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Author Topic: Recently Diagnosed and Have a Lot To Process  (Read 2331 times)

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Offline thenoesis89

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Recently Diagnosed and Have a Lot To Process
« on: February 21, 2019, 04:03:30 pm »
Hey, new guy here.

So I was recently diagnosed and I just have a lot of mixed feelings and emotions. I have an idea how it happen: Late/Mid December I had gone out drinking, gotten so drunk I ended up waking up in another person's bed. I remembered vague flashes of that night and it all seemed consensual but he didn't use a condom. It's not something I usually do and I've never had so much alcohol where I basically blacked out. I have been going through a lot of issues concerning self-esteem/image etc. and what not and had been slowly getting more and more reckless, with NYE I completely blacked out where my friends found me passed out, outside a bar I knew I had to start curbing my alcohol consumption. Flash forward to middle of January. I had a week where I just felt terrible. Extremely tired, my entire body hurt, loss of appetite, and high temperature. At first I thought it had to do with my schedule, having two internships and a weekend job, part of me thought I was exhausted from overworking but something told me to get an STD/HIV test. I went to get tested and all my test came back negative. I was treated for early syphilis for a small sore but aside from that I was extremely happy. I was going to take control of my life, see about getting on PreP, and be more responsible with my decisions. Then I got the call for a follow up on 2/8/19 a week later and I knew what that meant and found out that I had tested reactive for HIV.

The news was a surprised, but at the same time it wasn't. Going into my first testing I had prepared myself to accept an HIV diagnoses and when it came back Negative it was like I was given another chance to get things right. When the case worker talked to me and explain why the swab test was negative and my blood test was positive, I started to cry. I felt like my second chance was ripped away from me, all my plans were null and void, and I had to face the fact that I did this to myself. I called my aunt and told her and cried hard on the phone with her, she reassured me how much she loves me and will help me in anyway that I need it from financial to emotional support. After work I told my mother who was reassuring and said I will get through this and will come out stronger from it. I spent the time I could in bed that week until I had to get up for work. A part of me feels lost and angry at myself, another part feels relieved from the constant fear of getting HIV, another part wants to do anything and everything I can to get this virus under control, and one more part just wants to hide under the covers and just stay there.

I was told that since this is a very early infection that it will be a lot easier to get me to get to undetectable levels. I had an appointment a week after being officially told of my status with the LA LGBT Center for Financial Screening and then a Doctors appointment right after and started treatment that day. So I've been on medication for a week now. My mother has been doing a ton of research on insurances and between her, my aunt+uncle, they all will help me in anyway they can in finding programs or assistance for me. Right now I qualify for Ryan White, so I don't pay anything at this point.

For those interested in my VL and CD4 here is what I know.
2/4 - VL 6.98 (9,625,044) CD4 -?
2/14 - VL  5.70 (506,657) CD4 - 675/ 24%

Both test results is before treatment, so I have an appointment with the Doctor who is going to be my primary and I'm sure she will explain all the labwork I had to take. Then I will probably have another appointment to get MORE blood taken out to see how I am responding to my medication (Biktarvy).  I know I have this amazing support but at time I just feel like crying, or I just feel numb and lost. It's been a lot of ups and down mentally and my caseworker has advised me to seek therapy from what little I've shared with him on how I'm feeling and actually set up an appointment for me to see one of their therapist at the Center. It's a lot to process and everything has happen so fast. I find out I'm positive and literally a week later I'm on treatment, and all these doctor appointments. So yeah.... it is all overwhelming.


Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Recently Diagnosed and Have a Lot To Process
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 07:04:28 pm »
Hiya

Welcome to the forum, sorry to hear about the diagnosis.

Glad to hear you have support from your mom though, and that you started treatment and Biktarvy no less, the VIP stuff. ;)

Quote
Then I will probably have another appointment to get MORE blood taken out to see how I am responding to my medication (Biktarvy).

Don't worry the vampires are professionals and will not bleed you dry. ;) It will be okay.

Being newly diagnosed can certainly make your head spin and I hear you on all the doctors appointments being overwhelming at first, although that part will settle as you learn the routine and in addition within a while the appointments will be less and less and, sooner of later it will be only once per 6 months.

Quote
It's been a lot of ups and down mentally and my caseworker has advised me to seek therapy from what little I've shared with him on how I'm feeling and actually set up an appointment for me to see one of their therapist at the Center.

