I just learned that I have HIV after 7 weeks of flu like symptons. I started the meds. Will I feel better again?


Please answer a few questions.

What are your numbers? (which means, what is your CD4 ccount and your viral Load number) These two numbers are now very important to any assesment of your health and your bodies’ response to the medcations.

I went through what you just finished going through in September of 1983, and for me, it was hell. When you start to feel better, and you will, it will start to give you some time to think and plan for your future.

This is not the end, so get ready to start allowing your body to heal.


I only remember that my cell count was about 248 and the doctor said it should be abovde 300. My viral load was a little high but i don’t remember the figure.

I have a raid heartbeat that keeps me awake and makes me exhausted. The pshcyitriast gives me lybrium and lexapro. It helps but is temporary. I wonder if this is a permanent condition of hiv or if it will fade.

We all battle from fatigue because HIV is underlying, but it doesn’t mean we have to accept it.

I would explore with your doctor also, if some of the side effects from your medication are causing some of you fatigue problems. You don’t say which anti-retrovirals you are taking. Some can cause sleep problems.

I’,m taking Epzicom and Kaletra. Also, I’m seeing a psychiatrist for depression. She prescribed lexapro. I had so much trouble sleeping because of a rapid heartbeat that I’m taking lybrium and ambium. Now, I’m feeling better but just don’t have the usual energy. We are not sure it the rapid heart beat is anxiety or HIV related. I think its HIV related because I’ve never had it before. Still, she is treating it and I hope it goes away. I have nobody to talk to, have other personal problems so everything seems so tense now.

I would think some of your medications are at the least adding to your problems. I would suggest you google the side effects of all your meds. Ambien, for instance, can lead to depression, which you already have, since you take Lexapro, which by the way can lead to fatigue and sleep problems.

Unless there is a physical cause that can be found for your rapid heartrate, then it’s a reasonable assumption that it’s caused by anxiety. HIV in and of itself won’t give you a rapid heart rate.

When one first finds out that they are diagnosed with this " illness " it’s enough to give anyone anxiety attacks. I sent you a note privately and like I said there that once you get through the fist stage and that is the realization that your life has taken a permanent change but it isn’t as bad as it may seem at first. This is not the end of your life my friend but the beginning of a new appreciation of all that it holds dear to your heart. There are much worse ailments that cannot be managed. Now is when you are going to learn about this and your gonna try to learn everything but just take it easy. That learning stage can drive you batty too. Just take one day at a time my friend. When I first got " offocially" diagnosed I only had 11 T-cells. That was 15 years ago. And I had it 5 years prior to that even. And I dont plan on leaving this planet for awhile my friend. But we are all here for you, just a click away. And I betch your racing heart will calm down also. So then you can perhaps ease up on some of the extra medds in due time . But again it just takes time my friend and you DO have plenty of that still…

Thanks so much.   I really appreciate it.  I still have a racing heart and trouble sleeping.  I think its ZANAX to calm the heart and ambien to help me sleep.  It makes me sleep but the sleep is not restful.   I wake exhausted.  because this seems to a lingering problem from when I first had Hiv sympton (flu like symptons), I can’t help but thinking its from HIV.   But the psychiatrist (and others) say no.  I’m very depressed from not exhaustion and not having the energy to do anything (work is really hard).  I have rings under my eyes and think of suicide.  The pscychatrist is really nice and supportive.  I first had flu like symptons in October 2006 that lasted about 7 weeks.  That’s when the doctor said to check hiv and I had it.  The flu like syptoms are gone but the anxiety is killing me.  If I just felt better I would not have anxiety.  I can live with the HIV if I could just get rest.  Its hellish.  I have 1 child and that’s all I’m going to have so I’m not worried about that part of life.  Thanks for reading/please anybody respond.  I feel like “s—”.

"I have rings under my eyes and think of suicide."

   Think about this. All of us will die soon enough. But while we are alive there is still hope.

