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Author Topic: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared  (Read 10292 times)

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Offline Archimexican

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Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« on: January 21, 2018, 08:41:27 am »
Hello everyone

I知 a 35 year old living in Mexico and I tested positive last December 2017. I knew something was wrong but I was really expecting negative results, I was in denial, I only had unprotected sex a couple times in my life and always a top, I thought I was safe (stupid, classic story). After getting my results I acted fast and found the HIV clinic in my city, I was surprised by the high quality service; HIV treatment is free in Mexico. After confirming the diagnosis I had a couple of meetings with the doctors and psychologists in the clinic, somehow they made me feel safe and tried to convince me that living with hiv nowadays is not a death sentence. They gave me Bactrim and Itraconazol for two weeks and started taking Atripla a week ago. At first I was scared about side effects and how my life would change having to take 1 pill everyday, Would I have a normal life? Can I work? Can I go to parties? Can I travel? Can I drink? Doctors intervened again and took me out of my anxiety attacks, I stopped smoking, drinking and started to exercise. The first 3 days on Atripla were fine, just feeling dizzy, a mild rash that had first appeared with antibiotics got a little severe, not itchy nor painful, the doctor says that is normal because the immune system is working and that it will disappear in days or a week. After a month of anxiety and craziness I was finally feeling calmer and happier and then my lab results came back, I have a super low CD4 count of 70 and VL 53000, I saw how the look on my doctor痴 face completely changed, We were not expecting it, I haven稚 been sick and have only mild symptoms. Now I知 back to the initial feelings of anxiety and fear, not worrying about my lifestyle anymore but about my life! Should I call my family? Should I prepare things in case I get sick? Nothing really changed since We saw those results 3 days ago, I値l continue taking my meds and will have my blood tested again in February 6.

Thank you all for sharing your experiences, It is helping me to process all this information and emotions.

Offline kentfrat1783

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2018, 08:54:38 am »
Hi,

Welcome to the group (how ever odd that sounds).

From someone that started with a CD4 of 2 and a VL of 169,969 back in May of 2017 I know where you are coming from.  I was Dx'd late and being very sick.  It was scary.  But as you said you weren't sick so I'm sure you will be fine. 

Now onto my thoughts:

It is great that you were able to meet with a Dr quickly and even better able to talk with someone.  I am sure once you are on the Atripla for a few months your VL will be undetectable.  Mine dropped to nearly UD in 3 months.  The CD4 count goes up slower but it will happen. 

Just take your Rx's everyday.  I set a reminder on my phone to remind me. My Dr still has me on Bacterium (to this day) as my CD4 is less than 200.  You may want to talk to your doctor about that as if I read correctly you were only on that for a few weeks.  I'm on it to keep OI's away. 

I've only had a few minor side effects from Atripla but taking a few pills a day isn't that big of an issue for me.  It will become a normal routine for you.  In addition, very few of my friends/family know about my Dx but I have taken my pills in front of them that don't know.  Today's society is pill driven so no one bats an eye at pills. 

Just wishing you the best and we are here if you want to talk.

Kenneth
09/17/2019 - CD4 218 (16%) VL (?)
06/18/2019 - CD4 173 (16%) VL <20
03/13/2019 - CD4 170 (16%) VL <20
January 2019 - Started Triumeq
12/05/2108 - CD4 174 (18%) VL <20
08/28/2018 - CD4 166 (15%) VL <20
05/08/2018 - CD4 106 (11%) VL <20
03/05/2018 - CD4   90 (10%) VL <20
12/11/2017 - CD4   60 (  8%) VL ?
09/07/2017 - CD4   42 (  6%) VL  54        (1.70)
May 2017 - Started Atripla
05/11/2017 - CD4     2 (  1%) VL 169,969 (5.23)
OI's: PCP
Dx`d May 11, 2017
Location: USA

Offline vrsan

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2018, 09:13:09 am »
Hi,

Are those numbers your initial results? I'm asking because you said the doctor was surprised, but they started you on bactrim right away which they usually do only when diagnosed with cd4<200. Unless it was preemptive... anyhow, i started with a similar number (cd4 77), but also with a viral load of 1.5 million. I can only tell you one thing: i know it seems scary at the moment, but by no means you should "prepare to get sick". If anything, if you keep adherent to your meds, prepare to get much much better. I'm not saying the first few months were smooth sailing, but my last blood draw was 16 months after dx, and my cd4 is over 350 and am UD. In the unlikely case of existing resistance they'll just switch you to different meds.

