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Author Topic: Diagnosed mid-March  (Read 2083 times)

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Offline MrAlwaysAnxious

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  • Posts: 11
  • I survived, and the world deserves to know that.
Diagnosed mid-March
« on: April 22, 2019, 12:29:39 am »
I never imagined that I would have to come to a community forum for support, but here I am. You never think it will happen to you until it does, and this year has already been a journey for me. So, I would like to start out by saying thank you to those of you who will read this because it has not been easy.

I'm 24 years old, and currently a graduate student. Earlier in the year, I was sexually assaulted and thought nothing of it. I had just ran for public office and started a master's program. It was easier to pretend it never happened and make the best of my year as I had intended. But some time after, my whole life would change forever.

In mid-March, I became really ill. I had flu-like symptoms, but my bloodwork showed I was suffering from leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. I eventually told my doctor about the assault once I realized it was not the flu. I asked her to run an antigen and antibody test for HIV, and later that week I found that I was seroconverting -- my antigen test was positive but antibody test was negative (until last week).

I started Symtuza on 3/15/2019. My viral load was 9 million copies, and my CD4 was 340 when I was first diagnosed. After 3.5 weeks on Symtuza, my CD4 is 800 and my viral load is 460 -- so I think I am in a better place than I was a month ago.

It has not been easy; having to come to terms with the sexual assault and the resulting HIV diagnosis. These past few weeks have felt like years, and the internalized stigma has been the worst to have to cope with. Every day I learn something new, and I am trying to prepare myself for the changes ahead. I thought joining the forums here, and having a community online, would be healthy and therapeutic -- so here I am.


Dx: 3/15/19
CD4: 349/33% on 3/20/19
VL: 9,820,000 on 3/20/19
Rx: Started Symtuza on 3/15/19
CD4: 771/39% on 4/16/19
VL: 484 on 4/16/19

Online Jim Allen

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Re: Diagnosed mid-March
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2019, 02:16:03 pm »
Hiya

Just a quick note.

I am really sorry to hear you were recently assaulted. We all process and cope with things different and the aftermath mentally/emotionally might not surface directly if you have not done so already I would urge you to consider getting some face to face support.

I am finishing up some admin here and will be back to reply fully to your post, I do apologize for not getting back to you sooner.

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

Online Jim Allen

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Re: Diagnosed mid-March
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 03:11:10 pm »
Hiya

Again I apologize for the delay. 

Quote
Earlier in the year, I was sexually assaulted and thought nothing of it. I had just ran for public office and started a master's program. It was easier to pretend it never happened and make the best of my year as I had intended. But some time after, my whole life would change forever.

So sorry that you experienced that, its shocking asides from coping with the assault, being newly diagnosed can be a lot to digest at the best of times, I'm glad that you are reaching out for support. Nobody should have to face any of this alone.

Quote
I started Symtuza on 3/15/2019. My viral load was 9 million copies, and my CD4 was 340 when I was first diagnosed. After 3.5 weeks on Symtuza, my CD4 is 800 and my viral load is 460 -- so I think I am in a better place than I was a month ago.

Well I'm glad you have access to treatment and the results after less than 4 weeks are fantastic, its kicking HIV's ass. Give it a few more weeks and i'm sure the virus will be suppressed (UD) 

Quote
I thought joining the forums here, and having a community online, would be healthy and therapeutic -- so here I am.

Its a quiet week on the forum what with many of us on holidays etc but we are here for you and, you have come to a great place for support. Feel free to rant, question and ask were here whatever you need.

Do you have any additional support at home from friends or family?

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 MarkintheDark

  • Member
  • Posts: 142
Re: Diagnosed mid-March
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2019, 03:27:33 pm »
I have some idea of what you've experienced as I'm a survivor of childhood sexual abuse...and, of course, poz.  For lack of a better term, you do have a bit of an advantage in dealing with both traumas since you're an adult.  Better yet, it seems you've jumped right in to address them.  In no way am attempting to minimize your experience.  Trauma is trauma.

It sounds like you've a lot on your plate beyond those two issues.  If possible, I'd encourage you to take care you go easy on yourself in the next year.
HIV dx - 02/93
AIDS dx - 07/01
Rilpivirine/Cabotegravir guinea pig since 01/17

Offline Tonny2

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Re: Diagnosed mid-Mar
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2019, 03:48:30 pm »


        ojo.      Hello always... I'm really sorry for the sexual assault, we have another member here who got infected the same way. I, like Jim, urge you to seek professional help so this horrible event don't come back and bites tou later on...you are not alone anymore, we are here to support you...sorry for the short reply, I'm on my cell phone, my laptop died...good luck

Offline DanielGA

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  • Posts: 29
Re: Diagnosed mid-March
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2019, 10:17:30 am »
Hi there.