   We can't avoid the difficulties and disappointments that come with this disease but we do have the choice whether we will become discouraged or totally give up hope.

   I attempted suicide more than once during the years I was messed up on drugs..BEFORE I became HIV+.

  I now think of life, no matter how difficult, or how lonely this disease is...life is a gift. Each day is a gift.

  I don't pretend to know the problems you are going through, and reading your posts, my heart goes out to you.

  But you have the opportunity to make the best of things, if nothing else to count your blessings and to be of good courage facing what might seem like the worst of situations.

  There's nothing wrong or delusional with that. Do anything you can to keep faith. It's right and it's good and it's what we all need.

  Never EVER give up.




Thanks I agree with you.  I was at the psychiatrist today I feel suicidal.  Maybe its side affects of hiv medicine.  I wake up exhausted, and each work day is hell.  I was on lybrium it didn't work now zanax it doesn't seem to work.  I don't know if its independent of the hiv or if the hiv is causing it.  My heart races.  I want to live, I just can't stand it. 

I first had flu like symptoms (vomitting and diaharrea) back in Oct 2006, finally after about 7 weeks, the doctor tested me for hiv and we concluded I was reacting to that.

How long does the reaction go on?  Could it be still after all this time?  Or mabey its the meds.  I feel so bad.  I have had several weeks of feeling good but then I relaps into immense depression/exhaustion/weakness.  My mind wants to live but my body is so exhausted.  Please any one keep talking to me.   Thanks.



   Having to work with this condition must be really difficult for you. 

  I remember struggling to get through days at work with menieres's disease.  How I would pray to God everyday to give me strength just to make it to the next break, and then to lunch and so on without collapsing.

  I would have to hold on the walls and chairs to steady myself when I walked and more than once ended up on the floor for hours unable to do anything, while my bosses debated whether to call an ambulance.

  I went through these dibilitating attacks repeatedly for years on end, which would leave me feeling like a truck ran over me and I virtually had no life. But through sheer willpower, determination and God's grace was able make it through those times.

 And after years of treatments things eventually got better for me.

I now go to the gym nearly everyday after work, and at 52 am stronger and in better shape than I've ever been and my energy level is through the roof.  And I'm poz for almost 13 years now.

  So take it one day at a time. This could be temporal. You never know what tomorrow may bring.

Oh and leave your cares on God because He cares for you. Don't try to carry the burden of worry about what's going to happen to you. That's His responsibility.


Thanks,  I really feel like suicide and I've never been so scared.   I have a child who I love and I don't want to go to hell.  I pray and I just wish I knew if I would get better or not.  It feels like going to work every day with the flu.  I have a racing heart and thought it was just due to that but last Thurs., the psychiatrist read the phamplets and I did too about the HIV medicine.  It said if you have 2 of the following to stop taking the medicine:  extreme fatigue, depression, body aches, diahreha.  I have all 4 so I left a message for the doctor but he's apparantly out (no call back).  I stopped taking the medine.  But is scarry, because I still feel bad and the brocure also said if you stop and re-start you can die instantly.  So, I feel so trapped into pain and no explanation or hope.  It helps that those of you who have responded to me, but I have such physical achces and horrible depression I want to die so bad.

Does anybody know how long the initial acute (flu like) symptoms are suppossed to last when getting hiv?  I did some internet research and some articles said 6 or 7 weeks.   Well its been 20 now.  I feelt better for a while and was so excited, but  now its really bad again.  And I have the high blood pressure and racing heart wich I have never had.  The psychiatrist said its a combination of lots of things.  the zanax is suppossed to calm me down but it does not or at least not enough.  I've had emergency meetings wtih her and she is really trying.  Nothing works, I feel so bad.  Thanks to all,please write.  


