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Author Topic: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday  (Read 9266 times)

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Offline Boze

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Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« on: June 08, 2010, 08:36:25 AM »
Ok, reporting a few things at once.

First I had my second VL test done at the end of may. My first one was at the end of March during the diagnosis and came in at 19,400. First thing I did after diagnosis was construct a regimen of supplements that help the body fight the virus. Here is what it looked like:



The may reading was 4,300 - a massive drop. Of course there exists a possibility that March reading was a "blip" - but I don't have any evidence for it. Most likely it was the natural progression of the virus. There was also a 90 drop in CD4 (690-600) when I had it taken at the end of April. This makes sense - the supplements were helping my body kill off virus but it cost me CD4 cells (also allowing for stress due to diagnosis).

The second news is that I started Atripla yesterday. I've gone over my reasoning in a previous thread, but in short - I see the downside of having an active virus in my body a greater evil than having to take one pill a day. I have also noticed being tired lately - as has been reported by others with similar stats.
So far, knock on wood, seems ok. Felt slightly dizzy in the morning after I took the pill (10pm). I have also reconfigured my supplement regimen, excluding anti-virals. It now looks like this:

                   Pill Dose   Daily Total  Time Pill Total   Daily Cost
Omega-3           1000    1,000   AM   1      0.2
Calcium  & D   350      350           AM   1      0.08
Alpha Lipoic Acid   250      250           AM   1      0.1
N-acetyl Cystein   1000     1,000   AM   1      0.2
PB8 Pro-biotic                         AM   2      0.2
Now Adam Multi                         AM   2      0.3
CoQ10              100   200                   both   2      0.13
Acetyl L-Carnitine           500   1,000   both   2      0.2
Bovine Collostrum   800   2,400   PM   3      0.2
L- Arginine                           1000      PM   1      0.1
Astragalus tea          475   950           PM   2      0.2
Green tea                 500   1,000   PM   2      0.1

Total:            20                                  2.1

« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 10:20:18 AM by borzel »
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Ann

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Re: Supplements work but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010, 08:47:03 AM »
Borzel, you can learn absolutely nothing about where your hiv infection really stands with only three test results in only three months time.

You certainly cannot use that same data in that same time frame to decide if supplements are doing a darn thing to influence your hiv or your body's reaction to it one way or another.

Tracking this infection is about trends over time - and three months isn't much time at all. It's a mere drop in the time continuum.

But good luck with the Atripla.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Supplements work but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 09:12:58 AM »
Borzel, you can learn absolutely nothing about where your hiv infection really stands with only three test results in only three months time.

You certainly cannot use that same data in that same time frame to decide if supplements are doing a darn thing to influence your hiv or your body's reaction to it one way or another.

Tracking this infection is about trends over time - and three months isn't much time at all. It's a mere drop in the time continuum.

But good luck with the Atripla.


Ann is of course, quite right.  Your CD4s can fluctuate quite a lot in a single day, so you may have just been riding a crest in the first test and ebbing in the latter one.  Also, when T-cells function properly they don't die off as a result, so your rationale isn't quite correct.  Anyway now that you've started the drugs you can stick with them, but I wouldn't say the supplements are helping you do anything.

Offline Boze

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Re: Supplements work but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 09:21:16 AM »
Thanks for the clarification, Ann & Hellraiser.

I still think that 19,000 -> 4,000 is a significant drop for VL. So those who wants to stay off ARV may keep this example in mind. I am clearly of the opinion that ARV is the way to go - but supplements may offer a longer time period for those who want to wait.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Ann

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Re: Supplements work but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2010, 09:35:36 AM »
Thanks for the clarification, Ann & Hellraiser.

I still think that 19,000 -> 4,000 is a significant drop for VL. So those who wants to stay off ARV may keep this example in mind. I am clearly of the opinion that ARV is the way to go - but supplements may offer a longer time period for those who want to wait.

Nonsense. Utter nonsense.

I've been poz for 13 years, never taken ARVs. I smoke far too many cigarettes. I love my whiskey. Aside from walking, I don't do any exercise. I don't eat a lot of junk food, but my diet isn't anywhere near as healthy as it could/should be. I refuse to waste my money on a load of supplements that have never been proven to do anything.

And yet I don't need ARVs and probably won't for a while yet.

So going by  your rationale, I should be telling people to live the kind of lifestyle I do and they can maybe stay off ARVs for longer? I don't think so.

How about learning some of the history of your disease, including all the people who tried every supplement they could get their hands on, who ate all the right foods, drank all the right teas, exercised, you name it and yet hiv still killed them despite it all.

And then rethink your thread title "Supplements work". Do they bollocks. They only work to empty your wallet.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Boze

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Re: Supplements work but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2010, 10:09:14 AM »
You just happen to have a genetic configuration that allows you to control the virus. Most people do not have it. Therefore extrapolating your experience on others who aren't blessed with your genes is pointless. The specific condition that led to your control of the virus is not lifestyle but genes. Not that hard of a concept to grasp really.

I never said that people should eat supplements until they die off AIDS (as can be inferred from your reference to history). I said that for me, supplements led to a VL drop from 19,000 to 4,000. So if someone shares your reluctance to start ARV, taking supplements may help them prolong the time they stay off of it. Of  course if their CD4 drops to the level where treatment is necessary, they should start treatment.

If said individuals take the supplements (cost 3.30 a day) and find no noticeable improvement in their stats - they may well drop them.

I also think you should lower the catiness level. I come here in good faith with the intent of sharing information with others. This resource has helped me immensely and I aim to "give back" by reporting what has worked / didn't work for me in turn.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Ann

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Re: Supplements work but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 10:20:33 AM »

You just happen to have a genetic configuration that allows you to control the virus. Most people do not have it. Therefore extrapolating your experience on others who aren't blessed with your genes is pointless. The specific condition that led to your control of the virus is not lifestyle but genes. Not that hard of a concept to grasp really.


That's exactly the point I'm trying to get across. Supplements aren't going to make a whit of difference to your genetic make up where dealing with hiv is concerned either.

As I tried to tell you above, plenty of people went down that (supplement/health freak) road in the early days and it made no difference. Some people, doing everything right, still progressed and died quickly. Others more slowly and others more slowly still. Genetic make up, as you say.

If you want to throw your money away, go ahead. If you want to reinvent the wheel, go a head. But don't make such bold statements as "Supplements work" when you have no proof to back that up. And three months of labs is no proof.

