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Author Topic: Oxycontin Addiction  (Read 4137 times)

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Offline Maestro

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Oxycontin Addiction
« on: January 31, 2007, 08:16:17 AM »
I've brought this up before, but now I guess it has the 'official stamp'.  I've always know my uncle was addicted to oxycontin.  He's taking 2 pills 3x a day (I want to say he's taking 90mg pills...but I'm not sure)...

Before any of this happened, he was definelty addicted but it was almost like the doctors let it ride because he has AIDS (yes...I know the term is outdated, but this was the impression)...Once I got involved and saw all the pills he was taking, I was shocked.  When he was recovering in the ICU, the ICU doc told him that the 'coma' he was in cleaned him out of any addictions.  The doc also told him it was time to stop taking so many pills.  While recovering at the rehab hospital, he started on a lower dose of oxycontin (complaining of PNP again).  However, he told us all the didn't want to go back to the full strength.  Yet 1 month later, there he was back at full strength.

Now that he is back on his own, he is running low on pills.  He has seen 3 docs (2 pain docs, 1 pain psychiatrist) and they all told him he was addicted and he needs help.  Of course, he left the office saying they are full of shit.  Now he is fishing around for new pain docs that will give him his pills.

What do I do?  Has anyone been through this before?  Is the oxycontin bad for him or should we just leave it alone?  If I bring it up with him, he will definetly flip out.

Thanks as always,

M

Offline jack

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2007, 08:35:13 AM »
painkillers like vicaden and oxycontin are highly addictive. oxycontin has been compared to heroin. People from Brett Farve to Rush Limbaugh have become addicted to these drugs. Most start taking them for physical pain and end up for the worse as a slave to these drugs. I developed a vicoden addiction while recovering from double Frozen shoulder(caused by crix). I was on the crap for 7 months. I went cold turkey. Spent a week wrapped up in a blanket shivering and crying. Not fun.
my dentist asked me if I wanted any vicoden last week, I had to fight the urge to say YES. I won.

Offline koi1

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2007, 09:15:29 AM »
This addiction is like others. Your uncle has to accept that he has it. I just got a close friend to get into recovery after constantly reminding him that he had a problem. I must admit that nothing happened until he decided to do something. i don't know how mentally competent your uncle is, all I can say is that you should not give up on this point, as I didn't give up on my friend.

rob
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Offline Maestro

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2007, 09:40:59 AM »
This addiction is like others. Your uncle has to accept that he has it. I just got a close friend to get into recovery after constantly reminding him that he had a problem. I must admit that nothing happened until he decided to do something. i don't know how mentally competent your uncle is, all I can say is that you should not give up on this point, as I didn't give up on my friend.

rob

Thanks for info.  That's just it though.  No way he goes for help.  I'm his only connection to the outside world.  If I confront, he will cut me out of his life and then he will have no one at all in his life.  So as far as mentally competent, he really isn't.  So I know he won't stop taking the pills any time soon.  That got me wondering if they are physically bad for you, or just addictive behaviorally (if that is such a word)..

M

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2007, 10:38:56 AM »
Maestro,you're absolutely right about your uncle. He is an addict.

No matter how much you may want to do something about his addiction, it is simply not within your power to get him to stop using unless he chooses to get help. It's very hard for a concerned onlooker to accept that, but I am telling you after years of experience what is so.

You cannot control this situation. For an ordinary person looking at the situation rationally it's very hard to stand by and feel helpless. Addicts operate by a different set of rules than than do what I call "civilians."

Until if and when your uncle hits what is called "a bottom," a place where HE realizes and accepts that his life has become unmanageable, until such time you cannot do anything. HE has to want to be helped and nothing you are saying now nor have said in the past suggests he is accessible in that way. 

This is tough stuff to live with and deal with. I'm telling you how I see it as simply as possible.

Andy Velez

Offline Lisa

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2007, 11:03:24 AM »
Just a couple of other quick comments for you Maestro.
Oxy IS physically addicting, and hopefully the docs will catch on before he doctor shops himself into another ICU bed.
Oxy slows the entire gastrointestinal tract down. This will interfere with his absorption of meds correctly, and likely cause incredible constipation.(unless he is sipping cascara every couple of hours)
It also depresses respirations, and the cough reflex, in which case he is setting himself up for another pneumonia.
Unfortunately Andy is correct. There is little you can do, but be vigilant.
You obviously care for him a great deal, and I am glad that you have stepped up in his behalf. Hang in there.
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
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Offline bear60

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2007, 11:06:09 AM »
Look...Maestro.... do you sometimes feel you are trying to stop a train wreck?  Thats how I felt with a friend of mine who was deeply addicted to all kinds of painkillers and antidepressants and uppers and downers and meth and coke and pot and well you name it. He LIKED being at the BOTTOM.  He hit bottom and just loved it.  He found multiple doctors ans got prescriptions from them all.  He moved his 90 yr old Mom into his house so he could get her social security check and her access to drugs.
We could do nothing but wait for someone to tell us he had died...and that day came.
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Maestro

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2007, 11:13:09 AM »
Bear...You said it perfectly my friend.  It is like trying to stop a train wreck!

