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Scared and confused about meds

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Paladin:
It's been 3 days since I received my diagnosis. I have contacted my physician, scheduled an appointment with an hiv specialist. Been online ( where information can be doubtful ) and have read pages and pages of information on reliable sites.  The biggest problem/concern I have is becoming knowledgable about meds before going to the dr. I have insurance and can start meds immediately, but I admit to being scared of the side effects. Am I being to worried about this. It's a cliche that I know many positive people, but since I haven't told any tone yet I can't ask them. Can anyone here help?

mecch:
Sorry about your diagnosis. 

Its only been 3 days. You don't have to learn everything instantly. You don't even know your counts.  Before you jump the gun there's info the doc will get on you and then the doc will recommend what drugs and when you might need them.. Take down THAT info and look more for that stuff specifically, in your info searches. That will be enough extra information for now.

Bring that info into this forum and people can discuss it more with you here, too, of course...

jkinatl2:
Hello!

I will be the first to admit that the learning curve regarding HIV is pretty steep. But if it's at all possible, try to relax. You don't have to know everything today, or tomorrow, or next week. After testing positive, your doctor might refer you to an infectious disease specialist, though many doctors are comfortable treating new/early HIV infections these days.

You will get blood drawn and find out your  cd4 count and viral load. Your doctor might also do a resistance test, to see if the strain of virus is resistant to any classes of medication. Depending on these test results, you might want to hold off on meds until your numbers indicate you should start. Some people find it very empowering to start right away, and some research indicates that this can be a good idea.  Adherence is the major issue there. IMHO, the time to start is when YOU determine that you are ready to adhere to a drug regimen with as close to 100% compliance as possible.

As far as side effects are concerned, most HIV drugs will offer at least some temporary side effects. They often resolve themselves after a few weeks. Some drugs can cause psychological effects, and if you have a history of, of example, major depressive disorder, that might be a red flag to avoid those drugs. Being open and honest with your doctor is crucial. I might go so far as to say that your relationship with your doctor is arguably the most important factor in living (and thriving) with HIV.

As for resources, this site remains the best on the internet. The LESSONS sections are meticulously researched and the level of knowledge here is top-knotch. This site isn't just an aggregate of information from other sites. It's a well-sourced fount of information. You really have come to the right place.

Believe it or not, things are going to be OK. Like every life change, it's an adjustment. But you are more than equal to the task. More importantly, you are not alone.

I am sorry you had to find this place - but I am glad you did.

mikeyb39:
Sorry about your diagnosis.  The one word of advice is to not let your doctor decide your medication.  I started out on Atripla like most newbies do and it did me in with the side effects.  There are now two other one a day pills to choose from.  Research your options before jumping in

As a disclaimer, not everyone has bad side effects to Agrippa, but a lot do

bufguy:
The resources here are great and med options are better then ever. I would read up and then ask your HIV specialist questions. My Doc was an incredible guide for me.
I'm on Atripla and its been great...No side effects, undetectable with a CD4 of 1040. Plus the 1 pill per day makes it an easy regimen

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