Ever hear of the saying - don't try to teach your grannies and granddads to suck eggs?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 11:02:12 AM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Boze

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010, 10:31:36 AM »
You're right, the title was misleading, I changed it. I did not mean to convey that supplements work like therapy - only help some people  fight the virus.

However, I do think they can make a difference for some people. To me a 19k-4k drop is significant. Given the extremely low cost (zero side effects health-wise and moderate cost) - I think they are definitely worth a try for someone who wants to stay off ARV for a longer period.

One must differentiate between something that works for everyone (ie ARV) and something that works for some (maybe 30-50%). If a person is in the 50% for whom supplements may work - why not give them a try?

==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2010, 11:34:24 AM »
Been there, done that......and they didn't make any difference on my CD4's or VL.

However if it makes you feel any better, or gives you a sense of "doing something" , by all means swallow those vitamins  ;-).....just don't over do it.

note:  I haven't been as lucky as Ann in the past.

Online mecch

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2010, 11:39:24 AM »
People come to these forums to self-educate, as well as other agendas.

Your original title "supplements work but I started ARV yesterday" could be misleading on the value of supplements, and anyway if they worked so well, why start HAART?  Your quality of life was suffering so you made a decision to go for the gold standard - HAART.

Just consider:   this could seem a bit snide to those who read these forums and struggle to get HAART.  Not that you meant it that way.  "Exercise works, but I decided to have liposuction and my stomach stapled."  That sort of thing.    I had friends and boyfriends and without HAART, nothing "worked" and some of them therefore died before HAART was around.   Other people have said this, but it bears repeating and to be given respect.


“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2010, 11:59:07 AM »

I never said that people should eat supplements until they die off AIDS (as can be inferred from your reference to history).
 

I know you never said that - you're saying that supplements can help someone stay off the meds for longer based on your (VERY brief) experience. I brought up my own experience to show that I could just as easily claim - with much longer experience - that smoking, drinking, staying up late and not exercising (I don't do any of that to excess, except maybe smoking) could help someone stay off meds too.

I brought up the little mini-history lesson to point out that we have the experiences of those who went before who already discovered that it doesn't make a difference. Hence my reinventing the wheel remark.

What you don't seem to understand is that your VL change isn't really all that great and most likely would have occurred even if you didn't bother with the supplements. I've had my VL go up and down over the years, sometimes with changes like yours, with no effort on my part. It's just the way of untreated hiv.

To claim correlation between your supplements and your VL change - after a mere three months - is just fooling yourself. But like Grasshopper says, if it makes you feel better, knock yourself out.

Just don't go stating as fact that the supplements are directly responsible for your VL change - they're not.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Moffie65

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2010, 12:39:42 PM »
You're right, the title was misleading, I changed it. I did not mean to convey that supplements work like therapy - only help some people  fight the virus.
While most here know that I am a huge supporter of organics, and other nutritional modifications in one's diet to help keep the immune system strong, it is not to fight the virus.  It is to support our immune response, in fighting off anything else that might reduce the effectiveness of HAART, and give the virus an upper hand.  The theory is that keeping chemicals used in growing our food out of our systems helps in keeping us healthier, as they are not terribly good for our immune systems that are also facing the chemicals we ingest to assist in keeping the virus controlled, IE. HAART.

Your statement above is not scientifically correct and I suggest you correct your analysis.   Supplements have  been proven to do nothing to "fight the virus" and are taken to support and sustain the immune response.  Unfortunately supplements taken orally have been scientifically proven to seldom if ever, assist in immune response.  We all should however, take multivitamins and some should take fish oils, and vitamin B-12, as these HAVE proven to really assist the immune response and help us keep from succumbing to Opportunistic Pathogens.

Not a criticism, just a mistake on your part.  There is little we can do outside of HAART to "fight the virus".  Like Ann, I agree that your vl depletion would probably have occurred without any help from you, as most do experience this drop in the early part of their infection.  This is why many doctors, based on all numbers, sometimes wait to recommend early HAART, just to see how your immune system responds to the initial HIV infection.  Many people, especially those that were breast fed, seem to have immune systems that are stronger than others, yet I know of no studies yet to prove that, and it is still conjecture.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 12:42:10 PM by Moffie65 »
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline Boze

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2010, 12:50:29 PM »
I think this is a worthwhile discussion, so I will answer your points.

"Your original title "supplements work but I started ARV yesterday" could be misleading on the value of supplements, and anyway if they worked so well, why start HAART?  Your quality of life was suffering so you made a decision to go for the gold standard - HAART."

You are right - I've changed the title to a more neutral one. I was a little bit overexcited at first :)
Now - I had made the decision to start ARV before I got the result this morning. Even though my labs are still good, I believe that the virus can still do damage to my body if left untreated. Thus I made the decision to be an 'early ARV starter'. I have so far been asymptomatic - just felt tired lately and also had my first lymph blow-up 2 weeks ago (again after decision to start meds).

"Just consider:   this could seem a bit snide to those who read these forums and struggle to get HAART.  Not that you meant it that way.  "Exercise works, but I decided to have liposuction and my stomach stapled."  That sort of thing.    I had friends and boyfriends and without HAART, nothing "worked" and some of them therefore died before HAART was around.   Other people have said this, but it bears repeating and to be given respect."

If my message is read and taken under consideration by one person who can not get HAART I will feel like I've succeeded immensely. Simply because I collected in one place what I consider to be the most effective bunch of natural remedies (only one screwup - Licorice - should be taken off the list).
However - most people here seem to have access to HAART - so it's more to those who want to prolong the time before they start. I, myself, was in that position until I learned more about the disease. I scoured these forums to find the supplements that can help.


Been there, done that......and they didn't make any difference on my CD4's or VL.

This is a classic - "It hasn't worked for me, thus it's useless" mentality. Like I said - I think that supplements seem to work for some percent of population. To others they do squat. I'm sorry that you are in the squat camp. Everybody has to find for themselves whether this works. I didn't get the information on these supplements out of thin air - it was these very forums. Someone said that acyclovir saved their life, other person swears by astragalus tea. Another found bitter melon to help.
Unless one can state - taking supplement XXX is dangerous for the following reason, I don't see a reason to NOT try.

I know you never said that - you're saying that supplements can help someone stay off the meds for longer based on your (VERY brief) experience. I brought up my own experience to show that I could just as easily claim - with much longer experience - that smoking, drinking, staying up late and not exercising (I don't do any of that to excess, except maybe smoking) could help someone stay off meds too.