I understand your need for the psychiratrist for helping you to deal with your depression and for the suicidal thoughts but with all due respect to him he isn’t qualified to tell you when to not take your medications nor should he even really discuss the problems that your having in regards to the meds themselves. You really need to talk to your infectious doctor before deciding to stop taking your meds. And its not because you will die, that is far from even possibly happening but you can develope a resistance to that med. I know it’s not an easy route with the side effects. But the more you focus on how bad they make you feel the worse you will feel. And if working is becoming a severe problem consider applying for disability and stopping working for awhile. I know that sounds easier said than done, and it is a pain to go through the proceedure but you need to start to stick to decisions, like sticking with your meds. Has your phyc. doctor spoken to your infectious doctor? Make sure they communicate together. And you got to bear with some of the side effects, sorry to say so but you got to. When you feel like giving in to the problem remember your child and draw strength from that. This illness can be tough to deal with at times but we just got to be tougher. So come on m friend, put on your gloves and put up your dukes and get tougher. I don’t want to sound callous but I’ve had to battle this and hep c and it is a battle but you can do this. So come on and get tougher on it, you can!!!

Thanks, the psych doctor did not tell me to stop taking the HIV meds, she just read the side affects and explained that I could be reacting.  I decided, after reading myself, that I should stop.  Its Sunday night and I'll call the infectious disease doctor again on Monday morning.  I've already stopped so I not sure what he can do,  I cannot bear any more side affects (i'd rather die).  Still not even sure if it were side affects.  Nothing is clear in my mind.  My whole family history is full of every singe man dying in his 40's or early 50's from heart attach.  And since the hiv I've had high blood pressuer (never before) so maybe this is contributing to pain and exhaustion.  Allegedly, its a silent killer.  Still I'll call my regular doctor about this.  Its getting confusing between 3 doctors (regular, psyc, infectious disease).  None know why.

This morning I felt better, then about 2 pm I felt the exhausting and body aches set in and a bad taste on my tongue (wierd).  Its like the weather changing or something.  I learned of an hiv support group in my town but the next meeting is not until early April.  Thanks, please keep writing.

  My family history on my father's side is heart disease and death in middle age for him and all of his brothers.......but it hasn't followed up in our generation.

  All of us are doing great. Don't worry about family history on this issue. Just try to handle the challenges you face presently.


Awwww, Arty, am so sorry you are having a rough go of it.  I can tell you this much, I does get better!

Do as your doctor says, and remember, we are have all been where you are now.  

Please, post at anytime, or you can PM me directly if you wish

Take Care



Thanks jorge and freda, I don't know how to PM yet on this.  Thank God I feel much better today and yesterday.  I think it was the hiv medicine.   I feel better now that I stopped taking it.   I saw the licensed counselor yesterday.  It went well, she is great. 

Also, I went to the regular doctor, my blood pressure has been high and he's recommending me to a cardiologist and prescribed some mild blood pressure pills to take.  This has really calmed me down and I don't hurt so bad.  I hope this trend continues.  I can't stand to relapse.  Its possible I have some blood pressure problems and anxiety at the same time.  I need to get that treated and its helping.  When this is solved, I'll re-consider taking hiv medecine again depending on what the infectious doctor says.  Anyway, I feel better and for the first time, I'm beginning to sort it out.  Thanks so much ............please keep in touch.  (I'm afraid of re-lapse).


  Really glad to hear you're feeling better.  Anxiety can magnify whatever other problems we have to the nth degree.

  And when we add it on top of all the other problems we have, things can just become unbearable.

  Worry and anxiety are burdens we were not designed to carry and need not carry. We need to let them go. Being poz is hard enough all by itself.  

Jorge and all, thanks for keeping in touch.  Yesterday I felt good and did housework.  Today was not as good but not horrible.  I have an appointment with a cardiologist on Thurs.  Something is wrong because I have high blood pressure and my heart pounds and I’m short of breath sometimes.  I think I’m dealing with multiple problems at the same  time.  But, I’m functioning and spent all day with my son (he turns 6 nexte week).  He helps me to value life.  Thanks and please keep in touch.

Kids are great aren’t they?  In their innocence, they really can teach us what is valuable.