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Author Topic: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment  (Read 962 times)

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Offline Isma95

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« on: November 02, 2018, 08:05:34 am »
Hello everyone  :)

I wanted to share my HIV diagnosis with you and ask a few questions...

I'm a 22 year old gay guy from Spain and I was diagnosed HIV positive a couple of weeks ago. The first days after my diagnosis were quite hard for me as I felt very bad and concerned... I even had lots of trouble sleeping but fortunately I had full support of my best friends (one of whom is positive too and he was actually the one that encouraged me to get tested).

It is likely that I caught HIV a few years ago, because I did not get tested for quite a long time (more than 3 years) and my first labs showed a relatively low CD4 T-cell count (although I feel very well - not sick at all).

My results were the following:
- Viral Load 126,500 (Log 5.1)
- CD4 294 / CD8 623 (47.19%)

My doctor already prescribed prophylaxis for Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia and I still need a few more lab tests (resistances and so on) but I will be starting antiretroviral treatment next monday. Just like most of the people I've seen on here I am a bit concerned about the side effects... but for what I've read (they happen but are not as bad as they used to be with older meds) I feel much better.

I will probably be getting one of the following regimes to start:
- Tivicay + Truvada (DTG+FTC+TDF)
- Tivicay + Descovy (DTG+FTC+TAF)
- Genvoya (EVG+C+FTC+TAF)

I've read that Genvoya has to be taken with food but I think I'd rather take a single tablet daily if all these regimes work equally well. Is there any other advantage in the other two that you think I should consider?

I was also wondering, is it likely that I will recover my CD4 count back to a 'normal' level (over 500)? Did any of you start treatment in a similar situation and managed to rise their CD4 count over 500?

Thank you all :D

Offline Tonny2

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,167
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2018, 09:06:39 am »

     ojo.    Hola chaval, bienvenido... I'm sorry about about your diagnosis, especially for being so young, but I am glad that you got tested, now you know it, now you treat it.

When I was diagnosed, my cd4=20, 23 years later, your age, my latest blood work results are, cd4=725, cd4%=31 and UD for the last 12 years, same treatment, so, you are going to be fine you only have to be adherent to your medication/s and go back to live a normal life, be a fighter not a victim  (why me), comprende?.. i guess, if you just want to take a pill a day, genvoya is the one,  I take four different pills twice a day, my case is way to different than yours, lucky you newly diagnosed people

Ok, please keep us posted. Buena suerte chavito .nabrazos.         ojo
« Last Edit: November 02, 2018, 09:10:20 am by Tonny2 »

Offline ad21

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2018, 07:59:26 pm »
Hello everyone  :)

I wanted to share my HIV diagnosis with you and ask a few questions...

I'm a 22 year old gay guy from Spain and I was diagnosed HIV positive a couple of weeks ago. The first days after my diagnosis were quite hard for me as I felt very bad and concerned... I even had lots of trouble sleeping but fortunately I had full support of my best friends (one of whom is positive too and he was actually the one that encouraged me to get tested).

It is likely that I caught HIV a few years ago, because I did not get tested for quite a long time (more than 3 years) and my first labs showed a relatively low CD4 T-cell count (although I feel very well - not sick at all).

My results were the following:
- Viral Load 126,500 (Log 5.1)
- CD4 294 / CD8 623 (47.19%)

My doctor already prescribed prophylaxis for Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia and I still need a few more lab tests (resistances and so on) but I will be starting antiretroviral treatment next monday. Just like most of the people I've seen on here I am a bit concerned about the side effects... but for what I've read (they happen but are not as bad as they used to be with older meds) I feel much better.

I will probably be getting one of the following regimes to start:
- Tivicay + Truvada (DTG+FTC+TDF)
- Tivicay + Descovy (DTG+FTC+TAF)
- Genvoya (EVG+C+FTC+TAF)

I've read that Genvoya has to be taken with food but I think I'd rather take a single tablet daily if all these regimes work equally well. Is there any other advantage in the other two that you think I should consider?