One of the problems here is that he is actually very wealthy now (his parner left him a fortune when he died) so getting the money for these drugs is not a problem!  If he was broke and needed money for the drugs, I could work with that because he is not very mobile so he cant work (or rob people!)...

It is actually very easy for him to find new doctors for the meds.  Apparently the pain doctors are very sympathetic when a frale man walks in with a cane complaining of PNP due to AIDS...They just start throwing pain pills at him.  It is almost like some of the pain docs think because he has HIV he is dying soon anyways...Dont they read these forums!?  :)

I think you put it best by saying all I can really do is wait around to hear he is dead...sad, but true.

By the way, is it possible to take oxycontin every day for 7 years and NOT become an addict?

M
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 11:16:34 AM by Maestro »

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2007, 11:56:25 AM »
Don't question if it's an addiction or not.  Oxy is heroin in a bottle, pretty much nothing more or less -- they're both opiates.  Would your uncle feel different about his addiction if he was doing heroin?  Probably, because it's not in a bottle, which in many respects makes owning up to an Oxy addiction harder for some people.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline jack

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2007, 01:11:28 PM »
if you took oxy 7days in a row,you wouldnt wanna be without it. Thats the way I am with vicaden,which is not nearly as strong as oxy, the hillbilly heroin. If you have been taking it everyday for 7 years you are gonna need restraints and a padded room to stop

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2007, 01:32:47 PM »
... and certainly at 6/pills each day
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline antibody

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2007, 01:47:14 PM »
this is a pretty touchy situation for me. i have personally been through vicodin and heroin addiction. i haven't used heroin or put a needle in my arm since 1/13/2000. heres where it gets touchy. i have been positive since about 2002. i have suffered from chronic pain since with joint pain and neurorpathy. it took me about 3 years to get my hiv specialist to listen to me and finally gave me some relief with Ultram. i could have switched doctors but i had a point to prove to him and to me that i could handle being given pain pills and not to abuse them. i guess i cant really say weather your uncle to an addict or not but if he is in pain hopefully it can be addressed with a kind heart and maybe a stern pain regimen only allowing him a said number of pills a day. maybe dispensed at the pharmacy on a daily basis.
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Offline Maestro

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2007, 02:21:09 PM »
this is a pretty touchy situation for me. i have personally been through vicodin and heroin addiction. i haven't used heroin or put a needle in my arm since 1/13/2000. heres where it gets touchy. i have been positive since about 2002. i have suffered from chronic pain since with joint pain and neurorpathy. it took me about 3 years to get my hiv specialist to listen to me and finally gave me some relief with Ultram. i could have switched doctors but i had a point to prove to him and to me that i could handle being given pain pills and not to abuse them. i guess i cant really say weather your uncle to an addict or not but if he is in pain hopefully it can be addressed with a kind heart and maybe a stern pain regimen only allowing him a said number of pills a day. maybe dispensed at the pharmacy on a daily basis.

From what I understand, doctors have suggested other meds for PNP (like lyrica I think) but since he is an addict, he is not interested...They have also tried biofeedback methods but he was not interested.

M

Offline Maestro

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2007, 02:24:45 PM »
if you took oxy 7days in a row,you wouldnt wanna be without it. Thats the way I am with vicaden,which is not nearly as strong as oxy, the hillbilly heroin. If you have been taking it everyday for 7 years you are gonna need restraints and a padded room to stop

wow!

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2007, 02:33:05 PM »
Quote from: Maestro
since he is an addict, he is not interested...

Well, there you go.  My experience being around other addicts is that there's only so much you can do until they arrive at the point where they recognize independently that they need help, which of course means admitting to an actual addiction.

The only thing you can do at this point is refuse to be an enabler to the addiction and drop hints where all this is leading.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline antibody

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2007, 02:52:36 PM »
word. just please consider he may really be in pain.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 02:57:02 PM by antibody »
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Offline antibody

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2007, 03:13:51 PM »
i would like to add that i was sent to rhuemetologist, neurologist and a pain clinic. i was offered Neurontin or Lycria but in my personal opinion the doses that are recommended are really high. too high for me to mix with Truvada which is known to be hard on the kidneys. i am not going take HIV meds and those drugs together. so one treatment option may look reasonable to someone not under going the treatment. but to the person that has to take these pills and live with the side effects might not look like a good choice. i can personally see your uncle's choice in turning down the Lycria. however i did have to work with the 2 doctors and my HIV specialist to get to a dose of Ultram that takes care of the pain. maybe research Ultram it's a non-narcotic that hits the same pain receptors as Morphine
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Offline Maestro

