With the new year, thot I'd start a new thread since some of us are affected by HIV, dealing with the aftereffects of CSA plus a physically-debilitating disease. And, no, this one doesn't directly involve shingles, but y'all were terrific support over the 3-month course of my second bout. (The Gabapentin takes care of the worst of the neuropathy but is like a damn sleeping pill).

As relates to CSA, the connection is pretty simple: Subsequent to my abuse as a teenager by my high school guidance counselor, my adolescent mind concluded that, if I wasn't worthy of respect by adopted custodial parents or anyone else, my best value (which would at least earn me the appearance of intimacy) was as a sexual object. This continued into adulthood, with even my father's pastor attempting to seduce me the night Dad died. Yeah, is that one sick SOB or what?

I've been poz for over 20 years. I've dealt with long term clincal depression, a couple suicide attempts and was diagnosed with PTSD in the past year.

Via my T and a doctor to whom he referred me on shingles treatment, I was directed to an HIV/meds study. They were finally able to obtain their "kits" from the pharmaceutical company this month. I just had my first draw, urinalysis and EKG yesterday. Results will trickle in for the next 2 weeks, primarily determining HIV genome.

I think it's likely I'll be accepted. Otherwise this will be a short thread. What it means is that I'd have access to advanced HIV med treatment worth tens of thousands of dollars and detailed testing worth thousands for at least the next couple of years, possibly longer. As I've examined my journals the first ten years of HIV, I was pretty shocked to discover just how prevalent the extreme fatigue has been since the beginning. I'm hoping I eventually have a comparable experience to those enrolled in related studies on similar meds who actually start to feel normal. It would be life-changing for me and I'd like to chronicle it here for my brothers similarly affected.

The month long wait for the "kits" was frustrating. I wanted to get this underway. Though I'm not terribly concerned about the profile of my particular HIV genome, it will nevertheless determine my eligibility. That's out of my hands for 2 weeks. Potentially more worrisome is my reaction to the medication: whether I'll be throwing up every morning and/or if I'll develop disfiguring lipodystrophy ("buffalo hump"). In short, I'm not looking for suggestions been there, done that and survived without 'em - as I'm looking for a place to vent from time to time.

And, well, there's my warped signature humor that's gotten me thru other issues. I'd say you have no idea how much it helps, but you DO know. To wit and to start, I'll recycle the blood draw vid...and that should start the fun (I'm counting on your equally-insensitive contributions Pero, Gary, Lee and all!):

As far as the "buffalo hump":