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HIV Life >> I Just Tested Positive

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marriednkids
New User

Reged: 03/01/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Missouri
First time Caller.. Recent listener.. and of course positive..
      #270915 - 03/01/13 08:59 PM

Well 2/9/2013 I got a call from the state, saying they wanted to see me about some stuff that came out on a life insurance exam. They called on Friday at 4pm, and said they could not meet until Monday, but it was about a serious STD. After fretting, not sleeping, and researching, I had pretty much narrowed it down to they were going to bring me in and tell me I had HIV or Hepatitis. (Those are the only two I could find that the state contacts you about).. Nice of them to call on a Friday eh? So on 2/11/2013.. I found out..

Well turns out I am HIV positive. Pretty Scary; I have been married for 2.5 years; just had a beautiful baby girl 6 months ago; and have never strayed from my wife once.(Not in the 3.5 years we have been together either) I am 35 years old, and a little wilder in my younger days.. but never shot drugs, or switch hit (no offense to anyone). So never thought I could have gotten this disease; and really in the last couple weeks gotten much more educated it on it then ever.. But it does not discriminate..

You know I never really paid attention to the fight against the disease (Ignorance is bliss) , and the problems of this community, because I thought.. never me.. never me.. Well, here I am today as a member, and hope you guys/gals can help me through this, as it has already been pretty difficult..

I have told my wife and she is really at this point other than medical personnel and you guys that I plan on telling, due to the horrible social stigmata put on this disease. Maybe later in life, this will change; and I will have that strength. Thank God(And believe me I have hit my knees thanking him) that my wife was tested 3 times last years during pregnancy, and of course last week and she IS NEGATIVE and the BABY is Negative! I hope it stays that way, we of course are retesting in a few months, and abstaining from Sex until we get this all a little better under control.. This is all pretty amazing to me considering we had a decent sex life, and we had a failed pregnancy before the one that resulted in my little Angel. I pray again she stays negative at the next test.

Went to the Doctor on Wed to find the results of the wonderful 50 vials of blood the took (Well maybe it was 48). I am going to an infectiousness disease doctor that was recommended to me here in Kansas City.. I found out my Viral load was 71,000 and a CD4 count of 178 So, of course we want to start treatment ASAP. So they prescribed Atripla for me to start, and with my insurance it is 1900.00 a month. Crazy, someone is making good money on this!

I have been a small business owner for the past 4 years, and do pretty well 120-150k a year; before Uncle Sam takes 30% of it or more! But the 2k a month is something I am not sure we can handle; but we are going to try and work it out some how. I have one daughter, two step daughter, a three legged dog (yep!) and a beautiful wife to support.

So Why am I here? (I didn't just wander in here; of course)

Support and Answers! From those wiser than me!

So let me crack a few questions and see if you guys can help out...

I have a PPO (Individual/Family plan because of my self employment) They say the medicine is non-preferred, thus with insurance my medicine is 1900 a month. I have a 5000 dollar deductible/10000 family deductible.. Max out of pocket 12,000. Does anyone know once I hit those deductibles if they will be forced to pay for my medicine? (I am trying to get the manufacturer to help, but might be hard given my income)

2nd Question(Hope someone is still reading) :
If they will not cover the cost, which I am assuming they will not. Is it possible to travel to another country and buy this name brand drug at a cheaper cost? and what countries and cost? How much is name brand in Mexico? I have read about Viraday and buying online as well, I asked the Doctors nurse about this today, and about substituting; but she said they don't recommend this because of the way it metabolizes or something. Have you guys had positive was to overcome this with your doctor about trying it out? 500.00 a month sounds a lot better than say 1900 a month..

3rd question how are you all doing? Hope you are having a great day!

Its been a hard last few weeks, from living what I thought was my dream life.. 3 kids.. 3 legs of one dog.. no fence.. suburban neighborhood.. liked my job..love my wife.. working on pinewood derby cars for my girls and girlscouts.. to Poof.. CRAP STORM..

