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Author Topic: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment  (Read 2502 times)

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Offline Youngandscared

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20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« on: January 25, 2011, 07:57:18 PM »
Hello
I'm a 20 year old male who just found out he is HIV positive.
It all started 6 months Ago when i found a series of bumps on my rectal area, i naturally got scared, so i started searching the net for answers till i decided to visit a doctor, he told me i was infected with hpv and those bumps where anal warts, he prescribed aldara, so i used aldara for over two months but the warts only got bigger and worse, i decided to go a different approach, i stopped smoking, drinking, but i could only stay of recreational drugs during the week, on weekends i always did something, very little but i did. I tried wartrol, i tried acv, everything, at the point where it was a big problem.
One day i decided to randomly take a Bunch of tests to see how overall healthy i was, (since I'm a long time vegetarian i thought maybe i wasn't eating properly) i did the tests and i was perfect on everything except the ELISA came out reactive, i got freaked out, told my mom, she got freaked out too and we went to see a specialist, he told me to take the western blot, so i did and it came out positive. It was inevitable i was infected with HIV. My doctor told me to go And see a proctologist to get the warts cleared out, he did cryosurgery on my anus ( still recovering) and Everyhing went well. My question is this: I'm a very healthy person now, i don't drink, i do exersise, i dint smoke and i am an extremely healthy eater, my CD4 are normal and my viral load is very low, my doctor wants me to start treatment today, I'm just not sure if i want to, i mean I'm 20, if i start taking it today i dint think ill be OK for when I'm 30, I'm thinking future wise, i don't feel sick at all, as a matter of fact i feel healthier than ever, my doctor says its because of the hpv he wants me to start treatment, i need advice, he prescribed truvada and stocrin, i haven't even healed from surgery and he wants to start the treatment right away.... What should i do?? I'm scared and confused, my doctor is not informing me on anything, he and my mom are making choices for me which might affect me forever, I NEED HELP!  ??? ??? ???

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 08:28:49 PM »
Young 'un,

Welcome to the forums. :)

Sorry to hear about the love bumps and the fairy 'flu -- it's a rough old world, eh?

Before commenting specifically on whether you should start treatment, do you know your exact numbers? VL, CD4 count and percentage?

MtD

Offline Youngandscared

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 08:56:51 PM »
Thak you for the welcomes  :)
I try to keep my spirits up, its the only thing that keeps me sane...
About the numbers, my doctor has my test results, ill post them tomorrow first thing, im thinking about changing my doctor, he keeps telling me that ill die if i dont take them meds, without giving me much of an explanation, i need someone to work with me, not just give me meds and thats it

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2011, 09:35:24 PM »
Thak you for the welcomes  :)
I try to keep my spirits up, its the only thing that keeps me sane...
About the numbers, my doctor has my test results, ill post them tomorrow first thing, im thinking about changing my doctor, he keeps telling me that ill die if i dont take them meds, without giving me much of an explanation, i need someone to work with me, not just give me meds and thats it

Having a doctor you can work with is important. Successful HIV management is all about a partnership between patient and doctor.

Opinion amongst the medicos about when to start treatment varies quite a bit. Some follow the "hit hard, hit early" approach believing that the sooner meds are started and the viral load suppressed the better. This prevents damage to your immune system.

Others take a more cautious "wait and see" approach for folks with good numbers. Good numbers mean a low VL and a CD4 count at 500 or more. HIV medications can be rough stuff and there is some sense in delaying taking them if you have robust numbers until things seem to be on a bit of a downward slide.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches.

Ultimately the decision to start treatment is yours. No doctor can make you take pills you don't want to take.  But remember, your doctor is an expert and, more than likely, he knows what he's doing. You need to give serious consideration to his advice. By the same token he has to honour your right to consent to any course of treatment. You may need to be a bit assertive with him.

Taking HIV medications requires some dedication. Missing doses is a no-no. You need to take them properly or not at all to avoid things such as viral resistance and treatment failure. If you aren't ready to commit to HAART then, in my opinion, you're better off waiting and working out why you're not ready.

Remember, there is (usually) no reason to rush into these things. Take your time and do your research. I recommend that you take the time to check out our excellent Treatment Lessons if you haven't already. They're comprehensive yet written in ordinary English.

Do keep us updated. :)

MtD

Offline Youngandscared

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2011, 10:02:35 PM »
Ok i have just taken them once, will this affect in any way?? I had such a rough night and i know in my guts im not supposed to take them yet, my doctor didnt tell me how toxic these meds are for you, i took my first dose yesterday night and researched all day today... Please answear today... I need to know if one take will be enough to make resistance??

