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Author Topic: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.  (Read 1332 times)

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Offline lightofmithras

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Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« on: July 31, 2018, 07:49:58 pm »
Hi all, I'm new here and to living w HIV, trying to deal with it all.

Background is my Boyfriend of 10yrs was just diagnosed positive w RNA test after positive screening. I'm 29, he's 27 (both male). I screened negative, but was possibly only 3 weeks post exposure. So I may be positive, though my risk would've been technically less than his.

Unfortunately, I'm already chronically ill. I have severe chronic pain resulting from inoperable complications from scoliosis. Unfortunately also have high blood pressure, IBS, acid reflux, and major depression & anxiety disorders. Basically, I'm disabled. I'm getting treatment finally again, but my health goals already seek to improve quality of life rather than fixing anything so to speak. My boyfriend however has always been in great health despite borderline personality disorder which is well treated w seroquel.

It's all been very hard on me, with my anxiety originally paralyzing me just crying in bed. Boyfriend too at first, but he has now gotten a better attitude and has told family members and friends. We go to the local Health Department (live in Maryland/USA) tomorrow to get him medicaid insurance. Then set up for an appointment to start treatment.

So far he has been rather asymptomatic. Viral load was 37000, but we don't know immune strength yet.

I have no scheduled time to retest myself and I worry if my screening was too early, that I may be waiting too long retresting at the 3 month mark. Given I'm more compromised health wise already, I don't want to wait until I'm hospitalized or get unlucky OIs before I start treatment if needed. So I may retest given it'd be over a month now, and perhaps if negative it will ease my own mind on my health for now while focusing on helping my boyfriend.

Any tips or advice is appreciated. This was shocking to us and while we believe we understand how we were exposed now it still wasn't expected given neither of us have symptoms and the screening was just a regular thing.

Offline Expat1

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2018, 08:14:01 pm »
As you will gather from reading these forums, there is good and effective treatment and you never have to get sick.  OIs do not occur in the window period but much later after several years.  So most people get tested at exposure or event and again at 1 month and 3 month and six month.  I dont have the statistics but somthing like 95% of people who get the virus, show it by the end of the first month the 3 month test will pick the few remainder.

In the meantime, you need to protect yourself.  Use condoms, discuss PEP/PreEP with your doctor.  Once your boyfriend becomes undetectable for several months, other options may be available.

Again you will not get and opportunistic infections in the window period.  If you get acute symptoms, they will most likely be flu like. 

That all said, you are located in the US, contact an Aids Service Organization to help Enroll in ADAP, and to see if they assist in helping with any copays etc.


Offline lightofmithras

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2018, 08:22:33 pm »
Thanks for the reply, Expat1.

The but about OIs makes sense, so hopefully we can avoid acute reactions until he starts treatment.

We haven't had any actual sex since the 1st screening, so it's been about a month. Honestly not very much on our minds right now given the stress, but yeah definitely would use protection at any rate.

I'm not sure about ADAP, but maybe we can ask the health department worker we are seeing tomorrow about that.

Offline geobee

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2018, 12:47:41 am »
You can get a viral load test.  It can take a while for the antibodies to form.  A VL test will tell you if you've been infected.

It's a shock.... all of us here will remember that.  But there's a lot of support out there and, properly (and now, perhaps easily) managed, you'll both live long happy lives.

Offline lightofmithras

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2018, 01:35:29 am »
Ill ask the health department about a viral load test then, it will help me to know either way.

Offline lightofmithras

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2018, 01:43:07 am »
I'm afraid of coming down sick all at once, or that my other health issues will mean I won't last long w HIV.

On other issue, I'm trying hard to help my boyfriend with making appointments and stuff. He feels ok he says, so I'm just hoping we can be spared acute symptoms given treatment may take a moment. I have body aches and pain normally as well as GI issues so if I did start getting sick I'm not sure I'd notice right away. But I guess all we can do is get me tested and him on meds asap, if we do get acute issues we will just have to go to ER. It's just hard, finding out it's not really a death sentence is helpful, but I still feel that if I do have it too that my body is poorly equipped to deal and it makes me feel dread.

I'm taking psych meds that help with the anxiety, I just wish there was more I could for myself and my boyfriend. Sucks having to wait.

Offline JimDublin

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2018, 02:44:21 am »
Hiya

I am sorry to hear your BF has tested positive. We have a lessons page that is very informative and yet easy to digest for newly diagnosed people and you might want to give this a read with your BF. https://www.poz.com/basics/hiv-basics/newly-diagnosed

The key here is doing the follow-up appointments, finding out his treatment options and starting treatment. He will than also get more tests done and find out his
Viral Load (VL) and CD4 counts.

Thankfully with treatment he can live a long, healthy and full life.
Do keep us posted on how he is doing and if you have any questions about how you can support him. 

Quote
all we can do is get me tested

Yeah, pretty much so do work with the doctors on testing, guidelines are to test with an antibodies test at 6 weeks and that nowadays is highly accurate result and unlikely to change, follow-up testing at 3 months is conclusive is to exclude outliers.

Quote
I'm afraid of coming down sick all at once, or that my other health issues will mean I won't last long w HIV.

Not much point worrying about this as you have not even been diagnosed yet and it simply could well be the case that you are HIV negative. Only testing will tell and again treatment for HIV is highly effective, but no point overthinking this right now.