Well I'm glad you have good support, and can see someone face to face. Perhaps you can also ask if there are any peer to peer support networks in your area, i truly think meeting people face to face who have gone through this really helps

Anyhow do keep us posted and were here for you whenever you need to talk, vent or have questions.

Take it easy

Jim
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 08:16:34 pm by JimDublin »
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Offline thenoesis89

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Re: Recently Diagnosed and Have a Lot To Process
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 08:52:15 pm »
Thanks :)

I do have a question about my VL. It was/is extremely high, is that normal for a very new infection? I had seen others post here and their VL were much lower than mine. Should I be concern or just take it in stride since I'm on medication now?

I also can't wait when the appointments start to lessen, I don't really know what to say when my bosses at my internship ask if everything is alright because I've had like to take days offs almost weekly this month. So it will be nice not having to find a lie to say or brush them off.

And I am very fortunate that I do have a support group which has been getting me by. I had known someone online for years who was diagnosed last summer and had no one to give support and basically was told it would be impossible to control without insurance. He pretty much had no hope and no one to guide him and unfortunately found out he passed away in December and I'm not sure how he went if it was HIV, suicide, or a drug overdose. I think about him a lot now and I'm sad he never got the assistance I got and the support. I'm very lucky I was set-up with programs to help me get treatment.

Offline TexasDragon

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Re: Recently Diagnosed and Have a Lot To Process
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2019, 08:11:02 am »
Thenoesis89 -

Iím no expert, but from all Iíve read it is not unusual at all to have a very high VL during the and shortly after the initial infection.

The goal of meds is a 1 log reduction in the first couple of weeks, and another log reduction by the end of the first month.

I went from 317,000 to 98 in one month on Biktarvy. The initial drop is fast.
Exposure 10-04-2018
Dx 11-08-2018
1st Appt 11-15-2018
11-15-2018 Blood Draw - CD4 468 11% VL 316,000
2nd Appt 12-04-2018 - Hep A and B Vaccines
Start of Biktarvy 12-14-2018
3rd Appt 01-15-2019 - All Good - 2nd Hep B Vaccine
01-16-2019 Blood Draw - CD4 934 28% VL 98
4th Appt 04-16-2019 - All Good - Final Hep B Vaccine
04-16-2019 Blood Draw - CD4 873 30% VL <20
01-13-2020 Blood Draw - CD4 1064 34% VL <20

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Recently Diagnosed and Have a Lot To Process
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2019, 08:48:26 am »
Indeed, current VL is just a starting point not much point overthinking the number, we all had one. During initial or late stages you tend to see on average higer viral loads, but that's not true for everyone.

Regardless after starting treatment within a serveral months it should be suppressed but don't stress if it takes slightly longer

Relax
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
HIV 101
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 thenoesis89

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Re: Recently Diagnosed and Have a Lot To Process
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2019, 07:03:33 am »
I have another question. When you were infected how long did you wait before having sex again? Two people who are HIV+ had said not to until I'm healthy both mentally and physically. I can kind of understand that but at the same time it frustrates me because my usual partners don't care and we play safe and they are on PreP but then I am told not to because of how I am dealing with this illness. I don't know what to do or think about anything anymore...

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Recently Diagnosed and Have a Lot To Process
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2019, 08:00:31 am »
Immediately.

Look, you can have sex whenever you are ready for it. That's for you to decide!
So if you're ready to have sex and, have a consenting partner go for it. Just practice safer sex.

Jim
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 07:29:30 pm by JimDublin »
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
HIV 101
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 Marcanthony

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  • Posts: 48
Re: Recently Diagnosed and Have a Lot To Process
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 02:41:53 am »
Hey. Totally understand your worries & concerns, but speaking from experience things do get better. The main part is that you were caught early & are now being treated. You wonít even notice that you have HIV. I understand how youíre feeling, how you feel and everything is a concern- but honestly it will get better.

Offline Dfwguy

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  • Posts: 28
Re: Recently Diagnosed and Have a Lot To Process
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2019, 08:23:23 am »
For what is is worth...my husband and I are both poz for 35, yes , 35 years and still kickiní.  Life with HIV in 2019 is much different than back in those dark times in 1980ís. Do what your Dr. says, treat your body right by cutting shitty food out of your diet, start an exercise routine , get mentally Ďin a good placeí and you will thrive.
HIV dx .  08/1985

 


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