Iím so sorry about your diagnosis and for the horrible assault leaving such consequences.

I was diagnosed on 3/29 and am finally having my first appointment with the hiv specialist today. It has been a shocking three plus weeks. I think I have been in denial to a degree.

Much of what you shared resonates profoundly with me. You mentioned internalized stigma. I felt that deeply. I also came to this forum looking for support and encouragement and am seeing that I can find new friends to walk through this together.

I hope we can talk more.
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
CD4 580 25% on 4/24/19
Biktarvy first dose on 4/24/19

Offline MrAlwaysAnxious

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  • Posts: 11
  • I survived, and the world deserves to know that.
Re: Diagnosed mid-March
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2019, 12:00:18 pm »
Thank you all so much for the kind words and encouragement. As I said, this has not been easy as I am sure most of you can empathize with.

I am really sorry to hear you were recently assaulted. We all process and cope with things different and the aftermath mentally/emotionally might not surface directly if you have not done so already I would urge you to consider getting some face to face support.

To answer you general concern, Jim, I am hoping to seek ought a therapist soon. I live in Eastern North Carolina, so finding a therapist who is LGBTQ+ has been hard (just a preference I have). I may have to settle for going to Raleigh from time-to-time if I cannot find one here at home.

I have some idea of what you've experienced as I'm a survivor of childhood sexual abuse...and, of course, poz.  For lack of a better term, you do have a bit of an advantage in dealing with both traumas since you're an adult.  Better yet, it seems you've jumped right in to address them.  In no way am attempting to minimize your experience.  Trauma is trauma.

Thank you for sharing that with me, Mark. I cannot imagine having to deal with that pain since childhood. You are right in saying that trauma is trauma, and I am glad that I have a community here for support.

ojo.      Hello always... I'm really sorry for the sexual assault, we have another member here who got infected the same way. I, like Jim, urge you to seek professional help so this horrible event don't come back and bites tou later on...you are not alone anymore, we are here to support you...sorry for the short reply, I'm on my cell phone, my laptop died...good luck

Tonny, thank you for echoing Jim's sentiment about seeking professional help. It is something I am looking into, and I hope I can find the support I need locally soon. It is comforting to know that I am not alone in this, and I am grateful for having found this online community.

Hi there.

Iím so sorry about your diagnosis and for the horrible assault leaving such consequences.

I was diagnosed on 3/29 and am finally having my first appointment with the hiv specialist today. It has been a shocking three plus weeks. I think I have been in denial to a degree.

Much of what you shared resonates profoundly with me. You mentioned internalized stigma. I felt that deeply. I also came to this forum looking for support and encouragement and am seeing that I can find new friends to walk through this together.

I hope we can talk more.

Daniel, I am very sorry to hear of your diagnosis as well. Chances are, you are feeling a lot of what I felt (and currently feel) just weeks ago. It has not been easy for me, and I can only imagine it has not been the easiest for you. I am glad that we are both here though, and I hope that we can talk more as well. Thank you for your note.
Dx: 3/15/19
CD4: 349/33% on 3/20/19
VL: 9,820,000 on 3/20/19
Rx: Started Symtuza on 3/15/19
CD4: 771/39% on 4/16/19
VL: 484 on 4/16/19

Offline TexasDragon

  • Member
  • Posts: 97
Re: Diagnosed mid-March
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2019, 12:17:31 pm »
MrAlwaysAnxious -

Childhood sexual abuse survivor here as well - 9 to 12 yo. I understand your pain and agree trauma is trauma.

The key to survival is that next step forward...and the next one...and the next one. Never easy.

Know you are not alone...
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 MrAlwaysAnxious

  • Member
  • Posts: 11
  • I survived, and the world deserves to know that.
Re: Diagnosed mid-March
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2019, 10:01:05 am »
**UPDATE**

As of July 3rd, Iím undetectable! 🥳

>20 (NOT DETECTED) copies/mL
>1.30 (NOT DETECTED) logs/mL
Dx: 3/15/19
CD4: 349/33% on 3/20/19
VL: 9,820,000 on 3/20/19
Rx: Started Symtuza on 3/15/19
CD4: 771/39% on 4/16/19
VL: 484 on 4/16/19

Offline TexasDragon

  • Member
  • Posts: 97
Re: Diagnosed mid-March
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2019, 10:24:19 am »
Yahoo!

ďStick to the plan - die an old man!Ē
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

 


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