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Author Topic: Results Confirmed Yesterday  (Read 1981 times)

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Offline DanielGA

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Results Confirmed Yesterday
« on: April 05, 2019, 04:27:26 pm »
Hello, everyone.

I am so glad I found this forum. While waiting for approval to post, I was so impressed and reassured about my situation just from reading your posts. Please forgive the length of my story to follow. My heart and mind are so full.

I have had quarterly tests on a regular basis for a while. Last week I went on Thursday for my hiv/sti screen and headed home ready for a weekend of sexual fun. My doctor called on Friday morning to tell me that the antigen screen was negative, but the antibody screen was positive. I was stunned. I had unprotected sex just about three months earlier but stupidly believed that my partner was negative as he said. Condoms were there, but a restart and libido had him in me without one. He did not finish inside me, but clearly that doesnít matter.

I immediately went to the lab after the doctorís call last Friday and awaited his next call. In the meantime, I was researching false positive tests (my doctor was convinced mine was) as well as reading about coping during the waiting period. All week I would look in the mirror and tell myself, ďYouíre hiv positive.Ē Yesterday afternoon the doctor called and confirmed that the second test did indeed detect antibodies. He couldnít bring himself to say it. I finally asked, ďAre you telling me Iím hiv positive?Ē He replied, ďYes, you are hiv positive.Ē I had prepared myself for the worst, and the worst came. He reassured me that since detection was early, we were in an excellent place as far as treatment was concerned. I would begin medication and become undetectable. I would live a normal, healthy life. My first RNA and cd4 tests happened yesterday. My doctor is bringing a colleague alongside himself who is an expert in hiv treatment. He will consult on my case and begin the pharmaceutical course at that point. I know I will be okay physically. I am so grateful for the healthcare that will keep me alive.

My anguish is over my stupidity. I have had unprotected sex in the past (not frequently) and always tested positive. I was stupid enough to trust someone because I wanted sex. I was stupid not to ask my doctor for Truvada a year ago because I was afraid of what he would say or think. Was I a slut? Was I careless? I am so angry at myself for being quiet when I should have advocated for that protection.

My anguish is over this new secret Iím holding on to. How will my loved ones respond when they learn not only that I am gay but that I am hiv positive? This causes anxiety to overwhelm me. I am very loved, but I fear the rejection and judgment and stigma.

I called a therapist who was available through my health insurance (again, I am so fortunate). With compassion, she listened and told me that right now I need to focus on myself and not on others. She said that IF I decide to disclose this, it needs to be in my time and when I am ready. I am looking for a therapist who will be able to speak with the same compassion and acceptance of my status as a gay man with hiv. It was a difficult night, but my wonderful job has been a welcome distraction today.

I feel tainted. I look at my hands and think of diseased, poisonous blood coursing through my veins. I think about how my doctor reminded me that I am contagious and need to be mindful of that. I think of how our society thinks people who are positive are lepers of some kind.

I feel isolated and alone even though the people I love and who love me are all around me. I feel like more of a liar than I was before because I know that I am infected. In spite of these feelings, I have had a wonderful, happy, and fulfilling life. I know I will get back to those feelings as I navigate this shock and grief.

I am so thankful for this forum and for you who have endured this tome. Iím thankful for the support and encouragement and (hopefully) friends I will find who are living with this disease like I am.

Anything you can say would be most appreciated. 💙
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2019, 04:43:41 pm »
Hi Daniel.

Quick note, just sitting down for a late dinner here.

Sorry to hear about the reactive result.
For the moment I am going to ask you to only post in this one thread.

Quote
My anguish is over this new secret Iím holding on to. How will my loved ones respond when they learn not only that I am gay but that I am hiv positive? This causes anxiety to overwhelm me. I am very loved, but I fear the rejection and judgment and stigma.
Quote
I think of how our society thinks people who are positive are lepers of some kind.

Ill be honest i've never been treated like a leper. You get the odd moron from time to time sure but that's the same with everything.

Anyhow not sure why your stressing about it being a "secrete". its just a private medical condition, nothing more than that. Nearly everyone at some stage has a private medical conditions or challenge in life and you happen to be living with HIV. Now as for sharing this medical info with family etc, totally up to you of course if you want to tell but unless i am missing something their is no need to tell.

