV/AIDS DX WAS STILL A DEATH SENTENCE, AS A MATTTER OF FACT, I WAS TOLD, I'S LIVE TWO MORE YEARS AFTER MY DX. MY DOCTOR ASKED ME IF I WANTED TO ATTEND A SUPPORT GROUP, I TOLD HIM, NO, BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO BEFRIEND PEOPLE AND THEN SEE THEM DYING. NOW, IT'S DIFFERENT AND I WOULD LOVE TO BE A PART OF ONE OF THOSE GROUPS, UNFORTUNALLY, WHERE I LIVE, THE ONLY SUPPORT GROUP NEAR ME, IS 40 MILES AWAY, AND I DON'T DRIVE ANYMORE  ;(...ANYWAY. WISHING YOU THE BEST, IF YOU FEEL DOWN, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU.

Offline virgo313

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2017, 12:02:05 pm »
Hi Tonny / Hi Terry,

I am from Malaysia, so my views may be wrong.
I am a bit surprise to hear that Thailand do not have support group.
I might be wrong, but i think that there is some support group for "farang"(westerners). TH is a very friendly & tolerant country to the extend that LGBT is part of their "culture". with huge population & lots of farang staying there, i am sure there is support group.

I do agree with you to some extend that language is slightly an issue, but with new younger generation, it is much more easy to communicate nowadays.

It takes time to understand culture, i am sure you can tell that they are usually soft spoken, helpful. Perhaps you like to check out below link.
http://www.thepoz.org/about.html
https://www.angloinfo.com/how-to/thailand/healthcare/support-groups

I believe being Poz & living in TH is one of the best country one could lived in (in Asia).

Can't really advise of any support in TH as i do not live in TH. In Malaysia, we have PT - http://ptfmalaysia.org/v2/ . info for those in Malaysia.

Hope i can offer more info, But really do not know of any support group in TH.

Thanks 
RVD Nov 2015. VL --> Log 5.32 HAART on 23/11/15
TDF+FTC+EFV / Chemo KS - 25/11/15 - 20/01/16.
CD4 - 4 (3/11/15) / VL - 225,000   ~ CD4 - 65 (7/03/16) / VL - UD
CD4 - 153 (8/09/16) / VL - UD (20) / CD4% -6%   ~   CD4 - 215 (11/03/17) / VL - No Result / CD4% -8%
CD4 - No Result (10/04/17) / VL - UD (20)   ~   CD4 - 455 (11/05/18) / VL - UD / CD4% -14%
CD4 + CD4% (18/10/18) - Dr not going to  do this anymore / VL - To test only yearly. This Sucks..!

Offline Tonny2

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2017, 08:23:31 pm »


        OJO        HELLO ALL

@VIRGO313, I Qa thinking wELIWE bout thT, YOU LIVE EN MlAY, aorry, i'm old ND FORGET THINGS

@TERRYMOORE, I'M SORRY, MY MISTAKE...LET ME CONTACT A FRIEND OF MINE, MAYBE HE CAN HELP US OUT...CYBER HUGS FOR BOTH OF YOU                       OJO

Offline daveR

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2017, 08:40:27 pm »
A support group would be a good idea. I tried to find one when I was diagnosed. There use to be one in Pattaya I was told a long time ago but not any more. I relied on chatting to people on the internet. I think one problem wpuld be that we are living in different areas so meeting up in person would be hard as a group. I could see a possible thread running so newly diagnosed people could state their location and then arrange to meet up with others in their area for support. Or just use messenger services like LINE. That is what I ended up doing.

Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2017, 01:02:20 am »
@Tonny2 - thank you for the hug and tryig to help. To answer your previous question as to what the great attraction is to Thailand...well, it is called the "land of smiles" for a reason. :-) People are very friendly, very accepting, tolerant, non confrontational, easy going, and you can  enjoy "1st world" luxuries at "3rd world" prices (not always, but generally speaking). Of course it is not perfect, but no where is perfect.
@virgo313 -your info is valuable and helpful and i will explore. And yes i agree that Thailand
Quote
being Poz & living in TH is one of the best country one could lived in (in Asia)
. Definitely!
@DaveR - exactly my thoughts. A LINE group and dedicated thread HERE (poz.com) would be helpful. I don`t necessarily think we need to physically meet per se - just  place where we can consolidate all info and find/meet people from the same place. If you have such a LINE group, please send me the details in PM.
Thanks!

Offline Tonny2

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2017, 09:19:53 pm »


       OJO        @TERRYMOORE...I KNEW I HAVE A FRIEND LIVING IN BANHKOK *AMERICAN LIVING THERE). I ASKED HIM ABOUT A SUPPORT GROUP FOR FOREIGNERS, HE TOLD ME, "I DON'T KNOW", BUT HE GAVE ME A LINK WHERE YOU CAN GET SOME INFORMATION...ADAMSLOVE.ORG... HE TOLD ME, YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO FIND SOME RESOURCES IN THAT LINK.

