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HIV Life >> I Just Tested Positive

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ruralguy
Regular

Reged: 07/08/09
Posts: 27
found out june 24, first test results next week
      #246507 - 07/11/09 09:32 AM

I found out in the course of a normal annual physical exam. Everything was fine and then I got an HIV positive result on June 24. I saw a specialist on July 3 and I get my first test results next week on the 16th. I'm 56 and I just be totally overwhelmed by this. Crying without warning, anxiety attacks, little interest in food. I'm feeling deeply ashamed and embarassed. I live in a pretty small town that is ok w/gay people but I don't think they can handle this. My husband/partner/best friend of 26 years has been great and I've told our one other sex partner (so far both are negative). Ovr the July 4th holidays we had lots of family around and everyone could tell I was "not ok" but I couldn't talk to anyone about it....I still know almost nothing. I just had to go of and be alone and cry more then return and try to act normal. I'm feeling very lost and afraid and find it hard to focus on anything. Luckily I'm a runner and still doing my 3 miles every few days - it seems an ok way to clear my brain for a short time anyway. And when I need it ambien helps me sleep. I'm hugely worried about test results next week. My prior hiv test (the last negative one) was 18 months before. Anyone out there like me? Being in a rural place is hard and I could use some people to email with.

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Jackie__Blue
Legend

Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: found out june 24, first test results next week new
      #246514 - 07/11/09 03:06 PM

I live in a rural area myself. I haven't found it to be any great hardship living here. We're pretty open about our status. I work with the local AIDS Service Organization, and the regional Ryan White Consortia, which is where it began to dawn on me. There are more people living in with HIV in rural areas then you think.

All our friends know, we just find it easier to disclose and not have to worry about being 'found out'. Other than a couple people that were uncomfortable with that information, we've encountered no problems.

I understand the feelings you are currently going through. I think that most of us beat ourselves up over this in the beginnning. It gets better. Just give yourself time to sort it all out and in the meantime just be kind to yourself.

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mountainman
Newbie

Reged: 10/16/07
Posts: 8
Loc: minnesota
Re: found out june 24, first test results next week new
      #246532 - 07/13/09 07:56 PM

I know what your going thru. 60 years old here.

For me,,,,I needed to talk to someone and found myself contacting my old college.

Email asking if I could talk to a Priest,,(I'm not catholic). He met with me that day, talked for hours, directed me to a Priest in my own rural town. Wow. Has my life ever turned around. Doing great mentally, physically, hope the best for you too.

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bnagayguy
Regular

Reged: 01/29/09
Posts: 25
Re: found out june 24, first test results next week new
      #246535 - 07/13/09 10:15 PM

It's great that you found out, and that you were able to inform your sexual contact partners; that's definitely a step in the right direction!! There is no need to feel the shame you currently experience. The shame would be valid if you were to not share your situation with your bf, and your other sex partner. Know that the shame you feel will, indeed, pass with time and understanding.

Your fear is understood by anyone who is poz. Know that the fear you have, also will pass, as you learn and become more knowledgeable about what it means to be HIV+.

I live in a rural community in southern TN and being gay is not a "good thing", let alone being HIV+. The good news is, I found a great doctor in Nashville, who literally saved my life!!

Being poz for over 20 years, I've learned/grown to have a healthy attiude about being poz; 20 years ago it was a death sentence. Today, most of whom are newly diagnosed are living a full life expectancy - a friend of mine died last year from cardiomyopathy, not because he had HIV/AIDS.

Know that you can continue to live a great life! Keep up with your exercise regimen; consider adding some weight training, if possible. Adding (and keeping) lean muscle mass is a definite "must do."

Make sure your nutrition is sound; you have to eat, no matter how upset you are. Not eating can send you into a downward spiral. Minimize alcohol consumption (helps promote better liver function); the liver has to process and filter out the medicines you must consume, which is a very big job. Given you run, I assume you do not smoke; that's great - if you can't breathe, you won't live.

Check out Nelson Vergel's book "Built to Survive." It has tons of information, which I found both useful and helpful, several years after I was diagnosed HIV+.

