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Author Topic: Will HIV Meds make me sicker?  (Read 1531 times)

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Offline NewGuy2013

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  • Posts: 10
Will HIV Meds make me sicker?
« on: July 13, 2013, 10:27:59 AM »
Hey guys..

Totally new guy here...34yo....
CD4: 297.8 / 26%
VL: 14,746
No symptoms

I just finished treating Syphilis, however, results still came back positive.

This may be a dumb question/doubt, but, from what I read on the net/here, I am afraid that the HIV Meds might actually make me sicker.

Should I start taking them or not? Might they help get rid of the Syphilis totally?

Thanks!

LOST

Online Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Will HIV Meds make me sicker?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2013, 10:41:37 AM »
Hey guys..

Totally new guy here...34yo....
CD4: 297.8 / 26%
VL: 14,746
No symptoms

I just finished treating Syphilis, however, results still came back positive.

This may be a dumb question/doubt, but, from what I read on the net/here, I am afraid that the HIV Meds might actually make me sicker.

Should I start taking them or not? Might they help get rid of the Syphilis totally?

Thanks!

LOST

Hi Newguy and welcome to the forums . HIV treatment isn't an effective treatment for syphilis so you will need to followup up on that with your doctors .

Judging from your lab numbers you may need to begin meds . You may have a few side effects to work through but after your body adjust you should be fine . The common side effects from meds or nausea and diarrhea , the symptoms of not taking HIV meds when you need them is a slow grueling painful death . I would choose meds if I were you .

I'm glad you decided to join us and hope to hear more from you .
« Last Edit: July 13, 2013, 10:46:46 AM by Jeff G »

Offline NewGuy2013

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  • Posts: 10
Re: Will HIV Meds make me sicker?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2013, 07:53:48 PM »
Thanks, Jeff!

I "know" that I should start the Meds ASAP, but the side effects and possible problems that may occur due to the Meds are scary.

However, I truly agree - better than a painful death!


Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Will HIV Meds make me sicker?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2013, 11:25:07 PM »
but the side effects and possible problems that may occur due to the Meds are scary.
you're obviously thinking about meds that people had to take in the 1990s and not the meds of 2013. the meds of today typically produce some minor side effects in the beginning (which many meds HIV and non-HIV do) while a body adjusts to the meds and to the declining amount of HIV in their system. However, afterwards FEW people encounter side effects of much consequence.

Don't believe that meds have improved after 20 yrs of scientific development and improvement?? simply google up the words "package insert" with the med you are considering. Scroll down to the section on side effects. You'll see that while 10% may experience mild, short term side effects, usually less than 4% experience major or long term side effects. (those odds aren't too bad, especially when you remember that nearly 8000 people are killed by aspirin every year)

FYI Meds, and google, are your friends!! Take that piece of advice from a guy who has been on HIV meds for over 21 years (18 different meds all told) and yet is a bazillion times healthier at 51 than he was at 30 when he nearly died from HIV/AIDS

Being scared of the medications is silly, and maybe even stupid.
Being scared of dying from AIDS - well, that's pretty much the reality of not taking the meds.

buck up, talk to your doctor, work out access to meds, get your prescriptions filled, start taking your meds and begin living the rest of your long healthy happy life. Time is wasting and your immune system is already seriously damaged. Stop HIV from hurting you any longer. ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline NewGuy2013

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Re: Will HIV Meds make me sicker?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2013, 08:46:08 AM »
Thanks a million, leatherman! Makes sense!

Really helped clear things up for me and put me a bit more at ease, regarding the meds.
I'll start ASAP.

=)

Offline leatherman

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  • Google and HIV meds are Your Friends
Re: Will HIV Meds make me sicker?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2013, 10:31:12 AM »
I'll start ASAP.
that's very good to hear. Often we just need a little bit of support to realize that meds are a good thing. Personally I think it's a little ironic that so many people take so many meds without a worry, without questioning their doctor; but when asked to take HIV meds people suddenly balk like the doctors don't know what they're talking about or like these meds haven't been through years of development and testing before ever being approved for use. LOL there's just so much crazy stigma (external and internal) around so many aspects of HIV, that's what I wish we had a pill to cure. LOL

It's been shown that often when people hit a low CD4 nadir (the lowest point of cd4 count), it often takes them a long time to recover and they don't recover very well. For example, I hit a low of 5 and it took me 12 years to get above and stay above 200. It also took me that long to hit and stay at undetectable.