HE IS WILLING TO TALK TO YOU, I WILL SEND YOU A PM WITH HIS PHONE NUMBER IN BANGKOK. ALSO, I HAVE ANOTHER FRIEND, FROM THIS FORUM, HE IS WILLING TO SHARE HIS WHATSAPP NUMBER WITH YOU...MAYBE, YOU CAN START A SUPPORT GROUP AMONG YOURSELVES...I HOPE THIS HELP YOU FEEL BETTER AND FIND A WAY TO GET TOGETHER AND HAVE SOME COFFEE...CYBER HUGS                          OJO

PS. THANKS FOR THE INFO, MAYBE I SHOULD GO AND CHECK IT OUT MYSELF, ALTHOUGH, I DON'T LIKE THE HEAT OR MOSQUITOS  ;P

Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2017, 10:39:03 pm »
thanks Tonny2!
Very helpful.
Bangkok does not have many mosquitos - don`t worry about that!
The heat..well, it gets getting used to. Plus there is A/C in every mall, room etc.
Im sure if you visit you would love it. :-)

Offline daveR

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2017, 02:30:32 am »
Sorry Terrymoore. There was no LINE group. Just a couple of very helpful people who helped me through my first couple of weeks with sound advice. I contacted them via another non hiv related forum.

Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2017, 07:08:29 am »
@daveR - no issue. All good here. Have a great weekend bro! 8)

Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2017, 01:26:22 pm »
I know a few people have been wondering if Tivicay is available in Thailand. Well, just in straight form the press, it is now being sold at the Red Cross. Info here:
http://www.adamslove.org/en-agallery.php?mid=124
"I am pleased to report that Tivicay is now available at the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre.

Dolutegravir 50
Trade Name: TIVICAY
Price/Tablet: 350.00 THB
Price/Bottle: 10,500 THB (30 tab)

As we have reported before, we anticipate that Triumeq will become available in September.

Adam's Love Team"

Offline Dantheman

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2017, 08:00:36 pm »
 @Gladragsguy I would love to know more about support groups in Thailand for expats, or non-thais.  Would you be able to give info? Thanks!

Offline Mindless

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2017, 12:14:46 pm »
Hi Terry and all,

I'm in for a "support" group: not that I have much to offer to other actually since I'm kind of newbie (not so young though  :-\) but I've been looking for something like that myself. By the way, thanks for all the advices!

Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2017, 11:27:22 pm »
Quote
Hi Terry and all,

I'm in for a "support" group: not that I have much to offer to other actually since I'm kind of newbie (not so young though  :-\) but I've been looking for something like that myself. By the way, thanks for all the advices!

Well we can start here! :) If you have any questions feel free to ask (you can PM too).
Take care!

Offline joemutt

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2017, 09:06:48 am »
I now live in a village 700 km from Bangkok and only visit my doctor and anonymous Clinic there; after 20 years I have no acute need for a support group.
I do not think at this stage, for me, my needs for physical and mental health are all that different from my many poz Thai friends.
Yoga and mindfulness practices helped me a lot.

If I can help anybody you're always welcome to ask me.

I was diagnosed in 1997 and after 11 years on my own I found a support group in 2008 that no longer exists now.

For a long time there was an English speaking group at Anonymous Clinic also defunct now, however I think it would be easy to restart it as all you need is a meeting room- which they have.

Easier might be to self start a group, places enough to convene.

An alternative resource to start up a group might be http://www.hivfoundation.com/
they do outreach for foreigners/migrants. I have very good experience with them. Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/thfthailand/

Take care everybody.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 09:31:47 am by joemutt »

Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2017, 11:50:17 pm »
@joemutt - thanks and it is nice to hear (and encouraging!) that someone is doing so well after being poz for so long. Thanks for the good advice!

Offline Mindless

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2017, 08:57:27 am »

If I can help anybody you're always welcome to ask me.

Hi joemutt,

yes you can! I could use all the support you can give. Unfortunately I live in BKK though. My main issue at the moment is mental.

Thanks for sharing the above information.

Offline shizukav2

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2017, 10:41:29 pm »
Mindless....

Just want to check... but you are on ART drugs already i hope....

The first doctor I saw was still using old guidelines to not start ART medication until cd4 dropped etc etc - NOTE THIS IS UTTERLY OUT OF DATE - both Usa and Thailand guidelines have recommended immediate art drug therapy for some time now... so if you haven't the you need to see another doctot, get a second or third or fourth opinion until you find one who is current. I was fortunate to have a very close friend who is clinical research director ( born in Thailand) who let me know three particularly well regarded Doctors for HIV in Thailand....

