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PozInOrlando
New User

Reged: 09/07/12
Posts: 20
Loc: Orlando, Florida
I'm a heterosexual male with HIV
      #266345 - 09/07/12 06:08 PM

I'm new to this forum, allow me to introduce myself. I'm a 22 year old hetero male living in Orlando, Florida and in late July I discovered I was HIV+. I had caught the virus after being versatile with a transgendered woman when I lived in Las Vegas (all comments about my sexuality...save them, I'm attracted to females, transgender or not, I identify as straight)

I've been very fortunate in that my family and friends who know about my status have been incredibly supportive and helpful so far and its even brought some friends closer

I know I'm going to be ok and that as long as I take my meds, I will be healthy and the virus will be under control BUT...I have two main things I am scared of

1) Medication side effects....I'm afraid the side effects (if any, haven't started meds yet) will kick in when I'm at work (ie Vomiting, diarrhea) and that I'm going to end up not being able to pay my bills because I'll be sick all the time from meds

2) Dating, I know there is a lot ignorance in the world and a lot of people I meet refer to hiv as a "gay" disease which I know its not. I have had a few dates with some girls and when I disclose my status I get called gay and they usually are "disgusted" and bolt on me. I'm afraid I will never find love (even though I am so young)

One friend told me that I will only be able date to poz women now because "no negative woman will date you now" A local health department employee told me that "A lot more women are more open-minded than you might think" and that I should pursue any woman I may be interested in and to live life before I discovered my status, which I have been doing

Are my fears irrational? I probably shouldn't be worried about finding the right woman because I've never had much luck with that anyways, but I do not want to be alone. I want to find that beautiful woman who will love me no matter what

I am also worried I may not be able to advance in my career with my current company because of whatever side effects the meds may have on me. Or even be able to work 2 jobs like I want so I can move out of my mom's house. I've never taken any medication in my life up until this

Are these two fears normal?

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TheMiddle
New User

Reged: 09/03/12
Posts: 4
Loc: North West, UK
Re: I'm a heterosexual male with HIV new
      #266358 - 09/08/12 10:10 AM

Hello and welcome to the forum.

Ill answer your questions from personal experience but I suppose it differs from person to person.

Medication: I am currently on Atripla as well as three other things for a broken back. I have some side effects from all 4 and to avoid this I generally take all medication before bed to avoid the worst of the side effects and this way I feel alright through the day. The side effects for me also reduced in severity after the first 3 months.

Relationships: Surprisingly for me (I was worried as you are) I hae had no problems with gfs and my status. There are some issues like an xgf using my status to hurt me but hey, a lot of women these days are open minded to such things and HIV isnt the big killer it was in the 80s. I wont go into too much detail here but read my post (about 3 below this one). If you have any questions I am happy to answer if I can as are many other people on here.

Take care and just keep on smiling.

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riverprincessModerator
Veteran

Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1823
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: I'm a heterosexual male with HIV new
      #266361 - 09/08/12 01:45 PM

Let me ask you, Are you a strong will person? I have a notion that you are and that is a great thing. Any side affects like said before you won't have during the day if you take at night. And any residual stuff I'm sure you can handle. I've been pos for 20 years, on meds for 18 and even have been on Hep C tx and still was able to maintain work. But I'm also a strong will woman. You'll do fine . Just take one day at a time and then in time you;ll see it as the chronic thing that it is.

--------------------
Look up to the Heavens for the answers to Lifes questions .

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PozInOrlando
New User

Reged: 09/07/12
Posts: 20
Loc: Orlando, Florida
Re: I'm a heterosexual male with HIV new
      #266402 - 09/10/12 01:16 AM

Strong willed? I've never thought of myself that way, but when I look back on what I have accomplished in my life, yes I would definitely say that I am strong willed. I still have a lot of goals and ambitions for my life, both career and personal

Hopefully they find a cure 20 years from now, but if not I know I will still be poz, but I know that I will be happy and healthy

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riverprincessModerator
Veteran

Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1823
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: I'm a heterosexual male with HIV new
      #266440 - 09/11/12 09:20 AM

Yes you will be , I have no doubt.

--------------------
Look up to the Heavens for the answers to Lifes questions .