I was also wondering, is it likely that I will recover my CD4 count back to a 'normal' level (over 500)? Did any of you start treatment in a similar situation and managed to rise their CD4 count over 500?

Thank you all :D

Do you get free medication in Spain? I'm working towards getting my Spanish citizenship and I heard there is access to free healthcare and medication there.

Offline MarkintheDark

  • Member
  • Posts: 75
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2018, 07:34:33 am »
Hello Isma.  Sorry for your dx, but glad you have support, particularly from a poz friend.  Sounds, too, like you've very good medical care, even what sounds to me like genotyping.

Speaking to my own case, my doc only insists on the prophylaxis for PCP - using Bactrim - when my CD4 is under 200.  Some people make a big deal out of 200.  The concern is, technically, that's a level below which, if I was hit with an opportunistic infection, it would be an AIDS dx.  However, again technically, I've had AIDS since 2001, so it's not a big deal to me.

You expressed concern about returning your CD4 levels to 500 or so.  I'd venture that for most of us that's not a big deal either.  What is a big deal is getting your viral load to an undetectable level (<20-50 copies/cu ml).  You'll be starting your ARV shortly and of course this is a great place for feedback.  It's likely that it may take months for you to see your VL levels drop.  That's completely normal.  Yes, to answer your question, you'll probably see an increase in your CD4 at the same time. 

Aside from side effects, I think you inadvertently brought up an important issue when you mentioned the Genvoya, that you'd rather take a single pill daily.  If a simpler regimen means you'll be more consistent with taking your meds, that's an important consideration.

Under the circumstances, sounds like you're doing great.  Proud of you.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 07:45:10 am by MarkintheDark »
HIV dx - 02/93
AIDS dx - 07/01
Rilpivirine/Cabotegravir guinea pig since 01/17

Offline fabio

  • Member
  • Posts: 51
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2018, 08:34:38 am »
Hello Isma,I'm really sorry about your dx,but I'm also happy that you started your treatment and have such wonderful and nice friends to support you.
I was diagnosed a year ago. I had cd4 340 and 120 000 vl. Started treatment 2 weeks after my dx on truvada and prezcobix,which thankfully in my country (Greece) are for free,so is health checkups on the virus. On my first test after 4 months of taking the treatment I had cd4 420 and 60 vl (which is good I think). Once I go draw blood again I'll know about my latest blood work. They said if something goes wrong,they will call me,which won't because I take my meds religiously and the doc explained that I'll live normally as long as I take the meds as prescribed,no smoke,healthy life and all that haha.
Whatever happens will be for the best,don't worry. I feel a lot better than b4 taking the meds,so I'm sure you will feel better too.
Also a question: are meds in Spain for free?
Weirdly I also get benefits here in Greece,cuz in the US people pay mortgages for meds....
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 08:39:46 am by fabio »

Offline Isma95

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2018, 02:21:12 pm »
Thank you all for your replies and support :)

Answering those of you who asked me: yes, in Spain all HIV treatments are 100% free for the patients: they are fully paid by the Government (and so are all the tests and healthcare we get).

Offline fabio

  • Member
  • Posts: 51
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2018, 03:50:27 pm »
Same as Greece then,must be in the eu as a whole.
That's a very good thing. It just sounds so weird that people in other places pay so.much for something that keeps them alive. It's just sad and wish that would change.....

Offline JimDublin

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  • Member
  • Posts: 9,936
  • Twitter @JimAllenDublin
    • HIV Lessons
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2018, 04:25:13 pm »
Quote
Same as Greece then,must be in the eu as a whole
.

Sourcing HIV medication as none resident within the EU can be a real pain. Its tends to be very bureaucratic between health insurance requirements or minimal social system contributions, residency requirements and it all differs per nation state. Some of them charging certain services or even having no previsions for people without national contributions. Something some of us take for granted.

We have tones of thread on this topic including locations like Spain that people have had difficulties. Overall my advice is if anyone is moving nation they should check with the local NGO of the place they are moving to for information relevant to their status & hiv treatments.

@Isma95

Welcome to the forum.