Now reading your post just so I understand you correctly you have had two antibodies test come back reactive and you went in and provided bloods yesterday for a VL test?

Best, Jim
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 04:48:01 pm by Jim Allen »
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Offline DanielGA

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2019, 06:11:48 pm »
Hi, Jim.

Thanks for reaching out. Thank you for sharing your experience. Discussion of hiv among the ignorant and uneducated is what I was referring to. I did not mean to suggest that was my opinion in any way. I dated a positive, undetectable guy for a bit, and never considered his status as a factor.

As I shared from my phone conversation with the therapist, the question of whether any of my family or friends is told is less of a priority than my coming to a place of peace and acceptance first. My mind races now with all of the newness and with this, in my opinion, dramatic change in me. How dramatic it truly is remains to be seen. For now, I am only sharing my thoughts in hopes of connecting with others who have gone before me and finding a safe place to talk about how I feel and what is developing. From what I have read in other topics people have created. I believe that to be true.

Yes, the screen and confirmatory test both were positive for antibodies. I know the cd4 tear is to measure the VL. I am not sure about the RNA test.

Thanks again for taking the time to reach out so late and before dinner. Iím grateful for your words and for the future encouragement this forum offers.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline TexasDragon

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2019, 06:31:38 pm »
DanielGA -

So glad you found us! And we have all felt the same emotions at one time or another. I posted about being in the grocery store over the holidays and thinking ďIím the only one in this crazy store that is HIV positive.Ē I might have been right, and I might have been wrong - the point is did it matter? No.

You move ahead. As I have posted here many time my ID doctor says ďStick to the plan, and die an old man.Ē The plan means getting on meds, taking care of your body and mind, and living.

You are not alone...not dirty...not cursed...you are you...worthy of care and respect. So why not give yourself both?

Easier said than done I know - but practice and not perfection, ok?
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

Offline DanielGA

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2019, 08:44:41 pm »
Hi, Texas.

Thanks for the welcome and for validating my distorted thoughts. Like I shared, the therapist I spoke with helped me to see lots of truth. My emotions, however, skew those perceptions.

Your grocery store example was so timely. I was driving to work on a street this morning and thought, ďIím the only positive person on this road.Ē Youíre right. It doesnít even matter.

When the RNA and cd4 tests come back, Iíll meet with the specialist, start the meds, and plan whatís ahead. Thanks for the reminder that Iím worthy of care and respect. If you donít mind, Iíll add love and acceptance. Just reading all of the posts on this page helps me. I donít feel alone even though Iím just reading posts. I know I will be okay. Thank you for taking the time to share truth and encouragement. 💙
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline TexasDragon

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2019, 09:05:18 pm »
DanielGA -

Hugs...
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

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2019, 11:35:44 pm »
Hi, Jim.

Thanks for reaching out. Thank you for sharing your experience. Discussion of hiv among the ignorant and uneducated is what I was referring to. I did not mean to suggest that was my opinion in any way. I dated a positive, undetectable guy for a bit, and never considered his status as a factor.

As I shared from my phone conversation with the therapist, the question of whether any of my family or friends is told is less of a priority than my coming to a place of peace and acceptance first. My mind races now with all of the newness and with this, in my opinion, dramatic change in me. How dramatic it truly is remains to be seen. For now, I am only sharing my thoughts in hopes of connecting with others who have gone before me and finding a safe place to talk about how I feel and what is developing. From what I have read in other topics people have created. I believe that to be true.

Yes, the screen and confirmatory test both were positive for antibodies. I know the cd4 tear is to measure the VL. I am not sure about the RNA test.

Thanks again for taking the time to reach out so late and before dinner. Iím grateful for your words and for the future encouragement this forum offers.

Hiya,

I'm not suggesting it is your opinion of people living with HIV.

You are also not contagious as you mentioned you doctor had reminded you about. You might be infectouise for the time being like during unprotected sexual activity but contagious certainly not.

Anyhow being newly diagnosed is news that can take time and be a lot for people to digest and, i'm glad to hear you also have support from the therapist during this time.

