This is the day ....

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    Jun 09, 2011 5:57 AM GMT
    ill always remember. Wed June 8, 2011...Tonight just now i just came in from taking a 3 hour walk with my best friend of 5 years. Today he was diagnosed with hiv. He told me via text as he was soo afraid. I immediately rush out just to be by his side. i was really hoping that somehow he wouldn't become infected. You see he was dating someone he knew really well and i was happy for him that he found someone so caring. However, there was an accident. (leave it like that) I remember getting the phone call that day last month..he was crying, he was scared and i immediately sought to console him. For the rest of the weeks leading up to his hiv test..we hung out everyday because he is my only true friend in this big city and truth be told..we are like brothers. Now im crying because he is now facing this reality,,uncertain about his own future. During our walk,,i was at a lost for words..because here i am trying to console the person who means the most to me and all i could do was just hold his hand and hug him when he would start crying...i am wondering how do i make him feel better..like thats the ultimate question i keep asking myself and the sad part is..deep down inside i wont be able to.His birthday is on Friday.icon_cry.gif During our walk he kept saying his life was over and ..whats the point of him going to school, continuing his education. He also told me that hes very much afraid that this news will alter his personality. I told him as long as im alive..he wont be alone and i will always be there just like all those times in the past.I want to know how do i help him adjust to this, We have been close buds for years..know everything about each other. How do i help him adjust to this news and make him at ease with living with HIV.
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    Jun 09, 2011 6:23 AM GMT
    Oh I'm sorry to hear that. All you can do is to be there for him. Don't abandon him right now. Don't lose hope please.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jun 09, 2011 6:46 AM GMT
    Tell him CONGRATULATIONS !!

    HIV used to be a death sentence.
    He's a lucky man to be living at this time in history, when there are all kinds of drugs that can be prescribed that will allow him to live a very long life and enjoy very good health.
    Put your arms around him and tell him the good news that he's going to be okay.
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    Jun 09, 2011 7:02 AM GMT
    tereseus1 saidHow do i help him adjust to this news and make him at ease with living with HIV.

    You're doing a great deal for him already. Now keep doing more of the same.

    Make sure he gets onto HIV meds quickly. If he doesn't have insurance get him into a free program. If you can't find one in NYC let me know -- I'll contact the CEO and also the COO of the largest HIV/AIDS agency in Florida, friends of mine, who'll likely have some contacts for you.

    Right now he may be paralyzed by shock and unable to act, and need some intervention by you or others. But he shouldn't delay seeing an HIV specialist, and beginning treatments as indicated. The sooner he begins the better his chances are.

    Assure him that getting HIV today isn't a death sentence. He's got good odds to live for another 30 years, or longer. And during that time greater advances are going to happen to extend his life further, perhaps even a total cure. The important thing is not to give up hope, nor abandon his plans for the future, because he does have one.

    His plans are still going to happen. Make him realize that. He's contracted what is increasingly becoming a chronic disease, versus being a quickly fatal one, a disease that nevertheless requires full-time management. Make sure he begins that management now.

    Please keep us informed.
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    Jun 09, 2011 4:50 PM GMT
    The bond you both have , will help him tremendously . So much progress have been done these last years , that HIV is not a death sentence anymore .
    Hold his hand , give him your shoulder to cry on , be with him when he needs it , and don't let him drop from school .
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    Jun 09, 2011 4:56 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    tereseus1 saidHow do i help him adjust to this news and make him at ease with living with HIV.

    You're doing a great deal for him already. Now keep doing more of the same.

    Make sure he gets onto HIV meds quickly. If he doesn't have insurance get him into a free program. If you can't find one in NYC let me know -- I'll contact the CEO and also the COO of the largest HIV/AIDS agency in Florida, friends of mine, who'll likely have some contacts for you.

    Right now he may be paralyzed by shock and unable to act, and need some intervention by you or others. But he shouldn't delay seeing an HIV specialist, and beginning treatments as indicated. The sooner he begins the better his chances are.

    Assure him that getting HIV today isn't a death sentence. He's got good odds to live for another 30 years, or longer. And during that time greater advances are going to happen to extend his life further, perhaps even a total cure. The important thing is not to give up hope, nor abandon his plans for the future, because he does have one.

    His plans are still going to happen. Make him realize that. He's contracted what is increasingly becoming a chronic disease, versus being a quickly fatal one, a disease that nevertheless requires full-time management. Make sure he begins that management now.

    Please keep us informed.


    I am putting aside all past grievances to agree with Art Deco on this one. Except that I think 30 years is a low-ball estimate. He is absolutely correct about treatments.

    And take him up on his offers of contacts. Connections are as vital as meds in managing HIV.
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    Jun 09, 2011 11:08 PM GMT
    thanks for all your advice especially from Art_Deco. I def plan on making sure im there for him as he really isn't taking it well.....
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    Jun 09, 2011 11:15 PM GMT
    I've never been in that situation; but if it happened to me I'd just want someone to be here for me while I figure things out.
    That's probably what he needs, too. Just be there, let him know his life is NOT ruined, and that he has a future to look forward to.
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    Jun 09, 2011 11:20 PM GMT
    I'm with Cash on this one, Art did a nice job of verbalizing my thoughts on being his friend, support system and love him like a brother. Generous of Art to make the offer to help too. Very nice! Hang in there and let your friend know that many of us are thinking of him.
  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    Jun 09, 2011 11:31 PM GMT
    Let's go through this very, very calmly and carefully.

    First, he needs to find a good infectious disease specialist who can take him on as a patient and monitor is viral load. That doctor will guide his healthcare choices, and the sooner he starts that, the better.

    That should be VERY easy, and recommendations for ten to fifteen good doctors should come pouring in to you through private email from anyone living with HIV in NYC reading your post. (Step up boys!)

    Second, see above: LIVING with HIV. He has no reason to believe he's just been handed a death sentence. His status means he has to have an increased awareness of his health - his diet, his exercise, his sexual practices with partners, etc. - but not in his goals in life. This is a shift in perspective and something to manage. But it's not the end of his life.

    Still, the experience is doubtless going to change him. He needs support, and a place to talk to other man who have sero-converted, where he can have objective, non-emotional, non-familial counsel and support from other men who are managing their HIV status. Get him there, get him involved.

    Finally, take a picture of him. Then find a picture of him in the past year, prior to this event, and put them both in front of him and tell him this - "I don't see a different person. Look closely. You're the same man, the same dreams, the same ambitions, the same hope, the same promise, the same goals, the same abilities and capabilities. Get on with living. Now."

    In 1985 this would have been an impossible note to write to someone like yourself and your friend. I wish with all my heart that I could have gotten this advice when the more than 100 friends and colleagues I knew got the same news. But half my lifetime later I am able to write it, and confidently.

    Head up, screwed on straight, focused, capable, ready to move forward. You cannot imagine how much hope your friend has now that was, at best, a fantasy just 26 years ago. Go help him live.

    God bless.
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    Jun 09, 2011 11:45 PM GMT
    Everyone should be so fortunate to have a friend like you. Just keep doing what you are doing. Most importantly, remind your friend that HIV is considered a chronic illness, and not a death sentence. Like many chronic illnesses, if one seeks proper medical attention and adheres to the correct drug therapy treatments, one can live a long, fulfilling and happy life.

    I wish you both a life full of good health, happiness, love, and success.