They seem to be on top of it, so the odds are heavily stacked in your favor :)

ps: yay for exercising!

Offline CaveyUK

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2018, 09:16:51 am »
Welcome.

The important thing is that you tested, and have started treatment. There is no nothing else you can do other than look after yourself and look forward to a long life.

A low CD4 count sucks, but it will only be temporary. The real problem is folk who have low CD4 counts but do not know they are positive and therefore are not starting treatment.

You've done everything right here, and put the CD4 count to the back of your mind and just start living again

Any questions, ask here - there are many knowledgable folk here who started at lower counts than you have :)
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Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2018, 10:30:54 am »
Thank you guys, your words really mean a lot to me.

Yes, those were my initial count numbers. According to my doctor, the Mexican health system recommends antibiotics 2 weeks prior and 2 weeks after anyone initiates hiv treatment. Since my count was low I guess I値l be on Bactrim for a while. I was also tested for other std痴, all negative, and I also got lungs and head xrays, apparently all clear.  Now they asked for a Torch screen, which I知 terrified to do, just because I don稚 want to see labs results anymore. Mornings have been especially rough, I feel a punch in the gut as soon as I remind all this when I wake up. I know I should not obsess with cd4 numbers but they are in my mind all day. The Dr. told me that thank god I知 not sick and that I should continue my normal life just being a little more careful with some things to avoid infections but I知 having a hard time processing it all. The feeling gets better as the day goes by and I try to convince myself that everything is a little better now that I知 on medication, it is just a matter of time.

Online Jim Allen

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2018, 10:39:31 am »
Hi

Look people have started treatment with far lower CD4 cells and moved on to have normal lives. No point focusing on the CD4 counts either as nothing you will do will change them and it is not a measurement of your health.

What you can and need to do is continue taking your HIV meds, once the virus is suppressed and remains suppressed your body can start to heal and focus on better things than the loosing fight with HIV its been working on so far and with time your CD4's will then increase.

Quote
Would I have a normal life? Can I work? Can I go to parties? Can I travel? Can I drink?

Yeah.

Expect to have to work, pay bills, pay the rent, fall in love, get married if you are into that or don't, have a career and designer shoes if it pays well, have kids if that's the plan, eat well and be fat if that makes you happy or go to the gym 3 days a week and be buff etc etc etc

Simply put life with HIV in the scheme of things changes nothing and life goes on as normal, and with treatment Life expectancy has reached near normal and so you should expect to live a long and productive, boring life as you normally would expect

Look have a read of the welcome thread and the lessons on poz.com for newly diagnosed, its up-to-date and digestible information that should provide some comfort and insights https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=2276.0

Take it easy
 
Jim
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 10:44:04 am by JimDublin »
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Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2018, 10:56:01 am »
Thank you so much Jim! reading through this forum is really helping me a lot.

Hugs to everyone.

Offline CaveyUK

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2018, 02:28:39 pm »
Thank you guys, your words really mean a lot to me.

Yes, those were my initial count numbers. According to my doctor, the Mexican health system recommends antibiotics 2 weeks prior and 2 weeks after anyone initiates hiv treatment. Since my count was low I guess I値l be on Bactrim for a while. I was also tested for other std痴, all negative, and I also got lungs and head xrays, apparently all clear.  Now they asked for a Torch screen, which I知 terrified to do, just because I don稚 want to see labs results anymore. Mornings have been especially rough, I feel a punch in the gut as soon as I remind all this when I wake up. I know I should not obsess with cd4 numbers but they are in my mind all day. The Dr. told me that thank god I知 not sick and that I should continue my normal life just being a little more careful with some things to avoid infections but I知 having a hard time processing it all. The feeling gets better as the day goes by and I try to convince myself that everything is a little better now that I知 on medication, it is just a matter of time.

Labs and clinic visits in the first year can feel a bit overwhelming at times. I actually began to look forward to them, oddly enough because they are such a big part of starting meds and having follow ups etc. so you do become conditioned to them after a while.

