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Author Topic: Diagnosis  (Read 8342 times)

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Offline Lee1

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  • Posts: 4
« on: February 15, 2007, 05:39:35 AM »
Hi, my name is Lee. Iím now in my early 40s and live in Brighton in the UK.  I was diagnosed in February of last year having just come out of a long-term relationship, I was deeply in love with my partner but he became increasingly abusive, no sex, flinching if I tried to cuddle him, eventually hitting me.  Iím attending a clinic and have been told my CD4 count has dropped and I need to start meds at my next appointment in March.

You wouldnít believe how long itís taken me to write this even though Iíve wanted to for so long, Iím so up and down with my feelings.  Iím so lonely and scared and grieving that I donít know what to do.  Iíve tried to read about the drugs and possible side-effects but it overwhelms me and I just start thinking Iíll become really sick or psychotic and there is no-one there to support me.  Iíll lose my job and my home.

Iíve tried going out on the gay scene but I have no real connection to it so it only makes me feel even more isolated.  I canít believe at this moment that Iíll ever have a relationship again.  There seems no point to this existence or any future.

I donít know what else to writeÖI donít think I should even post this.

Thank you for listening,


Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2007, 06:10:31 AM »
Hi Lee,

Welcome to the forums. Now that you found us, you don't have to go through this totally alone. Although this site is based in the US, there are quite a few of us who are in the UK (including Brighton) and other parts of Europe. I live in the Isle of Man.

There's plenty of point to a future and don't sell yourself short - there are other people here on the far side of thirty who have found love again - despite being hiv positive. You can too.

As for the meds, did your doctor say what you will be starting on? Let us know, if you know, and there will be people on that combo who can talk to you about it.

Please also check out the Lessons and Drugs sections of this website. (links in the upper left-hand corner of any forum page) The information here is well written and easily digestable. If you have any questions about what you've read, feel free to come back here and ask.

We all know what a rollercoaster of emotions that first year can be - so please come back and post some more. You're among people who care.

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  

"...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 dtwpuck

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  • Posts: 1,013
  • дано мне тело, что мне делать с ним?
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2007, 06:52:36 AM »
Hi, Lee and welcome to the forums.

Being in a relationship without intimacy is really hard.  You start to feel that there's something wrong with you.  Remember that there are two sides to it and that your ex probably had issues as well.  Those issues were probably all about him... not you.  The fact that he hit you speaks volumes to that.   I hope you can come to realize that his problems are not your fault.

Rest assured, your feeling of being out of synch with the gay scene is extremely common.  There are a lot of men out there who don't feel comfortable going to bars, clubs, or with Internet dating.  While this certainly doesn't make it any easier to find a new partner or new friends, it's still not impossible.  Try joining local gay clubs or doing volunteer work.  Get involved.  But get involved in a part of the community that's more attractive to people like you.  And.. don't wait for people to come and talk to you.  So many guys really are too insecure to make the first move, and in truth, they are perfectly nice guys.    Also, whatever you project is what people will see.  If you have a negative attitude that 'all gay men are out for sex' or bad or whatever, that negativity will register loud and clear.

It's a difficult ride being HIV+.  This site is here to help you get in touch with your feelings, to talk to people who have some of the same feelings as you.  there are a lot of great guys on here and you might that you can have some interesting and helpful conversations.

All the best to you.  Big hug, and keep your chin up.  And start checking out the other forums.  You will begin to feel like there really are people who understand and have been through what you've been through.
Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

Offline mjmel

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  • Posts: 2,069
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2007, 07:31:26 AM »
Hi Lee. Welcome to the forum. If you haven't discovered it by now, you will likely find many people & stories here that are familiar. Most are interesting, compassionate, and empathic forum members. Glad you took the step to post and say "hey".  Come back and visit with us and participate.. You are old enough to know that good things CAN still happen for you. You have a future; it may not be the exact one you imagined. 
P.S. How about that Ann! Living on the Isle of Man of all places.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 07:37:18 AM by mjmel »

