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HIV Life >> I Just Tested Positive

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renevatio
Newbie

Reged: 07/25/09
Posts: 8
Fresh out of the box...
      #246976 - 08/09/09 11:59 PM

Hello all.

I was diagnosed on July 20, with confirmation on the 22nd via WB.


I was headed to Hawaii the following morning of my test. So you can imagine the plane ride over. Ugh. The good news was that I got to kinda put off some of the pain in a sense...I was surrounded by such beauty that often times I forgot about my illness. My girlfriend (now “good” friend only) flew out a few days after, and we spent an amazing week hiking and exploring and laughing and crying.

I am back from the bubble. But it helped to deal with the initial shock of the diagnosis. It helped break up the bitter pill into more manageable chunks.

I found out from whom it came, and he had no idea. He and I were always safe, but we have come to the conclusion that it was orally transmitted. So much for safe sex, lol.


I am using my newfound status as a wake-up call. To change so very much in my life. I am no stranger to pain and devastation...and I think that my past has actually helped me face this new “left-turn” with much more grace and composure, as well as a good deal of hope.

I have jumped into researching all that I can about treatments and have embarked on making my life even more healthy than previously. I had been involved in a certain community that was fairly into different kinds of substance use/abuse, and have since cut most ties with my former friends out of necessity. Not all, mind you, but those that would likely open the door for me to return to my past ways.


My closest friends have been so very supportive, as well as my mother and sister. It is so good to feel supported, yet even with all that, feel so sad. So much of what I thought I would be and do with my life will now change, some of it drastically.



My biggest concerns right now are financial and relational...

I am self-employed, and have been since age 20 (I am 36 now), and without health insurance. I made more than 30 grand last year, but not enough to afford the apparent $2,000/month bill that antivirals would cost me. In fact, almost every penny I made last year went to bailing myself out of a financial pickle that I got myself into the year before. Bankruptcy was almost part of my world. But I dug out last year. The problem is, when debtors settle with you, and forgive a portion of your balance, the forgiven amount is reported as income for that tax year. So my taxes will likely show way higher than I actually made (I haven’t filed yet, as I extended). So I am concerned with how I might pay for treatment, seeing as how I don’t have much money in the bank at the moment...and can’t qualify for the TX plan nor the Ryan White for this tax year.

I don’t own a home, nor have any investments. My ex-wife wiped me out about 5 years back, and I am still recovering from year before last.

Thoughts?

As to relational - I would imagine that dating is difficult, if not impossible. I am not looking to date any time soon (too much on my plate at the moment, go figure) but I was just beginning to look again at the possibility of re-marriage. Finding someone that not only matches my interests and life-path, but now also my HIV status seems daunting, if not completely unattainable. But I am aware that I am getting ahead of myself...forgive me in advance.


Anyhow, enough for now, as I have a tendency to write a good bit, if you didn’t catch it.


All commentary and advice is welcome.





~r~

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PSWrandy
Member

Reged: 07/06/07
Posts: 23
Loc: wa, usa
Re: Fresh out of the box... new
      #246977 - 08/10/09 03:51 AM

Sounds like you have three issues, but i do not think i would tackle the financial issue since this is not the place for it nor will i try to tackle your need for a relationship which again i could help, but certainly this is not the time or place. Seems like the initial focus needs to be around the HIV+ tests. OK, so now you just need to see the doctor and deal with the HIV head on. Check in your community for an HIV support system, whether it be a group or case manager to help guide you through the best process that will get you the help you need based on your limited income and situation. This of course is a starting place that will help guide you through a stable process of good HIV support and treatments as necessary. The health department is also able to support your need as well. I would like to help you, but i am not sure where to begin since it might require just being here for support and helping answering any questions you might have.

Your relationship though may need a little of the support as well and of course you need to be honest with them whether it be your potential GF and wife, or a guy you played with in a safe manner. It sounds like that you may have gotten the HIV from a place other than the sexual situations you have described. Wherever it came from matters not as it is now the job of taking care of the virus and your health. I can assure you that you will likely live just as long a life as any of the rest of us and likely longer with all of the new meds now available. I have been HIV+ now 5 years and there are many who have been 20+ years and as long as HIV has been around. You can live with confidence.

Let me know if i can help in any way.

Respectfully,
randy

--------------------
Respectfully,
randy

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Jackie__Blue
Legend

Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: Fresh out of the box... new
      #246985 - 08/10/09 08:45 AM

Well welcome to the United States' fine health care system. Any insurance company will hit you with a pre-existing clause and will refuse to cover any HIV related expenses for 12 months since you have had no insurance. You also are probably going to find it pricy to get an individual policy. See if you can find a group health plan perhaps through a professional group or association.

