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Author Topic: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying  (Read 3395 times)

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Offline ad21

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My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« on: October 16, 2018, 05:58:21 am »
Hello, I'm an American that moved to Colombia earlier this year. I received a positive reactive test to HIV antibodies in Colombia just a few days ago. Just in June I had received negative test results, so I was in complete shock at receiving these results and have been crying for days because of these very sad news. And also, my partner, who I love and met in Colombia a few months after being there, tested positive as well, in that window period that showed I was negative. We have been together around 5 months now and have not been with anyone else. He is having much difficulty accepting this also, and has also been crying for days, but we are supporting and comforting each other in these very difficult times. We flew into the US yesterday to confirm the test results at the AHF in Fort Lauderdale, and tomorrow we are going to see a doctor recommended by them, who will begin running tests to measure our viral load and CD4, and also begin us on ART right away. This is all very new to us, and honestly, we're both very very afraid. I'd appreciate any advise, guidance, or just words of comfort in these difficult times. Someone who I spoke to at AHF who is positive told me they are on Genvoya, which seems promising. Anyone else on this? Thank you.

Offline JimDublin

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2018, 06:16:33 am »
Hi

Really sorry to hear about the reactive HIV result and your partners upset. It can truly be a lot to digest. I do have to however point out that a reactive antibodies test is not a diagnosis and needs confirmation testing.

Quote
We flew into the US yesterday to confirm the test results at the AHF in Fort Lauderdale, and tomorrow we are going to see a doctor recommended by them, who will begin running tests to measure our viral load and CD4, and also begin us on ART right away. This is all very new to us, and honestly, we're both very very afraid. I'd appreciate any advise, guidance, or just words of comfort in these difficult times. Someone who I spoke to at AHF who is positive told me they are on Genvoya, which seems promising. Anyone else on this? Thank you.

If the reactive result is confirmed, than the next step is starting treatment. What treatment will in part be down to results from HIV drug-resistance testing and for some meds screening with a blood test for hypersensitivity. With treatment HIV is no longer a show changer to living a "normal" long and healthy life.

There is a lot of information you can read in the "Just tested Positive" welcome thread that gives some of the basics and basic links to lessons  https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=2276.0 . There is also a thread on 2018 HIV meds https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=69107.0

What I would recommend however is not reading too much, first get confirmation testing done and talk to the doctor. Until you have confirmation testing done and a VL result I am going to ask you to only post in this one thread and have moved it to the "AM I" section.

If the result turns out to be a false reactive result (something we see here weekly) than of course keep the below in mind for the future.

Here's what you need to know in order to avoid hiv infection:
Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, every time, no exceptions. Consider starting PrEP as an addtional layer of protection against HIV

Keep in mind that some sexual practices which may be described as ‘safe’ in terms of HIV transmission might still pose a risk for transmission of other STI's, so please do get fully tested regularly and at least yearly for all STI's including but not limited to HIV and test more frequently if unprotected intercourse occurs

Also note that it is possible to have an STI and show no signs or symptoms and the only way of knowing is by testing.

More information on HIV Basics, PEP, TaSP and Transmission can be found through the links in my signature to our POZ pages, this includes information on HIV Testing

Kind regards

Jim

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As a member of the AM I Infected Forum you are required to only post in this one thread no matter how long between visits or the subject matter. You can find this thread by going to your profile and selecting show own post and it will take you here . It helps us to help you when you keep all your thoughts or questions in one thread and it helps other readers to follow the discussion. Any additional threads will be deleted.
   
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 06:20:27 am by JimDublin »
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Offline ad21

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2018, 10:06:27 pm »
Hey Jim, thanks for the info. Our HIV diagnosis was confirmed with a secondary test, and we were put on Biktarvy. So far we've had little to no side effects with the medication, and we seem to be healthy. Looks like we caught it really early, within a few months of having been infected. We've been on the medication almost two weeks now. We are also feeling emotionally better and think we will be fine.

Offline JimDublin

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2018, 12:36:32 pm »
Sorry to hear about the diagnosis.

Hmmm Biktarvy so the "Rolls Royce" of treatment. ;)
Anyhow glad to hear things are feeling emotionally better.

Jim
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
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Transmission and Risks:
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HIV Testing
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Offline Tonny2

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2018, 09:36:08 pm »


      ojo.       Hello and welcome... I'm sorry about your diagnosis but I'm glad that you find us and that you two are supporting each other and already on treatment... I'm also glad that you two are feeling better after the difficult news of the diagnosis... All it takes to defeat this virus is having discipline in taking your medication as prescribed and having a good attitude towards life. You two can still make plans for the future because you two will be around for a long time... Please keep us posted and how you guys are doing and let us know your next blood work results...good luck...abrazos.         ojo

Ps I will be in Cartagena next month

Offline ad21

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2018, 10:38:31 pm »
Sorry to hear about the diagnosis.