Keep us posted & take it easy.

Best, 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 DanielGA

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2019, 10:28:23 am »
My test results just posted online:
CD4 count: 623
CD4 percentage: 17%

From what I read, it looks like that is within the normal range on one site (500-1500) but below average on the CDCís definitions (750-1499) and the lab results (747-1589). The results donít show a viral load.

Forgive my ignorance, but will the medication help to  increase that CD4 count?

Thanks for any insight.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2019, 10:49:04 am »
Average is anything over 400/500.

The medication does not increase CD4 counts directly, it will however suppress the virus so your immune system isn't working on a loosing fight and can focus instead on better things.

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
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PEP and PrEP

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2019, 10:55:26 am »
The lessons btw on POZ are really good & easy to digest, prehaps give the below ones would be a good read to get you started

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

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

Best, 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 DanielGA

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2019, 10:59:37 am »
Thanks for that, Jim!

After I posted, I looked up CD4 counts in negative people and saw the numbers you just shared! Such variance.

Still awaiting the RNA results. There is a part of me wondering if those results will come back and show no virus at all. The other two tests were false. In my head I know thatís not true, but the VL will be the final confirmation of the reality.

Iím doing better today. Mild pangs of anxiety accompanied by throbbing bursts of regret for the huge consequence.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2019, 11:13:31 am »
You're welcome.

Iím doing better today. Mild pangs of anxiety accompanied by throbbing bursts of regret for the huge consequence.

Well glad you are feeling better.

As for the "Coulda Woulda Shoulda" . Try not to beat yourself up over doing something that is perfectly natural, and countless millions of people do daily.

It's unfortunate but once you have digested the news try to focus on the future as you are here now instead of feeling misplaced guilt over what is done. I know it's easier said than done and a process to work though but you will get there.

Best, 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 DanielGA

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2019, 07:40:16 am »
I have a friend who saysóregarding regretóthat you just canít ďshould on yourself.Ē I have seen it be true in lots of situations. I know itís true here, too, but Iím struggling with the consequences.

I spent time with close friends and was out in public for the first time since my diagnosis three days ago. I forgot a couple of times during the time with my loved ones that I was positive. Other times, though, I sat there wondering if times like that would ever be the same if they knew my status. Itís fear or uncertainty over the unknown. I learned that in therapy in the past.

I kept wondering in the public places if anyone else around me was positive. Was I the only one? I know that doesnít matter in the long run. I know that soon I will begin taking meds. I will be okay physically. I just get overwhelmed sometimes. Irrational fear. Anxiety. I woke up at 3 am again and have not been able to go back to sleep. In my head, I know I will be in a better place someday. I just donít see it yet.

Iím so grateful for this forum, for the wisdom and compassion of the people, and for the opportunity to get these feelings out. I hope to hear from you and find some encouragement and hope.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2019, 08:08:35 am »
Early days and your head is still swimming with thoughts, most of us have been though this. It will settle and, although you can't see it yet, sooner or later you will be living your life & no longer even think about HIV.

Take it easy. 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 MarkintheDark

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2019, 10:14:47 am »
Hello Daniel and welcome.  I'm sorry for the dx and the way it's upset you.  You're certainly in the right place, however.  I'd venture we've all walked that path.  And we're a wealth of information...and reassurance.  I may get a li'l wordy....

If no one's said it so far, you done good.  You've moved forward on tests and treatment, and taken charge of your own care by consulting with a therapist.  I particularly like that she's suggested you put the disclosure issue on the back burner as you adjust.  She sounds like a keeper.

Your primary doc's "contagious" statement, otoh, bothers me as too clinical and insensitive a response to someone still in shock over a poz dx.  Good lord, hearing that from a doc, no wonder you'd feel tainted.  Sheesh.  I'm also concerned you didn't feel comfortable enough to discuss Truvada with him either.  You weren't "stupid," imo.  It sounds like you felt intimidated on some level.  I'm glad you've access to an HIV specialist.  I hope they have more sensitivity.  From what you described, it may be time - when you're ready - to find a new primary doc with whom you're completely at ease.  My point being, it's best that you're absolutely comfortable telling your doc any and everything.

