I just got an HIV+ test result yesterday...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 03, 2009 2:04 AM GMT
    I must say I am scared shitless.

    I don't want to say I am angry because ultimately I am responsible for becoming infected. You go over and over in your head about, "I should have, I could have...[used a condom]." I can't believe I would always tell my promiscuous friends to "WRAP IT UP" whenever they had risky encounters, but then I became infected. Hell, I even volunteered for a clinic once and talked to people about protecting themselves. How did this happen!?

    I believe in always having safe sex, but just as anyone, you have slip ups. Unfortunately, it only takes one. I guess I learned the hard way..

    Anyhow, reading the posts in these forums don't relieve my fears whatsoever. The medicine side effects, complications, and the "wasting away" that I keep hearing about. I don't know what to do. I mean, I know I should schedule an appointment to see my doctor, but what if I'm very sick?

    I am glad to know my status, but I am not glad to get a positive result. What if it's an error? Should I get tested again?! I'm an emotional wreck.

    I have only told my best friend. I can't imagine telling my parents, friends, or anyone else for that matter.

    How was everyones experience when you first found out?
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    Sep 03, 2009 2:13 AM GMT
    I'm very sorry to hear that you are going through this right now. It certainly is not easy. I was in the same place emotionally as you when diagnosed three years ago.

    I thought my life was over and that I would get sick immediately. But the meds are great and after a difficult first year, things are much, much better.

    The only advice I can really offer is to go to the doctor, ask a lot of questions, research your ass off Online, talk to your friends, see a shrink if you need to ... and most importantly - don't focus on blame and hypothetical "what could happen" situations - they are a complete waste of time and energy.

    Stay in the now and focus on getting through one day at a time. And be good to yourself.

    Hang in there, man.
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    Sep 03, 2009 2:19 AM GMT
    Momentum_Play saidI'm very sorry to hear that you are going through this right now. It certainly is not easy. I was in the same place emotionally as you when diagnosed three years ago.

    I thought my life was over and that I would get sick immediately. But the meds are great and after a difficult first year, things are much, much better.

    The only advice I can really offer is to go to the doctor, ask a lot of questions, research your ass off Online, talk to your friends, see a shrink if you need to ... and most importantly - don't focus on blame and hypothetical "what could happen" situations - they are a complete waste of time and energy.

    Stay in the now and focus on getting through one day at a time. And be good to yourself.

    Hang in there, man.


    A "hard first year"? Getting your body adjusted to the medications or your emotional state?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 03, 2009 10:18 AM GMT
    Emotional state, definitely. Didn't start meds until a year after diagnosis - and that point is when things started to get a lot better for me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 03, 2009 8:51 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear that, but dont be too hard on yourself. You are only human and being human means we sometimes slip up. Get tested again, see a good HIV doctor and get into a hiv support group for people who have just found out their status. That would be very helpful.

    Your life is not over, you can have a health and long life, you can have love, you can have sex, you CAN HAVE A LIFE!!!!!!!

    my thoughts are with you
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 03, 2009 8:55 PM GMT
    I'm sorry that you are going thru this. Can't imagine what you must be going thru. The best to you


    And this raises a question... This seems to be a constant in our community. It's beginning to seem as if evey gay man is HIV poz ...
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    Sep 03, 2009 8:57 PM GMT
    I wish you all the best my friend. There have been error cases where someone got a negative when positive and vice versa. Definitly get tested again and speak to the doctor.
  • ickymuffin

    Posts: 119

    Sep 03, 2009 9:12 PM GMT
    CeeJay1 saidI must say I am scared shitless.

    I don't want to say I am angry because ultimately I am responsible for becoming infected. You go over and over in your head about, "I should have, I could have...[used a condom]." I can't believe I would always tell my promiscuous friends to "WRAP IT UP" whenever they had risky encounters, but then I became infected. Hell, I even volunteered for a clinic once and talked to people about protecting themselves. How did this happen!?