Offline kellybryana

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 10:05:21 PM »
Hiya. I'm kind of in the same boat as you. I'm 23, and I had hpv 3 years ago (the lovely strain that causes warts) and got treated for it, and I was diagnosed with HIV in October. My doctor is pushing the treatment thing on me too. I work out regularly, and I eat very well. I am a vegetarian too (I eat seafood though). I haven't gotten any results with numbers back yet either (I go in on Monday for that)

I have made the personal decision not to go on meds until I have gotten at least 2 test results back, to see the trend in progression of HIV in my body. That gives me at least 4 months to read, make any lifestyle changes, and prepare emotionally and psychologically in the case that I decide to go on meds. I also ordered HIV: an essential guide for the newly diagnosed written by Brett Grodeck. I ordered a used copy on amazon for like $7 total. That includes shipping and handling and what not. It actually just arrived today, woop woop! So, for the next few months, I am going to read that book, do some soul searching, and relax.

I think it could be beneficial for you to change doctors. I've read a lot, and developing a good relationship with your doctor is really important. Going on medication is a personal choice, and you are not going to die if you wait a few months to go on medication. Everything is going to be OK! I hope I helped a bit, and you can always PM me if you want to talk. We have a lot in common!

Also, as I've shared in my thread in the newly poz section, my neighbor is a long term survivor. He's been positive since before I was even conceived, and he didn't go on medication for years. He actually got down to a cd count of 85 before he even thought about starting medication. That may not be the smartest thing  to do, but he is alive and kickin. He has never had any OI's or really any side effects at all. No lipodystrophy, no crazy sicknesses. So take your time, and decide what's right for you.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 10:16:04 PM »
Ok i have just taken them once, will this affect in any way?? I had such a rough night and i know in my guts im not supposed to take them yet, my doctor didnt tell me how toxic these meds are for you, i took my first dose yesterday night and researched all day today... Please answear today... I need to know if one take will be enough to make resistance??

Well no if you stop taking them after one dose, you won't develop resistance. It's if you have an erratic adherence regime that problems can arise. Like missing doses on a regular basis.

A couple of things, firstly these meds are not really all that toxic. Truvada is widely used and very well tolerated in most people. It can, for a minority of folks, cause kidney problems but this is usually not very serious and can be managed by reducing the dose or changing the medication. Your doctor should monitor your kidney function if you take Truvada.

Stocrin can cause some people to have mental health issues such as mood swings, sleep disturbances and vivid dreaming. It can also make you feel pretty stoned for the first couple of weeks to a month. Almost everyone who has those side effects get over them and tolerate the combination very well. Truvada+Stocrin is a powerful regimen which supresses the virus very well.

So the idea that these medications are super duper toxic is not very accurate. Older HIV meds such as d4T, ddI and indinavir were pretty awful and caused a lot of the people who took them great woe and misery. The newer pills are much friendlier.

Like I said, the ultimate decision about treatment is yours. If you really don't feel ready to take them, then don't. But make sure you discuss your decision with your doctor. He needs to be aware that you're having second thoughts and have stopped your treatment.

Untreated HIV infection is serious stuff. Deadly serious. You don't want to let your immune get fucked up because you were nervous about knocking back a handful of tablets before you go to bed at night.

Take it from me, letting your immune system get trashed by HIV is a really bad idea.

MtD

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 10:35:20 PM »
PLEASE listen to Matty. The guy knows what he is talking about.


"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 richie

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2011, 10:47:24 PM »
Youngster --

You've gotten some good advice from Matty and Kelly.  I've been a pozzie for over 12 years, and taken drugs for about 10.  Don't worry, you'll be fine and will eventually trust your body again.  Every cold doesn't = death, and every headache isn't cancer.  You've found out early, which puts you at the top of the list for having the best results, and making this, as they say, a long-term mangeable issue for you.

If your Dr. is "forcing" the issue of meds, he may have reasons (if he doesn't then switch Drs!).  But you don't say what your numbers are.  If your CD4s are 350 or less, I'd start meds (that's what I did).  You have advantages -- 1) you're young, 2) the meds are much better today, 3) you discovered your HIV early, and 4) your Dr. is prescribing an optimal regimen.  It really has nothing to do with "how you feel" today.  It's a numbers game.  If you let your CD4s drop to very low numbers (<200), then won't typically recover to "normal" levels as easily.  Catching the CD4s at 350 and above seems to (according to most studies) offer the best chance of long-term higher CD4s (like 600, 700+) which is significant.  Everyone is different in their response rate of recovery, but 350 is still about the right starting point.

No matter which meds you start, you might have side effects, most probably only for the first 30 days.  Aidsmeds offers endless lessons on how to deal with these, and you should pay attention to them -- they work.  Got a rash?  Get rid of it.  Got diarhea?  Get rid of it.  There's nothing you'll go through that 10s of thousands haven't already, and their advice is well-documented in the Aidsmeds lessons.  You've come to the right place.  

