Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

Did starting medication make HIV "real" for you?

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--- Quote from: leatherman on September 01, 2012, 11:13:44 AM ---nope. lying in a hospital with doctors telling me I was about to die of PCP made AIDS real for me  ;) A similar situation happens to approx. 1/3 of the people diagnosed as HIV positive. That's how many people find out in the hospital and don't have the "luxury" of debating when or waiting to go onto meds. For us the meds don't make it "real", the meds keep us from dying. The meds are a life-saver.

Considering how many people take daily medications for all sorts of health problems, it seems silly to let HIV stigma make you think disparagingly of the meds. I mean instead of 1 pill a day or so, you could be having to test your blood with a prick and injecting yourself with insulin at every meal! You could be on daily heart meds, having to have your blood checked every week.

Also worrying about side-effects is pretty silly too, as package insert information on the meds clearly shows that short term issues (like dizziness and nausea) happen 10% and less of the time and long term effects (like the ones you listed) usually happen less than 5%. So if at least 90% of most patients don't even have any short or long term effects (and those are pretty damned good odds) why bother worrying about something that probably won't happen?

I've been on meds for 20 yrs now. From AZT, 4 pills every 4 hours every day every week puking the whole time and ending up in the hospital for a blood transfusion from anemia to my current regimen of Reyataz/norvir/Truvada which (after some initial gastro issues) now has no side effects for 8 yrs and has me feeling healthier than I did in all the other decades of HIV meds. I'll tell you what, I would have loved started taking meds in 2012 compared to 1992. ;)

besides in the end the equation is pretty simple:
no meds = HIV becomes AIDS = death
Compared to that, meds don't look bad at all, now do they? ;) :D

--- End quote ---

Same here. HIV became real when I almost died from pneumonia. The pills are not a hassle to me at all...I used to take that Animal Pak stuff for building up muscle, it was 12 pills a day...huuuuge pills, by the way.

Did starting medication make HIV "real" for you?

No. Being in the hospital with pneumonia and AIDS ~~CD4 8 VL 500,000~~ made it real. Taking meds was never an option.

For me I knew I had HIV (2005) but it was a 3 monthly test and everything was ok T Cells fine Viral L reasonable - and yes I suppose that the timing for starting medication was a "luxury", and the decision was mine to make.... so I can see different circumstances lead to different outcomes....

I can appreciate lying in bed with say PCP and being given meds to make you better would be a great thing, so I get that guys...and thanks for your replies...

I will try to "stop projecting dark clouds" and I suppose my depression and anxiety gets the better of me! Trying to focus on the now, but I think to be honest I got really good at forgetting as best I could I had HIV cause I had no symptoms if that makes sense...

Blah blah - Im crapping on here.... this has just been my experience - thanks for the replies though - helps shift the mind!  ;)

In some metaphysical way you will be less infected when you are on HAART because there won't be nearly as much HIV in you!  Its fine you were able to put being HIV+ in a box for many years, and you'll see in a few months its just moving the condition from one box to another, with different advantages.

Miss Philicia:
HIV was real for me before I was even diagnosed, the first time I saw a man covered in KS lesions walking down the street. But hey, you new folks don't ever see any of that these days.


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