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Poll

How many years did you wait before starting treatment?

I started treatment as soon as I was diagnosed
16 (21.9%)
< 6 months
12 (16.4%)
6 month - 1 year
3 (4.1%)
1-2 years
10 (13.7%)
2-3 years
3 (4.1%)
3-5 years
3 (4.1%)
5-7 years
3 (4.1%)
7-10 years
1 (1.4%)
10-15 years
4 (5.5%)
15-20 years
4 (5.5%)
20+
1 (1.4%)
I have not started treatment yet
13 (17.8%)

Total Members Voted: 72

Author Topic: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]  (Read 8941 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline natthai

  • Member
  • Posts: 130
  • The truth is not determined by majority vote.
How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« on: September 16, 2010, 07:37:31 AM »
Starting treatment is a HUGE decision. Right now there is a large discussion regarding when is the best time to start treatment.

This poll is mostly for the benefit of the newly diagnosed. Hopefully some Long Term Survivors will participate and let us benefit from your experience/wisdom in this important issue.

Also aside from voting, if you could give insight into what decisions played an important part in your decision. Such things as:

  • Did you wait until the current recommended treatment guidelines or take a more proactive approach?
  • Did you wait until new/improved treatments came out?
  • Did the presence of any OIs affect your decision or did you base it on lab results or a combination?
  • If you started early, do you regret not waiting? If you started later, do you regret waiting too long?
  • How big a consideration was the financial aspect?
  • Did you ever get a second opinion or consult another doctor before starting?
  • Were you recruited into a study (like START)
  • ...and any other factors that you used in making your decision.

As a newly diagnosed individual, I would like to thank everyone in advance. This is a wonderful community and I have already benefited greatly from the knowledge and discussions here. Thank you!
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 08:09:54 AM by natthai »
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline red_Dragon888

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,803
  • Love and Be Love in Return
Re: ...and what factors played an important part in your decision?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2010, 07:51:36 AM »
My situation was that I thought the meds were unaffordable so I had to let my body do all the work.  Unfortunately, my body was starting to fail in its pursuit to control the virus which led to a near breakdown in my health and wellbeing.  Fortunately, someone told me that there was help to gain the meds thru the ADAPT program and I immediately search that program out to seek help. 

Did you wait until the current recommended treatment guidelines or take a more proactive approach?
o No, I did not.
Did you wait until new/improved treatments came out?
o No
Did the presence of any OIs affect your decision or did you base it on lab results or a combination?
o OI? I was told by my doctor that I was in the danger zone of the viral load and that treatment was   the best option.
If you started later, do you regret waiting too long?
o No
How big a consideration was the financial aspect?
o Very big, but I found a program that helped me out.
Did you ever get a second opinion or consult another doctor before starting?
o No, I trusted my doctor and my instincts.
Were you recruited into a study (like START)
o Yes, for cancer prevention
...and any other factors that you used in making your decision.
o Lost of weight, high anxiety, and stress

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

Offline Matty the Damned

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,160
Re: ...and what factors played an important part in your decision?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2010, 07:54:27 AM »
I started treatment in April 2003 when I was diagnosed with AIDS.

I was diagnosed with AIDS 12 months after being diagnosed as HIV positive. I'd been infected for no more than 3 years.

I have not been on medications continuously in the period since.

MtD

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,962
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: ...and what factors played an important part in your decision?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2010, 08:06:17 AM »
I went 18 years before starting treatment.   If I had to do it over again, that wouldn't happen.

I had 16 t-cells when I started treatment, and was quite ill, with a few opportunistic infections going on.


Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of DEC 9th, 2013,  t-cells are at 437 Viral load  <40 .

 Current % is at 16% (L)

  
 62 years young.

Offline natthai

  • Member
  • Posts: 130
  • The truth is not determined by majority vote.
Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2010, 08:08:55 AM »
Starting treatment is a HUGE decision. Right now there is a large discussion regarding when is the best time to start treatment.

This poll is mostly for the benefit of the newly diagnosed. Hopefully some Long Term Survivors will participate and let us benefit from your experience/wisdom in this important issue.

Also aside from voting, if you could give insight into what decisions played an important part in your decision. Such things as:

  • Did you wait until the current recommended treatment guidelines or take a more proactive approach?
  • Did you wait until new/improved treatments came out?
  • Did the presence of any OIs affect your decision or did you base it on lab results or a combination?
  • If you started early, do you regret not waiting? If you started later, do you regret waiting too long?
  • How big a consideration was the financial aspect?
  • Did you ever get a second opinion or consult another doctor before starting?
  • Were you recruited into a study (like START)
  • ...and any other factors that you used in making your decision.

As a newly diagnosed individual, I would like to thank everyone in advance. This is a wonderful community and I have already benefited greatly from the knowledge and discussions here. Thank you!