I brought up the little mini-history lesson to point out that we have the experiences of those who went before who already discovered that it doesn't make a difference. Hence my reinventing the wheel remark.

What you don't seem to understand is that your VL change isn't really all that great and most likely would have occurred even if you didn't bother with the supplements. I've had my VL go up and down over the years, sometimes with changes like yours, with no effort on my part. It's just the way of untreated hiv.

To claim correlation between your supplements and your VL change - after a mere three months - is just fooling yourself. But like Grasshopper says, if it makes you feel better, knock yourself out.

Just don't go stating as fact that the supplements are directly responsible for your VL change - they're not.

The difference between our claims is that there are numerous studies that indeed show how supplements can reduce VL and slow down CD4 decline. There are none that show smoking to have that effect. So it's empty demagoguery.

History does not show us the result you claim. It shows that supplements ALONE can not stop HIV. I am not proposing that - but only using them to slow the decline before starting ARV.

On the correlation between my labs and the supplements - everybody can decide for themselves. You prefer to see none, I find it highly unlikely that VL would drop so much. I am not running my body as a medical experiment, so unfortunately we'll not have more data to prove it  (which would require stopping the supplements to see if it would correlate with VL spike).

To me the issue is very simple. If one doesn't want to start ARV it makes eminent sense to give the supplements a try. At best HIV will be slowed down, at worst one will waste a few dollars a day. Nobody dies from moderate doses of Omega3 and Green Tea. The risk-reward is just so overwhelming, it's a no-brainer. Being all negative "in the past people tried and still died" misses this point.

I'll reference only  study that got me started on this path: Gut-Shielding Mix Slows CD4 Drop in People Not Taking Antiretrovirals http://www.actions-traitements.org/spip.php?article3053
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Ann

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2010, 01:41:47 PM »

I find it highly unlikely that VL would drop so much.


Because you've seen so many different lab results and histories from so many different people in your short three months living with this virus, that you'd know and Moffie and I - with well over 30 years of this virus between us - wouldn't.


I'll reference only  study that got me started on this path: Gut-Shielding Mix Slows CD4 Drop in People Not Taking Antiretrovirals http://www.actions-traitements.org/spip.php?article3053


Did you really read that study? Re-read the last three paragraphs - it sounds like a highly flawed study and the report ends with "Kuritzkes felt stopping a trial at such a low level of significance leaves open the possibility of bias toward a positive finding."

And what are these "numerous" studies that show how supplements can lower VL and slow down a decline in CD4s? Links? I don't recall any that could really prove that claim, although I do recall reading several that appeared seriously flawed, like the one you cited above.

I have a friend who used to buy outrageously expensive shitake mushroom supplements (and a couple others I can't recall) and she swore blind they were the cause of her great CD4s - because she'd read some study or other. Then she fell on difficult financial times and could no longer afford the supplements. Her CD4 didn't change one iota and have remained stable without the supplements for several years now. What's keeping her CD4s stable are the ARVs she's on (and was on during her supplement phase).

Like I've said, if anyone wants to take this stuff, knock yourself out. I just don't like seeing people have false hope that this stuff is going to do anything other than make your wallet thinner. We've all had these hopes, but the proof just isn't out there. You see it as being negative, I see it as being realistic.

And once again, you taking some supplements for three months isn't going to have that great an impact. Your VL most likely would have made the same exact changes. Ask your doctor.

And by the way, Acyclovir isn't a supplement. It's an antiviral taken for viruses in the herpes family. I take Acyclovir - but it's been proven to work. And not just in dodgy trials set up by companies who want to sell you what amounts to unregulated (not regulated by the same standards as medicines) supplements false hope.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Online mecch

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2010, 02:38:05 PM »
mecch post: "Just consider:   this could seem a bit snide to those who read these forums and struggle to get HAART.  Not that you meant it that way.  "Exercise works, but I decided to have liposuction and my stomach stapled."  That sort of thing.    I had friends and boyfriends and without HAART, nothing "worked" and some of them therefore died before HAART was around.   Other people have said this, but it bears repeating and to be given respect."

If my message is read and taken under consideration by one person who can not get HAART I will feel like I've succeeded immensely. Simply because I collected in one place what I consider to be the most effective bunch of natural remedies (only one screwup - Licorice - should be taken off the list).
However - most people here seem to have access to HAART - so it's more to those who want to prolong the time before they start. I, myself, was in that position until I learned more about the disease. I scoured these forums to find the supplements that can help.

..... I didn't get the information on these supplements out of thin air - it was these very forums. Someone said that acyclovir saved their life, other person swears by astragalus tea. Another found bitter melon to help.
Unless one can state - taking supplement XXX is dangerous for the following reason, I don't see a reason to NOT try.


You are not getting my point, and those of others too.  Your experience with supplementation is too limited. And anyway you are taking HAART now.  

There are people who come in here and say they will never need anything, have 10 CD4 and feel fine. You going to take their words for good treatment information?

You need a lesson in media literacy.  Some information should be read strictly in context.

Also if you think that in the case of people who do not have the means for HAART - you are helping them with supplement regime suggestions, you're out on a limb thinking the same people have access to the various potions of supposed benefit.  Get it?  


“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Dsd09

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2010, 02:41:13 PM »
I might be wrong here, but I'm sure I read somewhere that a viral load test, when viral load is greater than undetectable, has such a wide margin of error that the last few zero's could be discounted.

And that is why a drop in viral load is measured on a logarithmic scale, i.e a noticeable drop (or noticeable rise) would be measured in several logs, or several thousands.

If that is the case then 19k may just have been a 'high' sample, and 4k a 'low' sample.

Personally, I do take a supplement: a multivitamin.
I just think it makes good sense because I'm sure I don't get everything I should everyday, and it is cheap.

But, I have done that for years before my + ive diagnosis - I don't think it is helping the virus or my immune system in any greatly noticeable way - just as part of a healthy lifestyle (I hope)  :)
07/2009 - Diagnosis
08/2009 - CD4 354 / VL 4700
09/2009 - CD4 286 / VL 3200
10/2009 - CD4 249 / VL n/a - Started Truvada / Sustiva
12/2009 - CD4 318 / VL <40
01/2010 - CD4 316 / VL <40 - Switched Atripla
04/2010 - CD4 370 / VL <40
12/2010 - CD4 342 / VL <40

Offline Ann

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2010, 03:08:47 PM »

And that is why a drop in viral load is measured on a logarithmic scale, i.e a noticeable drop (or noticeable rise) would be measured in several logs, or several thousands.