Jim

P.S

I moved your thread to this section, for the time being please only post in this one thread and members can support you and answer questions you have on helping your BF.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 02:47:34 am by JimDublin »
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
HIV 101
Transmission and Risks:
HIV Transmission and Risks
Read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
Read about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
Read about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline lightofmithras

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2018, 05:35:24 pm »
Thanks for moving the thread, I tried to think where best to post.

Anyhow we went to the county health department. He got some labs drawn and will see a provider soon once we get him approved for Medicaid. In the meantime he hasn't had any real symptoms, so we will just do our best to relax waiting to start treatment. Boyfriend may join the forum too, but he isn't used to posting as much as I am, but he does have friends he told about his status who are already being very supportive.

While at the department they recommended I get an Insti rapid Hiv test while there. I took it and still show negative. So ill focus on my overall health as normal, while helping my boyfriend. It is a slight relief that I'm unlikely to just come down with acute issues while trying to help him too.

We moved to Maryland from rural Pennsylvania so we weren't used to so many resources. I didn't know instant tests existed, for instance, and prior to around two months ago I had never heard of Prep. So im grateful for what seems like much more support than our old home.

Thanks for replying and hope to keep posting.

Offline lightofmithras

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2018, 10:51:36 pm »
Because his insurance is pending, he won't be treated at least for a week or two. If he isn't seemingly sick, but viral load was at 37000 last week, should I really worry much about him before treatment?

Anyone?

Offline Ptrk3

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2018, 11:33:02 pm »
No, I don't think you should worry since your boyfriend is now under care and will be treated appropriately so that he can live a long and healthy life.

His condition will be closely observed prior to the determination of ongoing treatment.

Thank goodness your healthcare providers are on top of things.

Antiretroviral treatment for HIV-infection is one of the greatest medical achievements ever, rivaling, really, treatments of very few other afflictions (diabetes, typhoid, certain pneumonia's, the flu, for instance).

Once he is prescribed the appropriate regimen, all he need do is adhere and all things will continue to be possible for you both as you continue life's journey together.

HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline lightofmithras

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2018, 02:20:33 pm »
Thanks, Ptrk3, I just was worried it would hurt him waiting to start treatment. Originally the providers we had that ran the 1st screening were very poor, they didn't even want to say his result instead describing it as indeterminate. Now we are getting good care from the county health department.

BF is holding up ok. He's told his family and a couple friends, so he has some support besides me at least.

Offline Ptrk3

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2018, 03:14:13 pm »
If you're talking about a few weeks, no, the delay won't hurt your boyfriend.

What's important is that he start treatment as soon as practicable, keeping in mind that certain tests sometimes may be needed in order to identify the best antiretroviral regimen.

Your boyfriend will be fine now that he is in the system and has competent healthcare providers on his team.

Since your boyfriend is not ill, a few weeks won't matter, really.
HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline lightofmithras

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2018, 03:36:57 pm »
Thanks for helping me put it all in perspective to better know what to expect. Sounds like we are on the right track and ill update when we start to see the doctor.

Offline Ptrk3

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2018, 04:01:18 pm »
You're welcome, and don't forget to take care of yourself, too!
HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline CaveyUK

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2018, 05:43:47 pm »
Sorry to hear about your bf's diagnosis.

At the end of the day, you are probably negative but see what the 3 month conclusive test brings. It sounds weird given this is an HIV forum and we have managed to contract it, some with only one-off exposures, but generally speaking HIV is a tricky virus to transmit and the odds are generally in your favour.

If you were unfortunate enough to test positive, the drugs work super effectively and quickly to grapple the virus to undetectable levels, so as long as you are not already in OI territory (which you are not) it would just be manageable condition at the end of the day.

Same goes for your partner. The drugs will suppress the virus and there is no reason he won't be able to live a long and healthy life, assuming he adheres to taking the medication.

In my experience the first year is the toughest, as there are lots of doctors visits and plenty of very natural 'what if's' floating around in your head. Beyond that though, all being well the clinic visits reduce in frequency and much of the time life is boringly normal.

Wishing you both all the best and keep us posted with progress
HIV - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here:
PEP and PrEP

Offline lightofmithras

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2018, 07:24:04 pm »
Thanks for the thoughtful response, Cavey.

Boyfriend just got his medicaid insurance card and has an appointment next week to start process to get on meds. He is still not having any noticeable issues health wise and I'm very grateful, the stress and ignorance that bred fear was immobilizing at first, but the more we learn and speak with people the better we feel. Seriously, the stress alone made me feel so sick that I ended up in the ER. Thankfully I'm on meds to help me now and my boyfriend has been widening his support circle.

Offline lightofmithras

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2018, 07:35:42 pm »
BF is going to have labs run tomorrow and then hopefully start Biktarvy. Doctor was very nice and relaxed, said he has little doubt my BF can get fully suppressed in weeks or a couple months. He said he wouldn't sugar coat things after my BF expressed concerns that people may only tell him comforting things, and that the reality truly is that he can be very healthy on the regimen.

He is still struggling as now it is becoming even more real. I told him it's natural to feel overwhelmed, but to know he has some good support now.

Offline Ptrk3

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Re: Boyfriend just Diagnosed Poz, Too Early to know for me.
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2018, 07:45:54 pm »
Glad to read that things are moving forward quickly.

The doctors speaks the truth:  your boyfriend will be fine, once he begins and adheres to his antiretroviral regimen.

I wish you both well.

HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

 


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