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HIV Life >> I Just Tested Positive

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ItsMeBen
Newbie

Reged: 05/10/13
Posts: 4
Loc: New York, NY
Newly diagnosed positive. Reaching out.
      #272006 - 05/10/13 06:29 AM

Hey everyone

Diagnosed three weeks ago. Just yesterday I got my blood work results.

CD4 (T Cell) Count: 375
Viral Load: 52,000

Can't start meds til my ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program) insurance kicks in (it's a program offered in NY state to basically give free insurance for those infected with HIV).

A little scared to think I can't even start treatment for 2 more weeks, but this gives me time to research my options, and to wait for a genome test to see which drugs, if any, I might be resistant to.

I've only told a dozen or so people so I'm really new here. I have a few positive friends so I have some people to turn to for support. But I thought it would be a good idea to come here and get connected.

I've been sober and smoke free about 5 years,and vegan about 3 and a half years. So I feel like I've gotta have a pretty awesome head-start in fighting this thing!


Thanks in advance for the love and support!

--------------------
SOBER VEGAN! Tested poz on 4/18/13.
STILL determined to live to be at least 135 years old!

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poslady81
Newbie

Reged: 04/10/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Texas
Re: Newly diagnosed positive. Reaching out. new
      #272011 - 05/10/13 06:50 PM

Hello, I just recently found out that I was positive in March 2013. Went in for a yearly exam and found out. I was really scared, I did not know what or how to feel. My primary care doctor was very helpful in finding the best care for me. She got me in to see the Infectious Disease doctor on the same week. Meet with the ID and he wanted to educate me on this disease, reassured me that this is not a death sentence and as long as I took the meds and took care of myself I could live a healthy, normal life. I didn't began meds until 2 weeks after my first visit because he wanted to do a genome test also. I have not really opened up to anyone about this, but God. I was actually kind of scared to take the meds because it was new to me and I did not know how my body would react. But I have been on meds a month now and by the grace of God I have not had any problems. If you ever need someone to talk to just shoot me a message.

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ItsMeBen
Newbie

Reged: 05/10/13
Posts: 4
Loc: New York, NY
Re: Newly diagnosed positive. Reaching out. new
      #272013 - 05/10/13 10:21 PM

Oh thanks, poslady! I was gonna say "I can't tell you how helpful it is to hear this" -- but I guess you KNOW how helpful it is.

I've connected with a few people about this -- but it's gonna be really nice to just be OPEN about it and to be able to share with others on here.

So heregoes.... EVERY, EVERYBODY, GUESS WHAT!!!

I HAVE HIV!!!!!!!!! I AM HIV POSITIVE!!!!! I'M POSITIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THERE!

That felt better.......

--------------------
SOBER VEGAN! Tested poz on 4/18/13.
STILL determined to live to be at least 135 years old!

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thebird1959
Regular

Reged: 06/22/12
Posts: 49
Loc: Alabama
Re: Newly diagnosed positive. Reaching out. new
      #272014 - 05/11/13 12:25 AM

Hey Ben, you'll be okay. My CD4 was worse than yours and I didn't start my meds for 2 more weeks while they were doing more testing. My CD4 count was down in the 100's and my VL was 43,000 when I started my meds. Five months later my CD4 still wasn't where I had hoped, but my CD4 % had tripled, and I was undetectable. Just hang in there, It all takes time. PM me sometime if you need to.

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ItsMeBen
Newbie

Reged: 05/10/13
Posts: 4
Loc: New York, NY
Re: Newly diagnosed positive. Reaching out. new
      #272015 - 05/11/13 04:59 AM

Just an update here.

Against the advice of the folks at Callen Lorde, I did indeed notify a few of my past sex partners tonight about my status.

Some were easier than others. One was a 19 year old guy who (sorry if this is graphic) I was the top with and didn't wear a condom -- when I finished, he told me "Thanks! You were Number 8 tonight!" Sorta freaked me out.