If that is the case then 19k may just have been a 'high' sample, and 4k a 'low' sample.


Yes. There are a couple people here who can talk about logs in such a way that even a mathamatically deficient person like me can understand, but I can never remember who they are. It sounds like you've got the basic idea though. That's what I've been trying to tell him without the math jargon - simply put, his VL decrease isn't as spectacular as he seems to think. If I remember correctly (and I might not) his decrease would be describes as about half a log.

I took a multivitamin for a while, but stopped and I've never noticed a difference one way or another. I try to get my vitamins from the food I eat. As Moffie alluded to earlier, most oral vitamin supplements aren't really properly absorbed. Vitamins in food are much more easily taken up by the body.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline gemini20

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2010, 06:06:13 PM »
I find it highly unlikely that VL would drop so much.

I'll throw my experience in then just as another example.

In August 2006 on my second treatment break my viral load went up to just over 66000 having been undetectable when I stopped meds in October 2005.

Just over a year later the viral load had dropped to 4400 with no meds and no supplements.

Viral load like t-cells can jump around all over the place - and I have 19 years worth of results on a spreadsheet so can tell you that from personal experience (though my viral load didn't start to get measured until 7 years into my diagnosis as the test wasn't available in the early 1990s).

Personally I didn't start treatment until 8 years after diagnosis, then only last 4 months on meds and stopped, not returning to them for another 4 years after that. In the last decade I have stopped / started meds every couple of years despite all the evidence against treatment breaks, and it hasn't done me any harm.

Personally I think people diagnosed today rush into treatment way too quickly without giving their bodies a chance to show whether they might be a slow or long-term non progressor.

Just my thoughts.

Emma



Diagnosed 11th September 1991
Current CD4 count 484 (26%); viral load undetectable (December 2011).
Restarting boosted Prezista 08/04/11

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2010, 07:53:48 PM »
Yes. There are a couple people here who can talk about logs in such a way that even a mathamatically deficient person like me can understand, but I can never remember who they are. It sounds like you've got the basic idea though. That's what I've been trying to tell him without the math jargon - simply put, his VL decrease isn't as spectacular as he seems to think. If I remember correctly (and I might not) his decrease would be describes as about half a log.

I took a multivitamin for a while, but stopped and I've never noticed a difference one way or another. I try to get my vitamins from the food I eat. As Moffie alluded to earlier, most oral vitamin supplements aren't really properly absorbed. Vitamins in food are much more easily taken up by the body.

It's been a long time since I've dealt with logarithms but I'm pretty sure what they talk about with viral load is a logarithm base 10 change.  That would mean any change of 10 to the first power (adding or subtracting a 0 to the end of the number)  would be a 1 log up or down change.

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Supplements work but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2010, 10:08:18 PM »
Nonsense. Utter nonsense.

I've been poz for 13 years, never taken ARVs. I smoke far too many cigarettes. I love my whiskey. Aside from walking, I don't do any exercise. I don't eat a lot of junk food, but my diet isn't anywhere near as healthy as it could/should be. I refuse to waste my money on a load of supplements that have never been proven to do anything.

And yet I don't need ARVs and probably won't for a while yet.

So going by  your rationale, I should be telling people to live the kind of lifestyle I do and they can maybe stay off ARVs for longer? I don't think so.

How about learning some of the history of your disease, including all the people who tried every supplement they could get their hands on, who ate all the right foods, drank all the right teas, exercised, you name it and yet hiv still killed them despite it all.

And then rethink your thread title "Supplements work". Do they bollocks. They only work to empty your wallet.

I think my last vl was like 12,600 down from 28,000.  I thought that was a huge change.  However, many of you and docs told me that was basically not much change at all.  I had also wondered about my CD4 dropping from 811 to 703 with the % going up from 21% to 23%.  I got all depressed over that CD4 drop.  However, I was told it was basically the same since my % went up 2% points.  

About the supplements-- I've been reading what kind of supplements I should take to help my immune system.  Everything I've found seems to say most of them are just a waste of money.  However, Dr. Gallant and others believe Vitamin D with Calcium is the one to take if we are going to take anything.  I think they said this is about the only one they'd recommend with new research showing many of us have low levels of Vit D and new research showing almost every cell in the body uses Vit D.  So, I will take Vit D and try to get about 15 mins of sun everyday.  I'm not going to waste money on other stuff.  Plus, there was a news story just last week about many of these supplements are contaminated with stuff that aren't good for you.  

I'm starting to believe the only thing HIVers can do, besides HIV meds, is managing stress.  Other than that, I think it is just genetics and viral strain.  But I'm no doc.

Modified to correct med info
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 10:10:02 PM by tednlou2 »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2010, 01:44:31 AM »
It's been a long time since I've dealt with logarithms but I'm pretty sure what they talk about with viral load is a logarithm base 10 change.  That would mean any change of 10 to the first power (adding or subtracting a 0 to the end of the number)  would be a 1 log up or down change.

As usual the AM Lessons are helpful here:

LOG COPIES/ML

A log is a mathematical term that is difficult to explain. Scientists find that translating viral load counts into logs is an easier way to compare them, especially since the counts can sometimes be very large numbers. For those interested, a log is the number of times ten must be multiplied with itself to equal a certain number, in this case, your viral load count. For example, a viral load count of 100,000 is "log 5" because it is equal to 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10. Logs are used to measure changes in viral load. For example, a reduction in viral load from 100,000 to 1,000 is a two log (or 99 percent) reduction.


(awesome linkage FTW!)

MtD

Offline Boze

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2010, 08:09:01 AM »
I think you all raised very valid points which I fully accept:

1) A Viral Load can drop on its own from 19k to 4k. This is not a proof of anything. However - it is more than if VL stayed the same or rose. That said - my CD4 dropped - so nothing conclusive.
2) Supplements don't actually deal with HIV but rather help the immune system perform that task
3) Acyclovir is not a supplement but a drug - yet one that is extremely cheap and has no side-effects

That said, I think you missed or maybe misunderstood my original point. I am not suggesting that people buy expensive supplements that are advertised to be an alternative to HAART. I merely put together a list of cheap supplements that can prolong HAART-free time for some individuals based on the information found on this forum.

a) Antioxidants
b) Gut-support
c) Herbals that some people report helped with the virus
d) Acyclovir

When I first came here I scoured through many threads and sites looking for information. The resulting list has all of them in one place after I filtered only what is best. One should do their own research on every component.