Offline lifechanging2007

  • Member
  • Posts: 29
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2007, 08:16:21 AM »
Dear lee,

welcome to the forums and to our "community"
Whenever I want to cheer up, I look at the other bad things that people can go through.
For instance, you had the chance to have a relationship even though from what you said it's wasn't an excellent one but HEY you were in a relationship.
You live in an outstanding country that gives support to HIV+ people (like meetings, social support, medical coverage) I live in a country where HIV is a big taboo and everything should be a secret. I don't know how much i can hold that secret more.
I can relate to your pain and frustration. and HIV is indeed a roller coaster of feelings and i can't wait for time to pass to feel free again
There are many other "bad diseases" in the world that can kill you faster than HIV, like cancer, heart attacks..
Each one reacts to HIV differently, some take more time to handle THIS than others do. I was diagnosed 20 days ago and I have a long way ahead so you are not alone my friend.
27/01/07 CD4=15.36%=245 VL=542000
14/03/07 CD4=13%=241 VL=858000    STARTED COMBIVIR AND SUSTIVA ON APRIL 27, 2007
05/09/07 CD4=22%=361  VL=undetectable
21/12/07 CD4=22%=451  VL=undetectable

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead
Today and tomorrow are yet to be said
The chances, the changes, are all yours to make
The mold of your life is in your hands to break.

Offline koi1

  • Member
  • Posts: 713
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2007, 11:02:30 AM »
Hey Lee,

As someone here who has just started meds (January). I can tell you that it does get better. I was suffering more without them because I knew that the virus was killing me slowly. But then I started meds and things started to turn around. I know what you mean about relationships. I have put this on hold until I deal with the HIV issues. Your health is the most important now. You can't offer anyone anything if you don't take care of your physical and mental health. I know it is tough. I hope we can be of some support here. Please feel free to pm me.

diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline rick21007

  • Member
  • Posts: 286
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2007, 12:23:26 PM »
Lee---welcome to the forums.  I am glad that you decided to post.  This is a great place to find support and encouragement as you can see.  Just the greatest bunch of caring people!

You got a lot on your plate right now for sure.  It takes a lot of courage to deal with it all and hold onto hope.  I think there is plenty of courage on these forums to go around.  Take what you need.  And believe there are brighter days just around the corner, even if you can't see them right at the moment.

Best, Rick

Offline Lee1

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  • Posts: 4
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2007, 04:31:13 AM »
Hi all,

Thanks for responding and your words of support and encouragement, I'll keep reading the forum and in a few weeks when the meds start will write to let you know how I'm getting on.  I don't feel too bad today, I think I've been depressed since my relationship ended and then with the +diagnosis on top of it all it has just been too much.


Offline RapidRod

  • Member
  • Posts: 15,288
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2007, 07:31:12 AM »
Lee, what was your results of your first test. ie. CD4 and viral load?

Offline tigger2376

  • Member
  • Posts: 462
  • too bad to die youngish!
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2007, 06:14:27 AM »
There are quite a few of us in Uk and this site can be invaluable when its 2am and you need to reach out. There are some incredible people here. I know how lonely it can be,but there is a future,there is hope and there are people out there who will love you for you and deal with the virus. HIV shouldn't define you. Its always a part of you but shouldn't become what you are. Take care and let us know how you getting on x
I know i'm going to enjoy the party in the afterlife, but do you all mind that I'm going to be VERY late!!!

Offline Lee1

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2007, 02:20:11 AM »
Hi everyone,

Well I've started the meds, 2nd night over. I feel a bit better having decided to start, the waiting and hoping it was all a bad dream and would go away was awful.  My CD4 was 230ish VL 64,000 and I'm taking Kivexa+Lamivudine and Efavirenz whatever all that means   :-\  It feels ok, I'm getting some wacky and vivid dreams but it's not too unpleasant and a slightly dry and odd taste in my mouth.  I also get very drowsy and slightly nauseous after taking it but have some anti-sickness tablets also.

I'm glad you're all here... feeling kinda alone right now.


Offline Andy Velez

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  • Member
  • Posts: 32,277
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2007, 10:47:37 AM »
Thanks for that update, Lee. You know you're always welcome here to talk about anything that's on your mind or to ask questions.

Good luck with the meds and keep us posted on how you're doing.

Andy Velez

Offline tigger2376

  • Member
  • Posts: 462
  • too bad to die youngish!
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2007, 08:45:27 PM »
Just to add to what others have said. we're here. You don't need to feel totally alone
Good luck, take care, and please, let us know how you are doing
I know i'm going to enjoy the party in the afterlife, but do you all mind that I'm going to be VERY late!!!