That said - As time progresses, as your CD4 count rises and you are shown to be stable on treatment, the frequency of these visits will decrease.

I'm now on six monthly visits, which is the same as my dentist schedule. All of a sudden, clinic visits and labs are no longer something I think about on a day-to-day basis.

You'll get there too, so don't worry.
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Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2018, 03:21:42 pm »
Thank you Cavey,

It's not the clinic visits, it's getting bad news from the lab what I feel is overwhelming. Actually I wouldn't have a problem with my doctors checking on me every day haha, but I guess that's because I still feel very insecure and anxious about this whole thing.

Thanks!

Offline CaveyUK

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2018, 03:50:54 pm »
Totally understand that.

The way to look at it is that the 'bad news' is good in the sense that you can do something about it.

But I can see how you would like a break from any 'news' other than good news for a while ;)
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Offline Almost2late

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2018, 04:28:21 pm »
Hi Archimexican..
I started out with 13 cd4's and now I'm about 200, give or take a few. I worried a lot when I was first diagnosed and did me no good bc the only thing that I could do to help myself was take the pill consistently.

Eventually the apprehension subsides and you move on with your life like anyone else.
Wishing you the best but I'm pretty sure your numbers will rebound sooner than you think. Good luck to you.
"Hang on to your hopes my friend..
thats an easy thing to say,
but if your hope should pass away,
simply pretend that you could build them again"...

Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2018, 05:23:38 pm »
Thank you Almost2late, I guess (and hope) that this apprehension feeling has a limit. Now I'm taking my pills consistently and hoping for the best.

Thanks!

Offline Tonny2

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2018, 09:22:01 pm »


       ojo       hola archimexican. i'm mexican too...i read your first post, 70 soldiers, it could it be worse, mine were only 20, ans i live with AIDS for five yearsm with no soldiers at all, and i'm still here wtitting to you...i know that it's easier to say to relax, you will be ok, just give the med to kick hiv ass, you will see that in your next visit to the vampire, you will get good results. ARVs are meds to suppress the virus, so you will have to wait for your soldiers to recover little by little, va?/

Try to keep doing what you used to fo before your dx, your doctor is correct, this is not a death sentence, unless you don]t take your med as prescribed, try to have a good attitude, you don't have to tell anyone about your dx, at least for now, just digest your diagnosis first, wait untill you have better numbers, thenm you can decide when and to whom to tell, if you want to do it, ok?

I]m sure that your doctor wouldn't want you to sleep in his office, but you can count on us for support and you can ppost anytime and whatever you want...trust me, if i could survive this virus, you will also survive it, the only thing you have to do is, disciolina by taking your med as prescribed, (i hate you guysm taking just one poll a day, i take four twice a day, lol), and also, you need a good attitude, a winner attitude, because if you decide to p;ay the victim card, you will feel miserable man, because we can't turn back time, the only thing we can do is to look forward, because fortunally, now, we can make plan for the future, when i was diagnosed, the only thing we could plan it was our funerals...i invite you to keep doing what you have been doing before your dx, do not isolare yourself and, when you takw your med, think that it's a vitamine that will make you feel better...ah, take your PILL, at bed time, on an empty stomach to lessen the side effects...when you wake up, insted of feeling that punch in your gut, be grateful that you are seeing your family, friends, the sun again,,,just a thought///feel free to PM if you would like to talk   in spanish, which is my first language, and i invite you to participate on the forum "vovor con el vih", where we have lots of members from Mexico, and you might be able to find a compatriote from your citu to support each other live...wishing you the best, please keep us posted y abrazos hasta dinde estas                                                     ojo

Offline harleymc

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 02:21:54 am »
Being scared is not going to help you, so I'd get right into tackling fear.  Your fears are not reality they are an imagined 'what if' future.
You can try exercise, mindfulness, cognitive behaviour therapy.

