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Author Topic: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART  (Read 3463 times)

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Offline Acesra

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First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« on: October 15, 2018, 11:19:59 pm »
Dear Forum Members,

I just had my first test result after 3 months of being on medication. The viral load is now 30 (coming down from 27,000 when I was first diagnosed 4 months ago). The doctor told me that this number can be considered undetectable, and it should be kept this way as long as possible. For CD4, he told me to come back in 6 weeks to take the test. He said it takes some time for CD4 to come up.

It's the only good news I had since the diagnosis. It's not a relief per se, but at least it seems that the medication is working effectively for the time being. Physically, I'm eating and sleeping better. Emotionally, it remains hard. Even visiting this forum, reading up about HIV, and talking about it are hard. I am worried about my future. I am afraid of dying painfully and nastily. I feel lonely and isolated. I feel scared. And I am much anxious with what's coming next. It's been the longest 4 months ever in my life. The sadness is so profound, even though the test gave some good indication about the treatment.

I have not gone to any group or individual counselling. I only speak with a guy who was introduced to me by the doctor. It's nice to share with him who understands the situation inside out. He is positive too.

Thank you to all Forum members for kind words when I first posted. And thanks for your support. Stay with me to see where this goes.

JP

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2018, 04:00:47 am »
Congratulations on the UD and physically feeling better. Its not good news, its  excellent news.

Quote
. I am afraid of dying painfully and nastily. I feel lonely and isolated. I feel scared. And I am much anxious with what's coming next. It's been the longest 4 months ever in my life. The sadness is so profound, even though the test gave some good indication about the treatment.

I have not gone to any group or individual counselling. I only speak with a guy who was introduced to me by the doctor. It's nice to share with him who understands the situation inside out. He is positive too.

Well I'm glad you have someone to talk to about how your feeling etc.

Afraid of dying, and a touch of self-isolation.
Have you told your doctor how you are feeling? It's important.

Anyhow I am a bit blunt I've been told, but the truth is we are all going to die someday, however you will not be dying from HIV related issues today. I get it, you are only 4 months into this and it can be a lot to digest and, its been a rough time for you looking back at you initial thread: https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=70292.msg

However your treatment is working, the virus is suppressed, your immune system no longer has to fight a loosing battle and, it can focus instead on keeping you healthy just like everyone else. So from that aspect you should be expecting to live a relatively normal long life.

Things you could do to help you through this time include

Exercise, join a gym or run in the park.
Taking time for yourself, even short walks on breaks during the day
Eat well, eat healthy
Plenty of sleep/Rest
Avoid isolation, socialize. Friends etc but also perhaps peer support groups.

About the group & individual counselling, is there a barrier to you joining or is it a choice not to join?

Because I'm thinking it can't hurt for you to try a few sessions if its an option open to you and, if anything you might learn something or at least meet new people.

Take it easy and keep us posted.
Hugs

Jim
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 12:54:27 am by JimDublin »
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Offline harleymc

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Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2018, 09:03:47 pm »
I'm not sure why are reduction of viral load from 27000 to 30 is 'not a relief'.

Your medications are working, you will have good health.

 You might seek some assistance from a counsellor that does Neuro Linguistic Programming and or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to tackle your negative self talk.

I'm 33 years post diagnosis, I'm excited for all sorts of possibilities life will bring me.

Just because we are positive we don't have to accept either external stigma or internal self talk that makes up have a lesser life. We are strong capable people who have successfully overcome a challenge.

I wish you well on your journey through life.

Offline kentfrat1783

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Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2018, 09:56:42 pm »
Hi JP,

Hope you had a nice weekend. Get into anything?

I know what you mean but since I was diagnosed over 18 months ago I’m basically back to normal. I do go to doctors more then I done prior but I’m getting used to the 3 month cycle. They have even talked about going to a 6 month cycle this summer.

I was deelighted when I went UD but it does take time for your CD4 to come up. Do you mind if I ask where you started?  I started at “2” but now up to 166. Even my doctors are happy with the progress.

One thing that helped me was to get doctors that I trust and able to open up too. Not sure if this is an option but I should have done it much sooner in my journey. I’ve also started to see a counselor. I actually need to call to get another appointment setup. Just be honest with your doctors.

But life does go on. It isn’t like the 1980’s. The Rx’s these day are much better and the few people that I have told are OK with it. At least it hasn’t changed out relationship.

Just make sure to do something that makes you happy each day. Exercise, walk, talk to a friend, read a book or cook. Just remember to live life.

Wishing you the best.

Kenneth
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 - Unknown
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 virgo313

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Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2018, 04:04:41 pm »
Hello JP,
Happy to read your post that your virus is now suppressed. Bagus (good).

“medication is working effectively for the time being” why not think of it as “medication is working effectively just as long as I take it daily” That’s all you need to think of.

Being poz is not “abnormal”. Now that you are UD, life is just like any other normal people.

You have cleared a hurdle (being undetectable), life for most of us will be normal after this is achieved. Only changes in life is visiting Dr twice a year. That’s all..
*My last visit to my Dr, she “kicked” me out from her room in less then 10 minutes.

Do talk to support group or your Dr if you other “thoughts” on being poz. DM me if you need me to follow you to a support group.

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..!
CD4 - 472 (10/04/19) / VL - UD / CD4% - 42%

Offline MarkintheDark

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  • Posts: 128
Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2018, 04:38:35 am »
Hey JP - I'm always glad to hear some good news, particularly since this is so new to you.  To these old ears it sounds like you're exactly where JP needs to be.

