So one thing I have failed to tell you about is the matter of my ‘platelet count’.
A platelet count is a test to measure how many platelets you have in your blood. Platelets help the blood clot. They are smaller than red or white blood cells.
A normal person has a count of 150,000 plus, whereas when I was in hospital following an allergic reaction six weeks ago, my count was 70,000. This was quite worrying for me, I had heard about platelet counts before. Now, it was due to my platelet count being low that the hospital I was in thought “let’s run his bloods and check for HIV” - and here I am today. So it was the HIV that was destroying my platelets too, let alone my immune cells!
When I was a young boy, my counts dropped to below a dangerous 10,000 due to a disease I had called ITP, and so because my body couldn’t form clots, I was susceptible to nose bleeds where I would lose a lot of blood. I ended up hospitalised on one final massive bleed, and was very close to death, I had blood flown in from another country for a special transfusion which sorted the problem out and luckily I recovered. My mum still thinks of it as a miracle.
So back to current affairs. At the time of my poz diagnosis, I also had the worry of my platelet counts in the back of my mind, along with everything else plus other numbers like CD4 counts and viral load. Twice in a row in blood tests during the initial stages, my platelet counts were dropping and getting worse.
The good news is, today I went in for my bloods to be taken and got the results of my blood tests from two weeks ago. By this point I had been taking my anti-HIV meds for two weeks and it was just a safety check to make sure my body wasn’t having any adverse reactions to the meds. I asked today what my platelet counts were and was ecstatic to hear the number: 150,000. They’re back to what a normal person has, which is joy to my ears. So I can only assume that the meds are working, they’ve kicked in and are doing me some good. All I need to do now is wait a week to find out from today’s tests if my CD4 and Viral Load counts have changed.
It’s a real boost to get good news both for me and my close ones who know about my status. I’m not expecting my viral load to be undetectable when I get my results in a week’s time, but I would at least expect it to have dropped dramatically from 750,000 to something less scary!
I also just want to point out that the more times I go into the clinic, the more I get to know the staff there. They’re a friendly bunch and also there tend to be others in the waiting room, people that just look like you or me, normal people that for some reason or other have been unlucky. I’ve learnt quickly to not dwell on the past and whatever mistake I may have been made. It’s happened…no point in wasting time or energy even thinking about it. It’s important to speak to whoever it was that you think could’ve passed this onto you (they may not be aware themselves) as well as those you may have passed it onto as well. Don’t forget, the clinic can speak to them anonymously if required.
My partner treated me to a Dominos (pizza) this evening as a little reward for today. He’s a gem.
I don’t have to be healthy every day, I can have my ‘off’ days too! Next on my ‘to-do’ list is to get some sort of exercise regime in place. I have a slim physique anyway, but I’m not fit. So, I need to decide on gym, going for runs where I live, swimming, weight lifting. I did read somewhere that certain meds can cause osteoporosis (problems with bones), so may look into this a bit more. I want to do everything I can to give my body a fighting chance to live as long as it can, with a good quality of life at least!. I’m currently saving up to go to Florida for my 30th, so life really does go on following diagnosis.
I’ve always found it vitally important throughout my life to have targets, as in happy ones, be in a career, moving up the property ladder, or just for something big to do like a holiday that will make you happy. So if you’ve been recently diagnosed, give yourself things to look forward to both short term (going out for meals, cinema, visiting friends, family commitments, shopping,, mini breaks, concerts) and long term (holidays, education, career plans, ongoing hobbies etc.) to occupy your mind.
Ooops, I wasn’t supposed to write as much as I have, it’s as though words literally spill out of my mind when I come to blog, but I just want you to feel the positivity that can come from someone recently diagnosed . . .
Until next time!
This article previously appeared on hivpozguy’s own blog here.
About the writer:
This is the story of me, I’m an engaged gay guy, in my 20′s, and living with HIV - diagnosed in Oct 2012, living in England.
I wanted to tell my story to help and inspire others… to provide hope to those that need it, just like I did and still do. A little about me, I’m currently at University studying for a degree before I clock out of my 20s. I have a loving boyfriend (who is negative) that i live with and who turned into my fiancé at the end of 2011.
I’m also on twitter, bizarrely no one else has a twitter name of @hivpozguy, so that’s where you can tweet me or follow me at to get tidbits, thoughts and news I feel is relevant.