Best,

--rich
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 11:44:53 PM by richie »

Offline Youngandscared

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2011, 11:12:29 PM »
Thank you for your comments and advice, i will not take my meds today until i talk to my doctor on thursday, i want him to explain everything to me and make me part of the treatement, its my life were talking about anyway. Im not saying i wont take them i just want him to let me choose and let me know my options... Ill keep you posted on everything... My appointment is on thusrday.
Thank yoou very much!

Offline Youngandscared

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2011, 10:08:01 PM »
hello to you all...
Today I had my doctors appointment, we discussed why it was best for me to start treatment, he told me that he wasn't considering my numbers (VL:8290 CD4:457) he was more concerned about the Human pappiloma virus, since last time it grew so much i had to get surgery he says that the only way to control that is by starting treatment, i think that he has convinced me though I'm still going to get a second opinion on sunday... thank you very much for your comments they really make my day :)

Offline james3000

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2011, 11:07:31 PM »
I do not know where you live but I had help from an aids service organization they have helped me so much. The one here has been amazing the counselling and support is beyond anything I would of imagined.

Offline Youngandscared

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2011, 11:36:47 PM »
I live in mexico city... we also have those centers here in the city, though my doctor works privately Im going to try to go to a center for support and other oppinions, either way if i decide to start treatment it will be on monday.

thank you

Offline james3000

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 12:01:08 AM »
Young and scared I know what it is like to be treated for HPV the main thing is that you are aware of the virus in your body. So they will know to keep a watch on any changes that is a big plus.
Try not to be too scared the treatments work and new meds are coming up all the time better and better.
:)

Offline richie

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2011, 01:46:38 PM »
I live in mexico city... we also have those centers here in the city, though my doctor works privately Im going to try to go to a center for support and other oppinions, either way if i decide to start treatment it will be on monday.

thank you

I agree with you that a second opinion is warranted.  Cryo was a good option for your warts, and it's usually a permanent solution (at least it was for me)!  Starting therapy to alleviate HPV is, in my opinion, a strange reason.  I can only speak for what I would do, knowing what I know today (as opposed to when I was first diagnosed long ago).  Your numbers are actually damn good.  So you have lots of time to investigate, mull the decision, and understand all your options.  Based on what you've said on this thread, I don't see any medical emergencies requiring your therapy startup immediately.   If possible, see a Dr. who specializes in HIV and is willing to work with, and explain options for you.

Best,

--rich

Offline mecch

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2011, 01:54:00 PM »
You can doctor shop but the result will be this:  some doctors want to treat with HAART rather "preventively" (prevent destruction caused by HIV infection) and rather quickly, even right away at diagnosis, no matter the stage. Other doctors want to follow treatment guidelines recommended by nations.  

So finally you will have to be educated about both options and be ready to make the decision.

So it might help to know if there are treatment guidelines in Mexico - for example, they may not be the same at all, as in the USA.

Oh, and the opinion of two doctors experienced in HIV would certainly clarify matters.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline eric48

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Re: 20 years old and doctor wants to start treatment
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2011, 07:55:03 AM »
he wasn't considering my numbers (VL:8290 CD4:457)
he was more concerned about ...

Just a few thoughts to help you through your personal research.

A - Seems like your Doc in on top (of things... LOL)
B - at fairly high CD4 count, the value to look at is the CD4 PERCENTAGE, (as you most likely already know) more than the count itself.
C - life is made of many risks and risk assessment and management requires some scoring and ranking. In so doing, HIV gives you a number of 'bad marks' depending on where you really stand with regards to the control of that infection (see point B). Any other serious infection (TB, VHC,...) gives you bad marks as well. Fine, this is easy enough to understand... Similar to the so called metabolic syndrome (search google), scoring systems should being refined to include the fact that coexistence itself of conditions give extra bad marks on top of each condition by itself
D - medication is a risk, but the bad marks you are getting from modern meds is greatly reduced as compared to even a few years ago.
E - you may want to look into recent claims by Merck that Raltegravir (one of the most recent, unfortunately expensive, meds) is also helpfull against Herpetic viruses. It may help you in applying for meds cost coverage.

Your (young) age is currently your most valuable asset. It will not last forever. People age differently.
IMHO, letting these viruses out of control will most likely impair your ability to age in a normal fashion...

Cheers

Eric
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 07:57:17 AM by eric48 »
NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD; CD4 > 1000; CD4/CD8 ~ 2.0   safety stock : 3 months (2013: FOTO= 5d. ON 2d. OFF ; 2014: NCT02157311 = 4d. ON, 3d. OFF)

 


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