Hmmm Biktarvy so the "Rolls Royce" of treatment. ;)
Anyhow glad to hear things are feeling emotionally better.

Jim

Thanks Jim. There are still moments I feel really scared, and there are moments that I feel at ease. I was told by the doctor that Biktarvy is probably the best and newest medication out there, so that puts me at ease, and the fact that I've practically had no side effects. I almost feel like having no side effects is just a "calm before the storm". But maybe not? Maybe I'm just being pessimistic, and things can only get better from here now that the virus will be suppressed. Anyways, next week we have our next appointment with the doctor, where she will tell us what our results were for our Viral Load. My CD4 is around 630 right now. Do you think thats good? My partners is around 530. He got really scared his was lesser than mine. Is his result really bad?

Offline virgo313

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2018, 03:04:10 am »
Hi ad21,

Both CD4 counts is as normal as a person that is hiv negative. On average, the normal CD4 range for an HIV negative person is between 460 and 1600.

More important is the VL, reaching to an undetectable level is more important then any CD4 counts. 
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 ad21

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2018, 06:46:39 am »
Hi ad21,

Both CD4 counts is as normal as a person that is hiv negative. On average, the normal CD4 range for an HIV negative person is between 460 and 1600.

More important is the VL, reaching to an undetectable level is more important then any CD4 counts.

Thanks for the info. Was your CD4 at one point at 4? I saw it written in your signature area.

Offline virgo313

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2018, 01:09:34 pm »
Hi ad21,

Yes, my CD4 is just 4 when i was diagnose late. must hv been poz for many years.
Even with low CD4, i generally feel fine. Just 3 months before diagnose, weight lost fast, edema on my face & ballooned to beyond anyone could recognize. KS appear. Basically i AIDS. As soon as i started ART, things improved a lot. What i am trying to point out here is that even with low CD4 & opportunistic infections, one can get better once on treatment.

Both you & partner CD4 is "not worrying". You are now on "Rolls Royce of treatment" & i am on "Old Toyota" only. :)
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 ad21

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2018, 08:10:57 am »
Hi ad21,

Yes, my CD4 is just 4 when i was diagnose late. must hv been poz for many years.
Even with low CD4, i generally feel fine. Just 3 months before diagnose, weight lost fast, edema on my face & ballooned to beyond anyone could recognize. KS appear. Basically i AIDS. As soon as i started ART, things improved a lot. What i am trying to point out here is that even with low CD4 & opportunistic infections, one can get better once on treatment.

Both you & partner CD4 is "not worrying". You are now on "Rolls Royce of treatment" & i am on "Old Toyota" only. :)

Well I'm glad you got better. May I ask what city you're from?

Offline virgo313

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2018, 11:37:53 am »
Thank you. I am from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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 ad21

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2018, 02:08:29 pm »
Thank you. I am from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Okay, great speaking to you. Your words are encouraging.

Offline ad21

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2018, 02:10:01 pm »
So our Viral Load results just came back, mine came back at 49,100. My boyfriend's came back at 970. What do you think? I'm alarmed by my own results.

Offline ad21

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Viral Load Results Just Came In For Boyfriend and I
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2018, 02:11:18 pm »
So the Viral Load results just came back in for my boyfriend and I.

Mine came back at 49,100. My boyfriend's came back at 970.

What do you guys think? I'm alarmed by my own results.

Offline MarkintheDark

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Re: Viral Load Results Just Came In For Boyfriend and I
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2018, 03:30:41 pm »
I'd look at the larger picture without discounting the alarm you may be feeling. 

You're both under expert care (with AHF I presume?).  You're both on Biktarvy and your last CD4 absolutes were in the 500-600 (normal) range, iirc.  You've taken charge of your care...and you have each other.  You're both in damn good shape, imo.  You already know from other threads there are those of us who have had six-digit VLs (or higher) and single-digit CD4s.

I'll go a little off the main highway as I do sometimes, if you'll tolerate my humor.  Much the same as saying, "It's only a movie," you can tell yourself, "It's only a number." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7TaOaLPLxU

Any ARV will take time to work its magic.  It's not Tylenol. :D You may not see significant results, i.e., an undetectable VL, for months.  That's normal...although it may feel like waiting for the stupid train to pass at one of our notorious South Florida train crossings.

Anxiety may be your biggest challenge right now.  I think I mentioned in an earlier post you may get laser focused on numbers.  People do that.  It's a normal reaction you may have for a while.  Eventually that reaction will subside.  Just keep up with your meds.