I was in a pretty good mood after telling my wife, and getting her support; and she has been a rock to help me out. Was a little shocked my numbers were so low, but have read quite a few encouraging posts about others who were lower and have rebounded.. I am not scare of dying, I believe in God. I am scared of my daughter not having a father around to be there.. love her..support her and tell her she is beautiful..

Then the 2nd wave of the shit storm came in.. Found out the medicine I need to stay alive cost 2000 a month.. The IRS called me and says I owe them 82k (Which I dont have, I struggle to make payroll a lot) due to an ex business partner.. and I am out of diet coke at the house .. This has really depressed the positiveness I was having about the situation. I am going to fight it and put one foot in front of the other, and march on.. I will tell the IRS about the situation and hopefully they will let me breathe for 6 months so I can get things sorted out, but not in this time of family crisis. (Anyone have experience with this?) I will find away to get medicine, and hope you guys can help with some answers above. and I WILL SOMEHOW KEEP LIVING AND LAUGHING...

Not sure if there are others out there who are married, I would be interested in having "Pen Pals"/Mutual Support or whatever and are in my situation with one partner positive. Or really welcome words of advice, wisdom, or jokes from anyone that will listen and talk..

There are a lot of brave people with this disease, I hope I can become one of them. Peace. Love. & Dreams as my girls always say. Look forward to hearing from you all and becoming an active member of the community.. I guess I got the membership card now.

So time to take my first Atripla. Pray the Side Effects aren't bad!.. Taking in one hour..

All this and I have to quit smoking (Got Chantix today)
And now I need to lose 100lbs (I have been needing to lose this anyway.) Currently 290lbs and 6ft..been pretty healthy until this.. though I know why I was getting Strep all the time now, and got my tonsils(First surgery ever!) Removed last year..

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riverprincessModerator
Veteran

Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1824
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: First time Caller.. Recent listener.. and of course positive.. new
      #270925 - 03/02/13 11:56 AM

Hey there , You definitly sound like the dice rolled off the table for you. I can't tell you how you should handle the financial/medications aspect . I personally have been pos for over 20 years , on meds for over 18 but luckily my financial income is lousey. So that enabled me to be able to obtain help with meds. I can tell you what it's like living pos , hubby is also pos , same time frame , but has never had to take meds. It's a great blessing that the rest of your families health has been untouched. And yes the God that you went to your knees for will be there to help and guide if you allow him to be lord of your home, another topic though . I wish I could offer other info for you . But your welcome to vent as about being pos and so forth . Trust and believe that all things work to the good for those that love and trust the Lord.

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

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Furtail001
New User

Reged: 03/02/13
Posts: 3
Re: First time Caller.. Recent listener.. and of course positive.. new
      #270940 - 03/03/13 10:15 AM

I read your post and it breaks my heart, so sorry! I am gay, not married, and I was not surprised to learn of my own status when the results came back...but enough about me. I have some thoughts.

I have also thought about traveling to a foreign country to buy meds. I have friends in Canada but so far I have not had to do that due to great insurance...so far...haven't been fired from my job. I have heard that you cannot get Atripla (which I also take) shipped to the US due to barriers that BMS puts up to protect its profits. The only thing that crossed my mind was for you to physically go to Canada and try to get a six month supply from a pharmacy, given that any pharmacy would be even willing to fill it or sell it to you. I could try to find out for you if you like (my friends are in Montreal, QC, and I am french proficient). My own mail order pharmacy says that a generic form of Atripla is scheduled to come out in 2015 but that is just hearsay at this point and I have no idea if the FDA has reviewed the data. And beware of the internet promising generic versions of the medication; many are just scams preying on desperate people. Some of the medication shipped has been found to be nothing but sugar-pills.

I am so happy that your wife and baby girl are OK. I pray that they stay that way! It is fantastic and also essential that your wife supports you every step of the way, she will give you strength to get through this. And believe me, you WILL get through this and live a more or less normal life and learn to deal with this virus. You are NOT dirty, evil, sub-standard, or deficient, you are a great human being to whom a bad thing happened.

Also, check out resources in Kansas City. Is there are pharmacy that is cheaper at an HIV/AIDS clinic? Drug assistance? It sounds like they might think you make too much money for that, especially now with so many people in need.