A cd4 count of 70 is only relatively low, but we have folks on this forum who have had lowest counts of 0, 2, and in my case 10 cd4s.  Apart from some Kaposis Sarcoma when I was off medications I've never had any issues with my health since being on treatment.  You'll be fine

Offline Orez

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2018, 10:12:12 pm »
I was diagnosed two years ago and I was very apprehension the first few months. I was apprehension because I just found out I had something that I feared and did not understand.  As time when on and I take my pills everyday researched on line and watched my lab results I overcame the apprehension.  I am 48 work a full time job, stay active outside of work and still a positive part of people around me.  To this day outside of doctors and some at a group I go to sometimes, no one knows my status.  To tell or not tell is ones own choice and depends on the person and the society they live in.  I choose not to tell because I want people to see me for me and not see what I have.  Outside of a pill a day life for the most part is not much different than before my diagnosis.  You will be fine  :D
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 10:14:29 pm by Orez »
2016 Feb 15 - CD4=700; VL=8329600; CD%=38.9
2016 May 04 - CD4=?;    VL=90;     CD%=?     Stribild
2016 Aug 27 - CD4=810; VL=80;    CD%=35.2 Stribild
2016 Dec 17 - CD4=772; VL=<20;  CD%=38.6 Genvoya
2017 Apr 15 - CD4=905;  VL=40;    CD%=43.1 Genvoya
2018 Jan 04 - CD4=1458; VL=<20; CD%=48.6 Genvoya
2018 July 07- CD4=1264; VL=<20; CD%=48.6 Genvoya

Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2018, 11:48:20 am »
Thank you for everything guys! I'm still feeling nervous and anxious but I'm doing much better than a few days ago, it is just scary...

Hugs to everyone!

Online Jim Allen

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2018, 03:03:36 pm »
Glad to hear its better, look it takes time to digest a diagnosis.

BTW ... Look stop reading threads from over a decade ago  ;)
Up to you but outdated threads will give you heartburn and stress for no real reason. Nobody can predict the future but its looking better all the time and with the modern treatment we have today.  I am sure things will be even better in another decade again and when they look back at this decade in a decade to come the predictions from that will look even better than they did based on predictions from the last decade.

https://www.poz.com/article/life-expectancy-24972-2090 (With treatment)
Life Expectancy for Young People With HIV Is Nearly Normal

Another study showing early treatment, and outcome improvements. Interesting is they did take the different era post ART into account. (1996 - 2000's & 2010's) and than the overall estimated life expectancy improvements between the times.
The expected age at death of a 20-year-old patient starting ART during 200810, who had a CD4 count of more than 350 cells per μL 1 year after starting ART, was 78 years
Full published work:
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanhiv/article/PIIS2352-3018(17)30066-8/fulltext?elsca1=tlpr

https://www.poz.com/article/modern-progress-hiv-treatment-care-likely-adds-decade-life
the average age of death for a 20-year-old starting ARVs with a CD4 count greater than 350 during 2008 to 2010 was 78 years. This latter estimate is excellent news considering the recent push to get people with HIV on treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis, preferably with a CD4 count higher than 500.
The researchers believe that the continued improvement in survival during the first three years after individuals start ARVs has likely been driven by lower toxicities in modern treatments, improved adherence to treatment regimens, efforts to prevent other health conditions among people with HIV and better management of other health conditions that do arise.

Life expectancy in older people with HIV could EXCEED the average as long as ART keeps working
http://www.aidsmap.com/Life-expectancy-in-older-people-with-HIV-could-exceed-the-average-as-long-as-ART-keeps-working/page/2551483/#item2551485

START study shows that people starting HIV treatment earlier have better quality of life
http://www.aidsmap.com/START-study-shows-that-people-starting-HIV-treatment-earlier-have-better-quality-of-life/page/3041727/

http://www.aidsmap.com/Life-expectancy-in-HIV-positive-people-in-the-US-still-lags-13-years-behind-HIV-negative-people/page/3040314/
Now the headline is 13 years however the devil is in the detail as this 1 study is not taking other life factors into account and when they do take this into account could only find found a 5 year difference, not 13 as the the headline and intro says, now they also did not factor in all the risks and reasons, they looked at 1996-97 and 2011.  I don't live in the past things change, i can reduce my risks and who is to say i could be hit by a bus in the morning or perhaps not.  So overall its very interesting but something to read and than move on. 
 
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 03:07:44 pm by JimDublin »
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Offline mecch

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2018, 06:33:18 pm »
Welcome to the forum.