Sorry to hear about the diagnosis, but glad to hear you are starting treatment soon.
To be honest with modern treatment aside of initial adjustment / settling in you should not be expecting any issues.

CD4 is not a measurement of health, however the prophylaxis in regards to OI's is mostly when someone has a very low count, lower than 200 as statistically the risk for the group does starts to increase, however you are not at that level and have the antibiotics to protect you.

Anyhow once you start treatment as others have pointed out the goal is to suppress the virus (Viral load) so it no longer is doing uncontrolled damage to you and your body can focus on better things rather than a loosing battle. Also counting CD$'s becomes rather irrelevant for the most part.

There are some easy to digest lessons on being newly diagnosed and starting treatment that might of help.

Anyhow take it easy, Jim

https://www.poz.com/basics/hiv-basics/newly-diagnosed
https://www.poz.com/basics/hiv-basics/starting-hiv-treatment

« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 04:29:45 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 Isma95

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2018, 11:56:12 am »
Thank you all again :)

I will finally start my treatment with Rezolsta (darunavir cobicistat) + Truvada (emtricitabine tenofovir). Two pills once a day.

Offline fabio

  • Member
  • Posts: 51
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2018, 01:40:49 pm »
I take the same thing,it's called rezolsta here too haha. For some reason it's called prezcobix in the US. Beware of the farting hahaha.

Offline Jmarksto

  • Member
  • Posts: 661
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2018, 04:09:21 pm »

I will probably be getting one of the following regimes to start:
- Tivicay + Truvada (DTG+FTC+TDF)
- Tivicay + Descovy (DTG+FTC+TAF)
- Genvoya (EVG+C+FTC+TAF)



Descovy is the new and improved version of Truvada (which is easier on kidney function and bone density).  Cross Truvada off the list if you can get Descovy.
03/15/12 Negative
06/15/12 Positive
07/11/12 CD4 790          VL 4,000
08/06/12 CD4 816/38%   VL 49,300
08/20/12 Started Complera
11/06/12 CD4   819/41% VL 38
02/11/13 CD4   935/41% VL UD
06/06/13 CD4   816/41% VL UD
10/28/13 CD4 1131/45% VL 25
02/25/14 CD4   792/37% VL UD
07/09/14 CD4 1004/39% VL UD
11/03/14 CD4   711/34% VL UD
03/13/15 CD4   833/36% VL UD
04/??/15 Truvada & Tivicay
06/01/15 CD4 1100/50% VL UD
10/16/15 CD4   826/43% VL UD
??/??/2017 Descov & Tivicay
2017 VL UD, CD4 stable around 850
2018 VL UD, CD4 stable around 850

Offline JosephP

  • Member
  • Posts: 250
  • Keep looking FORWARD... Dx'd 8/10/2013...
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2018, 12:02:05 am »
"I was also wondering, is it likely that I will recover my CD4 count back to a 'normal' level (over 500)? Did any of you start treatment in a similar situation and managed to rise their CD4 count over 500?" Yes! Almost all of us did! My CD4 were 190 and VL 76K at diagnosis... I became undetectable 3 months after initiating treatment and my CD4 at last check were 800+. Don't dwell so much on the CD4 count. They are a measure of relative health, but can be affected by injury or even a simple cold. Why don't you talk to your doctor about Biktarvy? It is the newest on the Stribild/Genvoya family and can be taken with or without food! And it is liberating! Good luck... And we are here! :) :)

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

  • Member
  • Posts: 250
  • Keep looking FORWARD... Dx'd 8/10/2013...
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2018, 12:06:08 am »

Also a question: are meds in Spain for free?
Weirdly I also get benefits here in Greece,cuz in the US people pay mortgages for meds....

Ain't that the truth? The richest country in the world and we struggle to get the meds! :( :(
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 fabio

  • Member
  • Posts: 51
Re: Recently diagnosed and about to start treatment
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2018, 10:11:00 am »
Right? It's just so bad,since some millions are without hiv meds and the US government pretends everything is fine,because they get a ton of dollars. People shouldn't conform to something like that. They should have a right to stay alive.

 


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