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HIV Life >> I Just Tested Positive

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New User

Reged: 10/22/07
Posts: 8
Tested Positive, living in Thailand
      #232841 - 10/22/07 03:47 PM

Long term expat here (teacher). I've known for just a month, and I can remember a rather profound illness that included exhaustion, dizziness, fever, and petechaie on ankles, about 2 years ago that could've been initial infection. I had a negative test about a year before that, so I guess I've been positive for roughly 2 years.

I just got blood drawn in Bangkok for the CD4 and VL tests (not that I understand fully what those are yet), but haven't got the results back. I have no obvious symptoms yet, though I feel that over the last two years I've had a few minor things like ringworm, skin tags, and a few boils, that I've never had before. These could also be the tropical climate.

I'm a very optimistic guy and have high hopes of many good years ahead, however I have one big worry - finances. I'm american, and have no health insurance. Here in Thailand treatment is cheaper due to the breaking of patents, but still can be $500-800/month. I would consider going home though I don't wish to, but I don't know if there's any way to get access to treatment there with little or no money.

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New User

Reged: 10/17/07
Posts: 6
Re: Tested Positive, living in Thailand new
      #232849 - 10/22/07 05:07 PM

If you were to move home.. Figure out where you would live and contact an Aids Service Organization... They can Help!!!
Good Luck

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Reged: 05/13/07
Posts: 435
Loc: Phila,Pa
Re: Tested Positive, living in Thailand new
      #232850 - 10/22/07 05:10 PM

Hi and welcome.when you get your results back you will know more.You may not even need to go on meds yet.The CD4 count refers to how many CD4 cells are in your blood sample.CD4 cells are the ones that are attacked by HIV,they are also the ones that recognize infections and start fighting them,so very important.Normal is 500-1500.Viral load is the actual number of HIV in the sample,negative would be 0.Another number to know is your % of CD4 which compares the number of CD4 to other white blood cells,the ones that fight off infection.

In theory,here in the States, anyone who is positive is supposed to be able to get treatment,in reality it varies from area to area.So if you do decide to come back check out where you plan to live before you move.

Your attitude will help you a lot,stress can make you much sicker and lower your CD4 count.


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Reged: 10/10/07
Posts: 37
Re: Tested Positive, living in Thailand new
      #232854 - 10/22/07 05:22 PM

Welcome LordBerners. You're in the right place. I joined two weeks ago when I tested positive and the folks here have been nothing short of amazing.

Once you get your numbers back you will be in a better place to know how to proceed. Let us know when you get them.

I live in New York City and there are many places to get HIV-related care if ou have "little or no money". E.g., ADAP is a drug assistance program set up by NY state specifically to help people pay for their HIV medication if they have very little money. I'm sure other metro areas or states with large HIV-affected persons have similar programs in place.

Also if you get insurance an insurance company can only refuse to cover a "pre-existing condition" for a period up to 12 months I believe. After that they have to cover it.

Welcome again to the forum. I'm glad to meet you.


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New User

Reged: 10/22/07
Posts: 8
Re: Tested Positive, living in Thailand new
      #232855 - 10/22/07 05:33 PM

Thanks to those who have posted. As some of you said, I'm in the right place. Obviously I'm very new to all this and don't really even know what to ask. Just saying hello and expressing my concerns. As I said at this stage mostly financial.

To go a little further in introducing myself.. I'm a bi male, nearly 40, and have a supportive girlfriend of one year who happily tested negative (so far). We mostly had 'safer sex', and its been some months since we had it the other unsafe way.

I don't know if it would be of interest, but the tests I ordered plus doctor's visit were billed at about $225 in Bangkok (fancy expat hospital). Just curious how that compares to back home.

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Reged: 12/21/05
Posts: 1390
Re: Tested Positive, living in Thailand new
      #233203 - 10/31/07 08:36 PM

I may be dense but I havent figured out where BACK HOME is for you. UK? USA? In any case you have no insurance. So, if you return home, you have to either get insurance or go to ...(in the USA)...a free clinic for those who have no insurance. But naturally some states have better Aids Service Organizations than others. And some cities as well.
UK ......different story?

6 ft tall poz bear in Philadelphia

Edited by Bear60 (10/31/07 08:38 PM)

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New User

Reged: 01/31/08
Posts: 15
Re: Tested Positive, living in Thailand new
      #236117 - 02/01/08 11:39 AM

hello, i just joined the forum and have been reading the various threads....this is an old entry so i dont know if you will get this. i also live in the los and have for 16 years. i get my lab done at the red cross on radjadamri road its 1800b for viral load and cd4...this will save you some baht

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New User

Reged: 03/20/09
Posts: 24
Re: Tested Positive, living in Thailand new
      #245042 - 03/20/09 11:02 PM

Ok so I was recently diagnose with HIV 7 weeks ago when I went in to be checked for a cough that would not go away! I was a bit upset that the Dr. would even ask me to get checked for HIV especially when I thought I could never get it. So I get a call back and find out that my test results came back positive for HIV. The first thing that my doctor told me before I let wild crazy things run through my head was to first know that I was not going to die from the virus.
I have started seeing a wonderful HIV specialist at UCSF 360 Positive Center (Amanda Parrott) which I could not ask for someone more educated and caring for people with HIV. I found out my CD4 was 207 and my VL was 13,000 after starting Atripla ARVT within a month my CD4 has increased to 400 and my VL undetectable. Being new to the HIV seen I must say that 8 weeks ago I had a horrible thought on the virus. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take me as walking proof that HIV is controllable and is now considered a Chronic Illness (just like Diabetes).
I have been researching on the daily to understand the virus and know what I should be looking forward to for the future which is mainly living a healthy life (no drugs, drinking, partying, and NO MISSING MY MEDICATION)!!
I have a friend that is a Virologist in chemistry and has explained to me the rat race that is happening on the daily to find the cure for this virus. I have recently found a scientist in Houston Texas that believes that he may have found the cure for HIV which may start Human clinical trials this year. HAVE HOPE!! If your scared it's ok but just remember YOU WILL LIVE AND NOT DIE FROM THIS!!
I have had my days where I am a bit depressed about the thought that I have something going on, but at the end of the day I look at it and think (there are worse things in life). I am now battling to help this doctor with his research and hoping that we see this evolution happen. I have some contribution forms that I would be more than happy to forward you which will need to be sent to University of Texas but it's great hope.
If you feel like you ever want to chat or feel like you would like to join me in this battle against this virus please feel free to e-mail me.
Remember you will be ok and will live as long as you want to!

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