So, too, there's nothing wrong in asking for help while you both adjust.  Assuming your care is with AHF, they fully expect you may have anxiety or even fear and are prepared to help you.  Heck, this is still new stuff to you!  Communication is important.  If you're experiencing anxiety, doubts, etc., mention them to your case manager or your doc.  There are support groups in Lauderdale.  Speaking for myself, I've also found that a chat with a therapist useful.

Again, you're both doin' great!  Would I lie to you?  ;)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 04:03:21 pm by MarkintheDark »
HIV dx - 02/93
AIDS dx - 07/01
Rilpivirine/Cabotegravir guinea pig since 01/17

Offline JimDublin

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2018, 04:03:19 pm »
49 k is not huge or a reason to stress, I mean mine has been in the Millions.

Also you are on treatment now, so that VL will reduce as the medication starts to suppresse the virus. Give it a few months and I'm sure the results will start heading in the right direction  ;)

Jim

Ps.
I updated your account from standard to regular member status. Forgot to do that last week.   :-[
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 04:07:52 pm 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 ad21

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2018, 07:57:48 pm »
49 k is not huge or a reason to stress, I mean mine has been in the Millions.

Also you are on treatment now, so that VL will reduce as the medication starts to suppresse the virus. Give it a few months and I'm sure the results will start heading in the right direction  ;)

Jim

Ps.
I updated your account from standard to regular member status. Forgot to do that last week.   :-[

Thanks Jim, I'll keep you guys posted about our next set of results while under treatment.

Offline JosephP

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2018, 12:16:36 am »
Hello, I'm an American that moved to Colombia earlier this year. I received a positive reactive test to HIV antibodies in Colombia just a few days ago. Just in June I had received negative test results, so I was in complete shock at receiving these results and have been crying for days because of these very sad news. And also, my partner, who I love and met in Colombia a few months after being there, tested positive as well, in that window period that showed I was negative. We have been together around 5 months now and have not been with anyone else. He is having much difficulty accepting this also, and has also been crying for days, but we are supporting and comforting each other in these very difficult times. We flew into the US yesterday to confirm the test results at the AHF in Fort Lauderdale, and tomorrow we are going to see a doctor recommended by them, who will begin running tests to measure our viral load and CD4, and also begin us on ART right away. This is all very new to us, and honestly, we're both very very afraid. I'd appreciate any advise, guidance, or just words of comfort in these difficult times. Someone who I spoke to at AHF who is positive told me they are on Genvoya, which seems promising. Anyone else on this? Thank you.

Sorry for your dx, but we are here to support each other.. Myself a Colombian... When dx'd doctor put me on Stribild and after 2 years she switched me to Genvoya. No side effects whatsoever.. One or two months back, she switch me again to the newest member of the family; Biktarvy. The good about it is that it can be taken with or without food thus eliminating the 'ritual' I had created around dinner and the pill!

Get your check up, talk to the doctor... Then return to live life at its fullest here in Colombia! By the way, which part of the country are you in?

"I almost feel like having no side effects is just a "calm before the storm"."   Curiously this is how I felt when I didn't have any side effects! We keep on chugging along and you both will too!
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 12:24:30 am by JosephP »
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 Loa111

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2018, 06:35:12 am »
Sorry to hear about your Dx. It's a real shake up when you get this bad news, and it's nearly always in your mind for the first several months. The best thing to do is to try to get over it as best you can, or at least make a decision to get over it. This is easier said that done, and you certainly will have your moments when the thoughts of it come back to annoy you to say the least.

I'm a fairly new DX, May this year, so on treatment nearly 6 months. I had quite an advanced Dx which means I was sick for months before I found out & months after too. However, I decided to keep a positive mindset and decided to get on with with as best I could. This attitude serves me well, of course being human I still have bad days too, & recently the 2 week to 4 week clinic visits were really beginning to get on my nerves & I was feeling down for several weeks, just a bad period, I  bounced back mentally again. :)

As a fairly new Dx, what I can tell you is after a few months, you will begin to think less of it, and less. Somedays I even forget I have this. The more experienced long time ago Dx people on here will say that they rarely think of it, so I'm looking forward when I get to that stage sometime in the future.

Keep you chin up, take your meds strictly as instructed. My VL was 270,000 and it was UD within approx 2 months. You'll be UD soon too.


Offline ad21

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2018, 10:36:54 pm »
Hey guys, just wanted to give you an update. I've been on Biktarvy for a little over a month now, and my viral load has dropped to 30 from around 49,000. I feel weird saying this, but I almost feel like I don't have the virus. And I have zero side effects from the medication. Maybe the first week I felt a little tired and slight headache, but that was it. I feel really optimistic.

Offline JimDublin

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Re: My Partner and I Tested Positive, Scared and Crying
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2018, 01:03:43 am »
Glad to hear 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:
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You can read about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
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PEP and PrEP

 


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