Take your combo. Your body will be fine.  Give it time.  Don't know how long it will take for your mind to adjust.  Months, maybe a year or more, then the fears about longevity and sickness will fade, probably when your immune system is in shape again.

Its easy to think the drugs won't work but its false thinking. They'll work fine.
擢rom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need 1875 K Marx

Offline Carlos 32

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2018, 07:44:08 am »
Es decir segn los estudios que publica Jim quienes empezamos TAR con menos de 200 tenemos expectativas de vida mucho m疽 bajas?

Online Jim Allen

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2018, 01:37:19 pm »
No not at all, it showing that early diagnosis and treatment statistically means better outcomes but that does not mean late diagnosis automatically means a bad outcome for an individual, and if you look at the studies and read them you will find even those who treated late historical when guidelines were different still today should with care and treatment expected a near normal life expectancy.
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Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2018, 12:10:23 pm »
Thank you Jim and Mecch

I know I should give it time, I'm taking my meds and I'm feeling good physically, some days have been very good but some other days I feel like going crazy just thinking about the cd4 numbers, it is in those days when I've been trying to read every existing article, report, thread about people starting therapy with low numbers haha. I know I should put those numbers in the back of my head and I know there's nothing I can do but take my combo and be patient, but still the emotions are a little hard to control...

Thank you for your support!

Online Jim Allen

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2018, 01:37:44 pm »
Give yourself time as well. You are still digesting this.

Jim

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Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2018, 05:06:55 pm »
Hola everyone

Hereエs an update. After 3 weeks on treatment my CD4 went up from 70 to 170 and VL went down from 53,000 to 140.

I just wanted to share some good news with you after all my dramatic posts of the past few weeks :)

Thank you again for all your support!!
Abrazos

Offline Tonny2

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2018, 08:53:40 pm »


         ojo      hola...it is always nice to hear good news and notice that we are helping ease our members fears...keep up the good work, remember, in order for you to take back control of your lefe, you need discipline in taking your med as prescribed, so the medication will control the virus...please keep us posted and congratulations...mas abrazos                                                                                                              ojo

Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2018, 02:54:59 pm »
Hey guys, here痴 a quick update.

Today I got the results from the lab after 11 weeks on treatment. CD4 215 , VL UD !! 

I知 feeling very good physically, the Dr. says everything is moving on the right direction and I値l stay on Bactrim for 3 more months. I知 not emotionally in a perfect place yet but we are working on it!

Hugs to everyone!

Online Jim Allen

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2018, 02:59:59 pm »
Glad to hear you are on the mend, also fantastic that your VL is UD congrats.
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Offline anniebc

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2018, 09:23:13 pm »
Hi there, been reading through your post and it's good to hear you now have a decent CD4 count and you are now U/D.

I have been on Bactrim for a year now  and my CD4 has gone from 60 to 80 and Vl is U/D, I think my age is slowing things down abit... ;D..but it just goes to show that with a bit of patience, trust in our Docs and adherence to our meds gets us there in the end, so it's all going in the right direction, keep up the good work and keep going with that positive attitude and you will be fine...always good to hear good news.

Hugs
Jan
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Offline Tonny2

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2018, 10:04:50 pm »

       ojo       Hola archimexican...I'm glad to hear you have gotten to the most wanted goal, being UD, it's always nice to hear good news like yours...my question now is, are you still scared?...it's normal to still be scared, but, let me share with you something, of course, if i may?,,,long time ago, after i knew my treatment was'nt working, and i was living eith AIDS, i still kept taking my meds, as i said, i knew they were not working, but in the back of my mind, i always had hope, that i was going to be ok, yes, there were awful time, infections, feeling sick, still working, but i kept fighting. i remember that i used to go to work with an IV on my arm, which i had to disguised with a bandage and long sleeves, eventhough, the weather was so hot, one day, one of my co-workers noticed the tubing and asked me what was weong, i told him i was getting a strong antibiotic, that's why the IV in my arm, he just wished me goor luck...but, i didn't even had time to be scared, just decided to keep focuding in working, living and enjoying what i knew what life was for me during those difficult days...after 23 years of fighting, and losing some batttles against this condition, i'm still here, writing to you. My point is, never lose hope, you are allowed to be scared,but always remember, that only you, and just you, know how much time you want to waste feeling scared, you are on the right track, according to your numbers, now, psycollogically, have to understand that you will be ok, if you can not do it on your own, sixk proffessional help, because life is still preciouss after a hiv dx, trust me, eventhough, i'm legally blind, i still enjoy life, family and friends...i wish you the best my dear compatriot...now that you are positive, you have to be positive about life....abrazos...si se puede                                                                           ojo

excuse my english, it is my second language and the typos, i'm legally blind...it took me half and hour to write u this reply

Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2018, 11:09:27 pm »
Thanks Jan and Jim!

Hola Tonny2, Thank you so much man! you are a warrior my friend and you are right, I shouldn稚 waste any more time feeling scared. I don稚 think I知 scared anymore like I was 3 months ago, it痴 more like anxiety and I think it is normal, I was diagnosed only 4 months ago and I have had more blood drawn and visited more doctors in this short period of time than in the 35 years before this! Thankfully the meds are very easy to take and apparently my body is reacting well to them but the psychological part is a little harder to treat, I guess I haven稚 fully digested all this and according to the doctors it is normal and healthy, it is part of the process. Like you and Jan just said, We need to be patient and have a positive attitude. Right now I知 working harder than ever and trying to get my life back to normal.

Thank you guys for everything!
Hugs to everyone

Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2018, 05:32:55 pm »
Hello guys, here's a quick update:

7 months on treatment, CD4 went up from 70 to 321, VL UD and 8 months without smoking :)

I was little nervous because I had a bad cold last week (the first one after starting treatment) and thought my numbers would be affected by it but I got over it as usual.

I hope you are all well!
hugs

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2018, 05:41:19 pm »
Congratulations on quitting smoking.  :)
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Offline Tonny2

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2018, 06:09:29 pm »

     ojo.     Hello my friend It is always nice to read new members getting greatbloid work results. I congratulate you especially because of the right changes you are making in your life. I am very proud of you my friend. Congratulations, I am very happy for you, keep up the good work, please keep us posted...hugs.         ojo

Offline harleymc

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2018, 08:42:42 pm »
A few sessions with a counsellor could be great for dealing with anxiety.

But Congratulations on your great results.

Muy Bien

Offline JosephP

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2018, 10:40:21 pm »
Hello guys, here's a quick update:

7 months on treatment, CD4 went up from 70 to 321, VL UD and 8 months without smoking :)

I was little nervous because I had a bad cold last week (the first one after starting treatment) and thought my numbers would be affected by it but I got over it as usual.

I hope you are all well!
hugs

Nice!
We are all dealing with this. And we will live long and productive lives!! AND, yes the Lord is my shepherd. Life is good... And thanks for the meds!

Offline drphil1974

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2018, 08:23:43 pm »
ArchiMexican,

Congrats on being undetectable.  I am curious about your treatment in Mexico.  What medications are available?  I previously lived in Mexico and felt that the medical care was good.  As a type 1 diabetic, I always had access to insulin, syringes, and test strips.  Indeed, the supplies that I got in Mexico were better than what I get now in the USA.  I am considering moving back to Mexico; but of course I worry about another medication now.

Thanks for your time,

DrPhil
18 December 2017 - Tested Positive CD4 659 36% VL 680,000
15 January 2018 - Started Genvoya
23 February 2018 - CD4 827 46% VL 183
18 May 2018 - CD4 988 49% VL UD
7 September 2018 - CD4 983  52% VL UD

Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2018, 01:59:57 pm »
Thank you guys

Hi drPhil. I am currently on Atripla but I know that some of the newer meds are also available at my clinic. I was put on treatment right after I was diagnosed so I was not informed about the different meds nor I was given any options. It was until a few months later when I saw the other meds in the Doctor痴 office that I asked why I知 not on a newer treatment, he said that I知 doing great on this one and that he壇 like me to stay on it for a while. I assume this is a cost related issue.

I値l ask him for a list of available meds in Mexico on my next visit :)

Offline JosephP

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2018, 07:53:20 pm »
"Would I have a normal life? Can I work? Can I go to parties? Can I travel? Can I drink?..." "...We were not expecting it, I haven稚 been sick and have only mild symptoms. ..." "... Should I call my family? Should I prepare things in case I get sick?