I'm emphasing it becuase it is a major step in coming to terms with hiv  to realise with proper early treatment your life expectancy is pretty much unchanged.... and it is very likely you'll be at undetectable viral load levels within a couple of months and so uninfectious.

Offline shizukav2

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2017, 10:45:33 pm »
Here's the three doctors recommended just so any other Thailand based people see this thread...

Here is a list of the very top doctors at the cutting edge of HIV research in Bangkok.
 
1.       Dr Kulkanya Chokephaibulkit, Siriraj Hospital
a.       Contributes to the HIV treatment guideline in Thailand and collaborates with CDC in Atlanta.
b.      Guideline is attached. It is on a technical side but give a good overview of the breath of treatments available.
 
2.       Dr Praphan Phanuphak, Bumrungrad Hospital
a.       Director of HIV-NAT (see below)
b.      Diagnosed first HIV cases in Thailand and has pioneered many initiatives for treatment, infrastructure etc  for patients, caregivers, relatives.
c.       See https://www.bumrungrad.com/doctors/Praphan-Phanuphak
 
3.       Dr Torsak Bunupuradah, Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre (HIV-NAT)
a.       A key research center for many drug companies
b.      See http://en.trcarc.org/

Offline joemutt

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2017, 08:14:58 am »
Hi joemutt,

yes you can! I could use all the support you can give. Unfortunately I live in BKK though. My main issue at the moment is mental.

Thanks for sharing the above information.

Welcome.

-I can recommend (again) http://www.hivfoundation.com/
they do outreach for foreigners/migrants and
can link doctors, services and Anonymous Clinic;
guy in charge of that free service is Al.
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/thfthailand/
02 634 054;

-hotline/counseling and FB for Adam's Love :
Tel: 02 252-2568-9
Mon - Fri 7.30 - 1.00 hr, Sat 8.30 - 16.00 hr.
www.facebook.com/adamslovethailand ;

-with all due respect, two of the doctors in the post above are hiv pediatricians (Kulkanya and Torsak), Kulkanya is at Sririraj which is a hassle, Praphan and Torsak are mainly researchers though Praphan still follows up some of his old patients.

-there is a 3 week wait list for regular doctor appointments for HIV patients on treatment at Anonymous, though for acute STDs one is at hand that can still see you; they will then mostly send you on to Bangkok Christian Clinic.
There is also a "night time clinic" at Anonymous which is more expensive and is less busy.
http://en.trcarc.org/?page_id=632 ;

-I think the best option remains to see a specialist at one of the big hospitals (I see Krirk at BNH) and do your tests/get your medicine (with a doctor's prescription) at Anonymous;

-now for the mental part :
-when I was diagnosed with HIV I was also diagnosed with chronic depression (apparently went all the way back to my childhood) and I took anti-depressants from 1997 to 2011 and then built them down and stopped. I learned to manage my depression through mindfulness. This is not medical advise. I used the book 'The Mindful Way through Depression' by J Mark G Williams, joined a meditation group, did yoga, did a few meditation retreats. maybe it's not for everyone and do consult a doctor before taking any action, it worked for me;

-a good psychologist in the Sukhumvit area is Dr Ben Weinstein at PSI, http://psiadmin.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12&Itemid=2&lang=en, he helped me through dark times;

-how is the support group coming along? ;

Be Well.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 08:37:07 am by joemutt »

Offline Mindless

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2017, 04:28:03 am »
@shizukav2: I started ART about 6 months ago, thanks for asking (I opened a thread in the "I just tested poz" section on case you're curious about details)

@joemutt: thanks for all the advices, very valuable to me. I'm thinking to contact the "shrink" you mentioned to possibly get some counseling about my situation. Thanks again!

Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2017, 11:08:19 pm »
Hi Guys,
For all those who buy meds in Thailand at the Red Cross, there is an update i found on Adam`s Love (http://www.adamslove.org/en-agallery.php?mid=130:)

Quote
Please allow me to provide an update to the answers to your questions:

1. Genvoya should become available in the fourth quarter this year with the anticipated approval of TAF/FTC in the same quarter. However ...

2. Gilead Sciences does not have a plan to launch Descovy in Thailand at this time.

3. Triumeq will become available at the Anonymous Clinic, Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre this October. An announcement will be posted when it becomes available.