Now I'm not suggesting that you won't have a good recovery, what I'm saying is that now that your count has gone below 300 and you have a VL in the thousands, you're making an excellent choice to make sure your immune system isn't damaged any further. Your initial fear of "possible problems" in the future is what could happen if you don't start meds in the very near future.

and my final piece of advice is to remember you might have some side effects at first related to adjusting to the chemicals in the meds and the change in your system as the HIV viral load changes/lowers drastically. Counter-intuitive as it sounds, getting sick like that is a good thing. However let's put you in the 90% range that don't have any side effects at all.  ;)

definitely make sure you come back to this thread or start another one to keep us informed about getting and starting your meds. No need to not have some moral support like we've already been giving you. ;) Plus it's also good to hear the flip side of a beginning diagnosis - the side where people gets on meds, their counts all improve and life goes on well for another person. :D

best wishes to you newguy2013!
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Cojo

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  • Posts: 189
Re: Will HIV Meds make me sicker?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 09:04:58 PM »
Hey Newguy

Two years ago I was in exactly the same place as you> I had tons of anticipatory anxiety about even the thought of taking meds because of all the bad things they'd do to me...or so I was convinced. I can tell you, all that energy invested in worry was a TOTAL waste of time. I had images of being pretty much incapacitated and NOTHING happened....nothing. Leatherman gave me pretty much the same advice as you and he was completely correct.
Here's a thought around reframing - think of the meds as your soldiers, they are on your side and will win the battle against this damn bug....guaranteed. So dwell in gratitude, not fear, get the script, start and ALL will be well.
May 2011 - Tested Positive
June 2011 - CD4 330   16%   VL182,000 no resistance
Oct 6, 2011 - CD4 300  20%  VL 60,000
Oct 7, 2011 - start Truvada / Isentress
Nov 29, 2011 CD4 280 26% VL 54
Feb 7 2012 CD4 260 25% UD!
Mar 20 2012 CD4 400 28%
June 2012 CD4 330 26% UD
Sept 2012 CD4 450 32% UD
Dec 2012 CD4 310 28% UD
May 2013 CD4 500 32% UD
Oct 2013 CD4 460 33% UD
May 2014 CD4 360 33% UD

Offline NewGuy2013

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  • Posts: 10
Re: Will HIV Meds make me sicker?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 05:20:45 AM »
Hey Cojo!

Thanks s much for your comment! It's great to know that I am not crazy nor feeling something that nobody else felt.

I REALLY appreciate all the support!

;)

Offline lincoln6echo

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  • Posts: 109
Re: Will HIV Meds make me sicker?
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2013, 10:45:44 PM »
Not crazy at all newguy. Also went through the same thing earlier this year when I started meds.

It's scary and lots of people will say just get over it. Easier said than done. It's not for others to judge you on how you feel.

That said, once you take the first pill, you'll see it's like any other. then you'll take the next, and then the next. You'll find after a while it becomes just a part of living.

Good luck. You've made the right decision to start.

lincoln.

Offline NewGuy2013

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: Will HIV Meds make me sicker?
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2013, 10:33:09 AM »
Jeff, Leatherman, Cojo & Lincoln,

Thanks so much for all your help and support!
I am now on my 3rd day after starting Meds (which I now refer to as "Vitamins") and have has basically no side effects whatsoever.

I can only wish the same for others and long, healthy and happy lives!!

Be strong and carry on!

=)

Offline Cojo

  • Member
  • Posts: 189
Re: Will HIV Meds make me sicker?
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2013, 05:55:34 PM »
Hey New - day 3...I assume all is good? Let us know how you're doing
May 2011 - Tested Positive
June 2011 - CD4 330   16%   VL182,000 no resistance
Oct 6, 2011 - CD4 300  20%  VL 60,000
Oct 7, 2011 - start Truvada / Isentress
Nov 29, 2011 CD4 280 26% VL 54
Feb 7 2012 CD4 260 25% UD!
Mar 20 2012 CD4 400 28%
June 2012 CD4 330 26% UD
Sept 2012 CD4 450 32% UD
Dec 2012 CD4 310 28% UD
May 2013 CD4 500 32% UD
Oct 2013 CD4 460 33% UD
May 2014 CD4 360 33% UD

Offline NewGuy2013

  • Member
  • Posts: 10
Re: Will HIV Meds make me sicker?
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2013, 06:34:18 PM »
Hey Cojo!

All is great! Basically no side effects, so far... Let's see how things show up on next tests in about a month from now....

Thanks again for all the support!

 


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