May 11, 2008
My boyfriend of 5 years was recently diagnosed on April 1, 2008. His CD4 count is high and VL is low. He is not on medication. We went through a range of emotions (shock, denial, fear, sadness, depression) just like the folks on here. We joined a support group and received some good insights from long-term HIVers. We know the disease is not the same disease today than it was in the 80s (think chronic illness vs. death sentence).
Knowing this fact and knowing there are good treatments options, we still can't seem to get past it. We keep thinking if we try to establish some level of normalcy, come to term with the disease, and move forward with living, the virus is going to surface itself again and we will have to go through these emotions all over again. Are we being irrational or are these feelings common to people who have been recently diagnosed and when will they pass?
I look forward to your advices!
Sleepless in Seattle
Response from Dr. Horwath
Your feelings of apprehension are completely normal. Actually, you are adapting to the news quite well. Seeking a support group, educating yourselves, talking to others in a similar situation - these are all the right things to do.
However, no matter how well you come to terms with the fact of HIV infection, it is normal to have fears that things may change. The best you can do is continue to lead your lives, seek appropriate medical care, stay informed and keep talking about your concerns. None of us (with or without HIV) have the luxury of knowing that everything will be fine. We all live with uncertainty about our health and our futures. You should continue to hope for the best, but make some preparation to be able to respond to the problems that may develop.
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