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Author Topic: Questions for Doctor tomorrow?  (Read 3105 times)

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Offline Hawkeye

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Questions for Doctor tomorrow?
« on: February 06, 2007, 10:31:21 AM »
First allow me to give you my story.

My girlfriend and I have been having unprotected sex for the last month.  I know it wasn't the brightest thing to do, but we did it and can't take it back.  She was a little concerned with her prior partner's history, and seeing that we were committing to each other she decided to get tested just to be safe.  We found out last week that she is HIV+.  My status prior to is clean.  We have since made sure to use condoms and I have been reading up on HIV like crazy.  I know that my chances are low, even though there is a real chance of transmission.  We are both going to see a specialist this week to find out where her status is and for me to start the testing process.  So I am not so much worried about myself, but mainly for her.

I love her to death, and I know that she has been so worried about herself and the status of us, but I intended to marry her before this, and my feelings have not changed, so I proposed to her this weekend and she accepted.  So now that our relationship is settled, she can focus on herself and getting a handle on her disease.

I know there are questions we are missing to ask when we go to the doctor tomorrow.  Is there a list out there of stuff to ask?

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Questions for Doctor tomorrow?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2007, 10:39:50 AM »
Im so sorry to hear about your situation.  I hope the moderators will move this thread to one of the other forums where you can get some valuable insight as to what to ask.

I went through sort of the same thing.  Except I was poz and she is not.  Make sure to write whatever questions you have down to ask the Dr. it just makes things easier on you because it can be kind of hectic.  We asked alot of questions about transmission and where to go for information.  THIS SITE is what helped us the most.  The community and most of all the INFORMATION put our minds at ease! 

You can have an EXTREMELY eventful and very exciting sex life with HIV.  If you want proof, check my  posts my new wifey and I are very active with each other!  HIV will be at the forefront of your lives for a little while.  Just tackle it head on and inform yourself.  It took me a good year and a half or more to come to grips with everything.  But life does go on, and it can be a fairytale life if you choose to make it one.  I got married just this year to my best friend and soulmate!  She is happily negative and intends to stay that way.

I am going to report this to the mods so they can move it.  Im sorry and glad you found us.  PM me if I can help you any more!

LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Questions for Doctor tomorrow?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007, 10:55:19 AM »
Hi Hawkeye and welcome to the forums.

I moved your thread out of the Am I Infected forum and put it here, in the Living forum, where you'll get more responses. As someone who is in a committed relationship with a positive person, you're ok to post on this side.

One thing I want to say though - it is very insulting to those of us who are positive to have one's negative hiv status referred to as "clean". It infers that someone who is positive is "dirty". I can only speak for myself, but I wash every day and put clean clothes on. I might be hiv positive, but I'm clean too.

You have an excellent chance of coming out of this ok. My own partner and I had been together for a year and a half, not using condoms, before we discovered my positive status. He's still hiv negative over seven and a half years later - and of course we have used condoms since we found out.

However, you have had a real risk and so you do need to test. As the vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, a negative result at that point would be a very good indication that you ARE negative. A negative result at six weeks MUST be confirmed at three months, but is unlikely to change.

We have quite a few couples here where one partner is negative and the other is positive. I'm sure some of them will chime in shortly.

Hang in there...

Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Hawkeye

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Re: Questions for Doctor tomorrow?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2007, 11:11:36 AM »
Thank you so much for the reply, and I am so sorry for my poor choice of words, I did not mean to sound that way, I only meant to indicate that I was negative for all std's - I won't use that term again.

We are both hopeful that I will be negative, and the only thing that has us a little more concerned is that she also had BV, which is a pretty common thing, but I also read it can increase the risk of spreading HIV. 