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just4247
New User

Reged: 08/27/12
Posts: 9
Re: I'm a heterosexual male with HIV new
      #266470 - 09/11/12 09:46 PM

HI POZ, I'M NEW TO THE BOARD TOO BUT I IDENTIFY WITH YOUR FINANCIAL FEARS! I STARTED MEDS RECENTLY AFTER NOT "NEEDING" THEM FOR 10 YEARS SINCE I'VE BEEN POSITIVE AND IT REALLY TOOK ME OUT OF SOME DENIAL I HAD BEEN ABOUT MY DIAGNOSIS. I WAS ALSO HAVING MEMORY PROBLEMS WHICH REALLY INCREASED MY FEAR THAT I WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO WORK AND WOULD HAVE TO BE DEPENDENT. BUT ALMOST TWO YEARS LATER SOMEHOW I'M STILL AT SAME JOB. MEMORY HAS IMPROVED. NO SIDE EFFECTS FROM MEDS. AND I HAVEN'T FELT NEED TO DISCLOSE MY STATUS. I JUST MENTIONED TO MY SUPERVISOR THAT I HAVE SOME PROBLEMS WITH CONCENTRATION BUT AM TAKING MEDS. HE WAS FINE. THIS IS JUST MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE THUS FAR THAT I THOUGHT I WOULD SHARE.

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iam1
Regular

Reged: 06/17/09
Posts: 174
Loc: Georgia
Re: I'm a heterosexual male with HIV new
      #266479 - 09/11/12 11:55 PM

You can't have HIV. HIV is a gay disease and only affectes gay men. At least that's what Tennessee congressmen say. I hate that HIV is still stigmatized as a disease affecting any particular group of people. HIV is a disease. It affects humans. Period.

Sexuality aside (because it really doesn't matter) - you are going to live.

You will eventually have to take medications. When and what is between you and your doctor. There WILL be side effects. They may be as mild as a runny nose for a week. They could possibly be severe enough to keep you out of work. Side effects vary from person to person. Not everyone gets the same side effects. Not everyone who gets the same side effects gets them to the same degree.

Paying for treatment is something everybody worries about when finding out they are HIV+. Luckily, you're not the first person to be diagnosed with HIV. There have been a dozen or so cases before you. (I'm laughing at my bad jokes. You should, too!)

Every state has an ADAP program (AIDS Drug Assistance Program). They provide limited medications to treat HIV+ people. I say limited, because they don't cover everything. But, your doctor won't have much trouble finding meds that are covered to treat you when the times comes. And, in case your state has a waiting list for their ADAP program there are case managers to help you get coverage from other sources. Fear of taking meds is unfortunately not uncommon. Esepcially with HIV meds and the stories about the terrible side effects. Not to worry. If you catch it early enough you can shave off that extra arm that grows out of the top of your head. (These are the jokes people. They don't get any better!)

Dating an non-HIV+ women. These relationships are referred to as Serodiscordant. Meaning between an HIV+ and an HIV- person. I see them all the time. It's usually the woman who is more accepting of the man than vice-versa. USE CONDOMS! Condoms used properly can prevent MANY unwanted outcomes of a sexual encounter. Including pregnancy and disease transmission. If you meet that perfect woman and decide you want children you can discuss that with your doctor. I have a couple of friends who are in a serodiscordant relationship. They've been together going on 3 years. He's still positive taking his meds. And, working. She's still negative. I've not seen but I have spoken with them, and I know they have a healthy sex life.

Please tell me why you can't work two jobs (other than there may not be a second job to be had). You're HIV+. You haven't grown an apple tree from the sdie of your neck. Walking down the street. Riding the bus. Eating out. You don't have big, red balloons over your head announcing to the world that you are HIV+. Unless you tell someone there is no way they will know. You can't look at a person and tell they have HIV. And, as long as you're physically able to and mentally wanting to why not work two jobs?

I have to thank you for the letter you wrote today. It made me feel slightly older. I've been HIV+ longer than you've been alive. And, when I first tested HIV+ I was older than you are now. You can live a long and productive life. I think we're at the verge of a revelation here in the USA. I think people are finally coming to terms with the fact that people are HIV+. That these HIV+ people are around them every day. And, that the HIV+ people around them offer them no form of danger. Not everyone by far but some people....

