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Author Topic: Starting meds???  (Read 1772 times)

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Offline doubleyousomerset

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  • Posts: 12
Starting meds???
« on: August 22, 2009, 02:45:49 PM »
I've been poz for a year and for a second my CD4 numbers went up (from 350 when I first got diagnosed to somewhere over 500) and then starting going down again... yesterday I got some results, said I'm at 260... so my doctor is saying I should probably start meds... I'm in Canada...
SO...
What does this effectively mean about my expected lifespan? How long do people effectively take meds and live? I'm 32, will I be on these drugs for 20 years, 30, 40??? I know these are questions impossible to answer, I'm just curious what your experience tells you...

Offline physicsguy

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  • Posts: 59
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2009, 02:58:08 PM »
If you're adherent and don't have any serious side effects, you could quite possibly take them indefinitely and die of old age.

That said, no one has been on these drugs for extremely long periods of time, so there's still a bit of an unknown.  The point, however, is that being on meds does not automatically mean you're going to be sicker or die sooner.

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2009, 03:00:10 PM »
Every five years or so the statistical lifespan increases due to advancements in HIV treatment and newly approved drugs.  Therefore I'd recommend not really focusing on this question.  I've already lived for 20 years with HIV and that was during the dark ages of treatment, so I see no reason for someone with current, more advanced treatment options not to live much, much longer.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline ruralguy

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  • Posts: 141
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2009, 04:51:54 PM »
I read somewhere about a recent conference where someone suggested if you were infected at age 20 today, expected lifespan would be 69.  And it is getting longer.  There seemes to be new science on hiv every month.

2007 was the year more HIV people died of non-hiv related causes than hiv.

I'm new to this (6-7 weeks) but it is clear that one needs to focus on life and liviing and working your way to some new happiness. 
tested positive June 19, 2009
7/3/09 vrl 9000 cd4 - 300
8/14/09 cd4 - 350, 20%
started Atripla 9/14/09
10/5/09 vrl undetectable, WOW so fast!
12/28/09 vrl undetectable, CD4 - 615  27% cholesterol down, kidney function normal
4/26/10 vrl undetectable, CD4-600, kidney and liver numbers normal
9/9/10 vrl undetectable, CD4-685
1/3/11 vrl undetectable, CD4-700
all 2011 and Jan 2012 visits vrl undetectable CD4 ranged from 715-645
5/7/2012  vrl undetectable, CD4-615, all liver, kidney, lipids, heart functions, etc normal


On Atripla:  "Your mileage may vary"

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2009, 04:53:44 PM »
Ditto all the above. Plus you're in Canada where you don't have to worry about accessing good healthcare or losing your coverage as so many others do.

Have you had a resistance test done to see what meds you can take?
 

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2009, 05:09:48 PM »
What did your doctor say?
My ID doc in Swiss said, when i seroconverted last year - normal life span, normal life, HIV is controllable, etc etc.
We all have to deal with the crap but basically it seems you should go on living for the long haul, just like when you were HIV-.  Or maybe more so!
ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2009, 08:49:11 PM »
My ID doc in Swiss said, when i seroconverted last year - normal life span, normal life, HIV is controllable, etc etc.
We all have to deal with the crap but basically it seems you should go on living for the long haul, just like when you were HIV-.  Or maybe more so!

Exactly the same thing that my ID doc said when I sereoconverted in June.  I read the same article/study mentioned by ruralguy and the bottom line is that, as long as treatment is started in a timely manner (and a healthy lifestyle is followed), we have a normal life expectancy.  We will probably die with HIV, not from anything caused by it.  Whether it's 20, 30, 40, or 60 more years is not what you need to focus on; how well you live will needs to be given top priority.

Now, your doctor said that you should "probably" start meds?  At 260 (and based on the current guidelines) it sounds like you need to start discussing options and taking the necessary tests/steps to get you back on track.

Best of luck!
« Last Edit: August 22, 2009, 08:53:24 PM by livebythemoon »
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline Assurbanipal

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  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2009, 09:29:00 PM »
No one knows what the effects of staying on the current medications for 30 or 40 years would be.  We could speculate, but it isn't too likely anyone will even stay on current drugs for that long-- medications improve and over time people switch. 

But we do know some important facts about effects of current medications:

1) Studies of how people actually did on modern medication over recent 5 and 10 year periods show that people who started medications on time had almost the same chances of living as healthy people who were the same age and didn't have HIV.  That was true across a wide range of ages; it is by extrapolating those facts that all the recent articles have come up with the "near normal lifespan" stuff.

2) People who started later than the guidelines didn't have quite as good a chance of living as those who started on time.

3) Earlier study results (reproduced in the US treatment guidelines) found that if you wait until your tcell count is under 200, the chance that you will have a severe illness or die in the next three years about doubles (to roughly 10%).  If you wait til under 100 the risk about triples in the following three years and if you wait til under 50 it about quadruples (The risks are even higher if you are over age 50 or an injection drug user.)   And risks beyond year three are higher too.

So, there are a lot of reasons to try the drugs and see if you can tolerate them.  Remember some people don't have any significant side effects of the drugs, and most people manage to keep taking them. 