This this a good list of issues? These are just the first ones that came into my head.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 08:14:04 AM by natthai »
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline natthai

  • Member
  • Posts: 130
  • The truth is not determined by majority vote.
Re: ...and what factors played an important part in your decision?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2010, 08:17:03 AM »
I started treatment in April 2003 when I was diagnosed with AIDS.

I was diagnosed with AIDS 12 months after being diagnosed as HIV positive. I'd been infected for no more than 3 years.

I have not been on medications continuously in the period since.

MtD

If it is not too personal, what criteria were the diagnosis based upon? lab results, OIs, a combination etc.

Also I have read that the recommended guidelines and AIDS definition change overtime as they learn more about the disease. Do you remember what the recommendations were at the time you were diagnosed?
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline natthai

  • Member
  • Posts: 130
  • The truth is not determined by majority vote.
Re: ...and what factors played an important part in your decision?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2010, 08:18:13 AM »
I went 18 years before starting treatment.   If I had to do it over again, that wouldn't happen.

I had 16 t-cells when I started treatment, and was quite ill, with a few opportunistic infections going on.

Ray

Why did you wait?
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline Matty the Damned

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,160
Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2010, 08:24:52 AM »
I don't really remember all that stuff. Big VL. CD4 counts were low (below 100) and I was riddled with thrush and other things.

My first combo was Stocrin/3TC/Tenofovir. The Stocrin made me fucking crazy. I hated that crap. But I remained on it until sometime in 2004, when I changed to something else and that didn't work and I went off medications for a few years.

Which wasn't real bright because by 2006 I had 15 CD4 cells and a VL so high they didn't bother telling me what it was.

I don't know about elsewhere but I think the definition of an AIDS diagnosis in Australia is the same today as it was in aught-three. Recommended guidelines and all that other boring shit don't really interest me so I don't recall what they were.

MtD

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,962
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2010, 08:26:08 AM »

Why did you wait?



Denial, Denial, denial.  I wasn't denying that HIV was the virus that causes Aids. I lost too many friends through the years, and knew better.  I was denying the fact that I was getting sick. Of those 18 years, most of them were all in good health. I had 900 t-cells in 1999. After that year I  became careless.


Ray
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 08:27:43 AM by J.R.E. »
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of DEC 9th, 2013,  t-cells are at 437 Viral load  <40 .

 Current % is at 16% (L)

  
 62 years young.

Offline natthai

  • Member
  • Posts: 130
  • The truth is not determined by majority vote.
Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2010, 09:14:42 AM »
Denial, Denial, denial.  I wasn't denying that HIV was the virus that causes Aids. I lost too many friends through the years, and knew better.  I was denying the fact that I was getting sick. Of those 18 years, most of them were all in good health. I had 900 t-cells in 1999. After that year I  became careless.

Ray

Do you mean careless in that you started to engage in riskier behaviors or careless in that you stopped getting checkups, seeking medical treatment etc? So between 1999 and 2003 your CD4 dropped from 990 to 16??? What happened exactly? Also, during this 18 year period, did you have any opportunistic infections? Were you ever hospitalized with a serious life threatening condition? I think we noobs can learn a lot from your case. if you had to do it over again would you have started HAART as soon as it was available?
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline natthai

  • Member
  • Posts: 130
  • The truth is not determined by majority vote.
Re: ...and what factors played an important part in your decision?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2010, 09:20:03 AM »
I started treatment in April 2003 when I was diagnosed with AIDS.

I was diagnosed with AIDS 12 months after being diagnosed as HIV positive. I'd been infected for no more than 3 years.

MtD

I know this would just be a guess but why do you think your disease progressed so much faster than say J.R.E. who described being in good health for many years? It seems that some people get it hard and fast and some people progress very slowly. Other than good genetics, any idea why this is? I have been researching a lot but I haven't found a good answer to this.

In other words, what factors most affect disease progression?
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,962
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2010, 10:03:11 AM »
Do you mean careless in that you started to engage in riskier behaviors or careless in that you stopped getting checkups, seeking medical treatment etc?

I was careless with my medical treatments/checkups, and just stopped going to the doctor.



So between 1999 and 2003 your CD4 dropped from 990 to 16??? What happened exactly?

Starting around 2001 fatigue became the biggest issue. I was sleeping more hours, and getting tired much more quickly. By early 2003, the fatigue was a very serious issue. By the end of 2002 and throughout 2003, the wasting started. And I lost approx, 30-35 pounds in 10 months.


Also, during this 18 year period, did you have any opportunistic infections? Were you ever hospitalized with a serious life threatening condition?

The only issue I had was Shingles in 1989, after that nothing. I was never hospitalized, until
Sep 26th,03.

Only other issue I had , was hernia surgery, and that was on June 17th,02.  I healed very quickly from that, but fatigue was still the main issue.

