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HIV Life >> I Just Tested Positive

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yandus8
Newbie

Reged: 12/15/08
Posts: 2
Grad student who just tested positive
      #243554 - 12/15/08 10:48 PM

I'm 24 years old and I just tested positive last week. This was completely unexpected, because my doctor had simply asked if I wanted to check for STDs during a physical appointment back in November. At first I couldn't believe the diagnosis because I feel completely healthy. After the initial shock, I cried and hid from the world in my apartment for 2 days. On day 3, I told my boyfriend and he stayed calm and told me that everything will be ok. I've been dating him for only 2 months and I have never felt a greater attraction and love for anyone else in my life. But I am so terrified that he won't be able to deal with my condition and might leave me. He tested negative, but I hear that sometimes the virus can take 3 months to show up on tests. We have only ever practiced safe sex and used condoms. If it turns out in the future that I have infected him, it would just destroy me emotionally.

Ten days ago my time was preoccupied with studying and planning my career. And out of nowhere my life has turned upside down. I don't know much at all about the disease because I naively used to think that things like this don't happen to people like me.

It seems like there has been a lot of progress in terms of treating the disease, but I don't know what to expect. Can I actually live a somewhat normal life? How long can someone who gets HIV in 2008 expect to live?

The only people who know about my condition are my doctor and my boyfriend and yet I feel so utterly alone. If anyone out there around my age has been diagnosed please let me know. In the past I've always thought of myself as a strong person, but now I am terrified and feel so weak.

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oldwoman
Guardian

Reged: 05/12/07
Posts: 435
Loc: Phila,Pa
Re: Grad student who just tested positive new
      #243565 - 12/17/08 08:55 PM

I'm so sorry to hear of your diagnosis,the good thing is you found out before you started getting sick from it.I'm not around your age,actually slightly more than twice your age,but I'll put in my two cents worth anyway.Being terrified and feeling weak are normal responses to news like this.It is a scary thing to hear.Learn all you can about the disease,this is a great place to start.Check out the "ask the Doctor" section.There is lots of info there.Come here for help and support.Find a Doctor who specializes in HIV,don't be afraid to ask questions,you need somebody you're able to talk to,from sex to bowel habits to drinking and drug use,whatever.So if you're not comfortable with your Doctor find one that you are comfortable with.Find an AIDS Service Organization near you,they can help you out with all kinds of things,support,Dr's names,grants,help with paying for treatment and medicine,just about anything you need they can help with or at least tell you where to go for help,one near me even offers things like massages,Tai Chi,retreats...

You can go on to live a long and productive life,some of us have a rougher time than others but don't feel like your life had ended,it definitely has changed though.Give yourself time to get used to this new phase of your life before you make any major decisions,keep on studying and planning your future.Like I said there will be some changes up ahead for you but you came to a good place for support and information.
Take care
Terry


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Brian360
Member

Reged: 07/24/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Vancouver, Wa
Re: Grad student who just tested positive new
      #243566 - 12/17/08 09:03 PM

You know...back the 80's and 90's being positive was a death sentence. But a lot has changed since then. You can still lead a fairly normal life, but now you'll need to pay more attention to what you do to yourself now and lead a healthier life if you want to live until your in your 70's. I personally know people alive today that were infected back in the early 90's and although they have seen more frequent downs in their lives compared to a healthy individual, they are still alive considering the different drugs they've had to take to keep the virus maintained.

And before you go freaking out...wait until you read about kids younger than you that are infected and besides from having to take a few pills everyday...go on like there is nothing wrong with them. It's very heroic if you ask me.

So read up on what people do when their CD4 and viral loads are at different numbers and how they've handled it. Most doctors won't recommended taking meds until your CD4 gets around 300-400. I started taking meds two years ago when my CD4 was at 1...yes 1and even with an opportunistic infection that has taken a year to diminish....I'm still alive and yet my CD4 has never gotten over 126 and to be quite honest....I feel GREAT!!!

