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Author Topic: Where I am now ..  (Read 1028 times)

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Offline Acesra

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  • Posts: 20
Where I am now ..
« on: May 08, 2019, 10:39:45 am »
Hi Poz family members,

I hope everybody is doing well.

It's been a while since I last checked this site, and wrote something. My first year anniversary is coming up soon. Gosh, how different my life was one year before!

Almost a year now, things are as okay as they can be. Since day one, it's full of doctor appointments, lab tests, paperwork, doctor appointments, lab tests, paperwork, etc. Every little single abnormality is a big concern, worry, and/or cause of anxiety. The next few months are full with appointments and more diagnostic procedures.

At least for the time being, CD4 is slowly but steadily increasing, and VL has been undetectable. Now I'm on another ART regimen that does not cause dizziness. There are some other health problems that are being monitored, and some more health issues to be examined more closely. But all in all, physically it's at a okay stage.

Emotionally and psychologically, it's still very hard. Extremely hard. Even visiting this site is hard. Reading and talking about IT (I cannot even say the name explicitly) is hard. Most days I forget what I have, but I am religious with pill taking. But there are days that I remember what I have. And each time the thought arrive (I am poz), then I could not breathe. It's almost like an anxiety attack.

I have not told anybody because I know people around me would not be supportive, nor it does anything good by telling them. The treatment centre offers me optional counselling sessions, which I have not taken. It feels like if once I let it all out, I would not be able to contain it. I would break down. But next week, I will have a check-in session with the counselor.

Sexually and romantically, it's dead. I am on gay apps, browsing around but not meeting anyone. The profound sadness shrinks deeply when I think I'll never find love, or even casual sex. It sounds dramatic. There are positive stories out there about finding love and living with HIV. But to me, this thing seems to vanish the day I was diagnosed.

Am I doing better? Well hard to say/know. Biologically, perhaps so, since the medication is suppressing the virus effectively. And so far, there has not been major health problems (knock-on wood). Socially, I continue pretending and acting normal. Emotionally, it's wrecking, and has not healed even one bit.

A friend of mine likes to say "Keep positive" in his messages to me when I complain about things in general. Every time I hear that, I laugh silently and think "Yes, keep positive, literally. I have no other choice by to be 'positive'."

Ironically, since then, the word "being positive" for the general public does not have the same meaning with me anymore. "I am positive" is no long the same happy, joyful, and optimist sentence I once said.

That's where I am now...

« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 11:09:46 am by Acesra »

Offline daveR

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  • Posts: 157
Re: Where I am now ..
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 10:59:58 am »
Sounds like are still having a very hard time accepting your status, until you can accept it fully I think you will always struggle.
You need to be able to write the letters HIV without any fear or anxiety. You know your pills are working, you see the results on every viral load test. I struggled for around two to three weeks, saying why me every morning to the mirror, what have I done. Then one morning I said why not me, my lifestyle, my choice. Things started to improve for me then, I no longer played the victim. I just moved on with life, two pills at a time.
Give your self more time to accept your status and I am sure you will come to feel better, then life in general will be better, you will find love, the world is changing in respect to HIV. Slowly but it is happening.

I hope you feel better soon.

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Where I am now ..
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 11:35:23 am »

Just a quick note as i'm in work and heading to a meeting, but i read your post and there is much I want to say, and ill post later. You are not alone and, you don't have to work though this by yourself.


HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
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Read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
Read about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
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HIV prevention
Read about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline Doctor with hiv

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  • Posts: 42
Re: Where I am now ..
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 11:39:05 am »
Hmmm...I can understand wat you are going through ..but I feel you should let go..Try picking some hobbies..things you love etc..and if you are Undetectable you can still date and have lots and lots of sex! Sex should NOT be the barrier if you are living with HIV in 2019
Also it's completely fine to not disclose status to ur loved one..I take it as a lesson learnt from being poz and that is the value of Life.. earlier I was just living my life like I DNT care..n now m living my life like I love it each n every day..People get hit by road side.. natural calamity ..life is unpredictable dude! So live each day as if it's ur last and believe me you are going to live it in a normal and healthy way..And being Positive is good either way.. So let go now
P.S It's been just 8 months for me now since diagnosis..but it's okay and am fine coz I know it's Life and it's beautiful!!
Love and Hugs

Offline SFlSurvive

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  • Posts: 32
Re: Where I am now ..
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2019, 02:59:47 pm »
Time heals all my friend! After you get through this you will feel like you can get through anything! Have a blessed one!
God got me through!

Offline MarkintheDark

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  • Posts: 142
Re: Where I am now ..
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2019, 08:47:20 pm »
Hi Acesra.  Good you're back to get some support.  Congrats on sticking with your regimen, too.  A very good idea you'll be seeing a counselor.  Have you considered a support group?  Just being in a room full of poz individuals is tangible proof you're not alone.

I understand the frustration of dealing with a lot of labs, etc.  For me, it's sometimes been like, "What's wrong with me NOW?"  When it's gotten bad enough, frankly, I've just taken a break from those things that aren't of immediate, crucial concern.  Oh, they love their tests, but I'm not a goddamned piece of meat.  Sometimes the medical community forgets there's a human being in this body.  Also, by sometimes putting the brakes on, I'm taking charge of my own care.  So, too, if the professionals with whom I deal won't respect that, I find others who will.