I will keep everyone updated on our progress, and our wedding in September :)


Offline Queen Tokelove

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Re: Questions for Doctor tomorrow?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2007, 01:48:06 PM »

Congrats are in order. Welcome to the Forum Family. As Ann has mentioned there are a lot of people on here in +/- relationships, I'm sure they will be too happy to give their insight.  I congratulate you on sticking with the soon to be wifey, she's going to need all your love and support. I agree with AC, just start making a list of all the questions you may have. Remember the only stupid question is the one not asked. Good Luck and keep us posted.
Started Atripla/Ziagen on 9/13/07.
10/31/07 CD4-265 VL- undetectable
2/6/08 CD4- 401 VL- undetectable
5/7/08 CD4- 705 VL- undetectable
6/4/08 CD4- 775 VL- undetectable
8/6/08 CD4- 805 VL- undetectable
11/13/08 CD4- 774 VL--undetectable
2/4/09  CD4- 484  VL- 18,000 (2 months off meds)
3/3/09---Starting Back on Meds---
4/27/09 CD4- 664 VL-- undetectable
6/17/09 CD4- 438 VL- 439
8/09 CD4- 404 VL- 1,600
01-22-10-- CD4- 525 VL- 59,000
Cherish the simple things life has to offer

The Royal Blog

Offline Christine

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Re: Questions for Doctor tomorrow?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2007, 01:57:33 PM »
Hi Hawkeye,
I have a similar background as you and your girlfriend. I tested + while first starting to date my husband. He is negative. We were married a year later, and have been married for 13 years. It has it's challenges, but I would not change a thing.

As far as the doctor appointment, like AC said, take a list of questions with you, take a pen, and write down the answers the doctor gives you. My first few appointments were such a huge blur. I was so scared and anxious, I don't really even remember them.

Go through this site, read the lessons, info on blood work and take notes and list any questions you think of while reading the information.

A few that come to my mind:
1. I would have a hiv test done again for her to verify the results,
2. have blood work done, CBC, chem panel, vl, tcells...
3. tested to check for any other std's that need to be addressed
4. Ask the doctor what the next step will be in her care based on the vl and tcell test results
5. Ask what other services they offer- dietitian, social worker...

Another thing I wish I would have done when first diagnosed was go to a therapist, or attend a support group. I had a huge amount of anxiety, and my husband helped me and we worked through it together. But looking back, he took on more than he should have. I think having a third party helping us deal with the hiv would have made things easier.

If you have any questions feel free to pm me or ask here.

Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline aztecan

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  • 32 years positive, 60 years a pain in the butt
Re: Questions for Doctor tomorrow?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2007, 02:29:53 PM »
Hey Hawkeye,

Christine has come up with most of the things that will probably come up. She didn't say this directly, but the doc should orde CD4 and a viral load tests.

These will help to establish a pattern for your fiance' and allow she and her doc to determine if and when any medications, etc., may be warranted.

If it is like most first visits, the doc will probably do a barrage of tests, ask lots of questions and leave your fiance' - and you - a bit befuddled. This is normal, but not necessarily fun.

Like others have said, write down your questions. That way you won't forget, like I always do.

Oh, and by the way, welcome to the forums and our eclectic family here. You and your fiance' are more than welcome to chime in any time, so make yourselves at home.

And, do let us know more about the wedding too!


Who now is stuck with an image of Alan Alda in his head.
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Hawkeye

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Re: Questions for Doctor tomorrow?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2007, 03:11:55 PM »
Thanks - her Gyno is the one who gave us the news - she said they did a rapid test and when they got a pos, they did another test, and said that all the tested proteins? gave a positive result.  She supposedly tested for any other STD's and the only other thing that was present was the BV which she gave her some cream for that to clear it up.  We'll definately ask to verify the results and get the other info.  Will they be able to tell by the viral load and CD4 approximately how long she has had it?

Offline aztecan

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  • 32 years positive, 60 years a pain in the butt
Re: Questions for Doctor tomorrow?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2007, 09:52:35 AM »
Will they be able to tell by the viral load and CD4 approximately how long she has had it?

Not really. During the first year after infection, a person's viral load and CD4s will bounce around like crazy because the body is still adjusting to having the virus present and is still building its defenses against it.

If it has been longer than a year, the numbers will be more steady, usually. It does vary between people.

How long really isn't that important, though. What is important is determining if there is a pattern developing. An example would be seeing CD4s steadily decreasing and viral load steadily increasing - or vice-versa.

That is how the doc and your fiance' will be able to determine what the next step should be.

Let us know how the test goes.


"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)


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