So now, if you've ever steered clear from people you've known with HIV...they are going to be some of your best friends since they can fill in all the blanks you may forget to ask your doctor or if your doctor "doesn't happen to mention it". And these boards are a great source of information from people with first hand knowledge! It's helped me.

Good luck!!

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Positivelyok
Newbie

Reged: 10/19/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Upstate, South Carolina
Re: Grad student who just tested positive new
      #243567 - 12/17/08 09:21 PM

I am very sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I am 39 years old and was infected about 5 years ago by my boyfriend who is soon to be my husband-too long of a story to get into, but will tell you sometime if you want to hear it. I too, did not feel "sick". I was working 12 hour shifts, 6 days a week and dealing with everyday life and feeling just fine. My advice to you is educate yourself, speak up for yourself, and take responsibility for your care. Although there are great doctors out there (all mine have been wonderful) no one cares about you more than YOU. Don't be afraid to ask questions. I lead a "normal" life. I can honestly say that not much has changed. I refuse to let HIV run me. I have never told anyone my status, the only people who know are my fiance' and my doctor. But that is just a personal choice. Like all of us here, you have to find your own way. But you are not alone, not ever. Take care of yourself, continue with your dreams. I look at it this way (as simplistic as it may be), I just have HIV, things can always be worse; and I know a lot of people (I work in the medical industry) who are. If you ever want to talk you can email me anytime @ positivelyok@gmail.com.

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Rusty28031
Newbie

Reged: 12/17/08
Posts: 2
Re: Grad student who just tested positive new
      #243569 - 12/17/08 10:57 PM

Hey Bud- its not the end of the world! There is a huge difference between testing positive to HIV and having AIDS!

Ive been living with HIV for about 15 years, and feel great, live a healthy life, and get excellent healthcare. I stated on med about 6 weeks after I tested positive and was assymptomatic. I had wonderful numbers, CD4 (the good helper T cells) was over 1200 and still is! My viral load is undetectable and has always been

Thats your aim- great numbers and you'll live to a very old age. That can only happen if you get professional care right away and they watch the progress over time. Join a study; at your age, many HIV study participants are needed for stage 3 trials, and you get free health care.

Living with HIV, is no big deal for me; I take meds once a day, and see my doc 3 times a year. It has no impact on your sexual prowess or sexual needs. You will be just as horny as you always were. BUT you do need to rethink who you have sex with and how you have sex. Read up on HIV, attend HIV men's support groups and you will live a wonderful life.

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southerncharm
Member

Reged: 09/01/08
Posts: 20
Re: Grad student who just tested positive new
      #243570 - 12/17/08 11:16 PM

You know you feel exactly how I did. I am a grad student and I found out that I was positive 2 weeks into the beginning of my 1st year of grad school. I just finished my first semester and it was tough. REALLY tough but I got straight A's. I started seeing a psychologist and that really helped. I had a boyfriend of 2 1/2 years and I infected him and he stayed with me. We recently broke up but it was not because of the HIV he understood that I was not intentionally trying to hurt him and I was upfront about my status as soon as I was aware. The first place I went to seek help did not know what to do with me. I am in a small town and I don't think they see many HIV cases. So now I am scheduled to see another doctor in a bigger city. Make sure that you get treatment as soon as possible. But don't be afraid to question the doctors that you see. The doctors I went to see wanted to do a spinal tap on me and they did not run the proper tests so now I am behind in starting tests because I have to start all over. If you ever want to talk about your experience. I'm here I could use someone in my same predicament to talk to.

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espoir
Newbie

Reged: 12/18/08
Posts: 1
Re: Grad student who just tested positive new
      #243572 - 12/18/08 12:58 AM

I'm 23, and like you, it sort of crushed me and made me wonder if I could ever go after my dreams. I got past that, and life now is no different than 6 months ago before I knew I was positive. I'm still a college kid in loads of debt, who hangs out with his friends and just can't wait to graduate come spring. Now I'm just more conscious of my health and have learned a heck of a lot of lessons about life [like, yes you DO think you're invincible no matter how much you tell yourself you don't]
Its tough, yes; really tough. but it's also okay. You're not alone. Give yourself time to feel whatever it is you're feeling, and hang in there.

