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Starting Treatment?

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May I ask what your numbers are, exactly, and what trend, if any, have you seen? If we knew the numbers from your last three or more results, we would be better placed to discuss this with you.

And a second opinion is NEVER a bad thing.


Andy Velez:
Jenn, I see Ann has already said it to you, so I just want to reinforce getting a second opinion.

If and when you do at some point begin the meds, it's good to get your concerns addressed as much as possible ahead of time. And you're entitled to that. You seem to have some instinctive doubts and that's always something that deserves to be respected.


I completely understand your trepidation regarding starting treatment. I felt the same way.

But, as Matty already pointed out, the alternative is very nasty indeed. A few days ago, I visited a young man who waited too long. He didn't get tested, found out he was positive after being hospitalized and now has a host of opportunistic infections I haven't seen in years. It is so bad, he cannot eat solid food because he has Kaposi's Sarcoma lesions covering the inside of his mouth and throat.

Yes, the meds are scary. Yes, they are toxic. Yes, they may - or may not - cause side effects. There are no guarantees.

But there is a guarantee that without treatment, the result is a place you don't want to go.

Just my 2 worth.




I don't know you, but I DO know HIV. 

I want to tell you something that nobody has yet said.  Taking the medications is an event/decision, that will follow you for the rest of your life.  Your options for taking the medications are "POSSIBLE" Nausea, Diarrhea, Night Sweats, Psychosis, Sleepless Nights, and many other side effects that I don't have right on the tips of my fingers; but to be sure, the meds will arrest the replication of the virus in your body.

If you do not choose to take the medications, this is an honorable, and valid choice.  I want you to realize that with that decision comes opportunistic infections that will give you several of the following; Full and uncontrollable vomiting, Weight loss that will appear shocking, Night Sweats that will turn your bed into a swamp, Fevers that will hover in the 104 to 105 region, Cancers that will spread from your skin to your internal organs, Permanent Blindness, Crippling Pain in your extremities, and the list goes on and on and always ends in a very long, painful, and protracted death. 

These are your two choices.  Most of us here have made the choice to deal with the annoying "little" side effects, and put up with them to give us a shot at a fairly normal existence.  Many did not make this decision, and they have already passed to the other side.  Their choices were not bad, were not wrong, nor were they choices that should be judged by us who have survived.  They made the decision with information and with knowledge, and that is not a bad thing.  Just be sure, when you start these medications, there is no stopping them, until you are ready to check out and go to the other side. 

I am not trying to influence you in either direction, just a friendly reminder that there are always choices, but we all must live with our own decision about HIV treatment.  I encourage you to get at least one more opinion, if not two or three.  There is not one shred of harm that can come to you if you remain positive, and questioning, and make sure you have all the information ahead of time.  Like Ann and the others have said, "knowledge is power" and you need all the knowledge ahead of making the decision to take the medications at this time.

In Love.


--- Quote from: matty.the.damned on June 01, 2006, 07:25:52 AM ---I'd wager that there is more than a score of members here with  us today who owe their lives to HAART.

I didn't realise how much scarier the virus is until I developed Kaposi's Sarcoma. Seeing that evil little purple blotch (the "wine dark kiss of the Angel of Death") made me realise what was really at play. Do not be frightened of the pills - sure they're difficult and the outcome of their use is uncertain for all of us, but consider the alternative, it is certain.

--- End quote ---

Me, me, me! If it wasn't for HAART, I'd be 6 feet under by now. Prior to meds, I didn't realize the gravity of hiv - until I lost 19 pounds with diarrhea and getting fevers all the damn time. Yes, I'm ashamed to admit: I was a denialist. (Was! Was! Not anymore!) Even when my blood was drawn I told the doctor I was distrustful (and scared) of meds and it was "highly unlikely" I'd take them. soon after he told me my CD4 was at 42 --whereas the normal is 500. I was scared shitless. I started HAART and  holistic regimens. I gained back the 19 pounds and even more, diarrhea is now a virtual stranger to me (I'm extremely lucky in that department!), and my health is 10X more stable than in Sept 2005. My CD4 is now 419 (18%) and VL is nearly undetectable at 67. In Sept 2005 the #s were CD4 42 (?%) and VL 100,000 so thank God for hospitals and HAART. If you do get 2nd and 3rd opinions, etc., just beware the denialists!!- what they'll tell you is wrong wrong wrong. speak to real doctors and people who live the reality of hiv

As Moffie said, the drugs will halt the replication of hiv in your body ... Try not to be scared. We're here for you.


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