Your current CD4 is terrific.  And, yeah, a lot of us - even some professionals - inadvertently use it as a measuring stick.  (In my case, a CD4 absolute <200 has been the delineation for AIDS or stage 3 HIV...and an adjustment to my meds, but I've gone around the block a few times).  However, what's most important is reaching an undetectable level, <20-50 copies/cu ml.  Depending on your first results and your response to meds, it could take a few months.  Or not. 

The idea is that, as you reach an undetectable level, it gives your system a chance to recover.  Your CD4s would likely remain normal since they're no longer under relentless attack.  Numbers may seem to be the most important thing for a while.  All this is new to you.  You may feel overwhelmed trying to interpret the effin' alphabet soup of results to which you've never given a second thought.  Well, Daniel, that's normal.  Personally,  if any consolation, I've narrowed it down to primarily whether I'm UD and what my CD4 absolute/percentage is.  And what I often consider instead is, "How do I feel?"

idk if your therapist has suggested this but to help you "come out," so to speak, perhaps there might be a support group in your area, too.  Again, however, that's when you feel ready for it.  Meanwhile, heck, just keep us posted, ok?  So glad you found us.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 10:17:28 am by MarkintheDark »
HIV dx - 02/93
AIDS dx - 07/01
Rilpivirine/Cabotegravir guinea pig since 01/17

Offline DanielGA

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2019, 10:53:28 am »
Mark, thanks for sharing all you did. I donít think you were wordy in the slightest. In fact, I sure hope that we will be able to talk more. I need some people who have been down this road before me to give me perspective. I am still in a state of shock over the whole thing and find myself saying ďyouíre hiv positiveĒ to remind myself it really happened.

I donít blame my doctor at all for my reluctance to ask for Truvada. Itís my fault. He may have used the wrong word, but I donít doubt his level of compassion or concern for me and my new health condition. I am grateful, though, that his colleague who is an hiv specialist will be consulting on my treatment.

I vacillate back and forth about going into therapy but know itís what I need to do. I wish the clinician I spoke to could help me in person. She was part of my insuranceís 24/7 access. I hope Iíll be able to find someone who is as insightful and compassionate as she is. As I wait for the results of my viral load and to get started with therapy, Iím so glad to have all of you here. Mark, thanks again so much.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline DanielGA

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2019, 11:44:11 am »
It will settle and, although you can't see it yet, sooner or later you will be living your life & no longer even think about HIV.

Jim, you are so full of affirmation. I couldnít be more thankful. I had a devastating break up years ago and didnít think Iíd make it. The pain I endured and ensuing therapy along with time got me to a place of happiness and acceptance. I had never been happier until last week when that first positive test result came. I am so aware that the emotional victories of the past promise the same for this setback. You, Texas, Mark, and the others who have shared responses in other threads offer hope. Even while I sit here writing this, I feel separated from the truth. But, wow, your experience is so encouraging. Someday I wonít even think about hiv? Wow.

I so appreciate all the words and truth. Please keep them coming.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2019, 12:24:53 pm »
Hiya,

Its a journey.

I know you still have to get some of the practical stuff out of the way as well like getting more results, first visits with the specialist and starting meds etc. Down the line though once your more settled you might also want to consider seeking out any local peer support networks, personally I've found that face to face peer support/interaction can be invaluably.

Best, 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
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PEP and PrEP

Offline DanielGA

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2019, 01:49:42 pm »
Jim,

Yes, those firsts need to happen. I need to slow down about things and get myself stabilized. I agree that some group support will be beneficial. For now, Iím so happy to have found this safe place, and I need to get back to therapy. Thanks again.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2019, 01:52:52 pm »
Yeah, yeah.

First things first like I mentioned ;)

Although I think peer support & mental health support should kick in at dignoisis, it's something I'll be advocating for here
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 01:57:01 pm by Jim Allen »
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HIV Transmission and Risks
Read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
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HIV TasP
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Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2019, 01:54:52 pm »
Btw when do you have your follow-up appointment? Maybe you mentioned it and I'm reading over it if so I apologise
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
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Transmission and Risks:
HIV Transmission and Risks
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HIV Testing
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Offline DanielGA

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2019, 02:08:30 pm »
Jim,

When the RNA results come, Iíll make the appointment with the hiv specialist. My primary doctor says that they will work together in my treatment. Iím hoping that the specialist will direct me to support offered in my medical group then. I agree that mental health support has to happen ASAP. Would you be willing to share your path in that area when you were first diagnosed and how it has evolved?