On July 16th,03 I had an upper endoscopy performed.  That's when Esophageal thrush was discovered.  I took Diflucan for that, and that was cleared.


Sep 26th , 03  I was hospitalized for 24 hours with Pneumonia, and released. I believe this was the time I was also given prednisone.

I started meds on October 24th,03.   The regimen I started on was Viramune , epivir, and Zerit.   The Zerit was changed within about a month and a half to Ziagen.  I am still o the same regimen.  For a while , I was also taking Viread ( Started viread around July or August of 2004. And stoped the Viread October of 09. Also between October of 03 to march or April of 04, I was on Trizivir, for about 3 weeks. I got off that quickly and went back to the other regimen.  

I was also on Dapsone from October of 03 to 8/30/04.  It took to 8/30/04 to get my t-cells about 200.


if you had to do it over again would you have started HAART as soon as it was available?

No, I would not have started on AZT back in 1985 0r 1986.


Ray
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 10:10:07 AM by J.R.E. »
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of DEC 9th, 2013,  t-cells are at 437 Viral load  <40 .

 Current % is at 16% (L)

  
 62 years young.

Offline WillyWump

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,018
Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2010, 10:19:35 AM »
I started within 6 months due to consistent and fairly rapid numbers decline. My doc keyed on the percentage rather than the CD4/VL. I went from 29% to 11% within 6 months.

Did you wait until the current recommended treatment guidelines or take a more proactive approach? -  Waited until current (at the time) guidlines of 350.

Did you wait until new/improved treatments came out? - No, I was oblivious to the treatment options.

Did the presence of any OIs affect your decision or did you base it on lab results or a combination? - Lab results only, no. OI's. Although I had a mystery rash that went away after HAART.

If you started early, do you regret not waiting? If you started later, do you regret waiting too long? - I wished I had started ealier (around 500) given the ease of my regimin.

How big a consideration was the financial aspect? Definite concern, but not a deal-breaker.

Did you ever get a second opinion or consult another doctor before starting? - No.

Were you recruited into a study (like START) - No.


-Will

POZ since '08

Last Labs-
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%
8/9/12, CD4 not taken, UD.
2/13/12, CD4- 904, UD 42%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline bufguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 159
Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2010, 12:04:55 PM »
I took a "Home Access" test myself and found I was positive by phone in May 2008
I immediately scheduled an appt. with the Immuno center at the county hospital. Positive with Oraquick. Western Blot confirmed positive two days later. I had blood drawn, returned to my doctor 1 week later. Numbers were CD4 511, Vl 47,000. To my surprise he recommended I start immediately with Atripla.
His reasoning was that I was educated, motivated and would remain adherhent....very insightful doc...lol.
Why wait.

I have no regrets. I am healthier now than 2 years ago. I exercize 6 days a week, have lost 20 lbs and can run a 21:30 5k...not bad for a guy almost 50.
With all the studies showing concerns with immflamation and latent untreated HIV, I find no reason not to start early.

If you have good insurance, will stay adherhent I say start.
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 Billy B

  • Member
  • Posts: 374
Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2010, 02:26:30 PM »
I won the genetic sweepstakes and my body was able to control the virus for over 15 years. I don't know exactly when I was infected but I found out in mid 94. I cd4s stayed around 500 but recently fell to 350 so it was time to start. After the Atripla trip out, I started Isentress & Truvada and have had a great 7 months with very little problems.
Billy
VL 4420 CD4 340 CD4% 24   3/15/10 Started I&T
VL  UD   CD4 340 CD4% 26.5 05/13/10
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.1 08/3/10
VL  UD   CD4 310 CD4% 28.4 11/22/10
VL  UD   CD4 420 CD4% 27.9 02/11/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 26.4 06/08/11
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.7 09/23/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.3 01/20/12
VL  UD   CD4 430 CD4% 28.8 05/11/12
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.1 09/07/12
VL  UD   CD4 390 CD4% 32.3 03/14/13

Offline natthai

  • Member
  • Posts: 130
  • The truth is not determined by majority vote.
Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2010, 03:30:45 PM »
I won the genetic sweepstakes and my body was able to control the virus for over 15 years. I don't know exactly when I was infected but I found out in mid 94. I cd4s stayed around 500 but recently fell to 350 so it was time to start. After the Atripla trip out, I started Isentress & Truvada and have had a great 7 months with very little problems.
Billy

Fascinating, I may be a controller but its too early to tell. Suring this time what were your VL numbers?

Aside from good genes can you think of anything else that might have contributed to your slow progression? Were you eating a diet high in something (red meat)? Were you sleeping a lot at nights? did you have a very low stress lifestyle?