Nor do you have to disclose to anyone not involved with your care.  You've made a smart move.  You don't need more stress.  As for the friend who says, "remain positive," have you tried explaining to them that the phrase is triggering for you?  Sometimes people don't get it and you have to explain it to them.  Of course there are also Little Mary Sunshines who've never faced any significant life challenges and who will blow rainbows up your butt.  Personally, I can't stand 'em.  I keep 'em at arm's length and eventually they get the idea.

And, oh, your sex and/or relationship life isn't over.  Yeah, there are gonna be some who will treat you like you've got plague.  My approach over the years has been to be assertive about it.  I'd disclose right off the bat and tag it with, "If that's a problem for you, this ain't gonna work."  In short, kinda my way of taking charge of the situation.  Contrary to so-called conventional wisdom - I may get some flak for this - in the moment, it's not my job to "educate."  Hell, I'm horny!  :o
HIV dx - 02/93
AIDS dx - 07/01
Rilpivirine/Cabotegravir guinea pig since 01/17

Offline Acesra

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  • Posts: 20
Re: Where I am now ..
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2019, 11:56:03 am »
Hi all, thank you for your responses and undoubtedly supportive messages. I know that in this virtual that I can always find support and kindness. I really appreciate that, and especially your time and effort to reply.

Since the diagnosis, I have observed how many service providers and policy enforcers deal with HIV cases. It has been rather harsh and compassion-lacking, at least from my experience. I have been through many interviews with public officials documenting my case to receive treatment and care. It's like being forced to speak about it repeatedly. I also receive regular calls from the national health department to "check-in" with me. I understand that it's a public health policy/protocol to ensure the well-being of the population. And it's still considered as infectious disease with potential outbreak. Therefore, proper management has been put in place for effective prevention and response. Logically I understand fully. But psychologically, it's very draining for a 'patient'. At the treatment centre, I have a specialist doctor, a case manager, a case worker, a counselor, a nurse, and a public health official - 6 people that I need to regularly see or speak with.

And yes, endless appointments for blood and lab tests, though I don't feel any sickness. I'm trying to be optimist about these, telling myself that it's better to be monitored medically, so that quick actions can be taken if needed. But these tests continuously remind that I'm sick or have something in me.

Re sex and relationship, oh gosh. Where to start. I guess I already had this issue before the diagnosis. In the gay world, at least from my experience, dating and hookups are cruel. Extremely cruel. Without having a conventional good look, life is full of rejections. That takes a heavy toll. Now adding on the poz status, boy oh boy. I am sadly living in a big city full of gorgeous people. It's like seeing a beautiful thing, but you cannot have it. The craving never ceases. I am still too weak mentally to put it upfront, and face with rejections.

I do need to look for a support group that I can meet, to at least to not feel alone. It only requires the initial courage to push me to do it.

Anyway, I apologize for sounding whinny and dramatic. I don't really want to be that always-negative-down-pessimist-hating-complaining person. I am a survivor, and a pragmatic/rational person (or trying to be one, at least). But I must say dealing with this has been the toughest thing ever in my life. Plus to deal with it alone. It's not like those simple (enough) issues that I can just post on Facebook to get friends' support, or complain with colleagues around the lunch table.

Like many people in here have said, it's the best to live in the moment - to be here and now. Many ancient wise philosophers have taught us this. It's now the only coping mechanism that I have. Each breathe means life. Self-care and self-love is the only thing that I can give to myself.

Again thank you everyone for reading and commenting. And sorry again for sounding so down.


Offline lightalltheway

  • Member
  • Posts: 142
Re: Where I am now ..
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2019, 04:35:57 pm »

I want you to know that you are not alone, I completely understand you and your narrative truly touched me. I read your lines several times before attempting to write to you my message, I want to assure you that you are WONDERFUL.

To start with, a diagnosis is not something easy to accept. It requires patience, knowledge, assurance, and self-acceptance. It does not happen in a vacuum. At weak moments try to look at the positive side from it all, by zooming out more than zooming in. Ask yourself simple questions such as, what would have happened if i wasnít diagnosed at the right time? what if i have a serious medical condition that canít be controlled?

I completely understand your cultural background and how hard it is to have to pretend at work, at home, with your close ones and friends. You are BRAVE because you did it all alone, best things in life happen in silence, without noise.

HIV/AIDS is a political disease. For the government, we are numbers, statistics that they use to monitor, to study, and in some countries, enhance the services provided for the positive community. If it annoys you, maybe this is something you can discuss with you counsellor in your next appointment.

What matter now is that you are healthy, the virus is sooooooo little in your body to the extent that laboratories work are not able to identify it in your system. Knowledge is power and obviously you are aware of your health and condition, keep improving it while reminding yourself to be as gentle as possible with yourself.

PLEASE feel free to write always, if you need to speak out you can inbox me and remember youíre not alone.

Light all the way,

Offline Acesra

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
Re: Where I am now ..
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2019, 11:00:49 am »
Thank you Prince for your kind words. I am not sure if I am brave as you commended. But the circumstance has forced me to face it up as best as I possibly can. Let's see how long this will last. Indeed, much is happening in my life in silence, best and worse.

Thanks again...



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