The goal of my post is to educate someone like me two months ago. The fact that my VL dropped after I started this regimen - can be interpreted as one sees fit.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2010, 08:22:21 AM »
The goal of my post is to educate someone like me two months ago. The fact that my VL dropped after I started this regimen - can be interpreted as one sees fit.

Post hoc reasoning.

You're free to do as you see fit, of course, but don't delude yourself into thinking that what you're doing really works.

MtD

Offline Boze

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2010, 09:07:29 AM »
Catty pointless comment acknowledged.
Point in responding - nil.


Keep up the good work. Every forum needs a troll.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Ann

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2010, 09:47:10 AM »

Personally I think people diagnosed today rush into treatment way too quickly without giving their bodies a chance to show whether they might be a slow or long-term non progressor.


I totally agree.


That said, I think you missed or maybe misunderstood my original point. I am not suggesting that people buy expensive supplements that are advertised to be an alternative to HAART. I merely put together a list of cheap supplements that can prolong HAART-free time for some individuals based on the information found on this forum.


I fully understood what you were saying and I already told you that (see reply#10).

But what we're telling you is that taking supplements is not going help you delay the day when you need to start treatment. If the genetic makeup of you and your virus is such that you're going to progress at a rate of XYZ, then you're going to progress at a rate of XYZ. Supplements or no supplements.

You want to educate people who are new to this virus, but maybe you should wait until YOU are no longer new to this virus and understand more fully how it operates. All you're doing with this supplement schtick is giving people false hope.
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Hellraiser

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2010, 09:54:48 AM »
My last post in this thread as we all seem to be talking circles.  Borzel, while none of us actively discourage anyone from taking supplements there are only a handful of people on these boards that give anything outside of a good multivitamin or a cal/d dose daily anything a second glance.  You want to attribute your moderate gains to those supplements and that's fine, but what we've said is that we believe with or without those same supplements you would have probably tested similarly.  The only thing is we don't want someone eschewing meds in favor of supplements in a misguided attempt to stay healthy "naturally" because the cold hard truth of the matter is meds save lives and supplements do not.  I think you'll find a kindred spirit in Nestor who has said he's a big supporter of supplements and he gets a similar reaction when he brings it up.

Offline Ann

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2010, 10:05:01 AM »

The only thing is we don't want someone eschewing meds in favor of supplements in a misguided attempt to stay healthy "naturally" because the cold hard truth of the matter is meds save lives and supplements do not. 


My apologies, Borzal. It does indeed seem that some have missed your point. ~shrug~
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Boze

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2010, 10:18:29 AM »
But what we're telling you is that taking supplements is not going help you delay the day when you need to start treatment. If the genetic makeup of you and your virus is such that you're going to progress at a rate of XYZ, then you're going to progress at a rate of XYZ. Supplements or no supplements.

You want to educate people who are new to this virus, but maybe you should wait until YOU are no longer new to this virus and understand more fully how it operates. All you're doing with this supplement schtick is giving people false hope.

Here we (yet again :) disagree. I firmly believe that certain individuals can slow down the progress of their HIV disease with supplements. For example: http://www.thebody.com/content/living/art39550.html

"The dietary supplement selenium can reduce HIV viral loads and increase CD4+ T cell counts in HIV-positive people, according to a study published in the Jan. 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, the Los Angeles Times reports (Chong, Los Angeles Times, 1/23). Selenium is a mineral found in many foods and sold as a supplement for less than $10 per one-month supply."

I am not looking to give anybody false hope. The information is out there available for people to research on their own. All I did was put together the list that I found (via the research I did myself) to be effective, side-effect free and cheap.

If anybody could point to any item on the list as being either dangerous or expensive - I would gladly accept it. All we have here is more of a metaphysical disagreement - whether supplements CAN help. Given the potential Cost / Benefits involved, I side with taking them.

==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline veritas

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2010, 10:31:08 AM »

borzel,

Here is the study with selenium:

http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/167/2/148

It's a good adjunct therapy, however, not to replace ART.  Too much selenium can cause problems, however, if you stay within the 200-400mg range, it can be beneficial.

v

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2010, 03:01:48 PM »
Your body needs a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals to function properly. The proper way to get these, is to eat varied and balanced meals. Because we don't always have access to these nutrients, it's advisable to take a multi-vit & minerals to compensate for possible dietary imbalances.
During winter months when we don't have an abundance in variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, I take a commercial brand multi-vit-min tablet.
Besides that, my ID doc has me on prescription CalciChew for low vit.D & Calcium levels, and on prescription B-complex for anemia.
The only thing he prescribes me for hiv is HAART.

If....if a regular dose of vitamins & minerals can "slow down" hiv progression....as you are implying..wouldn't a mega- super-mega dose eradicate hiv ???    Wouldn't that be a cheaper option to HAART ?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 03:22:31 PM by Grasshopper »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2010, 04:12:39 PM »
Catty pointless comment acknowledged.
Point in responding - nil.


Keep up the good work. Every forum needs a troll.

Oh bullshit.

Your reasoning is totally flawed and you fucking know it.

MtD

Offline Boze

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #31 on: June 09, 2010, 05:20:04 PM »
borzel,

Here is the study with selenium:

http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/167/2/148

It's a good adjunct therapy, however, not to replace ART.  Too much selenium can cause problems, however, if you stay within the 200-400mg range, it can be beneficial.

v

Thank you, Veritas. That's exactly my point - that there exist a multitude of cheap and readily available (drugs/herbs/nutrients) that can slow down HIV progression. Selenium being one of them.

Your body needs a balanced amount of vitamins and minerals to function properly. The proper way to get these, is to eat varied and balanced meals. Because we don't always have access to these nutrients, it's advisable to take a multi-vit & minerals to compensate for possible dietary imbalances.
During winter months when we don't have an abundance in variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, I take a commercial brand multi-vit-min tablet.
Besides that, my ID doc has me on prescription CalciChew for low vit.D & Calcium levels, and on prescription B-complex for anemia.
The only thing he prescribes me for hiv is HAART.

If....if a regular dose of vitamins & minerals can "slow down" hiv progression....as you are implying..wouldn't a mega- super-mega dose eradicate hiv ???    Wouldn't that be a cheaper option to HAART ?