Thank you all for sharing your experiences, It is helping me to process all this information and emotions.

Well, friend? what do you think? Can you work? Can you drink? Can you go to parties? We all have had our moment of shock and absurdity but here we are! Keep us posted!!
We are all dealing with this. And we will live long and productive lives!! AND, yes the Lord is my shepherd. Life is good... And thanks for the meds!

Offline JosephP

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2018, 08:14:02 pm »
Quote
I've only had a few minor side effects from Atripla but taking a few pills a day isn't that big of an issue for me.  It will become a normal routine for you.  In addition, very few of my friends/family know about my Dx but I have taken my pills in front of them that don't know.  Today's society is pill driven so no one bats an eye at pills. 

And you literally will get so used to take it that it will feel so weird when you are a bit late in your routine!  I, also, have disclosed to very few people but have also taken my pill in front of them. Usually no one asks! I used to excuse myself and go to the bathroom and take the darn pill! Was tricky at times because I was on Stribild and, then, Genvoya that should be taken with food!
We are all dealing with this. And we will live long and productive lives!! AND, yes the Lord is my shepherd. Life is good... And thanks for the meds!

Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #38 on: December 27, 2018, 01:49:26 pm »
Thank you JosephP and sorry for the late response.

Things have been completely normal except from the rash and fever I got when started the Atripla. The anxiety has been decreasing slowly with time, I知 not sure if it was the shock of the diagnosis, the atripla, quitting smoking or a combination of everything but it was really really bad at first. Probably my biggest fear was that I had to ask a 吐riend to get tested, thankfully results came back negative, things got a lot better from there.

It痴 been exactly a year since diagnosis, 11 months on treatment and a year without smoking :) .  Last blood test was a couple weeks ago, VL UD - CD4 322. The CD4 number didn稚 change in 4 months, I知 obviously happy considering I started with CD4 70 a year ago but I was hoping to see an increase, I know I know, it is not important, but it is hard not to get into that number game...

Thank you all for your support throughout this crazy year.
Happy Hollidays and a big hug from the warm Mexican beaches :)

Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2019, 07:14:45 pm »
Hello,

Itエs been a year and 3 months since I started treatment. Last blood draw was last week and I got the results today, VL UD and CD4 250, It was 322 (22%) back in January. I know there痴 nothing I can do to control the CD4 but I have to admit I got a little anxious seeing a drop like that. I don稚 want to take a CD4 test ever again haha.

Aside from today痴 anxiety, everything has been getting better, I知 traveling again, 100% adherent, working hard, I started going out and seeing my friends again and haven稚 smoked since I was diagnosed :)

I have a couple dumb questions:

1.- Is there any precaution I should take if my CD4 went back to 250?
2.- I知 currently on Atripla, when I started treatment I didn稚 know anything about the different meds, but now I know they have many of the newer treatments like triumeq, stribild etc at my clinic. All the new patients are being offered this newer meds. I mentioned it once to my doctor and He said he壇 rather keep me on Atripla as long as it works. Is this important? Should I try to get a newer treatment?

Thanks

Offline Ptrk3

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2019, 09:32:59 pm »
CD4's can fluctuate 100 points a day, so no cause for worry or alarm.

As long as you continue to remain UD (which should be your main focus) and your CD4's remain above 200, there are no special precautions you need to take. 

Adhere to your antiretroviral regimen and live your life.

Of course, exercising and eating well are good things to do, too, but that's for everyone, regardless of HIV status.

True, Atripla has given way to newer drugs, but your doctor is correct:  if it works (and it does since you are UD), there's no need to change unless you are suffering from Atripla-related side effects.  Atripla continues to save lives.

Whether you decide to move to a newer antiretroviral regimen is your decision, of course, in consultation with your healthcare provider (who would need to prescribe it), but your doctor does have a point to keep using Atripla if and until it no longer keeps you UD, since, if that time arrives, you have all other options at your disposal.
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Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2019, 11:23:20 am »
Thank you Ptrk3, Thanks for the advise and quick response.