Know that the anxiety, the sadness and the other "bad stuff" will subside, after some time. Once you experience yourself still living after being diagnosed HIV+ (and not merely existing), you will, hopefully, find the contentedness for which you are longing. Being poz does not mean you have to stop living; it simply means you may have to change how you do some things.

As for telling anyone that you are HIV+, you need not tell anyone anything about your status, unless you're going to have sex with them (or share your bodily fluids in some other fashion). I told a few friends as soon as I found out; I never told any of my family until 2007.

Lastly, be sure you use an HIV specialist as your primary physician. I have found most rural doctors untrained, ignorant, and ill-equipped to handle the wide range of complexities which HIV/AIDS patients encounter. If you have other doctors for other medical situations, who prescribe medications, be sure to let your HIV doctor know about those prescriptions. And be sure you use a reputable pharmacy, that won't discount you because you are HIV+; if you can use only one pharmacy that's the best possible situation. Luckily, I have a pretty good Walgreens I can depend on to provide great service and better than average pricing with my prescription drug insurance.

I hope this is helpful, and useful, in some way. If you care to, feel free to drop me a line at my email addy: bnagayguy@yahoo.com

I wish you a great life....be well!!

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dfwjeep
Newbie

Reged: 04/19/07
Posts: 8
Loc: Dallas, Tx
Re: found out june 24, first test results next week new
      #246536 - 07/13/09 10:20 PM

Just saw your post...I "Kinda" identify with you. I am 'from' a small town but have been in Dallas forever now. Like you I was diagnosed when I was about 57. I think the main thing is to keep a good attitude about it...for some reason I didn't seem to worry about it from the first...I had one night of crying when I told my ex and our kids...but all OK after that.

I think one thing that has kept it in perspective for me...and may help you when you stop and think about it...my youngest son was 21 the night I told him and his mother. He was SO upset, he just cried. I told him, "Jeffrey don't worry about it, you never know - I could outlive you!!!!". Well - I did, he was murdered the following March. So believe me, a LOT of things can be worse than being diagnosed HIV+

You are welcome to email me anytime you want to have someone to talk to. dfwjeep2001@yahoo.com

Lanny

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Hans
Newbie

Reged: 02/18/09
Posts: 2
Re: found out june 24, first test results next week new
      #246544 - 07/14/09 04:56 AM

Everyone feel the same way at first, but later you will overcome the feelings and fear, the day I diagnosed, I was like hapier if the car taking me home had an accident and have me dieng in it than to go home being HIV positive, I spent all my time indoors and hadly come out, didn't want to test any food b/c I lost apetite, my penis forgot the meaning of the word erection and ejaculation, but now all is over, I know it's here but day after day I lean to live with it... I know you will come to overcome it with time, courage.

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fellis
Newbie

Reged: 01/19/08
Posts: 4
Re: found out june 24, first test results next week new
      #246550 - 07/14/09 07:18 AM

Dear Ruralguy -

It is funny in our life how 10 years difference most often means a life time but let tell, your words came out of my heart three years ago. Although I do not live in a small town, live in Washington DC, my family is from a small town and retains those ideals. Ironically my mom passed in Jan of the year I found out my first poz test in April, so for me that was the biggest hurdle I never had to cross.

Anyway, it sucks, yes. It made me cry for months, yes. Every moment in the morning when I woke and my eyes open, I thought it.

Guess what Ruralguy? You need not tell anyone about your medical situation. What you need to do is get good health care, get on your meds depending on your first test, and find a good doctor.

I actually nicknamed it my Acne problem. That is kind of like what it is. A problem that pops up now and then but if you keep your face clean, eat well, excersise, and live right, you will have nice clean skin. Strange comparison maybe but it works for me.

Now I think about it when the alarm on my phone reminds me to take my pill. I no longer open my eyes and think about it. I have completed my second novel since I found out, finished 6 paintings and sold two.

In other words, you will get through this. As Momma used to say, this too will pass. You have to learn how to manage it, your occassional nause, how to alter your conversation, and resist the urge to talk about your chronic medical condition.