    I believe in always having safe sex, but just as anyone, you have slip ups. Unfortunately, it only takes one. I guess I learned the hard way..

    Anyhow, reading the posts in these forums don't relieve my fears whatsoever. The medicine side effects, complications, and the "wasting away" that I keep hearing about. I don't know what to do. I mean, I know I should schedule an appointment to see my doctor, but what if I'm very sick?

    I am glad to know my status, but I am not glad to get a positive result. What if it's an error? Should I get tested again?! I'm an emotional wreck.

    I have only told my best friend. I can't imagine telling my parents, friends, or anyone else for that matter.

    How was everyones experience when you first found out?


    So sorry to hear this but it's not the end of the world for you. It will take some time to get used to the idea, and certain adjustments in your life will have to be made, but you can get through it.

    If you test positive they follow it up with a Western Blot test I believe which is more accurate and almost never reports false-positives.

    First you need to find a doctor who specializes in Infectious Diseases. You might be able to find a doctor that does research studies, which is great because they will pay for your treatment and medication(should you need it now) for the duration of the study.

    When you first go in they will ask you a ton of questions, and do a basic medical background. They will also test both your CD4, and viral load and determine if you are in a position to start treatment or wait it out. You will probably also start being immunized for pneumonia, flu, hep A and B. Those are no big deal, just going to have a sore arm for a couple days.

    When I first found out I felt like I had to tell everyone...parents, friends, etc. What I came to learn is that telling everyone is something you can't take back. I wish I would have waited till I was in a better place emotionally to start opening up about it because all I could really say was how scared I was and that made everyone scared for me which didnt really help things. Obviously you will need to talk to some people who you are close to, but just do it with discretion until you are comfortable.

    It would help you a lot to talk to other guys who are positive, your local resource center should have contact information for local support groups. Maybe check it out a few times and ask some questions. Since you live in West Hollywood you can probably find a group that has an age limit...you would probably be more comfortable and have more in common with guys under 30-35.

    I'm not sure how it is in California, but in Texas, all positive tests are reported to the county along with your contact information. You might get a call from a city worker telling you to come in for a consult. Basically they will take an incredibly detailed sexual history of everyone you have slept with and try and contact those people anonymously. It's a big hastle but it sounds scarier than it is. Here in Dallas county, if you ignore their calls they come looking for you where you live(the doctor who finds out you are positive reports all your contact info).

    I know how scared you are but t really is not as bad as it seems. The new drugs that are available now are much better than they used to be and have relatively few side effects. Atripla, which is very commonly prescribed is taken once at night before you go to bed and most of they guys I know on it report few side effects other than dizziness for a few hours about an hour later(but you take it before going to sleep so its not bad).

    When I found out my life actually improved considerably. Not because of the disease obviously but because of all the changes I made in my life as a result. I stopped drinking as much, developed stronger friendships, began focusing much more on fitness, and really am a much happier person now than before. It can really open your eyes as to what is important for you and for the life you lead and it is your choice to adopt a new way of viewing the world.

    Hope some of this helps.
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    Sep 03, 2009 9:13 PM GMT
    What do you mean by 'Slip-up?'

    Were you intoxicated?

    If so, that's one of my biggest fears. They say you can't think straight when you're drunk.... I don't know if that's just an excuse or not. I've never been 'drunk.'
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    Sep 03, 2009 9:28 PM GMT
    cthedj saidI wish you all the best my friend. There have been error cases where someone got a negative when positive and vice versa. Definitly get tested again and speak to the doctor.


    I agree get retested. But be prepared for another positive result and move ahead on a plan for recovery. I am no expert but you will live a long and fulfilling life even with the virus. I know guys that have been doctor approved for almost a decade UNTREATED, I know guys that take a slew of drugs and I know many more on a pill a day and are undetectable.

    I wish you the best of luck and if you want to chat Im here. I have no experience but to listen.

    Guy
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Sep 03, 2009 9:42 PM GMT
    Although I am not poz, I had someone very close to me who became poz.