Best wishes
A
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline doubleyousomerset

  • Member
  • Posts: 12
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2009, 01:37:36 PM »
Thanks all. I guess I've heard all this stuff before but I can't tell you how reassuring it is to hear that your doctors all over the world think we POZ people on meds and with healthy lifestyles can have normal-ish lifespans... it just feels like starting the meds is like kicking off some scary count-down to doom... now onto picking the right meds, weee, what fun...

Offline bufguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 161
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2009, 07:06:33 PM »
My doc, who is a few years younger than me, said that given my overall health, my healthy lifestyle and good family history, I should live longer than him.
One thing is that those of us infected are under pretty scrupulous medical observation (3-4 times per year), more than most people in the population. Given that, abnormalities will be be discovered promptly and easily treated.
Stay adherehent to your meds and stay healthy
5/29/08 confirmed HIV+
6/23/08 Vl 47500  CD4 511/29% CD8 .60
start atripla
8/1/08 Vl 130  CD4 667/31% CD8 .70
9/18/08 Vl un  CD4 not tested
12/19/08 Vl un CD4 723/32% CD8 .80
4/3/09 Vl un CD4 615/36% CD8  .98
8/7/09 vl un CD4 689/35% CD8 .9
12/11/09 vl un CD4 712/38% CD8 .89
4/9/10 vl un CD4 796/39% CD8 1.0
8/20/10 vl un CD4 787/38% CD8 1.0
4/6/10 vl un CD4 865/35% CD8 .9
8/16/10 vl un CD4 924/37% CD8 1.0
12/23/10 vl un CD4 1006/35% CD8 .9
5/2/10 vl un CD4 1040/39% CD8 .9
8/7/13 vl un CD4 840/39% CD8 .9

Offline libvet

  • Member
  • Posts: 327
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2009, 07:31:32 PM »
I can't really add a whole lot to what others have said, but if you stay adherent to your medication, odds are pretty darn good.

I've been on meds since January of 2000 (with a cd4 in the 20s).  I'm in the 500's now and have had no  medication change due to failure (Sustiva has been the backbone of my treatment all along, with the only changes for sake of convenience from Combivir to Truvada).

Eventually, the meds just become another part of your day.   You should do fine.

Offline sam66

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  • Posts: 277
  • Keep The Faith ; Fight The Fight
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2009, 02:54:42 PM »
I've been on meds since January of 2000 (with a cd4 in the 20s).  I'm in the 500's now and have had no  medication change due to failure (Sustiva has been the backbone of my treatment all along, with the only changes for sake of convenience from Combivir to Truvada).

     has Sustiva made your cholestrol go up, I been on it for 15 months, my cholestrol shot up and I have to take statins
december 2007 diagnosed +ve ,

Offline libvet

  • Member
  • Posts: 327
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2009, 06:45:17 PM »
     has Sustiva made your cholestrol go up, I been on it for 15 months, my cholestrol shot up and I have to take statins

Yeah.  I am in the same boat with that.  I tried various lifestyle changes to help with cholesterol, but my doctor put me on lipitor after those failed.

It was about 6 years in my case before my cholesterol got high enough to consider statins and probably has a lot to do with the Sustiva, but given the climb I had back to health, it wasn't the worst thing in the world.

Offline WillyWump

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  • your ramblings bore Yamaguchi Kitteh
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2009, 07:20:49 PM »
I'm in my 40's, 3 months on meds, My doc told me that if I take my meds, take care of myself and do not play in traffic I will make it well into my 70's and probably more. She states I can pretty much take AIDS related death out of the equation.

Is she absolutely correct in this assumption??? I do not know. But I can absolutely tell you that by hearing this she has given me my life back, and I intend to live a hopeful, stress free life until whenever "that day" comes, whether It be a year from now or 40 years from now. :)

-Will
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline BlueMoon

  • Member
  • Posts: 665
  • Calling from the Fun House
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2009, 09:04:31 PM »
Actually, the 'countdown to doom' begins if you don't take your meds.  Sure it's a lifelong commitment and all that jazz, but no worse than taking on a (longlived) pet, and no poop to scoop either!
...................VL.....CD4.....%
-----------------------------------------
08/10-- ......<40.....290.....42
05/10-- ......<48.....290.....46
02/10-- ......<48.....481.....44
10/09-- ......<48.....277.....46
07/09-- ......<48.....300.....38
05/09-- ........51.....449.....39
03/09-- Added Isentress
02/09-- ........65.....299.....34
11/08-- ........62.....242.....40
08/08-- ........66.....212.....29
05/08-- ......202.....217.....27
03/08-- ....5210.....187.....21
02/08-- Began Truvada/Reyataz/Norvir
12/07-- 273,000.....157.....22
11/07-- 229,000.....209.....22
10/07-- Diagnosis

It's a complex world.

Offline unclespongebob

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  • Posts: 36
  • im the on on the right in the red shirt
Re: Starting meds???
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2009, 10:18:06 PM »
i have been hiv+ for 3 months now ,but ive known guys that have been living with it for a long time . my doctor told me that i dont have to be on meds yet and my husband is tring to keep me healthy much as possiable. dot live like u are going to die , live as u would if u didnt have hiv. u can talk any time u want if u that would help my emale is malesurvivor1@yahoo.com
friends are gods way of apologizing to us for our familys. / a real friend os one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. / everybody wants to ride with you in the limo,but what you need is sombody who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down./ one friend in a lifetimeis much; two are many; three are hardly possible.

 


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