Where you taking any other supplements or pharmaceuticals, even ones not associated with HIV for example: (melatonin for sleep) or (Acyclovir for Herpes Simplex outbreaks) etc?

Do you have a list of your labs, I would love to see them, analyze how steady your numbers were.

What happened with Atripla?
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline madbrain

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,208
  • No longer an active member
    • My personal site
Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2010, 05:03:58 PM »
Time before treatment is just one variable that plays into the decision, there are many others that are much more important, such as your CD4/VL, whether they are stable or declining, and of course how well or badly you feel. Everybody progresses differently so I don't see a lot of value in the poll.
Also, it doesn't say what the starting point is. Time from infection ? Or diagnosis ?

Offline Matty the Damned

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,160
Re: ...and what factors played an important part in your decision?
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2010, 05:08:36 PM »
I know this would just be a guess but why do you think your disease progressed so much faster than say J.R.E. who described being in good health for many years? It seems that some people get it hard and fast and some people progress very slowly. Other than good genetics, any idea why this is? I have been researching a lot but I haven't found a good answer to this.

In other words, what factors most affect disease progression?

I dunno. I've never really considered it at great length in a personal sense. Maybe I'm a Short Term Fast Progressor. :)

MtD

Offline Billy B

  • Member
  • Posts: 374
Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2010, 06:01:50 PM »
Fascinating, I may be a controller but its too early to tell. Suring this time what were your VL numbers?

Aside from good genes can you think of anything else that might have contributed to your slow progression? Were you eating a diet high in something (red meat)? Were you sleeping a lot at nights? did you have a very low stress lifestyle?

Where you taking any other supplements or pharmaceuticals, even ones not associated with HIV for example: (melatonin for sleep) or (Acyclovir for Herpes Simplex outbreaks) etc?

Do you have a list of your labs, I would love to see them, analyze how steady your numbers were.

What happened with Atripla?

I quit smoking when I found out that I was +. I also slowed way down on my drinking and have stopped now that my liver is filtering HIV medications. I have never taken any meds or supplements.
No special diet for me. I have always eaten what I wanted but I have tried to eat correctly. One thing to note is that I very low cholesterol levels. My IDS commented on this early on.
Over the years my VL bounced has between 2000 & 8500.
The Aptipla (Sustiva) made me insane and anyone who has had the reaction knows what I am talking about.
Billy
VL 4420 CD4 340 CD4% 24   3/15/10 Started I&T
VL  UD   CD4 340 CD4% 26.5 05/13/10
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.1 08/3/10
VL  UD   CD4 310 CD4% 28.4 11/22/10
VL  UD   CD4 420 CD4% 27.9 02/11/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 26.4 06/08/11
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.7 09/23/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.3 01/20/12
VL  UD   CD4 430 CD4% 28.8 05/11/12
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.1 09/07/12
VL  UD   CD4 390 CD4% 32.3 03/14/13

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2010, 06:06:04 PM »
One of my best friends has gone 15 years without being on HIV meds -- seven of those years he had a hardcore meth habit.  There's no rhyme or reason to this eternal question that appears on this forum.  It is what it is.
"Ive slept with enough men to know that Im not gay"

Offline numbersguy82

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2010, 06:15:45 PM »
For me personally I would have started meds right away regardless of my counts. Ofcourse I had no choice, but I was prepared either way. I read up on both sides of the argument, and I tend to think an untamed HIV virus would do more damage to my body than my medications would. I dunno Im  a major newbie, and haven't been on the meds long enough to stop having side effects, but from someone who read A LOT of research that is how I was leaning.
8/10- 73 cd4, 7%, and 300k VL *First Labs*
9/10- Started Norvir, Prezista, and Truvada
10/10- 511 cd4, 22%, and 886 VL
12/10- 498 cd4, 22%, and 106 VL
3/11- 529 cd4, 29%, and 101 VL
8/11- 620 cd4, 30%, and 74 VL- Switched to Atripla
10/11- 580 ce4, 30%, and 62 VL
12/11- 684 cd4, 31%, and FINALLY *UD*

Offline numbersguy82

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2010, 06:16:49 PM »
Ofcourse can I add that I've always had a weak immune system. I mean every time I fly I will get a cold or something. If someone at school was sick I would get it. I dunno everyone is diff I guess.
8/10- 73 cd4, 7%, and 300k VL *First Labs*
9/10- Started Norvir, Prezista, and Truvada
10/10- 511 cd4, 22%, and 886 VL
12/10- 498 cd4, 22%, and 106 VL
3/11- 529 cd4, 29%, and 101 VL
8/11- 620 cd4, 30%, and 74 VL- Switched to Atripla
10/11- 580 ce4, 30%, and 62 VL
12/11- 684 cd4, 31%, and FINALLY *UD*

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2010, 06:28:14 PM »
Started the same day that I was diagnosed; about three weeks after being infected (and while still undergoing a very unfabulous seroconversion).  I know it is not the norm, but I don't regret it one single minute.