I was a little nervous because I知 traveling tomorrow but I値l try to forget about the CD4 numbers from now on.

Also, I think you are right, I値l stay on Atripla for a while since I don稚 think I致e had any side effects so far other than really cool dreams :)

Thanks again!

Offline MarkintheDark

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #42 on: April 11, 2019, 12:30:07 pm »
Outstanding that you're UD and you're getting your life back.  Enjoy your holiday (?)!

About the only thing I can add on draws - given possible fluctuations through the day - is that I schedule them for the same time of day.  For me that's first thing in the morning, also convenient if it has to be fasting.
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Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2019, 10:24:48 pm »
Thank you Mark! :)

Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2019, 01:46:15 pm »
Hey guys, I hope everyone is ok. I have a few good news that I need to share with you because I haven稚 disclosed my status to anyone else :)

- Latest blood tests VL UD and CD4 290, I also had general blood tests and STDs, all good.

- The doctor asked me if I wanted to switch from Atripla to Biktarvy and I accepted, I've been on it for a month and everything is good, I知 sleeping a little better and I love not having food requirements.

- And the best thing that happened is that, I don稚 know how or why, but one day I finally stopped thinking about my status all day, it stopped being the first thing on my mind in the mornings and I知 not sad about it anymore. The first day I realized that I had not been thinking about it all day I was so happy, happy of having normal life 菟roblems like work, relationships, family etc. The only difference is that I don稚 worry that much about this problems anymore, I actually enjoy them because this 菟roblems are life :)

Hugs!

Offline Ptrk3

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2019, 10:46:40 pm »
Congratulations on your progress with maintaining an undetectable viral load and maintaining a cd4 above 200!

Most of all, congratulations in understanding that you will be fine (as long as you continue to adhere to your antiretroviral regimen) and deciding to live your life:  you are in charge, not the virus.
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Offline Tonny2

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #46 on: October 15, 2019, 10:16:38 am »


        ojo.       Hola amigo... felicidades y tienes que sentirte muy orgulloso de ti mismo, I'm proud of you, you are a resilience man, a fighter...you may have been feeling better and no thinking about the virus because you are no taking atripla anymore and also, you are starting to learn to live with HIV...go back and live your life agaun making the adjystments to have to make to live a healthier life...and you will know when to tell or if to tell about your status...best of luck...hugs

Offline JosephP

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #47 on: November 04, 2019, 10:16:03 pm »

- The doctor asked me if I wanted to switch from Atripla to Biktarvy and I accepted, I've been on it for a month and everything is good, I知 sleeping a little better and I love not having food requirements.

- And the best thing that happened is that, I don稚 know how or why, but one day I finally stopped thinking about my status all day, it stopped being the first thing on my mind in the mornings and I知 not sad about it anymore. The first day I realized that I had not been thinking about it all day I was so happy, happy of having normal life 菟roblems like work, relationships, family etc. The only difference is that I don稚 worry that much about this problems anymore, I actually enjoy them because this 菟roblems are life :)

Hey guy... Long time no hearing from you! Nice switch to Biktarvy. I have been on it for over a year now and it is great.. The having to take the pill is hard and having to take it with food was even harder!  There were days I felt stuffed but no... here comes the pill!

Isn't that a great liberating moment when you realized you haven't thought about your hiv the entire day... And it will get better... Only the reminder that you need to take your pill is the moment when you think about it... And it lasts thirty seconds! 

I am happy for you!
We are all dealing with this. And we will live long and productive lives!! AND, yes the Lord is my shepherd. Life is good... And thanks for the meds!

Offline Archimexican

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Re: Pos- Low cd4 - Scared
« Reply #48 on: Today at 12:58:40 pm »
Thank you for the support guys.

Just a quick update, I got the results from my last blood test, the first one after changing to biktarvy, VL UD and CD4 375. I知 happy to know that the new treatment is working and also excited for the CD4 increase  ;D  ;D

Also, I was diagnosed today 2 years ago. It seems like a lot of time and that many things happened but at the same time I feel like everything stopped and my life was put on hold for a while, I don稚 know, weird feelings.

Anyway, I知 just very happy to be in a better place physically and mentally.

I hope you are all well and wish you happy holidays!

hugs!

 


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