Think about it man, I am 47, just ten years behind you, but the similairties grabbed me. You will be alright. My advise is simple. Tell no one. Get a great doctor, even if that mean moving to a bigger city. We have a good chance to live another 25 years and more. We will probably die from something else like getting hit by a bus or gored by a bulll... you get it.

Dust it off dude. We are stronge people. Get online, make friends, stay connect, read everything, make your own decisions, and finally my best advise - a little weed now and then. It makes you feel good.

Write back if you like and please visit my website. Maybe you will be inspired. My novel is about growing up in a small town. Check it out.

Your friend,
Frank

Frank Impressions
www.FrankieJames.com

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ruralguy
Regular

Reged: 07/08/09
Posts: 27
Re: found out june 24, first test results next week new
      #246556 - 07/14/09 03:38 PM

I want you each to know these responses are very helpful right now in this period of such strong emotions. I'm still very upset, but crying less. Now I know what an anxiety attack is and I can deal with them better. And I know I am getting through this, slowly. Right now I just what you each to know that you have helped me out more than you may realize. I'll post my test results after Thursday.

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Robert1
All Star

Reged: 05/29/07
Posts: 96
Re: found out june 24, first test results next week new
      #246560 - 07/14/09 07:53 PM

one thing that can help is to also know that you will be ok. there is a section on this site that is pretty cool. you can listen to people talk about being diagnosed here http://www.thebody.com/content/art50003.html?getPage=1
it takes time to load but it's pretty cool. Just take it easy and take one day at a time. know that there are a lot of us out there and you can ask for help. robert

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tomamtz
Newbie

Reged: 07/15/09
Posts: 1
Re: found out june 24, first test results next wee new
      #246569 - 07/15/09 10:09 AM

Hello Ruralguy! I too am from a rural area and was extremely afraid of how it would be taken. I talked around the situation in an attempt to get the news out but never found the strength to do so. Finally, I told my 1 friend who I knew couldn't keep a secret. After that I just sat back and watched. It was quite a remarkable thing for me to find that all of the people I love, love me enough to care about me and not the disease. I can happily say that I have a much better relationship with my family and friends as a result of this. Not to say that they "care more" now than before but there is a much better line of communication and I no longer feel shame or discomfort when with them. BEST of all is that I now have this amazing support from the people from whom I needed the most. I know you're being much harder on yourself than they ever could be. Trust in the love you share with these people and give them the chance to show you their ability to be there for you. I wish you the best and will gladly be here for you should you ever wish to chat.

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ruralguy
Regular

Reged: 07/08/09
Posts: 27
Re: found out june 24, first test results next week new
      #246589 - 07/16/09 05:17 PM

So I have my first real test results: viral load about 9000 and CD4 300. The doctor thinks i'm still unstable and a CD4 of around 400 would be more consistent with the vr load. Test again in a month, see him in 6 weeks. Drug resistence testing also part of the tests in a month. Got pcb and hep vaccines. From reading these boards, this seems reasonable to me but ... I'd appreciate some comments back. Seems this should me part of the 'treatment' thread so I will move it there. You all have been great to me and I deeply appreciate it.

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coffee
Newbie

Reged: 07/20/09
Posts: 3
Loc: north carolina
Re: found out june 24, first test results next week new
      #246618 - 07/20/09 02:55 PM

being in the rural south, I had expectations of being outcast and didn't want people to find out. i have my own business and thought people would not patronize my restaurant. I am sure some of that happened but its really not worrying about things like that. Take care of yourself and your health first and foremost. Having a supportive partner is a great advantage. A very important part of being HIV+ in a rural area is to make sure you have a really good infectious disease specialist to take care of you. I pray that your results were good on the 16th and that you will take the next steps in your care. WE are living life to the fullest and everyone, including those in rural areas, will just have to get use to being around HIV+ people. Also, i am a runner too. I run 4 to 6 miles 2 or 3 times a week. Your running will actually help you with some side effects that you may get from some meds. Keep running and keeping your head clear. You have an advantage in that area all ready too. You are going to be just fine.....keep me updated here in NC. my best

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