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marie123
New User

Reged: 09/11/12
Posts: 3
Re: I'm a heterosexual male with HIV new
      #266481 - 09/11/12 11:58 PM

I feel you on the dating like I dont want to be rejected because of the stigma even if I am undetected and I can't pass it people dont understand how advance the drugs have come I was diagnosed like 4 months ago and its crazy everytime I am out I hear in my head YOU HAVE HIV

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riverprincessModerator
Veteran

Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1823
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: I'm a heterosexual male with HIV new
      #266543 - 09/13/12 03:06 PM

Most memory problems can be dealt with in one way or the other , You know people without health problems have memory issue too. Just got to find the way to give yourself reminders that suits you best. I like to leave notes , but sometimes I forget where I put it or forget to take it with me. At times I just gotta laugh at myself. Thank goodness I got someone looking over me ! lol

--------------------
Look up to the Heavens for the answers to Lifes questions .

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PozInOrlando
New User

Reged: 09/07/12
Posts: 20
Loc: Orlando, Florida
Re: I'm a heterosexual male with HIV new
      #266585 - 09/15/12 05:24 AM

As far as dating goes, I've decided to take things much slower than I did when I was HIV- (ie I wont be having sex on the 1st or 2nd date like I used to) I figure if a girl gets a chance to know me and see what kind of guy I really am, she may be more accepting of me and my "condition" There is a beautiful girl I met online (who unfortunately lives in San Francisco, 3000 miles from me in Orlando) I told her my status after we spent a week or so talking so she could know me and I told her I didn't want to be the guy who keeps secrets (even if I never meet her in person) I think really garnered her respect for doing that

My boss knows about my status. I didn't have an obligation to tell him, but as I was worried about whatever side-effects (if any) I decided to disclose. He asked me if it would affect my current work duties (I work as a Produce Clerk in a grocery store) I told him no and that the only reason I told him was because I was worried about side effects. He said if anything were to occur that he would work it out with me. What I had wanted to be a quick disclosure turned into like 20 minutes of him asking questions about HIV. Either way I felt better after telling him, and I am not treated any differently than before

My friendships have been sorely tested for those who I disclosed too. A few said they couldn't be friends with somebody "like that" and one even blocked me from Facebook. Most however have been very supportive

Sorry this reply was so long

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riverprincessModerator
Veteran

Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1823
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: I'm a heterosexual male with HIV new
      #266590 - 09/15/12 09:14 AM

Thats wonderful how your boss responded. Most folks , if mature and intelligent, will be surious about it. And that fact that he wanted to know more shows that he wants to understand. And you never know, it may hellp him to help someone that he may know who is infected. Life is funny like that. And life goes on even better if we let it.

--------------------
Look up to the Heavens for the answers to Lifes questions .

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alive2
Regular

Reged: 03/08/07
Posts: 342
Re: I'm a heterosexual male with HIV new
      #266614 - 09/15/12 11:01 PM

im a heterosexual married male and have been married for 20 years now.
your fears arent irrational on certain levels. the medication can be bothersome and cause some side effects on some people but not all. the diareaha can be controled with loperamide, and some bannanas help as well as rice to help absorb excess water in your intestines.
it is a good thing you have thoughtfull people around you so you wont feel so stigmatized because of a good support system, and true freinds.
if you do run into some issues with medications, they may be limited due to the adjustment time for the pills to enter your body, and in this happening you will become used to them in you and they will subside, just always remember there is light at the end of the initial tunnel .
as for the dating i dont know how that will go, for me im married and dont look elsewhere, but for you, dont let that disuade you from looking for someone to share your life with.
as for the fears being normal, let me say this, any illness will present a certain amount of fear due to the unknown, so the stronger you are entering this phase of your life, keep on doing what your doctors say and follow your medications to a tee, and you will be ok. glad to see someone reaching out and looking for answers from those who have already treaded the same water, good luck and come back again for hel pwith questions. just remember the doctors are your best place for medical advice, but for inspiration you came to the right place. keep on taking good care of your health, you have a long life ahead of you. take care

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PozInOrlando
New User

Reged: 09/07/12
Posts: 20
Loc: Orlando, Florida
Re: I'm a heterosexual male with HIV new
      #266717 - 09/18/12 12:57 AM

I am very lucky to have the boss that I have I think, and I realized that when I told him this. None of the other managers at my job are treating my any differently. I honestly was worried I would either get my hours cut or lose my job after disclosing which I was afraid to due at first

I think as long as it doesn't affect my work , I will be ok

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