Take care and I pray that you stay strong!!


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notinterested
Regular

Reged: 09/07/11
Posts: 127
Re: First time Caller.. Recent listener.. and of course positive.. new
      #270941 - 03/03/13 03:52 PM

Hello Married guy,
Well Iím very happy that your wife and child are testing negative. Wow thatís a lot of info to take in  First, donít worry, and donít stress, just sounds like you have a lot to look into. I donít know about the health care, I have heard there are several programs out there like the Ryan White funds that you can look into. It may be tricky with your income as it sounds like you make good money but hopefully you find a program to help you with the costs. Thankfully I have insurance through my work as I know I couldnít afford it out of my pocket. I definitely would quit smoking. Smoking is bad whether your positive or not but especially if your positive. You donít want to do anything to harm your immune system. Going to the gym is a good thing. Since I found out I was positive, I put a much bigger focus on working out and being healthy which includes eating healthier. If you find yourself having high anxiety about this, talk to your doctor about getting on anti-anxiety medication at the beginning. I didnít do that because I didnít know much about anxiety and now I regret not asking for it as I really needed it. Itís good that you are aware of the stigma right off the bat. Itís unfortunate but the stigma still exists, so telling anyone your status is something to take very seriously as you canít take it back. As for Atripla, I take it and thankfully itís just one pill a day. I take it every night before bed. My only side effect is I do get racing thoughts from the medicine. They are so bad they wake me up sometimes. What I do to try and counter it, is I count down from the number 40 and I not only do the countdown but I focus on the number as Iím counting down. If the racing thoughts are really bad I have to take anti-anxiety medicine to counter balance it. My ID doctor told me there is a new medicine out now, which is one pill a day that doesnít have this side effect that I may switch too. Iíve been told though that some people have no side effects from Atripla so you may be a lucky one. Feel free to private message me anytime if you want to chat or just correspond. Have fun and enjoy your family. Donít let this take a minute away from your happiness as there is no reason for that. All will be well!!! Take Care.


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kclost
New User

Reged: 03/01/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Kansas City
Re: First time Caller.. Recent listener.. and of course positive.. new
      #270971 - 03/05/13 04:16 PM

Hi there. I'm in the Kansas City area as well. Have you tried getting in touch with KC Free? It's the free clinic on Broadway (in Midtown/Westport area). I imagine you make too much for treatment there but they do case management so they may be able to point you in the right direction for med assistance. Praying for you and yours, if you ever need feel free to PM me.

Edited by kclost (03/05/13 04:28 PM)

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lilfshrmn
Member

Reged: 03/07/13
Posts: 50
Loc: SE US
Re: First time Caller.. Recent listener.. and of course positive.. new
      #270994 - 03/07/13 01:53 PM

Newbie too. Diagnosed w/Aids in November, chronic stage...married with adult kids. Wife not infected. You are not alone. Been on Atripla since November some side effects but better than alternative. Hang in there.

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marriednkids
New User

Reged: 03/01/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Missouri
Re: First time Caller.. Recent listener.. and of course positive.. new
      #271511 - 04/04/13 12:22 PM

Just wanted to give a short update.. Just got my first Labs after being on Atripla for 32 days.. GOOD stuff..
My Viral Load went from 70,000 to 400.. SO hopefully will be undectable VERY soon.. CD4 Count went up to 230.. so still have a way to go there.. but I realize this might take awhile.

My wife has been a rock through this, and just sees this as a hurdle and something we have to deal with.. and she is glad it is not something like Lung Cancer etc.

Been pretty tired but trying to work out every day to lose the 100lbs I need to lose, have not smoked in 24 days.. a lot to change all at once, so I realize that there is going to be some depression and such involved.. Just happy to get these results today, and another day Living..

What a whirlwind the last 60 days has been..

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kclost
New User

Reged: 03/01/13
Posts: 7
Loc: Kansas City
Re: First time Caller.. Recent listener.. and of course positive.. new
      #271810 - 04/25/13 08:30 AM

Glad to hear your numbers are so much better! It's great that your wife is such a great support, and you seem to be handling all this really well. Praying for you, and please continue to keep us updated!

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