Unfortunately no, Grasshopper. You can only slow it down and only for some people it seems. As far as I understand from reading the research, different people respond differently to these supplements. Nobody knows whether they will have effect - unlike HAART which we are certain will work. That's why doctors won't prescribe them - there isn't sufficient evidence that they work for everyone.
I think it's incumbent upon each individual to figure out what works for them.  I plan to take a variety of supplements after I started HAART as well - as listed in my original post.

Oh bullshit.

Your reasoning is totally flawed and you fucking know it.

MtD
I know I give you wood, sorry it manifests itself this way.

No, my reasoning is not flawed. If you want to think that nothing but HAART can help with HIV (and by help I mean slow down its progress) - that's your prerogative. If others want to research the topic and decide for themselves what they can do before they initiate treatment - I think they ought to be encouraged in the least. I merely put together a list of substances that I found to be beneficial. Everybody can google 'substance X hiv' and avail themselves of the information on the topic. If they find the combination of Cost + Negative-Effects + Potential for Help with Virus worthwhile - let them take it.

You merely seem to bring to the table negativity. I know I bust your balls with my views on other issues, but try to keep in mind that this is also an informational resource for others, not just your own little playground.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2010, 05:26:42 PM »
No, my reasoning is not flawed. If you want to think that nothing but HAART can help with HIV (and by help I mean slow down its progress) - that's your prerogative. If others want to research the topic and decide for themselves what they can do before they initiate treatment - I think they ought to be encouraged in the least. I merely put together a list of substances that I found to be beneficial. Everybody can google 'substance X hiv' and avail themselves of the information on the topic. If they find the combination of Cost + Negative-Effects + Potential for Help with Virus worthwhile - let them take it.

You merely seem to bring to the table negativity. I know I bust your balls with my views on other issues, but try to keep in mind that this is also an informational resource for others, not just your own little playground.

Lots of things give me wood, so don't get too excited.

Your problem is this:

"I have taken a combination of nutrients/vitamins/other crap and subsequently my viral load decreased."

Post hoc ergro propter hoc or "because of this therefore this".

It's common for people to think that because one event precedes another the first event must be the cause of the second. Even intelligent folks fall for it, but more often it's people such as yourself.

Cheers,

MtD

Offline Boze

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #33 on: June 09, 2010, 06:57:11 PM »
Lots of things give me wood, so don't get too excited.

Your problem is this:

"I have taken a combination of nutrients/vitamins/other crap and subsequently my viral load decreased."

Post hoc ergro propter hoc or "because of this therefore this".

It's common for people to think that because one event precedes another the first event must be the cause of the second. Even intelligent folks fall for it, but more often it's people such as yourself.

Cheers,

MtD

I know quite a few people here have experienced drops in VL out of blue. But these people are also usually somehow resistant to the virus and have various degrees of LNTP-sness. For a regular individual (who I suspect myself to be) a sudden VL drop is just unlikely. It's possible - I fully accept it - but in my opinion unlikely. Therefore, the fact that I started taking a plethora of various substances known to help immune system fight HIV, and the contemporaneous drop in VL to me exhibits a possible link.

It's also possible that I have been containing the virus all along - since I have not infected my wife despite living with her for 18 months following my infection, and that the march reading was a blip that coincided with my diagnosis.

Do I insist it's the only explanation? No. But it's just more likely  than the other.

If we revisit the basic graph, you'll see a more or less straight red line going up. It's not a sinusoid. There just isn't a logical reason for a (regular not ltnp) body to suddenly get efficient at killing the virus.






==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Ann

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2010, 11:12:03 PM »
Borze, what you're failing to take into account is that in three short months, you simply CANNOT make the assumptions you are trying to make. You just have no idea. Duh.

Like I said earlier, don't try to teach your grandparents how to suck eggs.

Ann
(whose head hurts - that brick wall isn't the best thing for a forehead)
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2010, 11:55:42 PM »
I know quite a few people here have experienced drops in VL out of blue. But these people are also usually somehow resistant to the virus and have various degrees of LNTP-sness. For a regular individual (who I suspect myself to be) a sudden VL drop is just unlikely. It's possible - I fully accept it - but in my opinion unlikely. Therefore, the fact that I started taking a plethora of various substances known to help immune system fight HIV, and the contemporaneous drop in VL to me exhibits a possible link.

It's also possible that I have been containing the virus all along - since I have not infected my wife despite living with her for 18 months following my infection, and that the march reading was a blip that coincided with my diagnosis.

Do I insist it's the only explanation? No. But it's just more likely  than the other.

If we revisit the basic graph, you'll see a more or less straight red line going up. It's not a sinusoid. There just isn't a logical reason for a (regular not ltnp) body to suddenly get efficient at killing the virus.


In any event this is all irrelevant. There's no clinical difference between a VL of 19,000 and a VL of 4,000.

MtD

/dickish graph removed by Matty the Damned/

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2010, 12:35:55 AM »
Borzel, do you really believe that none of us have studied this? Have studied these things at length?

So you really believe that a three-month sample id adequate to form a reasonably scientific-based opinion?

Some of us came along well before HAART therapy, and trust me, we looked at everything. Thanks to Anti-viral therapy, we are still here. Not thanks to selenium. of Colloidal Silver (which I can only imagine is your next stop) or drinking hydrogen peroxide. Ask us.... yes, US .... how many people were seriously injured thanks to overdosing on vitamins, when the  mega-vitamin thing was all the rage.

Or... don't. And keep the forum appraised. At the very least, you can serve as another object lesson in quackery and it's very real, very serious impact on people.

It's just sad that every year or two, we have to see this.

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Welcome Thread

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #37 on: June 10, 2010, 12:43:39 AM »
I found the story I alluded to in my previous post.  When the vitamins/supplements are properly made, I'm sure most people will do fine on them and they may even work for some people.  However, this is disturbing.  Read down to where they talk about selenium having 200x the recommended dose.  Since the FDA only looks at prescriptions, these supplements can have many issues with no oversight. 


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/10/many-natural-supplements-_n_213670.html 

Offline Boze

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #38 on: June 10, 2010, 06:22:14 AM »
In any event this is all irrelevant. There's no clinical difference between a VL of 19,000 and a VL of 4,000.


That's a reasonable point that I fully accept.

Borzel, do you really believe that none of us have studied this? Have studied these things at length?