Each person's experience is too unique and not really applicable to what others may be going through.
"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 Miss Philicia

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2010, 06:31:40 PM »
I was diagnosed with teh AIDS (~164 cd4) in 1993 and was probably infected in early 1988.  They wanted me to pop AZT  and ddI (videx) immediately, but I told them I didn't want any poison pills and trotted off to a get acupuncture.  That lasted about 2 weeks and then I caved in with the pills and have never looked back.
"Ive slept with enough men to know that Im not gay"

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2010, 06:52:43 PM »
I was diagnosed with HIV in 1993, and had the terrific luck to develop an AIDS-defining condition (pcp) by 1994. I was put on AZT, which was dosed at a relatively high level, so I basically felt like I had the flu for a year.

After a year, however, I said "screw that" and stopped. And luckily again, within the next year, the first generation of protease inhibitors came out. Dreadful things, especially the nasty first gen Viracept. It was not coated, was well nigh impossible to swallow, and caused intestinal distress to a level that mortified me daily.

Since then, I have experimented with almost ALL of the PI offerings, and thanks to web searches (such as this this) I managed to avoid drugs that cause lipo. My adherence was really hit-or-miss, mainly miss.

Right now I am on Isentress, Norvir booster, Prezista, and Truvada.  I have chosen to take the Isentress once a day instead of twice, after hearing about the studies being done.

I really do think that much of my side-effects issues have simply been from overdosing on the drugs. Again, luckily, newer developments have inspired the drug companies to put out versions of the drugs that are better absorbed, and therefore have less unwanted effects.

I started my drugs because I felt I had no choice. Now I have choices, albeit not nearly as many as the newly diagnosed or drug naive.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2010, 06:59:39 PM »



    I was infected on April 9, 2005 around the time of 2 Am...  Diagnosed September 14, 2005.  Started meds in December of 06.  I started treatment because I had to, numbers were bad.
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline Boze

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2010, 09:04:09 PM »
Infected Aug 2008, diagnosed Mar 2010 (690 cd4, 20k vl), started treatment Jun 2010 (600 cd4, 5k vl).

My rationale here: http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=32667.msg401719#msg401719

I am of the belief that if one can afford it, it's best to start sooner. I asked to start treatment before my cd4 declines to 500. In the UK the govt pays for the drugs, in other countries they can be had for $150 per month for generic.

I don't think there will be any better treatment options for the next 5 years.

I had no symptoms or Ois.

So far I had no side-effects. I take a pill before going to sleep and had no issues. If I forget to take it at night and take it in the morning I feel very groggy whole day.

I consulted leading HIV practitioners in the field via email and they all said that they would personally start ASAP as long as they knew that they could afford treatment / keep taking it every day.

A large part of my decision to start treatment was making my viral load below detection, thus effectively not transmittable via vaginal/oral sex.
==========
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 Joe K

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2010, 09:42:00 PM »
In 1985 there were no drugs to treat HIV. AZT was the first one I tried, in 1987 and I have been on some form of meds ever since. We didn't have all the tests or indicators and if not for clinical trials, I doubt I would still be here. I had access to the cutting edge drugs, of the time and I am sure that is why I survived. In a way, becoming poz back then, was so much easier than now. Back then, at least you had access to drugs. Today, with all these programs and waiting lists, it must be very scary to wonder how you can be assured of access to live saving drugs for decades.

I'm one of the lucky ones, in that I am also Canadian, so we live in Montreal and pay $75 per month for all of our drugs. Back in the States, our copays alone for Medicare Part D, were in excess of $8k before we moved from Florida. The thought that they can cut you off, from live saving drugs, by changing eligibility whenever they want, is no way to keep your stress levels down. Having to scramble every six months for benefits, is no way to live.
Life is what happens, when you are busy making other plans.

Though you may be only one person in the entire world, to one person, you may be the entire world.

I wish to become half the man, that my dog thinks I am.

Remember me with simple acts of kindness and I will live forever.

Offline mecch

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2010, 10:42:52 AM »
edited:  I think you get comments in the thread that enlighten you. As for the poll, it is designed in a way that will lead to results of little use to a newly diagnosed person these days, about when to start treatment.  Just saying.  Do I need to explain why?  If so, I'll try.

In a nutshell, time from infection to treatment is the key issue.  Treatment is related to the need for treatment because of HIV progression.  If someone was infected years before diagnosis, he/she may need treatment soon after diagnosis.  That information can't show in the design of this poll, depending on how one interprets the question.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 10:55:12 AM by mecch »
From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need 1875 K Marx

Offline natthai

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2010, 11:42:50 AM »
edited:  I think you get comments in the thread that enlighten you. As for the poll, it is designed in a way that will lead to results of little use to a newly diagnosed person these days, about when to start treatment.  Just saying.  Do I need to explain why?  If so, I'll try.