1st get some insurance so that you at least can start the clock on the pre-existing time frame. Find out what your viral load and CD4 count are. It's possible that you don't even need to start medication yet.

Don't rule out Ryan White yet. I would make an appointment and go see a case manager at your local ASO. Tell them what's going on financially. They may have some possible solutions.

Other options you can look into is your state's ADAP program and some drug companies have programs to help people get the medications they need also.

Also this group Partnership for Prescription Assistance has helped a lot of people.

https://www.pparx.org/





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renevatio
Newbie

Reged: 07/25/09
Posts: 8
Re: Fresh out of the box... new
      #247051 - 08/14/09 05:00 PM

Honesty has never been an issue with me. I had already called all my past partners going back 3+ years...the list wasn't all that long, and I still keep in touch with all of them. I don't do the random hook-up thing, really. The Dept. of Health also met with me and had to verify that everyone has been tested as well...it was a bit of a disturbing interview process, but I understand why they do it.

I am slated to get my first counts next Tuesday, so I will know more after I get my test results.

My GF and I have already intentionally put space between us, as she is not comfortable with the risks, even protected, as she has two young children... So we are slowly talking less and less, so as to make things easier on both of us. I am torn up a bit by the loss of her, but think it is what is best for her, as well.

I am having trouble working at the moment, for most of my work is self-motivated...and I have little, if any, at this point. I have spent the last 3 days on the couch. I have been sleeping way more than usual as well, and still find myself drinking too much. I am trying to work my way to complete sobriety, but with all the emotional turmoil, I can't seem to stay away from it.

I hope this gets easier.

~r~

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Jackie__Blue
Legend

Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: Fresh out of the box... new
      #247057 - 08/15/09 11:32 AM

Quote:

and still find myself drinking too much. I am trying to work my way to complete sobriety, but with all the emotional turmoil, I can't seem to stay away from it.

I hope this gets easier.




Sometimes it's easier to modify behavior not by making large changes, but little steps. Harm reduction. Try taking a step where you don't start drinking before a certain time. Or limit yourself to a certain number of drinks and make sure you don't have more than that around.

It does get easier.

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renevatio
Newbie

Reged: 07/25/09
Posts: 8
Re: Fresh out of the box... new
      #247060 - 08/15/09 02:56 PM

Thanks, Esmerelda.

When it rains, it pours.

Just found out that my dog of 16 years died last night. I didn't get to say goodbye, 'cause my ex is such a selfish person. I hadn't seen the dog in about 1.5 years, but she was more mine, than my ex's.

Kick 'em when they're down, eh?


I am worried about what may be coming next, sheesh.




~r~

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Jackie__Blue
Legend

Reged: 01/20/07
Posts: 1186
Re: Fresh out of the box... new
      #247061 - 08/15/09 03:09 PM

I can identify. It seems every time I turn around lately I've got some other issue that I don't want to deal with the MUST be dealt with.

I'm sorry about your dog. Ours is old. She's blind and diabetic. My husband gives her insulin every day. I don't know how much longer we will have her. I dread the day she goes because while I will grieve, I know my husband will grieve a lot more. We have the dog and 3 cats. Our pets give us so much and really ask so little in return, well all but the Calico, she's QUEEN. They are a blessing.

All things in life are cyclical. Things will come around and better times will come with it.

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renevatio
Newbie

Reged: 07/25/09
Posts: 8
Re: Fresh out of the box... new
      #247141 - 08/23/09 11:06 PM

I am feeling good today.

I qualified for care with the clinic for the year, so the financial concern is taken care of, for now. My numbers won't be provided to me until my next appointment in a few weeks...so I am simply trying to educate myself on all that I can about the disease, so I might be more proactive in my care and treatment.

I am also in the process of breaking away from much of my past. Previous interests that were in a word...unhealthy. I am also looking to move to a place where my heart simply beats slower, and the peace permeates, well, everything.

Hawaii.

I have always wanted to live there. I have visited many times. I have worked there both last year and this. And there is not a huge amount keeping me fixed in place at this juncture in my life.

So why not?

Now mind you, this will take me the better part of a year to orchestrate, so this will not be some sort of impulsive decision. I will work steadily to make this new goal of mine a reality. I have talked about the possibility of moving there for the last couple of years...but never did anything to move in that direction.

I now have the impetus to overcome my inertia.


Maybe I am running away. Or maybe I am running toward, dunno.

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