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Newly diagnosed, am I panicking (hypocondriac)
Aug 6, 2012

Doctor, First I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Although I am not alone in this HIV battle I sometimes feel as if I am. I am 23 year old who was recently diagnosed about 2.5 months ago. When I was first diagnosed I had a cd4 count of 749 and a viral load a little shy of 1000 (958).

What brought me in to get tested was I felt during my senior year of college that I was getting smaller. Granted I am a VERY physically active male, who runs and works out 4-5 times a week. I also watch what I eat as well, I am a diabetic kind of a health nerd. Nonetheless my senior year was tough for me financially therefor meals were missed quite often, not eating a solid meal for 2-3 days or longer. However I still would work out when I had enough energy in me to do so. I started this get fit ideal my freshmen year of college 3 years later I might have lost maybe 15lbs?

That being said my doctor wanted to run labs once more to check my numbers and they were even better(Cd4) being 958 and viral load around 1300. He told me that therapy is not need now and just to wait to see what is going to happen. Me being a worry some though feels like something is wrong. I have always feared getting HIV and now that I am indeed positive I am afraid of everything.

I randomly lost my voice during Feb, of this year but it came back a little raspier, I have like I said lost about 15 lbs in a 3 year span, I however feel like as I lost muscle. I don't feel as strong as I use to. My stomach/abdomen rumbles sometimes randomly. And I am now worried that I have stomach cancer or some type of cancer. Is there any correlation between cd4 numbers and cancers?

I really just want to be fine. Yes I feel fine, I feel like I have been. However I know that my eating habits are not constant. I know I havent been really hungry in years. I eat because I know I should be eating. I do not know what to do. My doctor told me to see my PCP to possibly get on anti-depressants/ anxiety meds but I am in the process of moving and do not have insurance until the move is final. I am really tired of feeling like this worrying, I have had many suicidal thoughts. I just want to know in your opinion should I be worried about something as drastic as stomach cancer? I really am NEVER hungry my stomach does this bubbling gas thing sporadically, I lost maybe 15lbs and 1 pants size. My friends who know me say I am smaller/skinny but they seem to think I look good. I feel so incomplete.

I know I have esteem issues thats what started me to get physically fit, I wanted to get inshape/ smaller. Now I am smaller I am panicking that it is because of something. My doctors said it is not the HIV. I don't know. I just feel like NO ONE is hearing my concerns because I have been physically active, they believe I did it. To some degree yes I understand. But how I feel, I feel like bones. THANK YOU! for just reading this. Please take in consideration everything I said and give an HONEST opinion. I really need help.

Thanks for your time.

Charles

Response from Mr. Vergel

Charles

You have a lot of anxiety expressed in your email. I am so sorry that you are going through this, but jujst know that you may feel much better if you follow suggestions and focus on one goal at a time.

I do not know what city you live in and you are moving to. There are HIV non profits that help uninsured people with HIV meds and mental health issues in every city. Here is a directory: United States HIV/AIDS Organizations

HIV treatment can now be started at any CD4 level. The newer medications now prescribed have a lot fewer side effects. Knowing that you have undetectable viral load can give many people a lot of piece of mind.

Call some of your local nonprofits and find out which one provides HIV primary care and mental health options (support, counseling and treatment). If I was you, I would look into this right away and stop your spiraling axiety about HIV, your body and your coping. Axiety and worrying affect appetite and can make people lose a lot of weight. Uncontrolled HIV replication can also do the same.

Let me know how things go with you.

By the way, I just posted this video that may be of help to you:

Tips for the Newly Diagnosed

Nelson



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