    Be thankful this is not the early 1980s! I'm sorry to hear of your new condition but it is very likely you will live a full and productive life.
    You're going to go through a lot and processing everything will simply take time.
    Yes, get tested again.
    Don't go on to message boards and comb the internet for info. This will drive you crazy and just fill your head with incorrect or outdated information. This is in contraction to another poster but I believe each person's condition and mindset is different. It is best to get your information from a knowledgeable source who is informed about your particular situation. Your doctor is your best source of information.

    Seek out and participate in the many support groups here in Los Angeles.
    There are all kinds!

    It was almost two years before my friend decided to go on meds. He was really, really worried about the side effects but there were few at the time and now there are none.

    Take this as an opportunity to focus on your health and what you really want out of life.
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    Sep 03, 2009 10:07 PM GMT

    Wow guys! Thank you all for providing the great feedback here in the forum regarding your situations.

    I do wish to get tested again, just to be sure. Not sure what I would do if it came back negative, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

    One emotion that I'm beginning to experience is bit of anger. Who infected me? Did they know? Why would they not tell me before our encounter? Etc. I haven't had unprotected sex with more than 4 people, which narrows it down. I just don't know how to ask... I don't want anyone knowing other than my best friend.

    I keep going back and forth about telling my parents. I just don't know... Someone said, "You will want your parents to know because when you become ill they will be there to support you." They said it as if I am for sure going to be sick. icon_eek.gif
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    Sep 03, 2009 10:13 PM GMT
    CeeJay1 said
    Wow guys! Thank you all for providing the great feedback here in the forum regarding your situations.

    I do wish to get tested again, just to be sure. Not sure what I would do if it came back negative, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

    One emotion that I'm beginning to experience is bit of anger. Who infected me? Did they know? Why would they not tell me before our encounter? Etc. I haven't had unprotected sex with more than 4 people, which narrows it down. I just don't know how to ask... I don't want anyone knowing other than my best friend.

    I keep going back and forth about telling my parents. I just don't know... Someone said, "You will want your parents to know because when you become ill they will be there to support you." They said it as if I am for sure going to be sick. icon_eek.gif


    Another month or so is not going to make a difference on whether you tell the rents or not. Get stable, Get information then Get the info out to whomever. Remember you are not going to die anytime soon and more than likely not before your natural life considering the meds out there. I have barebacked many times and thought about the consequences over and over. I am a top and I still dont know who'd Id tell and when. But all I can say is be upbeat on your outlook.
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    Sep 03, 2009 10:18 PM GMT
    Do what others have said and get tested again, just to confirm. And know that it's not a death sentence -- or even a "promise" that you'll be sick -- it's a challenge that you'll meet and overcome. A good doctor that specializes in infectious diseases, gay medicine, etc. can be incredibly helpful.

    Before you tell your parents, get all of the information you can from the experts. If you were to tell them now, their being upset would be compounded by their need to know answers to questions you might not know just yet -- so get yourself a good doctor; speak to the medical practice counselors, or call an AIDS hotline. So many guys have gone through what you are experiencing. I've had a few friends find out they were positive and think it's the end of the world -- today (15 years later), they're living happy, fulfilling lives because they got help and they got lots of good expert advice.

    You're going to be fine. Don't dwell on the fear or your anger about how it happened -- focus on getting started to defeat it.
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    Sep 03, 2009 10:20 PM GMT
    BeachBiMan said

    I have barebacked many times and thought about the consequences over and over. I am a top and I still dont know who'd Id tell and when.