4. Since Tivicay was only recently approved, generic brands will not become available in the near future.

5. Generic equivalents of Kivexa will also not be available in the near future.

Adam's Love Team


Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2017, 08:29:27 pm »
Hi Peeps,
I just wanted to post some info for anyone who might be searching about Thailand/Bangkok.
Yesterday i had to do my 6 month blood test and renew my prescription. So, even though my doctor is at Bumrungrad (a well-known private hospital), he recommended that i use the Thai Red Cross Anonymous Clinic for tests and buying meds since it is MUCH cheaper.
I did a VL and CD4 test, full CBC, phosphates, potassium, sugars and lipids. I also bought 6 months worth of semi-generic Complera (Edurant and Ricovir Em). All this cost me around 6,500 THB ( around $200 USD).
The doc appointment at Bumrungrad should cost around 40-50$. So around 500$/Year if all goes well and is stable.
So, in case you are wondering costs, i hope this helps.

Offline daveR

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2017, 10:56:44 pm »
Very good information. I just did my 6 monthly yesterday at the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya. 27,000 Baht including genuine Truvada. A big difference there and well worth me getting a taxi to Bangkok twice a year for the saving.

Dave

Offline joemutt

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2017, 05:34:06 am »
Most if not all doctors will do this.
The doctor in Bangkok Hospital wanted to write a prescription only for meds bought in that hospital, so in 2008 I moved to BNH. Doctor's fee there is 1000 thb and anonymous is very near. Chulalongkorn Hospital's doctor's fee is round 100 in daytime (but long waiting times) and about 500 in their nighttime clinic.

Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2017, 08:22:16 pm »
Very good information. I just did my 6 monthly yesterday at the Bangkok Hospital Pattaya. 27,000 Baht including genuine Truvada. A big difference there and well worth me getting a taxi to Bangkok twice a year for the saving.

Dave

Hi Dave, The price for generic Truvada (what i take) is much cheaper. I have copied teh price of original and generic from the Thai Red Cross Anonymous Clinic`s website (http://en.trcarc.org/?page_id=632  - you can see doc/test fees here)

Med fees here: http://adamslove.org/en-d.php?id=73


Tenofovir 300 mg + Emtricitabine 200 (LFASiA) Original
Trade Name: TRUVADA
Price/Tablet: 70 THB
Price/Bottle: 2,100 THB (30 tab)

Tenofovir 300 mg + Emtricitabine 200 (MYLAN) Generic
Trade Name: RICOVIR-EM
Price/Tablet: 26 THB
Price/Bottle: 780 THB (30 tab)

Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2017, 08:25:15 pm »
By the way TRIUMEQ is now available in Bangkok at the Thai Red Cross Clinic. Pricey but available.

Abacavir 600 + Lamivudine 300 + Dolutegravir 50 NEW!
Trade Name: TRIUMEQ
Price/Tablet: 409 THB
Price/Bottle: 12,270 THB (30 tab)

Offline daveR

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2017, 07:02:36 pm »
Hi Dave, The price for generic Truvada (what i take) is much cheaper. I have copied teh price of original and generic from the Thai Red Cross Anonymous Clinic`s website (http://en.trcarc.org/?page_id=632  - you can see doc/test fees here)

Med fees here: http://adamslove.org/en-d.php?id=73


Tenofovir 300 mg + Emtricitabine 200 (LFASiA) Original
Trade Name: TRUVADA
Price/Tablet: 70 THB
Price/Bottle: 2,100 THB (30 tab)

Tenofovir 300 mg + Emtricitabine 200 (MYLAN) Generic
Trade Name: RICOVIR-EM
Price/Tablet: 26 THB
Price/Bottle: 780 THB (30 tab)
Hi Terrry,

Thanks for the links. I would love to upgrade my meds but the costs there are a bit much for me. On dissadvantage for living here in Thailand as you know, we have to pay ourselves. I will have to just wait until they drop the prices a bit more.