So you really believe that a three-month sample id adequate to form a reasonably scientific-based opinion?

Some of us came along well before HAART therapy, and trust me, we looked at everything. Thanks to Anti-viral therapy, we are still here. Not thanks to selenium. of Colloidal Silver (which I can only imagine is your next stop) or drinking hydrogen peroxide. Ask us.... yes, US .... how many people were seriously injured thanks to overdosing on vitamins, when the  mega-vitamin thing was all the rage.

Or... don't. And keep the forum appraised. At the very least, you can serve as another object lesson in quackery and it's very real, very serious impact on people.

It's just sad that every year or two, we have to see this.

If you bother to actually read my post you'd see that most of your comment is misplaced. I am very much pro HAART. Supplements are only good to prolong the time before one starts it.
I found the story I alluded to in my previous post.  When the vitamins/supplements are properly made, I'm sure most people will do fine on them and they may even work for some people.  However, this is disturbing.  Read down to where they talk about selenium having 200x the recommended dose.  Since the FDA only looks at prescriptions, these supplements can have many issues with no oversight. 


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/10/many-natural-supplements-_n_213670.html 

Well, yes - but that's a different story. We can get poisoned by many different things - would you stop eating chicken because someone out there got sick from it?
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Ann

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2010, 09:37:24 AM »

Supplements are only good to prolong the time before one starts it.


Once again, there is no definitive proof that this is true. You keep accusing everyone of missing your point, but you are missing ours.

THERE IS NO DEFINITIVE PROOF THAT USING SUPPLEMENTS WILL DELAY THE NEED FOR HAART. 
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

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HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Boze

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #40 on: June 10, 2010, 10:53:04 AM »
Once again, there is no definitive proof that this is true. You keep accusing everyone of missing your point, but you are missing ours.

THERE IS NO DEFINITIVE PROOF THAT USING SUPPLEMENTS WILL DELAY THE NEED FOR HAART. 

Not exactly. I say that those who accuse me of claiming that supplements can be a replacement for HAART miss the point. It's pretty clear I say no such thing anywhere.

On the topic of supplements delaying the need for HAART, I find the evidence pretty clear. I cite three studies - one on the gut-shielding mix and one on selenium and one on acyclovir. You found the first study to be bad because it was terminated early. I haven't seen any professional make that claim. If anything I understood that it was terminated early so that they can rush the product into development as it was clearly working and not waste time on further trials:

Gut-Shielding Mix: http://www.actions-traitements.org/spip.php?article3053

"The data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) recommended stopping BITE early because of a significant difference in CD4 decline between groups and lack of safety concerns. An intention-to-treat analysis at 52 weeks showed a significantly slower annual average CD4-cell drop in the NR100157 group, 28 versus 68 cells/mm(3) with placebo (P = 0.030). Change in viral load did not differ significantly between the two groups (P = 0.81). "

Selenium study: http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/167/2/148

Results  Of the 450 HIV-1–seropositive men and women who underwent screening, 262 initiated treatment and 174 completed the 9-month follow-up assessment. Mean adherence to study treatment was good (73.0% ± 24.7%) with no related adverse events. The intention-to-treat analyses indicated that the mean change () in serum selenium concentration increased significantly in the selenium-treated group and not the placebo-treated group ( = 32.2 ± 24.5 vs 0.5 ± 8.8 µg/L; P<.001), and greater levels predicted decreased HIV-1 viral load (P<.02), which predicted increased CD4 count (P<.04). Findings remained significant after covarying age, sex, ethnicity, income, education, current and past cocaine and other drug use, HIV symptom classification, antiretroviral medication regimen and adherence, time since HIV diagnosis, and hepatitis C virus coinfection. Follow-up analyses evaluating treatment effectiveness indicated that the nonresponding selenium-treated subjects whose serum selenium change was less than or equal to 26.1 µg/L displayed poor treatment adherence (56.8% ± 29.8%), HIV-1 viral load elevation ( = +0.29 ± 1.1 log10 units), and decreased CD4 count ( = –25.8 ± 147.4 cells/µL). In contrast, selenium-treated subjects whose serum selenium increase was greater than 26.1 µg/L evidenced excellent treatment adherence (86.2% ± 13.0%), no change in HIV-1 viral load ( = –0.04 ± 0.7 log10 units), and an increase in CD4 count ( = +27.9 ± 150.2 cells/µL).

Conclusions  Daily selenium supplementation can suppress the progression of HIV-1 viral burden and provide indirect improvement of CD4 count. The results support the use of selenium as a simple, inexpensive, and safe adjunct therapy in HIV spectrum disease.

Acyclovir (of course it's not a supplement but a cheap adjunct therapy option): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8512412.stm

"A study of 3,300 patients in Africa found aciclovir reduced the risk of HIV progression by 16%, The Lancet reports. Although a "modest" effect, the researchers said the cheap treatment was a simple way of keeping people with HIV healthy for longer."


So I think that various "substances" can help delay HIV progression. They make not work for everybody with same efficacy - but I think it's incumbent upon each individual to figure out what their personal reaction is. What I think is incumbent upon us is to make the information available to them, having researched  it ourselves.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Online mecch

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #41 on: June 10, 2010, 11:57:07 AM »
Hello hello?  Information literacy please.

Ok for the selenium study to give a minor support for the idea that supplements help in certain cases.

The gut thing is NOT peer review, medical journal, and "Acyclovir" is, as we have all agreed, not a "supplement".

However I'm sure you can contact Jon Kaiser and have many insightful and not at all crazy conversations about the value of supplementation for HIV+ people. 

You got off on the wrong foot in this thread and raised the ire and incredulousness of several members. You subsequently accepted toned down hyperbole for your "eureka" discovery when history shows millions have already passed that gold rush about supplementation and gone home the poorer.

But you continue defending your Eureka moment and thats getting under people's skin. Though, I admire your tenacity!  I just don't think you're going to get anyone to agree, at least not in this section of the Forums.  Maybe there are more brethren for you in Nutrition & HIV and Research News. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #42 on: June 10, 2010, 12:03:13 PM »
OK; you've been doing some serious research on line, and I admire your proactive attitude. But.....what does your doctor has to say about the subject ? Does he agree with you that the use of vitamins can slow down the HIV progression and protect the CD4's from HIV attacks ? Does he prescribe the use of vitamins to all his positive patients who are not yet on HAART ?

Do you care to enlighten me with the views of your ID doctor ? Afterall he is the professional and expert on the subject.