When I reached out to him online, he really didn't want to hear it and got really angry with me. As things online can get heated, I just stopped, picked up the phone, and against my better judgement -- I called him.

That's when it got easier. I was just like... "Heyyy! It's Ben -- the guy you were just chatting with online. Do you just have like a couple minutes to talk?"

I did most of the talking but I just told him that it's likely I infected him, that he should get checked out, that there's no reason to freak out and that there's a LOT he can do if he takes action now instead of putting it off or denying it. The talk on the phone went a lot better than the back-and-forth online was going.

I told him he might not want it now, but to hang on to my name and number and to call me if he needed to talk, if he had any questions, etc... I also told him I'd gladly go with him if he needed to get checked out somewhere.

I notified one other partner who I was never unsafe with. He seemed a little worried. I told him to get checked out, but that my gut tells me he's fine and shouldn't worry. I hope to touch base with him soon just cuz -- yeah -- it felt like a weird way to leave a conversation.

There's one other guy (the guy who I'm pretty sure gave it to me) who I messaged online asking if we could talk on the phone soon. I haven't heard back from him yet. I also texted him. This is the guy I most wanna talk to.

Lastly, I spoke on the phone with another partner who I never discussed HIV with, but who I always just assumed was healthy positive and on meds. I never wore a condom with him and was always the top. I know, I know... This is the behavior I was engaging in when I was negative. I know. (I KNOW!)

I told him I got diagnosed as positive. This is the first honest talk we've had about HIV. It wasn't easy at first, but he was really cool and cooperative about it. He let me ask him a few questions. I told him some of my concerns. It felt like a really welcome talk from him, and I'm sure he knows I'm scared and was able to sorta walk me through it.

Anyway... That was my day today. Oh, and did I mention that as an actor (actually, as a drag queen) I booked a national commercial for a major cell phone company? Cuz I did! This was PARTICULARLY meaningful to me because when my agent called to say I got a callback audition, the callback was at the same time as my first appointment with my new doctor to get the results of my bloodwork. If I had rescheduled, it would have been for a MONTH later! (NOT prudent in my opinion!)

I said "Let go, and let God!"

Sure enough, my agent called back the next morning to say that they could see me instead an hour and a half later -- this meant that I was able to make it to BOTH the doctor's appointment AND the audition........ It also meant I had to go to the doctor in FULL DRAG! (Yup, wig, lashes, heels, hip/butt padding....... THE WORKS! What a way to meet your new doctor!)

I was so upset thinking I wouldn't be able to go to this audition -- thinking "Dammit! I've been positive less than three weeks and already HIV is getting in the way of me living my life!" but now... not only did I get to the audition -- I BOOKED THE JOB!

--------------------
SOBER VEGAN! Tested poz on 4/18/13.
STILL determined to live to be at least 135 years old!

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thebird1959
Regular

Reged: 06/22/12
Posts: 49
Loc: Alabama
Re: Newly diagnosed positive. Reaching out. new
      #272016 - 05/11/13 07:15 AM

I like your style. You should be commended for telling your past partners. I did the same thing, and like you it didn't go over to well with a couple of them, one in particular. If your past partners are like mine they're won't be but one or two of them that will still be talking to you in the end after it sinks in that they may or may not be HIV+. Most are uneducated about HIV/AIDS and think it is a death sentence, and still won't get tested.

I told my past partners because it was not only the right thing to do, but I figured that this has got to stop here. Most are Like you, I think I've got a pretty good idea of who probably infected me. He also quit answering my phone calls, and responding to text, and emails. And when he quit communicating ties into when my HIV doctors think I was infected. But, you better be careful who you tell about your status. Except for my past partners no one knows that I have HIV. Not even my family. And one of my past partners tried to blackmail me recently. He knows where I work, and threatened to inform my co-workers and tell my boss if I didn't pay him off. I wouldn't give in, and basically told him to "stick it where the sun don't shine"! People will try anything if they think that they can get away with it.

I liked your story about your first appointment and you going to the doctor in "full drag" because of your audition. You really know how to win friends and influence enemies, LOL! It took a lot of nerve to do that, but good for you!. I would have liked to seen the look on peoples faces at the doctors office.