Dave

Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2017, 09:38:19 pm »
Sawasdee Krup my fellow farrangs!
Well, i had my 6 month checkup the other day at the red cross and all seems really well - in fact, i was totally surprised with some of my results. Allow me to share my results but also some new procedures at the red cross so that you do not get surprised (like i was!).
Background: So, i have always been pretty fit and have been doing sports all my life. When i hit my 40`s the docs told me my cholesterol was on the "high" side of normal and it was something to keep an eye on. It sort of pissed me off since i was training hard 5-6 times a week, and so my solution to the problem was i stopped going to the doctor - problem solved!
Fast forward to April 2015, a constant feeling of malaise, ow fever, sore throat aches etc brought me to the doc and a little after that my Dx of HIV. Started meds and with that regular doc visits. We discovered quickly that my cholesterol was pretty high, triglycerides were high etc etc. They started me on statins but i wasn`t too keen. A doctor switch later i was off the statins and tried to fight this naturally - sports, better diet more fiber etc. It had a good affect and i reduced to a "just a bit high" level - no need for statins. I started taking fish oil pills too and they seemed to help.
My last checkup 6 months ago i was around 215 total cholesterol and decided to double up on my fish oil. Anyway, since my last checkup, i have been swamped at work, have done almost no exercise, gained weight, been drinking, eating crap etc etc. I was sure the results would b crap, and i was preparing for the doc giving me an ear-full and getting me back on statins. However, to my huge surprise, my blood tests came back with significant improvements everywhere!!
My cholesterol is 201 (normal is <200) - before was 214! Triglycerides - normal, everything normal. CD4 is over 1200 @ 40+%  and of course VL is UD. All numbers were either good or in a few cases slightly high. I was surprised and was not sure how. The i remembered - i doubled up on my fish oil pills. I am not one that is easily convinced about alt medicine etc, but this is the only logical answer i can find (unless the gave me someone else`s results!). So, my advice, after checking with your doc - take fish oil pills! I am not saying to stop statins - that is between you and your doctor - just saying that you may want to add a little fish oil into the mix.
SOme new things at the Thai Red Cross Anonymous Clinic:
They have made some renovations and have upgraded their computer system. You used to pay at the booth downstairs as soon as the called your number. Now thy send you upstairs and you wait to pay there where they built a new waiting room. Also, there are more blood taking counters so things go faster and smoother. I always had my results mailed to me and this time it came in a different format. The results came with an explanation about Hep and the different scores etc - it sort of freaked me out  because it made me think that i may have Hep - after all, why was this info sent to me as part of the lab results. Turns out it is just a template they send to everyone. Another funny thing happened. A week after getting my results mailed to me, i received them AGAIN - hmmm....why?Seems the new system had a glitch and just resent all results (!!). Is this the only glitch? Did they send others my results too? hahahaha the mind plays funny games. Luckily this is an ANONYMOUS clinic and no info there that can lead to me. I am pretty sure that the glitch is contained to a "resend" of emails. So, the moral of the story, take fish pills and don`t worry if you get your results with extra info on Hep and sent to you more than once!
Chok Dee krup!

Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2018, 12:43:58 pm »
Hi again,
so i had my tests again. Still UD, still very high CD4 (1,122 @46%) so the meds work!
However, my lipids are crappy! I know why too -  after my last results, i slacked off and basically ate everything i should not eat - and lots! - drank tons of booze, and, started missing my fish oil pills. I also stopped bran and started eating eggs every day.
Finally, no exercise. SO of course! what was i thinking? hahaha
I iwll see what the doc says. Regardless - time for some self-discipline. All-bran every morning, my gross fish oil pills, exercise daily, much less steak, much less bacon, more beans, less booze. I may have no choice but to start the statins again....i really wanted to try and avoid this. Let`s see
My results this time are:
LDL 184 (high)
HDL 41 (highest ever - normal
Total cholesterol  238 (high)
Triglyceride 116 (normal)
Uric Acid 7.7 (high)

Offline Mindless

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2018, 10:48:28 am »
Hi Terry,

Iíve been present on the forum very occasionally lately, sorry for my late reply. I can relate a lot to your history also on the cholesterol side: after I started ART the lipids, which were already worrying the docs before, worsened even more. I discussed with our common friend at Bumrungrad and I came to the conclusion that diet and exercise only wouldnít be enough (I donít remember the figures right now but they were huge). I had to accept starting statins. Level went down after 3 months but still close to the higher threshold.

Also trying to keep my diet reasonably healthy (thatís quite challenging in Thailand) and struggling with a minimum exercise routine: I admit Iím quite bad at that but I still didnít give up at least.

Be well

Offline Gladragsguy

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2018, 11:56:48 am »
If anyone is in Bangkok we have an English speaking support group that meets every other week. We talk about a thing related to treatment, living with HIV, dating, and just a place to relax. A positive place for positive people. Message to-
sonowwhat.asia@gmail.com

Offline Acesra

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2018, 05:16:06 am »
Dear all,

I am newly diagnosed, and am still coping with the news. More than a month, I am still in shock. I am on medication already. Side effects are manageable, but emotional status remains depressing.

I am based in the south but come up to Bangkok regularly. It would be good to join any English support group. Do guide me how to find the group.

A

Offline terrymoore

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  • Posts: 436
Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2018, 09:37:05 pm »
Dear all,

I am newly diagnosed, and am still coping with the news. More than a month, I am still in shock. I am on medication already. Side effects are manageable, but emotional status remains depressing.

I am based in the south but come up to Bangkok regularly. It would be good to join any English support group. Do guide me how to find the group.

A

Hi, Sorry for late reply. If you see the post before yours, you can see a contact detail of a group that meets every two weeks. You can contact sonowwhat.asia@gmail.com  - good luck and keep your spirits up! Soon you will hardly think about this thing we have.  8)

Offline Gladragsguy

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  • Posts: 41
Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2018, 11:39:06 pm »
The ENGLISH HIV+ SUPPORT GROUP in Bangkok is still happening regularly. We have met several new members this month and hope to see them again very soon! If you would like to join us please message to sonowwhat.asia@gmail.com or check soon on www.sonowwhat.asia Hope to see everyone soon.