In a nutshell, time from infection to treatment is the key issue.  Treatment is related to the need for treatment because of HIV progression.  If someone was infected years before diagnosis, he/she may need treatment soon after diagnosis.  That information can't show in the design of this poll, depending on how one interprets the question.

This is a very good point and I thought about it for 30 minutes before I made the poll however I could not come up with an unambiguous way to represent time from infection to treatment as many people do not know when they were infected (like you said).

Of course this can in itself lead to a good discussion as to the importance of universal access to testing and advocacy of programs that remove the fear and stigma associated with testing.

Anyway, if I asked it in the way you mention many people may not vote at all or would reply with a comment stating that they do not know their infection date and the discussion would not be as fruitful. So what I decided was to make a poll focusing on a limited metric, something specific that a poll can measure and that most people can participate in, the function of which is to open up the dialogue.

As you said, the real benefit here is the comments that responders of the poll. Their thinking. thought processes, considerations, rational as to when to start their own treatment. Hearing about these issues really opens up a dialogue and helps newly diagnosed people to start thinking about the big picture. I am a believer that the more information one has the better position they put themselves in to make a good decision. The poll is the first part, it draws participants in and encourages a discussion but the real gold is in the discussion itself... and so far so good.

All that having been said, the poll can show some interesting data. For example, right now over 37% of the responders have said they started treatment withing 6 months of less of getting a diagnosis. Although this does not reveal date of infection in relation to date of start of treatment it does reveal an attitude that once people realize they need treatment they seek it. Discussions like this one can help.

Finally, a follow up poll might address your concern: What if we take the comments from this poll, and select the 10 most reported reasons WHY people start treatment. Then allow posters to multi-select the top 3 or 5 reasons why they started treatment. This could potentially be very informative however in order to get an idea what the top 10 reasons are we need this preliminary poll to gather feedback.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 11:54:50 AM by natthai »
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline tednlou2

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2010, 01:49:15 AM »
How many of those 37% were at a point where they really had to start meds due to low CD4 or OI's?  How many had very good numbers but decided to start due to wanting to hit hard and early or feeling tired, or had more illnesses they felt were due to HIV, and felt they should go ahead and start?

I look at those here who started meds right away even with good numbers.  I wonder everyday what is best for me.  We all have these questions--Am I allowing HIV to do more damage by not starting than any possibility of toxicity would do?  For now, I have thought why start meds if my numbers are still decent.  Why get into dealing with how to get the meds, possible toxicities, and possible resistance issues if I don't have to right now.  On the other hand, I think if I should get ill I would be wondering why I waiting around. 

My doc moved my appt to 4 months instead of 3.  I did not like this as my last percentage was 20%.  I felt I would only be comfortable going longer once I'm on meds and stable.  I went ahead and did my bloodwork at the 3 month mark.  I was going to call today to get the results, but then I started thinking my labs are going to be bad (always feel this way) and maybe I should just wait another month for that perceived bad news instead of dealing with it now.  I felt there is nothing I can do about it now, so I may as well have another month to hear the news.  Then, I felt that is stupid.  If something was wrong, I should know now.  So, I'll call Monday.  And, I'm going to tell the doc that I want to stay at 3 month visits.  He said if something was wrong, he would call me.  Worrying about letting HIV go without meds is making me want to take the plunge sooner than I planned. 

Offline aztecan

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2010, 02:56:13 AM »
They didn't have meds when I was diagnosed in 1985.

I didn't start treatment until 1996, 11 years later. I was lucky, I didn't need it until then.

It was just that, though, pure luck.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline carousel

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2010, 05:05:58 AM »
It's been six and a half years since I was diagnosed and am not currently on treatment.  Mainly, because my results were pretty good for most of that time, though my viral load has jumped up and down over the years.

This last year, my CD4 counts have been going down and sit currently at 351.  When I saw my consultant a few weeks ago, he did not think I should go on treatment and we've decided to wait until my next appointment on New Year's Eve. 

In answer to your questions:
Did you wait until the current recommended treatment guidelines or take a more proactive approach?

I've been aware (though not very thoroughly) of treatment guidelines and am aware that I am on the cusp of when I need to start treatment.

Did you wait until new/improved treatments came out?

Nope.

Did the presence of any OIs affect your decision or did you base it on lab results or a combination?

Not had any OIs really, so it has been led by my results.

If you started early, do you regret not waiting? If you started later, do you regret waiting too long?

Part of me does think I may have waited too long, as I am a bit fearful still about treatment.  Recent reports that going on treatment can cause Post Traumatic Stress did chime with me, though that may just be me being a hypochondriac.