I talked with a therapist on Thursday over the phone in the evening after the doctor confirmed that I am positive. She spent almost an hour with me listening and offering wisdom and perspective. I need to find a therapist that I will be able to visit face to face. I am looking though the available therapists today. I want to find someone who will offer the same wisdom, perspective, and compassion as the phone therapist. I have had good and bad experiences in tbe past. Iím particularly looking for someone who will be accepting of my being gay and, now, hiv positive.

For now, what I am finding when I check back here is a lifeline.

Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline DanielGA

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  • Posts: 22
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2019, 03:33:39 am »
I am having trouble sleeping again. I understand itís normal, but itís going to make for a very hard day tomorrow. I saw almost all of my closest friends this weekend and went from feeling like I was deceiving them to forgetting about my diagnosis all together. Iím realizing that not disclosing now or possibly ever is the right thing for me. I will need to explore that further.

 I have been diagnosed through the second test for only three days, and itís been nine since the doctor told me about the positive screen. These feelings are normal. When my long term relationship ended, I didnít think I would make it. Since then, I grew so much stronger. I am experiencing many of the same emotions and anxiety but not to the same extent.

Reading posts in this and the Living with HIV topic have been so helpful. Some drive up my anxiety, but there are so many people I wish I could thank. Since Iím only posting in this thread, I can only hope that I will have the chance to thank them here.

I am still in shock and find it hard to believe itís true. Thank you so much for supporting me this weekend. I look forward to continued support and the opportunity someday to offer encouragement to others.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline TexasDragon

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  • Posts: 82
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2019, 08:29:20 am »
DanielGA -

I can only talk about my experience, but I have not disclosed to anyone close to me - only to my neurologist because I started injections for migraines unrelated to HIV - he was like ĎMeh. Youíll be fine.í

It has been only five months now - but I went from thinking ĎIím the only HIV positive person in this [store, coffee shop, park] to it never crossing my mind during those outings. My only real daily reminder now is my pill app that reminds me its 8 AM and time to take my meds.

It does get better and settle into a sense of Ďnormalcyí rather quickly - or at least it did for me.
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

Offline MarkintheDark

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2019, 09:18:45 pm »
Since @TexasDragon gave us the "meh," I'll pass along similar to you.  That is, whatever time you need or how much you need to vent, this is the perfect place to do it.  You're certainly not on anyone else's schedule.  Glad you're doing at least a little better.

Um...you ever treat yourself to a pint of Haagen Daz?  Yeah, I'm serious.
HIV dx - 02/93
AIDS dx - 07/01
Rilpivirine/Cabotegravir guinea pig since 01/17

Offline DanielGA

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2019, 12:49:36 am »
Mark,

Thank you for all of your kind words. This is the only place I have to share these feelings. Today I only felt mild anxiety in the morning and got so busy at work that I forgot until the end of the day. I slept for shit last night, so I will do better tonight.

I used to eat too much. Lost 10 pounds before I got the flu in the middle of January. I think it was the sickest Iíve ever been. I lost 12 more pounds there. I realize now that was the onset of the virus. It didnít even occur to me that it had anything to do with exposure until last weekend after the dx.

I started working with a trainer who is so wonderful and encouraging. At the end of the second week the dx came. Last week I didnít work out at all. I need to get back to it this week. I know it will make me feel better.

All of that to say that ice cream isnít an option. Heís got me on strict calories now! Lol.

Thanks for being so sweet. I need forum and new friends to share this new path with. 💙

Daniel
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline Hausofalex

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  • Posts: 3
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2019, 04:57:07 am »
Hey Daniel. Alex from Houston here. I was just recently diagnosed too and if you ever need someone to talk to I would really appreciate that.

Offline DanielGA

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2019, 08:11:54 am »
Hi, Alex.