Offline terrymoore

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  • Posts: 436
Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2018, 10:53:52 am »
Hi again,
so i had my tests again. Still UD, still very high CD4 (1,122 @46%) so the meds work!
However, my lipids are crappy! I know why too -  after my last results, i slacked off and basically ate everything i should not eat - and lots! - drank tons of booze, and, started missing my fish oil pills. I also stopped bran and started eating eggs every day.
Finally, no exercise. SO of course! what was i thinking? hahaha
I iwll see what the doc says. Regardless - time for some self-discipline. All-bran every morning, my gross fish oil pills, exercise daily, much less steak, much less bacon, more beans, less booze. I may have no choice but to start the statins again....i really wanted to try and avoid this. Let`s see
My results this time are:
LDL 184 (high)
HDL 41 (highest ever - normal
Total cholesterol  238 (high)
Triglyceride 116 (normal)
Uric Acid 7.7 (high)

Hello world! I haven`t been very active lately but i wanted to give an update. So i went for my semi-annual test again - results pretty similar to last time:
Still UD (yay!), CD4 dropped to 963 (@44%) but still ok.
LDL 181 (high)
HDL 40
Total cholesterol  243(high)
and this time my glucose was high 118.
The doc is suggesting Crestor 10m - i guess i better start. Tried the "natural way" - diet, exercise etc, but seems this is a pattern. So ill start the Crestor soon and see how it goes. That`s it for now. And for anyone who still have doubts - MEDS WORK!! TAke care!

Offline Mindless

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  • Posts: 96
Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2018, 09:20:03 am »
Hello world! I haven`t been very active lately but i wanted to give an update. So i went for my semi-annual test again - results pretty similar to last time:
Still UD (yay!), CD4 dropped to 963 (@44%) but still ok.
LDL 181 (high)
HDL 40
Total cholesterol  243(high)
and this time my glucose was high 118.
The doc is suggesting Crestor 10m - i guess i better start. Tried the "natural way" - diet, exercise etc, but seems this is a pattern. So ill start the Crestor soon and see how it goes. That`s it for now. And for anyone who still have doubts - MEDS WORK!! TAke care!

Dear Terry,

I guess Doc likes that statin ;-): being taking it for almost a year now, cholesterol dropped dramatically from stratospheric level to upper normal range.

Congrats on the results!

Offline Mindless

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2018, 01:05:42 am »
Hi farangs (and not farangs) mates,

I recently had my first "surgery" since my dx 1.5 years ago: luckily that was just a simple dental root channel treatment and the dentist prescribed antibiotics after it.

Anyways, the treatment is not finished as it involves several sessions and it's not actually the reason I'm writing this. The real reason is that this event pushed me to think about possible greater issues.

I live and work in Thailand since several years and my health insurance is covered by my employer. As you may know insurance companies in Thailand do not cover HIV and HIV related health issues.
Besides, the stigma in this country is still extremely present, despite Thai being in general a very kind and decent people to deal with.

For these reasons, just a few weeks after my dx I decided not to disclose my status to anybody but my HIV doctor: I went to doctors and paid all visits and treatments out of my pocket, not only of course for HIV but also for any health issue that I thought may have been HIV related.

For the same reasons, I never disclosed my status to my dentist (btw, I know this is deeply questionable) who had been treating me since I moved to Thailand under the health insurance coverage: I thought that if I had disclosed she may refuse to treat me and/or inform the insurance company, which in turn may have informed my employer etc etc.

I know this may sound paranoid but I think people living in Thailand with similar conditions can relate.

Why am I writing all this? Because the dentist procedure made me wonder what could happen if I needed a "serious" surgery (with total anesthesia etc): I guess at that point I'd have to disclose my status for evident safety reasons. What would happen at that point? I guess the insurance may refuse to pay the procedure depending on the HIV relation. They may even refuse to renew my annual policy and inform my employer about the reason? At that point I would have to rely financially only on myself for any kind of medical procedure?

Any of you dealing with similar dilemmas?

M

PS: forgot to mention I've been on ART since a week after my dx and UD since a few months on ART till now

Offline wardp

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2018, 08:38:03 pm »
i had colonoscopy and gastro in bkk last month. no stigma no one batted an eyelid when i disclosed my hiv. the dr thanked me for telling her.
Diagnosed 20,July 2017. Cd4 289, 21% vld .3,462 Started atripla 4 Aug 2017 5oct 2017 cd4 384 21%, vl ud less than 20. Switch to complera 4 Nov 2017 switched to stribild 15 the Nov. Switched to truvada efavirence 200mgx2 14 Dec 2017, 2 Feb 2018, us cd4  466, 25%  CD 8 ,595, 32%..1 may 2018
switched  to instgra truvada.7th june switched to truvada  nevirapine stavudine. .21 june switched to truvada nevirapine. X 2 a day...9 aug 2018 ud. 2n Nov 2018 CD 4. 455..22.70% 13th Nov switched ricovir em to lamivir and viramune due to kidney issues.