How big a consideration was the financial aspect?

No, am in the UK.  Though might consider splashing out on some new clothes for the event.

Did you ever get a second opinion or consult another doctor before starting?

Not really, though I did change hospitals and consultants, because I was not happy with the service I was getting.

Were you recruited into a study (like START)

No, though I was reading about one recently, that did make me wonder if I should change to their service.  I didn't.

...and any other factors that you used in making your decision.

My doctor is worried that I am not in the greatest of places and a bit low and may not adhere at the moment to the regime.

Offline joemutt

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2010, 12:20:32 PM »
Diagnosed @ 220 CD4/VL 500K in June 1997, and started meds the week after.
Currently 1485 CD4's @ 51%. Doing Well  :) .

Offline natthai

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2010, 12:48:43 PM »
Diagnosed @ 220 CD4/VL 500K in June 1997, and started meds the week after.
Currently 1485 CD4's @ 51%. Doing Well  :) .
Hey Joe,

That CD4 # is excellent. Would you attribute your high CD4 to the fact that you started meds so early? What is your current regiment and have you had to switch?
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2010, 01:19:42 PM »
natthai, there's a recent article you might like called

To start, or not to start?
Leading advocates and physicians offer their thoughts on a new study


LINK:

http://positivelyaware.com/2010/10_04/to_start_or_not_start.shtml

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2010, 01:27:04 PM »
natthai, there's a recent article you might like called

To start, or not to start?
Leading advocates and physicians offer their thoughts on a new study


LINK:

http://positivelyaware.com/2010/10_04/to_start_or_not_start.shtml

That's a nice color shirt Dr. Gallant is wearing in that article, don't you think?
"Ive slept with enough men to know that Im not gay"

Offline Inchlingblue

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2010, 01:34:48 PM »
That's a nice color shirt Dr. Gallant is wearing in that article, don't you think?


Iridescent aubergine?

I love your new avatar, I know who she is but I'm forgetting at the moment. I have a thing about rich and/or stylish old women.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 01:40:04 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline Ann

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2010, 01:37:18 PM »
Hey Joe,

That CD4 # is excellent. Would you attribute your high CD4 to the fact that you started meds so early? What is your current regiment and have you had to switch?

Joe most likely didn't start "early"; with numbers like those he was likely to be hiv positive long before he tested.

Which leads me to say something that occurred to me about how your poll is set up.

You have a choice for people to pick when they started treatment soon after diagnosis, but you don't have any way to differentiate those who had obviously been poz for years (for example, diagnosed with PCP and 3 T-cells) from those who were diagnosed because they tested regularly and tested after a risky incident. In other words, those who were obviously newly infected.

Just because someone is newly diagnosed doesn't mean they're newly infected. Lots of people who start meds right away do so because they've been poz for years and just didn't know it.
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 Rev. Moon

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2010, 01:46:58 PM »
That's a nice color shirt Dr. Gallant is wearing in that article, don't you think?

Meh... I prefer to scroll down that article and look at the pickcha of our own Tim in a hoodie.
"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 joemutt

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2010, 01:55:28 PM »
Joe most likely didn't start "early"; with numbers like those he was likely to be hiv positive long before he tested.

Which leads me to say something that occurred to me about how your poll is set up.

You have a choice for people to pick when they started treatment soon after diagnosis, but you don't have any way to differentiate those who had obviously been poz for years (for example, diagnosed with PCP and 3 T-cells) from those who were diagnosed because they tested regularly and tested after a risky incident. In other words, those who were obviously newly infected.

Just because someone is newly diagnosed doesn't mean they're newly infected. Lots of people who start meds right away do so because they've been poz for years and just didn't know it.

'how many years did you wait' supposes it's possible to decide on start of treatment which is not always a question of choice.

I had too start at that low a CD4 count, so it was rather 'immediately' than 'early' and absolutely necessary, too.  :) The only thing I never understood was that in April 1996 I was negative, maybe it was a false negative. Anyhow, water under the bridge. CD 4's went up quite quickly, luck of the draw, I guess.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 02:00:01 PM by joemutt »

Offline Ann

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2010, 02:03:38 PM »
Thanks for the clarification, Joe.

You most likely were recently infected when you tested poz, given that earlier negative. In fact, with the VL you had, you were probably VERY recently diagnosed as it's quite common for the VL to spike off the charts in the first month or so. With that much hiv in the system, it's not surprising that your CD4s were low as well.

If you had waited and monitored for a few months before starting meds, you most likely would have seen a decrease in VL and an increase in CD4s. That's how it goes in early infection.
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 natthai

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2010, 06:39:08 AM »
Joe most likely didn't start "early"; with numbers like those he was likely to be hiv positive long before he tested.

Which leads me to say something that occurred to me about how your poll is set up.