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2007, 03:55:08 PM »
i would like to add that i was sent to rhuemetologist, neurologist and a pain clinic. i was offered Neurontin or Lycria but in my personal opinion the doses that are recommended are really high. too high for me to mix with Truvada which is known to be hard on the kidneys. i am not going take HIV meds and those drugs together. so one treatment option may look reasonable to someone not under going the treatment. but to the person that has to take these pills and live with the side effects might not look like a good choice. i can personally see your uncle's choice in turning down the Lycria. however i did have to work with the 2 doctors and my HIV specialist to get to a dose of Ultram that takes care of the pain. maybe research Ultram it's a non-narcotic that hits the same pain receptors as Morphine
Anti,

I don't doubt there may be some present.  But at this point, I do not think he is taking 6 x 80mg of oxycontin a day to deal with it.  He is not interested in other approaches.  He says he is still in pain even taking the meds.  So if that is they case, why not try something new!?  Answer:  He's an addict. 

Well, as bear put it, I can just sit back and watch this train wreck and hope he doesn't hurt anyone else.

M

Offline antibody

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2007, 05:18:35 PM »
your uncle is lucky to have someone so caring. he has built quite a tolerance to the oxycontin even at a dose that high he may experiencing what they call "break through pain". there does come a point where opiates just don't seem to work anymore or where you can't even seem to get high anymore. so until he ready to get in the drivers seat of his own pain care you really can't help all that much except help him see other treatment plans and maybe accompany him to a NA or AA meeting. talk about cutting back on the oxycontin. if something unfortunate would happen or he be in need of surgery there will be nothing they can give him to control his pain with his tolerance so high. that would be tragic so if all you can do is encourage cutting back and not taking his pain meds entirely away from him. and over a course of time reduce his dose to 40 mg tabs, and then 20 mg or at the least a dose that can be agreed upon with him and a pain doctor. these days a lot of them have you sign contracts in order to receive narcotics. i dunno i really do understand you're not wanting to enable him and i also can see his pain and on another hand i relate to being an addict. it will take him back breaking work to try an balance it all.but it can be done. he can do it.
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Offline Maestro

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2007, 06:12:46 PM »
your uncle is lucky to have someone so caring. he has built quite a tolerance to the oxycontin even at a dose that high he may experiencing what they call "break through pain". there does come a point where opiates just don't seem to work anymore or where you can't even seem to get high anymore. so until he ready to get in the drivers seat of his own pain care you really can't help all that much except help him see other treatment plans and maybe accompany him to a NA or AA meeting. talk about cutting back on the oxycontin. if something unfortunate would happen or he be in need of surgery there will be nothing they can give him to control his pain with his tolerance so high. that would be tragic so if all you can do is encourage cutting back and not taking his pain meds entirely away from him. and over a course of time reduce his dose to 40 mg tabs, and then 20 mg or at the least a dose that can be agreed upon with him and a pain doctor. these days a lot of them have you sign contracts in order to receive narcotics. i dunno i really do understand you're not wanting to enable him and i also can see his pain and on another hand i relate to being an addict. it will take him back breaking work to try an balance it all.but it can be done. he can do it.

Anti,

That's just it.  He can't do it.  He is in such a delicate state between sanity and "all-out-shithouse-rat" crazy (aren't we all though) that he can't do the back breaking work.  Any deviation from what has become his norm will send him further down hill.  He has cut back before, and rifled right back up.  So basically, it's just grab a seat and watch the train wreck.'

M

Offline Gary85741

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2007, 08:12:39 AM »

     I won't disagree with anything which has been posted here.  But I just want to say that Oxycodone gets a bad rap when it can be helpful in the short term for pain management.
     My pinched nerve reactivates about once a year (discs C6 & C7.)  The two things that are very difficult to do during those times for me are shaving and driving.  The Oxycodone (Oxycodone w/APAP - 5/325 mg.) takes the 'bite' out of the pain and allows me to do these things I have to do.  Pain can be extremely fatiguing.
     So used correctly, I'm glad it exists.  I would hate to see an overall hesitancy to prescribe this medication for those who need it due to other people which have become hooked on it. 

Gary
Poz since '89. 
Current regimen: Rescriptor, Emtriva, Kaletra, Invirase, Acyclovir, Lisinopril, Lipitor, Prilosec, Valium, Testim, Nandrolone, Loperamidr, Marinol.

Offline AustinWesley

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2007, 04:29:11 PM »
Hey M,

Other than doctor shopping I don't hear the major signs of addiction.   I'm not saying he's not an addict, but I guess I'd want to hear more of what his other behaviors or situation is.

Oxycoten is known to be highly addictive, but also prescribed for those who do have severe pain or chronic pain.   