Offline Loa111

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2018, 04:46:29 am »


For the same reasons, I never disclosed my status to my dentist (btw, I know this is deeply questionable) who had been treating me.


I lived over there for years but back in the West a few years now where I got my unexpected Dx this year.
Anyway Iím heading back to visit Thailand next year. Iíll stay in same local area I used to live in. Want to go to dentist I used for years for a few routine fillings. Do not want to disclose as Iíve got a wife n kids n we know lots of people around there from our years living there. Bit nervous of this new situation re dentist.

Offline Mindless

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  • Posts: 96
Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #43 on: November 26, 2018, 08:41:42 am »
I lived over there for years but back in the West a few years now where I got my unexpected Dx this year.
Anyway Iím heading back to visit Thailand next year. Iíll stay in same local area I used to live in. Want to go to dentist I used for years for a few routine fillings. Do not want to disclose as Iíve got a wife n kids n we know lots of people around there from our years living there. Bit nervous of this new situation re dentist.

Hi Loa,

if you don't live in Thailand anymore I personally think you could simply disclose your status: my decision is linked to my health insurance and that being paid by my employer. Besides, your dentist is not supposed to disclose your personal health information to the anybody (except for professional reasons of course).

Anyways, I understand your fears, here the stigma is still something real: not by most of the doctors (although I could tell you a couple of interesting stories about this) but by the ordinary people.

I personally already did several standard filling procedures without disclosing my status (serious dentists are supposed to take precautions anyhow and for a wide range of possible infections besides HIV). I'd prefer to disclose if I could, especially to get more accurate diagnosis: when I need to do it (eg a colonoscopy e few months ago) I go to the hospital not using my real ID and I pay out of my pocket.

M

Offline Mindless

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  • Posts: 96
Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2018, 08:52:41 am »
i had colonoscopy and gastro in bkk last month. no stigma no one batted an eyelid when i disclosed my hiv. the dr thanked me for telling her.

The same I did last recently (colonoscopy) and I do whenever I feel the medical need to do so (using an alias).

That doesn't mean that ordinary people don't stigmatize HIV+ people. Not only, in the last few months I had a dermatologist approaching me with a sort of protective diving suit (of course I never went back) and another suggesting me total sexual abstinence for the rest of my life (I'm 49). And both work for some of the most prestigious Bangkok hospitals.

On the other hand, I found some of the most compassionate Dr among them and it's them I rely on for my health care
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 08:57:03 am by Mindless »

Offline Loa111

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #45 on: November 26, 2018, 09:24:52 am »
As we all know, there's a trait amongst people of being very gossipy, especially in Thailand when it comes to the "farang".

Whilst the dentist might be ethically bound to confidentiality (and that could be 50/50 as we all know ethics /rules/law and what actually happens in Thailand can be two very different things), it's the dental assistants or receptionists I would not trust with confidentiality.

Indeed, back years ago when I was negative, I did have a few weird experiences with doctors & dentists over there. From one headcase of a doctor telling me I had cancer by just looking at me, to one going mad & getting verbally aggressive when I asked him in conversation what antibiotics he was injecting me with, through to a dentist trying to, 2nd hand car salesman style trying to pressure sell me into buying a "hollywood smile" over n over again whilst my mouth was camped open for a root canal!  Or Bangkok Pattaya Hospital trying to charge me over 7000 B for putting a bit of ointment on my infant sons lip...local doc did it for 200 B n took 5 seconds!

Indeed, I had a few hiv quick tests over there at different time several years ago, all neg. Looking back I wonder did the doctor even know how to read them or if the test kits were dodgy! Since I end up with an advanced Dx, I could have been positive all along then! But that's another topic for another day! :)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 09:29:05 am by Loa111 »