You have a choice for people to pick when they started treatment soon after diagnosis, but you don't have any way to differentiate those who had obviously been poz for years (for example, diagnosed with PCP and 3 T-cells) from those who were diagnosed because they tested regularly and tested after a risky incident. In other words, those who were obviously newly infected.

Just because someone is newly diagnosed doesn't mean they're newly infected. Lots of people who start meds right away do so because they've been poz for years and just didn't know it.

Hi Ann,

Yeah I am aware of the ambiguity flaw in the poll but I did have a plan. I discussed the limitations a bit with some of the posters above. I couldn't at the time think of a way to structure the poll which would differentiate between newly diagnosed and newly infected seeing as many people might not know when they were infected. The goal was to get as much participation as possible to open up the discussion.

So I thought this would be a good way to open up the dialogue and get some ideas and considerations. So far the participation and feedback have been pretty good. Ultimately what I would like to do is take some of the discussion from the replies to the poll and make a second poll (part 2).

Lets say something like this: What were your top considerations in starting ARV treatment.
Then they could select from a list of the top 10 most common considerations people discussed in their replies to this poll as to the factors they were considering when to start treatment. Then if I could allow a multi-select poll (not sure if this is possible), members could select the top 3 or top 5 factors that played a big part in their decision. However without getting the initial dialogue going, I would not know what these factors are. I took a guess and listed a few that came to mind but being a noob I really wanted to get feedback from those that have already been there. Thanks for the feedback and helping to ensure as rigorous a discussion as possible.
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline natthai

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2010, 06:41:51 AM »
One of my best friends has gone 15 years without being on HIV meds -- seven of those years he had a hardcore meth habit.  There's no rhyme or reason to this eternal question that appears on this forum.  It is what it is.

Is he still alive and healthy today? Meth in itself takes a pretty hard toll on many organ systems in the body... The light that burns twice as bright lasts half as long.
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline Boze

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2010, 07:09:25 AM »
Is he still alive and healthy today? Meth in itself takes a pretty hard toll on many organ systems in the body... The light that burns twice as bright lasts half as long.

I would caution against personal story any that goes "I/My friend/cousin/ex has gone X years without treatment and is doing great". It is as relevant as stories of 110 year-old women who attribute their old age to one glass of red wine a day (ie irrelevant) - the only thing you need to be concerned about is your own CD4 count.

I would split the decision into the following tree:

1) Start at ANY cd4 count because (HIV is damaging body at any count / don't want to be transmittable) or wait until currently recommended cd4 count
   2) Use 500 or 350 as the recommended starting point

I think looking at it this way would simplify your thinking process
==========
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 natthai

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2010, 07:17:05 AM »

I would split the decision into the following tree:

1) Start at ANY cd4 count because (HIV is damaging body at any count / don't want to be transmittable) or wait until currently recommended cd4 count
   2) Use 500 or 350 as the recommended starting point

Those are certainly two good reasons for starting treatment but I suspect that those are not the only two that people consider in making their decision and I wouldn't want to limit it just to those two factors.

For example, several posters on here have commented that they has OIs or their CD4 was very low and thus they had no choice as when to start. What I would eventually like to do is learn what the top 10 considerations the real people experienced with this virus has used in their decision making process and then to see which are the most common.
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2010, 09:23:57 AM »
Is he still alive and healthy today? Meth in itself takes a pretty hard toll on many organ systems in the body... The light that burns twice as bright lasts half as long.

Yes, he's fine.  He got off the drug, went back to school, and is working on his second degree.
"Ive slept with enough men to know that Im not gay"

Offline natthai

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2010, 10:55:35 AM »
Yes, he's fine.  He got off the drug, went back to school, and is working on his second degree.
That is excellent news! I have a friend who is currently struggling with a meth addiction. I also know some guys who attribute their risky behavior (unsafe and indiscriminate sex) and subsequent HIV infection in part to meth. It's a huge problem is this part of the world right now (S.E. Asia) as is HIV. I wonder how much of a correlation there is there.
Infection date: February 14, 2010 (yeah really)
08/03/2010 - CD4 621 (27%) VL 72,250
25/03/2010 - CD4 981 (28%) VL 122,719 <-started anti-oxidants (ABCDE, Se, ALA, NAC)
11/08/2010 - CD4 1,365 (31%) VL 5,451

Offline Ann

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2010, 11:42:39 AM »
I wonder how much of a correlation there is there.

There's a huge correlation. I think there's been a study or two on the subject.
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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 northernguy

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Re: How long before starting treatment (and why)? [poll]
« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2010, 11:44:54 AM »
My numbers were good enough that I waited about 7 years after seroconversion.  However, after I had 3 sets of labs with cd4% of 16% I decided it was time to start.  I also thought it would help with my skin issues, which it hasn't.
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

 


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