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Author Topic: Need to start treatment and overwhelmed - tested positive May 5, 2010  (Read 2422 times)

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Offline SuperDuper

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  • Posts: 24
Hello Forum,
First off, let me say thank you for this forum and all these resources. What a great place to get information and guide me through this overwhelming journey ahead of me. It has been over a year that I have known and now must face starting treatment. i guess i thought i would one of those rare cases where the virus is present but it never takes flight. Well now the proof is in the declining test results my CD4 has hit 290 and VL is 100,000. I have been presented with different drug therapies, all with there own side effects or things to consider. I am leaning towards Atripla but i must say the research i have done scares me a little. The side effects at the onset have me worried about missing work, trying to keep my situation hidden, i don't want to be passed up for promotions or worse find reason for dismissal,not that i am too worried about the latter as i know there are laws about that sort of thing here in Canada. I guess i just am overwhelmed as to what my future will be like. Will i be sick alot while adjusting to the meds, how will my body react? I am seeking out counseling in my city as i have lots to talk about , i need professional counseling and have not addressed this till now. It is taking it's toll on me , my relationship , my sex drive, he loves me very much and is behind me but i know it is alot for him to sign on to. He is negative. He has know from the first kiss that i was positive and it hasn't scared him away.
Gosh, i am all over the map with my rambling on. i guess I just needed to get feedback from someone in regards to Atripla and someone to share similar circumstances with. Thanks for listening!

Offline buginme2

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  • Posts: 2,834
Re: Need to start treatment and overwhelmed - tested positive May 5, 2010
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2011, 08:32:57 PM »
I am on Atripla along with a boatload of other people here.  Everyone will tell you that 1. The time to start your meds is now.  2. In a few months time after starting the side effects will deminish and you'll wonder what all the hub-bub was about.

Offline SuperDuper

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Need to start treatment and overwhelmed - tested positive May 5, 2010
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2011, 08:45:04 PM »
thanks for the info, much appreciated!

Offline vaguesbleues

  • Member
  • Posts: 93
Re: Need to start treatment and overwhelmed - tested positive May 5, 2010
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2011, 10:19:55 PM »
Hey there,

I agree with "buginme2."  Given your numbers, now is certainly the time to start medication.  One quick question: has your doctor run a genotype test?  This will verify if you have any common mutations that might confer some resistance to medication.  This is commonly done very early on in infection, so you might have had it done already and not know it.  I'd double check just to be sure. 

In regards to starting Atripla, I just started 8 days ago, so the first few days and the resultant side effects are pretty fresh in my mind.  If I might, I'd suggest starting on a Friday evening (assuming you work a standard Monday to Friday job) so that would give you a few extra days before having to return to work.  Plan to take it easy the first few days.  I had a pretty strong set of side effects the first day especially (dizziness, night sweats, hallucinations while awake in the middle of the night).  Honestly, looking back I knew it was not real, so it wasn't really THAT bad.  Besides, a lil bit of hallucinations can be kinda funny.  :)  Now that it's been a bit over a week, I have very few side effects anymore.  I don't even notice it if I wake up in the middle of the night except for some slight dizziness.  Just be sure not to eat anything for around 2-3 hrs prior to taking the medication (at least at first) as food in your stomach might intensify the side effects.  I've yet to try taking the medication with any bit of food in stomach, preferring instead to let my body get adjusted to it beforehand. 

And always remember, if after a few months Atripla just isn't working for you, there are many other treatment options that are available for you.  I personally like the convenience of only having to take one pill right before bedtime.  I have an alarm set to go off that reminds me around the time I generally am getting ready for bed so that I make sure to take it. 

Best of luck as you start therapy!  And here's to hoping that you become undetectable soon :) 

Cheers!
03/10/2011 - Tested HIV negative
04/26/2011 - Inconclusive WB result
05/19/2011 - Confirmed HIV positive
                    VL < 50, T-Cell 747 (30%)
06/13/2011 - VL 345, T-Cell 841 (30%)
08/23/2011 - VL 50,100, T-Cell 1155 (19%) - CMV
09/18/2011 - Started Atripla!!
11/07/2011 - VL 489, T-Cell 881 (31%)
02/08/2012 - VL Undetectable!!, T-Cell 772 (34%)
08/08/2012 - VL UD, T-Cell 1070 (42%)
11/05/2012 - VL UD, T-Cell 1174 (35%)
03/18/2013 - VL UD, T-Cell 972 (28%)
10/04/2013 - VL UD, T-Cell 1025 (34%)

Offline SuperDuper

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Re: Need to start treatment and overwhelmed - tested positive May 5, 2010
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2011, 07:43:22 PM »
Thank you vaugesblues. It is reassuring to hear from someone with the experience so fresh in their mind. My doctor did mention the test you talked about. They run it with a sample they keep for that purpose. I guess the next appt, we will talk about the result of that as he didn't have it last appt. He did mention starting it on a Friday. I am planning to take that week of a work since i have some holiday time to use up and give me a chance to rest and be able to deal with what my come my way. I do like the practicality of one pill, hope I take to it without any complications. Thanks for sharing!

Offline vaguesbleues

  • Member
  • Posts: 93
Re: Need to start treatment and overwhelmed - tested positive May 5, 2010
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2011, 10:48:15 PM »
Definitely!  I hope that the treatment works very well for you, and that you don't have too many complications.  Only the first two or three days were really a struggle for me, so you very well might not need to take so much time off of work at least due to side effects of the medicine. 

Best of luck!
03/10/2011 - Tested HIV negative
04/26/2011 - Inconclusive WB result
05/19/2011 - Confirmed HIV positive
                    VL < 50, T-Cell 747 (30%)
06/13/2011 - VL 345, T-Cell 841 (30%)
08/23/2011 - VL 50,100, T-Cell 1155 (19%) - CMV
09/18/2011 - Started Atripla!!
11/07/2011 - VL 489, T-Cell 881 (31%)
02/08/2012 - VL Undetectable!!, T-Cell 772 (34%)
08/08/2012 - VL UD, T-Cell 1070 (42%)
11/05/2012 - VL UD, T-Cell 1174 (35%)
03/18/2013 - VL UD, T-Cell 972 (28%)
10/04/2013 - VL UD, T-Cell 1025 (34%)

 


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