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riverprincessModerator
Moderator

Reged: 12/25/11
Posts: 1659
Loc: Jersey Shore
Re: Newly diagnosed positive. Reaching out. new
      #272018 - 05/11/13 10:24 AM

Well I got you both beat. My t-cells were in the single digits and my vl was to the moon , maybe even to mars ! lol Yet here I am undetectable and believing in years to come .

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ItsMeBen
Newbie

Reged: 05/10/13
Posts: 4
Loc: New York, NY
Re: Newly diagnosed positive. Reaching out. new
      #272033 - 05/12/13 09:17 PM

Thanks everyone. Wow, I feel so much support! Glad we're all here for each other!

Yeah, I'm considering either Complera or Stribild. I'll make that call in about a week and a half when I see my doctor (we're currently waiting on the results of a genome type test to better decide which meds are right for me).

Complera states that it's for people who have a viral load under 100,000. My concern is that -- if my viral load last week was 52,000 -- will I still be under 100,000 in two weeks time? I don't wanna miss that window of opportunity!!!

Also -- I'm big on herbal supplements and chinese medicine. I really wanted to start taking Astragalus root to boost my white blood cell count. But I'm worried about contraindications with the meds. Does anybody know of a resource where I can read up on absolutely EVERYTHING that I should avoid while taking meds? (Like St. John's Wort and all that?)

--------------------
SOBER VEGAN! Tested poz on 4/18/13.
STILL determined to live to be at least 135 years old!

Post Extras: Remind Me!   Notify Moderator  
anotherday
Moderator

Reged: 05/15/13
Posts: 288
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: Newly diagnosed positive. Reaching out. new
      #272078 - 05/16/13 11:28 AM

Good Morning Ben,
So you want to be a 135 year old drag queen, well with padding atleast theres no sagging!!! I really enjoyed reading your posts. I tested positive in February and it changed my life, for the better too!
My cd4 was under 100 and something like 410,000 VL
The Doctors told me it was bad anyway, so I went on meds, looked back at my life which was kinda sadder than looking forward at what was coming and so I made plans.
Things that seemed so far out of reach, have suddenly come alot closer, and if I don't achieve them, atleast I will have given them a shot now where I wouldn't have if HIV didn't get in the scene.
I have a fantastic team of nurses and Doctors who know,not to to tell me too much, if there is a problem let's fix it if it's sailing good just let it be. I took all of this with humour, I remember the nurse that told me she got all serious and leaned into me asking if I was okay. Hell yeah I told her, I got things to do now. She paniced of course and tried to reassure me it wasn't the death sentence it was 30 years ago, but I didn't care, my day to day life was dragging me down and this woke me up. It's not a big deal to take pills, I'm tossing the idea I might be a diabetic too which in my opinion is probable worse because that involves needles, yikes!
For now though no I don't have aspirations of being a 135 year old drag queen, but learn Spanish, learn to play piano, learn to bbq without burning everything. Small dreams but they are real to me now!
All the best Ben, and when that commercial hits the airwaves please post so we can watch for it in all your fabulousness!!!

--------------------
anotherday ... in paradise!
daily ponder ... be the reason someone smiles today!

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jeannie10
Newbie

Reged: 10/24/12
Posts: 21
Re: Newly diagnosed positive. Reaching out. new
      #272257 - 05/30/13 04:19 PM

Def do not take Herbs I was told that is abut the only thing we can t take and raw meat but who eats raw meat. LOL

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jeannie10
Newbie

Reged: 10/24/12
Posts: 21
Re: Newly diagnosed positive. Reaching out. new
      #272258 - 05/30/13 04:23 PM

so true what you said, I get up now and thank god for the day, I have alot of things I want to do too. I just lost a close friend well really like a daughter to me she was only 32 car accident, we just had a week end together with my daughter for her 40th in Ameilia Island, now she is gone so sad, , we have to live each day to our fullest.


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