Thank you for reaching out. I would love for us to to share our experiences, our worries, our victories, and our progress and find mutual encouragement and friendship. Iím here for you. I was feeling very scared and alone from March 29 until April 6 when I found this forum and started to see that I wasnít alone. There is no one in my life I can or will disclose to, so any friends I can find here who will come alongside me only make me feel stronger. I hope you and I can do that for each other.

Looking forward to hearing back from you, Alex.

Daniel
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline DanielGA

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2019, 10:54:34 pm »
Well, guys, my VL results came in. Itís 50300. My doctor called me tonight at 6:45 pm from his personal cell phone to share the information and talk about the next steps. He is out of the office this week (but he called me anyway in the evening!), and I am not in town next week, so he is arranging an appointment with for us to sit down with the hiv specialist on his team the week of the 22nd. At that time, we will make decisions about ART. From my conversations with a great new friend from Texas and from reading posts, it looks like Biktarvy is a great medication. Iím hoping for that once-a-day pill. Iím hoping to attack the VL and get it undetectable.

Any input on meds, on questions or concerns to raise with the specialist, or on anything else you think I should know are SO welcome!

Thanks to all of you for being so wonderful.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline Jim Allen

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    • HIV Lessons
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2019, 03:31:48 am »
Hiya

There are plenty of good first line treatment combinations available and, what medication is suited for you will depend on a few factors including, availability of meds, the resistance profile of your HIV,  sensitivity testing, medical history. 

I'm sure the doctor will go over the potential choices most suitable for you and, remember when you do have that discussion there is no harm in asking them why they are recommending whatever they do recommend.

Take it easy.

Jim

Updated with 2018 details and drug charts.

Weíve come a long way since the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Today, there are safe and effective drugs on the market to treat HIV that are easy to take and have fewer side effects.

Click for a list of approved and experimental HIV medications

Click for a list of approved HIV medications and their dosing info.

Click for a printable version of the POZ 2017 Drug Chart. (updated July 2017

For information about the specific classes of HIV drugs, links can be found here: hiv-medications

Single-Tablet Regimens
Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs)
Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs)
Protease Inhibitors (PIs)
Integrase Inhibitors
Monoclonal Antibodies
Entry Inhibitors
Pharmacokinetic Enhancers



Anyone looking for information on starting treatment can begin by reading this brief and useful lesson: Starting treatment.

Click for treatment recommendations.
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 Hausofalex

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2019, 01:37:17 pm »
Yes I would like that. You should add me
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 01:49:11 pm by Jim Allen »

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2019, 01:52:05 pm »
Alex, I edited your post.

You are better off sending each other a PM (Private message) if you like. Now if you swap details there up to you if your must, however sharing your details in public posts here is not the best idea.  ;)

Best, 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 DanielGA

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2019, 04:39:08 pm »
Jim,

Thank you for your advice for my next appointment and for keeping us safe on the forum.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline DanielGA

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  • Posts: 22
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2019, 11:12:56 am »
I notice now that Iím experiencing anxiety in the mornings when I wake up. The anxiety is not as bad by far as the anxiety I experienced when my marriage ended. I felt truly hopeless and lost then. The anxiety was overwhelming, but I had a support system of five close friends who helped to carry me through.

With this, none of the people in my circle know (and I donít plan to disclose to them ever). Thankfully, the anxiety is less. Iíve found lots of comfort here and a great new friend from the forum whose experience began just a few months before mine did. In spite of this, he seems to be doing so much better than I think I will be at his point in the dx. My head tells me that once I start ART, I will become undetectable, and my body will be protected from the virusís advancement. But this is more of a psychological battle.

1. I think of my foolishness in not asking my doctor for Truvada because I was concerned about what he would think. Thatís all me and not him. His care and compassion since the dx prove that he is not just a great doctor but a good man. Regret fills me over that decision.
2. I think of my foolishness in having unprotected sex and in not backing out when I saw some red flags before the clothes even came off.
3. I think of how much the ART drugs will cost. I have excellent insurance, so my copay will be very low. My friend told me about a prescription copay card his doctor gave him that completely covers his meds. Itís not the financial drain on me; itís the way our insurance system works. One more diagnosis. One more prescription for hiv medication. Now the insurance company can inflate costs again. Terrible.
4. I fight the cognitive distortions I learned about when I was in therapy after my marriage ended. Lots of all or nothing thinking and crystal balling about worries in the future that may not even be there when the time comes.
5. I find myself very aware of my status in public places. The stigma exists in society and rages in my mind.