    ...and yet you still claim to always have safe sex. icon_wink.gif

    Honesty is what will keep you (and/or) others negative. Let's just hope the person you have sex with won't lie.
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    Sep 03, 2009 10:20 PM GMT


    You're going to be fine. Don't dwell on the fear or your anger about how it happened -- focus on getting started to defeat it.[/quote]

    There will be no true-er advice given here I assure you.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Sep 03, 2009 10:49 PM GMT
    Chill out on the blame game. Stop right now going over and over in your mind things like: "Who did what to me? Why? When?" etc. There will be plenty of time for all that later.
    Get tested again ASAP. Go see your doctor. You need information from him or her about where you stand with your status.
    Again, focus more on what you can do for yourself. You'll feel much, much better after having knowledge about where you stand.
    You will have ups and downs, good days and bad. This is why you need information about your status so you can focus on a path to health.
    Talk to others but hold off for a bit on talking to everyone. You need to get focused on yourself first. You're actually going the one they turn to for support! Knowledge is power.
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    Sep 03, 2009 10:55 PM GMT

    I think that "slip-ups," are gay speak for I took the condom off or I took a gamble he was negative. It's ok, life is all about risks. You take a risk whenever you cross the street, drive to work, or take medication. You do well because you minimize the risks in life by exercising prudence and caution. However, everyone risks it sometime by speeding, crossing the street swaying to the rythm of their I-pod (not really looking), taking other people's medication (man, I'm still itchy after several weeks), and yes, having unprotected sex.

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    Sep 03, 2009 11:28 PM GMT
    hi mate - it is good to see such support from a lot of guys in response to your post.

    Being HIV+ is no longer a death sentence and you will learn to manage and live with your status.

    Australia, right from the first appearance of the virus, has been a world leader - a great website that will assist you in your journey over the next few years is http://napwa.org.au/

    There has never been any moralising in this country about the virus - just action.

    There is a link on the Home Page (top left) entitled Recently Diagnosed - read this and be reassured.

    Good luck.

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    Sep 03, 2009 11:42 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear. My advice from my own experience is to give yourself a little time to feel what you're feeling. Be pissed, scared or whatever then put on your game face and realize that this does not define you and will not control your life unless you let it. Things are going to be different, but you have the choice to make your life just as or more joyous and fulfilling as it might have been without the diagnosis.

    -robby
  • canalpal

    Posts: 40

    Sep 03, 2009 11:47 PM GMT
    First of all, I want to say I sorry about your diagnosis and hope you will get a second opinion to be sure.

    Then, I want to remind you that it is not a death sentence. You just have to make some adjustments, but life does go on and you can still have success, love and happiness in your life.

    I have knowingly taken chances, if you know what I mean, and have dodged that bullet so far. I know, it may not be good for most people, but I decided that I wasn't going to alter my sex life due to this virus. I'm finicky about who I play with, and I recycle a lot, but there are some quality guys with the virus that I didn't pass on. Now, maybe because I'm versatile and have always insisted on condoms when anal was involved one way or the other, I've helped my odds some. My point is...I have accept the fact that if I ever get it, it will be my own fault. There will be and should be no blame, no kicking my own ass, none of that. Just look it in the face and carry on with the race!

    I hope you will accept the same philosophy. There are so many more important, wonderful and beautiful things to spend your time and energies on!
  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    Sep 03, 2009 11:48 PM GMT
    ickymuffin said
    CeeJay1 saidI must say I am scared shitless.

    I don't want to say I am angry because ultimately I am responsible for becoming infected. You go over and over in your head about, "I should have, I could have...[used a condom]." I can't believe I would always tell my promiscuous friends to "WRAP IT UP" whenever they had risky encounters, but then I became infected. Hell, I even volunteered for a clinic once and talked to people about protecting themselves. How did this happen!?

    I believe in always having safe sex, but just as anyone, you have slip ups. Unfortunately, it only takes one. I guess I learned the hard way..

    Anyhow, reading the posts in these forums don't relieve my fears whatsoever. The medicine side effects, complications, and the "wasting away" that I keep hearing about. I don't know what to do. I mean, I know I should schedule an appointment to see my doctor, but what if I'm very sick?

    I am glad to know my status, but I am not glad to get a positive result. What if it's an error? Should I get tested again?! I'm an emotional wreck.