Offline jcmiami

  • Member
  • Posts: 32
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2007, 11:35:13 PM »
God knows, when you are first diagnosed, you feel like your life is over and that is an understatement....well your life is not. It is a terrifying and lonely experience. I went through every emotion imaginable. The new treatments can literally work miracles now. I am an example... On Halloween 2006 (really...God's joke I guess!) I tested positive for AIDS or as they like to call it now "advanced HIV disease" and I was hospitalized with PCP and in really really bad shape; my CD4 count was only 21 and my viral load was over 650,000 and I was very sick! Well today, 3/2007, I have an undetectable viral load and my CD4 have risen significantly. I do not feel sick period. I was placed on HAART meds, the one prescribed was Atripla. Here I am writing this and feeling OK.
I want to offer a couple of tips, yes some HIV meds cause more side effects than others. For example, Atripla gave me diarrhea and crazy dreams which subsided with time. You have to find the right med. combo. and the right doctor for you. It is very important to tell your doctor if your meds' side effects are intolerable. Once you find the right combo, take it every day consistently around the same time period too.
I understand fully feeling lonely. It is hard to go through this disease alone but you have so many support systems. This forum and others, support groups, organizations, mental health counseling, etc. Lee, don't stay with anyone who is abusive for the sake of the fear of being alone. These abusers will cause more harm emotionally and physically than this disease will ever do.
Most important, you are not alone!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2007, 11:45:31 PM by jcmiami »

Offline Lee1

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2007, 10:11:02 AM »
Hello again, and thank you all for the support and encouragement...

Well, I'm now 6 weeks into the Meds and feeling OK.  It's been up and down; the third week seemed the worst with horrible heady drowsy feelings and bloatedness.  Last week I had a bad rash and got concerned I'd be having to change the combination but my doctor gave me antihistermines and it cleared up over a few days.

I can still feel the effects of the drugs at night and get the strange dreams but otherwise I am sleeping OK... I even managed to laugh and joke around with a couple of new friends ... I know that must sound odd but I think it's the first time in 2 years...

I've read so many of the posts on this site and you're all such wonderful people ... I wish i could meet you all ... I know that's impossible but I wanted to express that anyway.

Big Hugs,


Offline xyahka

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  • Posts: 799
  • Dance together!! aha!! aha!! I like it!!
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2007, 11:54:20 AM »
Hi Lee, glad to hear you are doing fine with the meds now :) don't worry everything will be fine and... you never know... you can get to meet some of us some day... i just hope you won't regret it!! lol  :D lol  ;D We are here for you, sometimes we are a bit crazy but we are a cool bunch of guys and girls. Big hugs!!!!!
13/03/07 1er diagnůstico /Peso: 79kg
19/04/07 CD4: 494 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 80kg
19/07/07 CD4: 659 /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79.5kg
06/03/08 CD4: 573 (despuťs de meses muy deprimido) /CViral: ?? /Peso: 79kg
17/09/08 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 84Kg
06/02/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 85Kg /HCV: Neg /HBV: Neg.
07/03/09 CD4: ?? /CViral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg / Gym 3dŪas/semana y Nataciůn 2dŪas/semana.
12/05/09 CD4: 470 /Cviral: ?? /Peso: 87Kg.
08/07/09 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 77Kg.
09/12/09 CD4: 510 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg. No medicinas aķn
10/01/10 CD4: ? /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
15/05/10 CD4: 320 /CViral: ? /Peso: 76Kg.
01/02/11 CD4: 291 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
05/05/11 CD4: 366 /CViral: ? /Peso: 78kg.
27/07/11 CD4: 255 /CViral: 138000 /Peso: 78kg.

Disfrutando y aceptando una nueva vida...

Offline jimw

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  • Posts: 109
Re: Diagnosis
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2007, 05:11:59 PM »
Lee, that is great news.  Glad to hear you are handling the drugs and getting out and meeting people and making friends - and you thought you couldn't do it.  Yea, the people here are the best and have been there for me when I needed them and they/we really do care.  Keep it up, you are headed in the right direction.  Jim


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