In spite of all of this, I remind myself that Iím only 16 days into this. Iíve already made good progress and have found support from this forum, even greater support from my friend, and future support from the therapist my insurance company is finding for me.

If you are newly diagnosed, know that you are not alone. You will be okay. I would love to talk with you and help how I can.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2019, 02:35:47 pm »
Quote
he seems to be doing so much better than I think I will be at his point in the dx

Its not a race. It will take time for you to get your head around this, everyone is different in the way they cope with (new) things and, some people need support to do it, others don't either is fine, but just remember it takes the time it takes.

The way i see it is you seem to have a number of issues ongoing at once during what is a hectic time. So you are doing well just like i said try to remember that slow and steady wins the race. Try not to tackle all issues at once or expect great progress overnight, its been 16 days I have a steak in the fridge that took longer to mature ;)

Best, 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 DanielGA

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  • Posts: 22
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2019, 03:36:53 pm »
Thanks, Jim. Your blunt and straightforward perspective puts it in perspective. I donít expect overnight results, but I am looking forward to getting started on ART. The first pill will be profound Iím sure.

Glad to have the support and to share with others who may be struggling.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline thunter34

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  • Posts: 7,367
  • His name is Carl.
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2019, 12:17:20 am »
Hey hey hey.

I'm an OLD SCHOOLER here who just decided to take a peek back in, and your post caught my eye because of the GA at the end. I'm also GA, and have been all around the block and back with this, having been diagnosed in 2004.

Got questions? Need to vent? HMU or just do so in this thread. I'll make an effort to keep tabs on this old site more diligently since I posted this comment.

Lemme tell ya: This forum is worth more than gold. It has been to me. It was my everything back in the day, including my social network before there was a social network online per se and I was too ill to get out and about.

So anyway....yeah. This forum was my go to source for reliable information, and I'm deeply happy to return to see that it is still fulfilling that role for others.

Breath deep. You are alive, and barring the proverbial bus, you shall remain so for the foreseeable future. There's a lot of living left to pack that life with - smiles to smile, songs to sing, all that good stuff.

Chin up, kiddo. Tomorrow and lots more of 'em are still staring at ya..
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline DanielGA

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2019, 06:17:33 pm »
Thank you, Carl. I sent you a DM.

Well, I heard from my doctor. I am meeting with him next Tuesday at 4. Then we will go together to speak to the specialist at 4:20. It was nerve wracking to read the message. Iíve been looking forward to MOVING forward with treatment. I guess itís just one more step in the reality. When I start ART, thatís the beginning of a lifetime of pills. Thatís unless the new injection studies become approved and effective.

Just needed to get it out there. Itís the new life.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline thunter34

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  • Posts: 7,367
  • His name is Carl.
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2019, 10:28:12 pm »
Actually, it's Tim or TJ.

The sheep in the photo is named Carl after our beloved Captain Carl.

https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39195.0
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline DanielGA

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  • Posts: 22
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2019, 09:18:18 am »
Thatís a beautiful and heartfelt thread and tribute.

I hope to talk more in DMs.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

Offline DanielGA

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
Re: Results Confirmed Yesterday
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2019, 10:01:13 pm »
So, feeling a little isolated. I am thinking about my appointment coming up and the bridge I will cross on Tuesday. Iím grateful for my new friend that the forum brought me. Having someone to talk to has been helpful. I find myself in cognitive distortions about the future catching myself thinking the worst and having to correct myself. Itís not easy being surrounded by friends and loved ones but not able to share.

My insurance company has found a therapist who is LGBT friendly. Iím hoping to get an appointment with him next week as well.

In the meantime, and in the future, I remain grateful for this forum, the ability to share my heart and fears, and for you who reach out for friendship and encouragement.
Exp: 12/30/18
Dx: 3/29/18
Conf: 4/4/18
CD4 623/17% on 4/5/19
VL 50300 on 4/5/19

 


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