Offline terrymoore

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Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #46 on: November 26, 2018, 11:07:07 pm »
Hi Mindless,
Indeed it is a legit dilemma, and, we have discussed in pm a few times already. I tend to agree that we cannot rely on the confidentiality oath that docs take here. Gossip comes with the kind nature and   Thailand - it is a trait here. Also, the repercussions are different here - i have never heard of a malpractice lawsuit EVER, even though i know many who have suffered malpractice. This is the place we live in - like it or not,  take it or leave it. I like it and  prefer to take it! :)
So...i adapt to the place i live - similar to Mindless with a few exceptions.
So, let`s go over this case by case:
Quote
what could happen if I needed a "serious" surgery (with total anesthesia etc)
- This is easy. I would first consult with my (our!) Doc and ask him if necessary to disclose emphasizing my concerns (insurance, work etc). Then, i wold ask him to recommend a friend to do the treatment and ask him to ask the friend NOT to mark my condition on any of the paperwork so that i could use my insurance for the treatment. As long as the doc performing the surgery is aware,  i figure we did our moral duty, and more important, he will be aware of any interactions that may endanger us. Being UD means that they actually have no real risk of transmission. Also, imagine if we did not know our status? There are plenty like that getting treatment, and so, the surgeons take many precautions.
Case 2:
Emergency procedure needed (heart failure, stroke, car accident (which is most probable here!!) piano falling on your head etc etc). In that case, i am a bit on the fence. On one hand, i tend to think that we must act as if we do not know our status. Simple. They treat us and if we survive the emergency treatment, well, life goes on. Insurance pays and we continue. If they discover we are +, we play dumb. Insurance covers procedure, and we deal with implications from that point on. My only hesitation is that there may be an interaction with other meds they give us and so they need to know. I am not sure...Hopefully i won`t need to deal with that one.
Regarding dentists - no way. I am UD. No need to tell them. And i agree with you. the problem i usually the staff - secretaries, nurses etc. It would never stay secret. Stay healthy!

Offline Loa111

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  • Posts: 96
Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #47 on: November 27, 2018, 07:08:50 am »
Regarding dentists - no way. I am UD. No need to tell them. And i agree with you. the problem i usually the staff - secretaries, nurses etc. It would never stay secret. Stay healthy!

Yes, that's how I feel too for routine fillings or similar. LOL I can imagine if the dental staff knew & can visual with dread the following happening...one evening you might be walking around the local night market & you'd hear one of them roaring in Thai to their friends & everyone else in earshot  "look at farang, he comes my clinic, he big sick, big hiv, this no good, he no good."  ;)

Offline terrymoore

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  • Posts: 436
Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #48 on: November 28, 2018, 09:18:16 am »
Imagine?? I had it happen in LIVE at the hospital i was first diagnosed. I would come for checkups, and the nurses would whisper to eachother and look at me with sad eyes...
One day i told them "girls, im ok. Really! Are YOU ok? I take my meds, im UD, i have my kids, my job, my life and all is good! What about you??" The thing is, my doc also presented everything gloomy. So, i switched docs and - guess what? All is good! :-)

Offline Mindless

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  • Posts: 96
Re: Being POZ in a foreign (Thai) land - support for "farrangs"?
« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2018, 09:49:14 am »
Hi Mindless,
Indeed it is a legit dilemma, and, we have discussed in pm a few times already. I tend to agree that we cannot rely on the confidentiality oath that docs take here. Gossip comes with the kind nature and   Thailand - it is a trait here. Also, the repercussions are different here - i have never heard of a malpractice lawsuit EVER, even though i know many who have suffered malpractice. This is the place we live in - like it or not,  take it or leave it. I like it and  prefer to take it! :)
So...i adapt to the place i live - similar to Mindless with a few exceptions.
So, let`s go over this case by case: - This is easy. I would first consult with my (our!) Doc and ask him if necessary to disclose emphasizing my concerns (insurance, work etc). Then, i wold ask him to recommend a friend to do the treatment and ask him to ask the friend NOT to mark my condition on any of the paperwork so that i could use my insurance for the treatment. As long as the doc performing the surgery is aware,  i figure we did our moral duty, and more important, he will be aware of any interactions that may endanger us. Being UD means that they actually have no real risk of transmission. Also, imagine if we did not know our status? There are plenty like that getting treatment, and so, the surgeons take many precautions.
Case 2:
Emergency procedure needed (heart failure, stroke, car accident (which is most probable here!!) piano falling on your head etc etc). In that case, i am a bit on the fence. On one hand, i tend to think that we must act as if we do not know our status. Simple. They treat us and if we survive the emergency treatment, well, life goes on. Insurance pays and we continue. If they discover we are +, we play dumb. Insurance covers procedure, and we deal with implications from that point on. My only hesitation is that there may be an interaction with other meds they give us and so they need to know. I am not sure...Hopefully i won`t need to deal with that one.
Regarding dentists - no way. I am UD. No need to tell them. And i agree with you. the problem i usually the staff - secretaries, nurses etc. It would never stay secret. Stay healthy!

Doc is really good Terry, thanks again for your help and sharing!

Yes, we had this discussion indeed ďprivatelyĒ but Iím still striving with this part of the ďliving with bug side effectsĒ and I thought sharing with other farangs may possibly add up.

Thanks also for refreshing your ďlife hacksĒ about this, always bright.

 


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