    I have only told my best friend. I can't imagine telling my parents, friends, or anyone else for that matter.

    How was everyones experience when you first found out?


    So sorry to hear this but it's not the end of the world for you. It will take some time to get used to the idea, and certain adjustments in your life will have to be made, but you can get through it.

    If you test positive they follow it up with a Western Blot test I believe which is more accurate and almost never reports false-positives.

    First you need to find a doctor who specializes in Infectious Diseases. You might be able to find a doctor that does research studies, which is great because they will pay for your treatment and medication(should you need it now) for the duration of the study.

    When you first go in they will ask you a ton of questions, and do a basic medical background. They will also test both your CD4, and viral load and determine if you are in a position to start treatment or wait it out. You will probably also start being immunized for pneumonia, flu, hep A and B. Those are no big deal, just going to have a sore arm for a couple days.

    When I first found out I felt like I had to tell everyone...parents, friends, etc. What I came to learn is that telling everyone is something you can't take back. I wish I would have waited till I was in a better place emotionally to start opening up about it because all I could really say was how scared I was and that made everyone scared for me which didnt really help things. Obviously you will need to talk to some people who you are close to, but just do it with discretion until you are comfortable.

    It would help you a lot to talk to other guys who are positive, your local resource center should have contact information for local support groups. Maybe check it out a few times and ask some questions. Since you live in West Hollywood you can probably find a group that has an age limit...you would probably be more comfortable and have more in common with guys under 30-35.

    I'm not sure how it is in California, but in Texas, all positive tests are reported to the county along with your contact information. You might get a call from a city worker telling you to come in for a consult. Basically they will take an incredibly detailed sexual history of everyone you have slept with and try and contact those people anonymously. It's a big hastle but it sounds scarier than it is. Here in Dallas county, if you ignore their calls they come looking for you where you live(the doctor who finds out you are positive reports all your contact info).

    I know how scared you are but t really is not as bad as it seems. The new drugs that are available now are much better than they used to be and have relatively few side effects. Atripla, which is very commonly prescribed is taken once at night before you go to bed and most of they guys I know on it report few side effects other than dizziness for a few hours about an hour later(but you take it before going to sleep so its not bad).

    When I found out my life actually improved considerably. Not because of the disease obviously but because of all the changes I made in my life as a result. I stopped drinking as much, developed stronger friendships, began focusing much more on fitness, and really am a much happier person now than before. It can really open your eyes as to what is important for you and for the life you lead and it is your choice to adopt a new way of viewing the world.

    Hope some of this helps.


    Just a question, why haven't you put your HIV status in your profile and that you practice safe sex, if things have gotten so much better for you?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 03, 2009 11:55 PM GMT
    As others have already said, get re-tested.

    Use this experience as a positive and educate others. Don't let it defeat you.
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    Sep 04, 2009 12:39 AM GMT
    Slutzilla saidWhat do you mean by 'Slip-up?'

    Were you intoxicated?

    If so, that's one of my biggest fears. They say you can't think straight when you're drunk.... I don't know if that's just an excuse or not. I've never been 'drunk.'


    It's 100% true...your judgement is the first thing to go when you drink and your inhibitions aren't far behind. That's why people do risky things such as drive drunk, and have unprotected sex with strangers.

    To the OP, I know it's a shock to come back with news like that, and I hope you get your footing under you soon.
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    Sep 04, 2009 1:00 AM GMT
    i'm 27 (28 soon) years old. I found out I was poz @ 23. It was very hard. I turned to drinking and other destructive behavior. I found meditation, zen buddhism, and a good support group of my closest friends to help me adjust to my new condition.

    It's not the end of the world. You can still have a fulfilling life. And yes, it gets difficult when it comes to sex and dating. But if you start your treatment, keep it, eat right, exercise -the side effects will be minimal. Also having a support group of people and join a support group will greatly improve your outlook on life and you'll gain new friends that share your fears, experiences, etc.

    good luck pal.

    JB