Offline Boze

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2010, 01:17:51 PM »
Hello hello?  Information literacy please.

Ok for the selenium study to give a minor support for the idea that supplements help in certain cases.

The gut thing is NOT peer review, medical journal, and "Acyclovir" is, as we have all agreed, not a "supplement".

However I'm sure you can contact Jon Kaiser and have many insightful and not at all crazy conversations about the value of supplementation for HIV+ people. 

You got off on the wrong foot in this thread and raised the ire and incredulousness of several members. You subsequently accepted toned down hyperbole for your "eureka" discovery when history shows millions have already passed that gold rush about supplementation and gone home the poorer.

But you continue defending your Eureka moment and thats getting under people's skin. Though, I admire your tenacity!  I just don't think you're going to get anyone to agree, at least not in this section of the Forums.  Maybe there are more brethren for you in Nutrition & HIV and Research News. 


I quickly accepted the fact that the VL drop could happen independently. However, the point I refused to accept is that it had to happen independently and that supplements (in a broad sense - minerals+antioxidants+herbals+gut helpers+acyclovir) have been proven to be useless.

I find that there is quite a bit of 'conventional wisdom' propagated on the forums that certain members like to "enforce" by making their views vociferously known. I agree with quite a few of these opinions, but not all. I also happen to have a contrarian streak that refuses to accept knowledge as dogma - I probe, research and find things out for myself.

I think everybody means well. Given that there are quite a few hacks out there touting expensive "supplements" (ie Kaiser) that are supposed to help with HIV, we should be on the lookout for such claims. However there is a difference between that and the list that I put together myself. All the stuff I mention is non-brand and fairly cheap.

The only message (to newbies dealing with their hopefully asymptomatic diagnosis) - there is more you can do than just sit on your hands and wait for the virus to get you.

OK; you've been doing some serious research on line, and I admire your proactive attitude. But.....what does your doctor has to say about the subject ? Does he agree with you that the use of vitamins can slow down the HIV progression and protect the CD4's from HIV attacks ? Does he prescribe the use of vitamins to all his positive patients who are not yet on HAART ?

Do you care to enlighten me with the views of your ID doctor ? Afterall he is the professional and expert on the subject.

You see, the doctors only proscribe what has been proven to be 100% effective. These supplements are not. They work for some people and don't work for others. I think that science will figure out the mechanism behind it in the future, but for now we have to contend ourselves with 'it may help some people'.
I mean where do you think doctors get their information? Today with the internet we have the same access to latest research as they do.

In sum - I personally favor starting HAART early and have done so myself. However - those who want to wait until their CD4 drop to a certain level, should educate themselves of various ways to prolong that period.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Grasshopper

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2010, 01:33:11 PM »
Thanks for starting this topic, and giving me the opportunity to waste my time   ;)

bye bye

Offline Moffie65

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #45 on: June 10, 2010, 01:39:34 PM »
Borzel, and anyone tracking this thread;

I for one am an advocate of early HAART, as many know here, but not too early.  
These are your numbers:

Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500

and I would never advocate that someone with a CD4 of 600 start HAART under any circumstances.  Your body is still very much capable of keeping HIV under control for a long time, even without any help on your part with the implementation of supplements.  Not smoking, drinking, partying to any excess will keep you healthier than the bulk of the population that doesn't watch these things.  Getting plenty of sleep, eating a well balanced diet and not working to exhaustion are all ways of doing what you are advocating, and it doesn't cost any more money than just living a well balanced life.  

Too many of us know what we are talking about, and I am one, as I waited 11 years before I started any medications at all, and that was well before HAART, while my body kept everything in balance.  
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and 362 to heterosexuals.
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Online mecch

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #46 on: June 10, 2010, 03:07:44 PM »
I find that there is quite a bit of 'conventional wisdom' propagated on the forums that certain members like to "enforce" by making their views vociferously known. I agree with quite a few of these opinions, but not all. I also happen to have a contrarian streak that refuses to accept knowledge as dogma - I probe, research and find things out for myself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJMsFGH4eoQ
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2010, 08:19:50 AM »
Your argument that supplements work for some but not others just doesn't hold up under scrutiny. If I had been taking supplements, I could claim they were the reason behind my 13 med free years living with this virus. But I haven't been taking them and I still have 13 med free years. If I had been on supplements, my claims would have been erroneous.

And you've only been dealing with this for three months. Hell, I've spent more than three months total just reading about this virus and how it works. But if you want to tell me that you know more than me, be my guest.

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Boze

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2010, 08:44:02 AM »
Your argument that supplements work for some but not others just doesn't hold up under scrutiny. If I had been taking supplements, I could claim they were the reason behind my 13 med free years living with this virus. But I haven't been taking them and I still have 13 med free years. If I had been on supplements, my claims would have been erroneous.


I am not advocating supplements (broad sense of the word) because someone I know is using them and has kept HIV in check. That's anecdotal evidence. I cited studies that used thousands of individuals.


And you've only been dealing with this for three months. Hell, I've spent more than three months total just reading about this virus and how it works. But if you want to tell me that you know more than me, be my guest.



You can only make that claim assuming equivalent (or inferior) levels of prior education and experience :)


I fully grant that you spent more time learning about the disease. However, your adamant refusal to accept conclusions of scientific research I pointed out highlights a certain deficiency in reasoning, where a person can not accept new facts that clash with their existing worldview. This leads to dogmatic approach to problems as opposed to flexible, facts-based one.

I come with no preconceived notions, ready to accept all facts.
==========
Aug08 - Seroconversion
Mar10 - Diagnosis; cd4 690 - VL 19,000
Apr10 - cd4 600
May10 - VL 4,500
Jun10 - started Atripla ; VL 113
Jul 10 - UD vl, CD4 590
Aug 10 - UD, CD4 810, 52%
Nov 10 - UD, CD4 980

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Reduced VL (19-4k) but I started ARV yesterday
« Reply #49 on: June 11, 2010, 08:56:38 AM »
I fully grant that you spent more time learning about the disease. However, your adamant refusal to accept conclusions of scientific research I pointed out highlights a certain deficiency in reasoning, where a person can not accept new facts that clash with their existing worldview. This leads to dogmatic approach to problems as opposed to flexible, facts-based one.

 ;D

Oh that's rich. :)

If nothing else I like to think of the service we do your wife. At least when you're online braying at us it gives that poor bedevilled woman a few hours peace.

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