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Btony
Regular

Reged: 11/15/08
Posts: 25
Re: Grad student who just tested positive new
      #243577 - 12/18/08 07:40 AM

I was 25 when I found out my status. Like you, I thought this could not happen to me but it did. I went into denial for a year before I had to confront the reality. If you infected your boyfriend, know that you cannot be held to what you did not know. There is a difference in knowing your status and passing it on to someone and not knowing a passing it on. You said you have practiced safe sex and that is great. You can still have a great life together.Maybe he will not have this disease. If he leaves you over this, know that it is not the end of the world (it just feels like it). If you are in a relationship, illness happens. Would he feel the same if it were cancer or some other dreaded disease? Talk to him, research this disease and know what your options are. Yes, you can live a normal life. I have been living one for over eleven years. The important thing is to take good care of your body, get good medical treatment and a great support system. HIV does not have to rule your life. Unfortunately, it will be a part of your life (a small part). You are the same person you were before the diagnosis (loving, caring, ect). Now you get to find the strength in you that even you may not have know was there. We are here for you.

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yandus8
Newbie

Reged: 12/15/08
Posts: 2
Thanks for your support! new
      #243581 - 12/18/08 07:41 PM

Thank you everyone for writing such kind messages. It actually has really made me feel better about my situation.

Having to look for a doctor and find out where I stand in terms of the disease is all a bit overwhelming, but I'm sure I will get this under control soon. Thanks again, and I will be back on this site for support

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onekingdom
Newbie

Reged: 12/07/08
Posts: 2
Re: Grad student who just tested positive new
      #243595 - 12/21/08 01:49 PM

I am sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. I myself, 28 years old, was diagnosed 1 month ago and up to this day, I am still in shock, but this site has offered me tremendous levels of support and comfort and there is great hope. I do hope that your boyfriend will continue to provide the stable support for you. Please feel free to email me anytime.

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babydoll
Newbie

Reged: 01/13/09
Posts: 1
Re: Grad student who just tested positive new
      #243838 - 01/13/09 03:53 AM

Hey...im a 23yr old lady...I read ur story and understood what ur going through...u and i have experienced more or else the same things.Im not yet healed but im getting there.I found out about my status 3months ago....it was almost during my examz and just got involved with a nice guy.When i told him he hugged me and said hell always be by my side.He is still in my life.Even though im not yet telling u the whole story but just know that u are not alone....im also with u by thoughts and spirit.This stigma has kicked me out of my normality...i feel like what im doing wont be worth it as im maybe dying soon.anyway we will keep on chatting....

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patience
Newbie

Reged: 01/15/09
Posts: 1
Re: Grad student who just tested positive new
      #243885 - 01/15/09 09:31 AM

Hi , you are not the only one. you will survive this virus and carry on with your life, dont let it limit you. you are young have a suppotive partner and you have a great future ahead of you. I told myself that i wont let HIV stop me from living my life.Do the same and take one day at a time.

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mntwana
Newbie

Reged: 05/09/08
Posts: 3
Re: Grad student who just tested positive new
      #244173 - 01/28/09 04:50 AM

Hey gal, im sorry abt your results i wont say i knw hw you are feeling right now, but i've been in your situation i tested last year march with pride but suprisingly the results came positive i culdnt face anyone coz i though it was written on my face but blv me this site helped a lot it lifted my strenght up, dat time i ws pregnant and guess what my baby ws born negative and my cd count has rised bcos i followe every routines the doctor gave me im not on medcation yet but im living a normal life and good life style ,i make sure the food i take will boost my healthy and when i feel some changes i consult .i hope youll get well and accept your status and do as the doctor says you ll see you will even forget up your shocking day you will live jst blv in God ull see miracles.

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