I'm glad, too, you felt comfortable enough with us to share the fears...straight from your gut.  It's good to let them out for some fresh air (or a even a good cry).  Speaking for myself, idk that it's useful to put a judgment on them, especially right now.  It's more useful to acknowledge them and deal with them as you're able, whenever that is.  You're not on anyone's schedule.

Perhaps one takeaway if you've read other threads is that everything you're experiencing is perfectly normal.  And I think you already know from your own experience that some of your feelings may change.
HIV dx - 02/93
AIDS dx - 07/01
Rilpivirine/Cabotegravir guinea pig since 01/17

Offline virgo313

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  • Posts: 169
Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2018, 03:28:50 pm »
Hi Acesra,

This year World Aids day event is at Sunway Velocity Mall (Sat 1st Dec). All NGO will be there. Hope you can get support there. Tks
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..!
CD4 - 472 (10/04/19) / VL - UD / CD4% - 42%

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2018, 03:30:51 am »
Hi JP,

Just wanted to check in and see how you are doing?
Hope all is going well

Jim
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 Acesra

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  • Posts: 19
Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2019, 11:40:27 pm »
Hi all, how are you? I hope 2019 will bring us good news and many smiles. 2018 was definitely the toughest year ever in my life, given I was diagnosed in June.

I have not checked this site regularly because I must say every time I come here I still feel very emotionally weak. Every time I read up or watch something about HIV, or engage in any conversations related to HIV, I feel the profound sadness within me.

Anyway, 6 months in with treatment, I'm doing alright. Physically ok, emotionally still unsure. I try not to think about it and "move on with my life" (whatever that means). I have seen doctors on a regular basis. I'm UD now, but just had another blood test last week to confirm. My CD level has not increased much (from 263 to 299), but my doctor told me not to be worried about it so long I'm UD.

@JimDublin, how are you? Thank you so much for checking on me. It's very kind of you. I'm managing day by day. I really appreciate your support. You are very kind.

Sending everyone good wishes, and may our year be filled with good things.

Offline virgo313

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  • Posts: 169
Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2019, 09:51:58 pm »
Hi JP,

Try not to worry too much on CD4 counts. Knowing ur VL is more important.

Just to update what is our govt is practicing now is that once Dr is "comfortable" with your progress, they will do away with testing of CD4 & CD4%. I will now only be tested on VL once a year. Dr are more concern monitoring other health issue (if any) by testing me FBC, RP, LFT, HbA1c & HBS every 6 months.

As time passes, you will feel more better. 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..!
CD4 - 472 (10/04/19) / VL - UD / CD4% - 42%

Offline harleymc

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  • Posts: 1,180
Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 12:11:44 am »
Acesra.  It sounds like you are doing a bit better day by day.

Have you had a chance to talk to a counsellor?  If you would like to stay completely anonymous I have had a great deal of help with my anxiety and depression using an online web site.

This is the one I used https://www.moodgym.com.au/ it is run by the Australian National University.  You will need to register, but you can use any name, it doesn't have to be your name.



 Hoping 2019 is a better year for you.

Offline fabio

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  • Posts: 239
Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2019, 03:48:26 am »
I'm very excited for you,congratulations :). Once the thing goes undetectable and you keep with your meds you are bound to feel physically better.
Let's go to your mental health. Why do you feel isolated? You shouldn't. Hiv isn't a factor that has to be your whole life. Should you worry about taking meds and docs appointments all being on point ? Yes. But,the rest should be just you ,it should be you without having guilt of having a virus. Sometimes shit just happens,but that's ok. What's important is that we move along,with the new statistics.
My advice? Get a hobby,go out with your friends and spend time with your family,maybe go to school again. Do your life as always. Hiv or not,life is hard and people are mean,doesn't mean we won't live it.
I hope you feel a lot better now and pray that you feel a lot better as days go by. It's a hard transition. I guess I am too flexible and could get over it in just a year,but you need to heal as well. And posting here will not be as scary ,on the contrary it's going to make you feel a lot better. So if something is wrong,don't hesitate to write us. Have a nice day 💚.

Offline Acesra

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  • Posts: 19
Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2019, 08:06:28 am »
Dear all friends in the Poz Community,

How are you? Hope you all are doing well.
I had another VL test recently, and it's undetectable. So the meds is working. I have not had any major health issues over the past several months, which is great. I only have flu or cold from time to time.

I still find it hard to read up information about HIV, and read posts on this forum. Posts are very informative and helpful. But to spend time on it can be emotional still.

It's a process, and it's definitely a long process for me to feel okay (mentally). But I'm taking one day at a time, and trying to be here and now. The main thing that came out from this is to learn how to love and care for myself.

Hugs to everyone.
JP

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: First Viral Test Result After 3 Months of ART
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2019, 02:47:51 pm »
Hi  :)

Fantastic update, congratulations on joining the UD club and glad to hear things are going well. I'm also glad you are finding the forum informative

Sorry for not replying sooner BTW, its been a busy week at work.

Quote
It's a process, and it's definitely a long process for me to feel okay (mentally). But I'm taking one day at a time, and trying to be here and now. The main thing that came out from this is to learn how to love and care for myself.

Yeah its a journey and for everyone it different however you are on a great path and sooner or later you will no longer even think about HIV except for during clinc visits  ;)

Take it easy and, remember whenever you need us we are here for you

Jim
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

 


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