I've got an extremely high tolerance to pain medications for some reason.   I recently had surgery to correct a deviated septum and let me tell you when those pain killers quit working I bout wanted to jump out of my skin and ultimately they had to prescribe some morphine derivative.   

I take a drug called Klonopin and have for 14 years.   It's addictive but it works.   I can't tell you how many times I have been accused of being an "Addict."   I am not.   Even though I know my current anxiety level is sky high over the stress of probably having to take HIV meds I have not taken more just cause I am having a situation right now where I know I need to logically work through my issues.  I'm not drugging myself because I want to be thinking clearly and rationally.   

Ironically, one doctor did tell me that Klonopin can reduce the effectiveness of pain killers.    I'm not sure I buy that story, but could be a possibility.

So, now I have shared this I'm sure I'll hear everyone claim I'm an addict too.   I just don't think people should be so quick to jump to a decision.   I've had to "doctor shop" at times due to such beliefs of doctors.   

Many want you to try a litany of other drugs because they feel your condition doesn't exist or could be handled with some other medication.  I've heard it all.

But, for my own case I say, I don't want to fix what isn't broken.

All that said, I'd be interested to understand exactly why you feel he is an addict.   Unless you are living in his shoes I can't see why you are so quick to judge.   

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Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2007, 04:38:17 PM »
ah klonopin... join the club!  Manna from heaven but I've managed to reduce my intake.  I've taken it for 5 years and it's excellent for anxiety.  I'm not sure I'd put opiates in the same class as benzo usage though.  I suppose it could if you're doubling up on it or something.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Maestro

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2007, 11:10:04 AM »
ah klonopin... join the club!  Manna from heaven but I've managed to reduce my intake.  I've taken it for 5 years and it's excellent for anxiety.  I'm not sure I'd put opiates in the same class as benzo usage though.  I suppose it could if you're doubling up on it or something.

Im not sure "quick to judge" is the appropriate term here.  He had been under my care for 6 months.  I think it is pretty clear he is an addict.  I never said everyone in his position is an addict.  However, when 3 doctors go over your history (and he had been uder one of those docs care for 7 years) and they conclude you are an addict, I think that carries some weight.  In addition, the lying, paranoia, the doctor shopping, the hording of pills, the accusations of people stealing the meds...these all help point towards addiction.  What other signs would we be looking for?

M
 

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2007, 11:27:22 AM »
Im not sure "quick to judge" is the appropriate term here.  He had been under my care for 6 months.  I think it is pretty clear he is an addict.  I never said everyone in his position is an addict.  However, when 3 doctors go over your history (and he had been uder one of those docs care for 7 years) and they conclude you are an addict, I think that carries some weight.  In addition, the lying, paranoia, the doctor shopping, the hording of pills, the accusations of people stealing the meds...these all help point towards addiction.  What other signs would we be looking for?

M
 

I'm not sure why you quote me with the words "quick to judge" -- Austin used that term but I did not.  I would tend to agree with you though.  He seems to have an addiction.  All of the things you describe are telltale signs.  I'm not sure there's much you can do with someone like that until either 1) they admit to the problem, or 2) you have some ability to cart him off to a detox/rehab program.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Joe K

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2007, 11:56:03 AM »
My Husband, Stephen has been taking Oxy in some form for about 9 years and at one time he was taking 160mg of Oxy three times a day and he still had pain.  We assumed that his tolerance had become too high, so he weaned himself (over the course of 6 months) down to 80mg twice a day and he uses OXY IR (fast acting for breakthrough pain) as needed during the day.  To say the drug is addictive is an understatement.  There are times when he might forget to take his morning dose and within four hours or so he starts to feel the effects of withdrawal that drive him right up the wall.  But he understands the need for the drug, even though he hates it, because without it his pain would be unbearable.

Nobody can really say if your uncle is an addict, as opposed to really needing the high dosage.  However if he continues upping his dosage, at some point he will be in dangerous territory.  Is there any way you could talk with any of his doctors?  Or send a letter of concern?  Otherwise all you can really do is to be there for him and if you notice he is having real problems, then you might just need to get the authorities involved.

He will never know how lucky he is to have someone like you in his life and while I know it hurts, all you can really do right now is to just monitor his health and behavior.

Offline Maestro

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2007, 12:22:54 PM »
Philly,

LOL!  My bad....I hit quote on the wrong post!  No harm, right?

M

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2007, 12:34:19 PM »
Nope... I figured that's what happened
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline AustinWesley

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Re: Oxycontin Addiction
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2007, 01:23:45 PM »
Philly,

LOL!  My bad....I hit quote on the wrong post!  No harm, right?

M


Hey M,

I should have clarified.   I wasn't referring to you, but rather all the posts from the people here who didn't even have the full story when I said quick to judge.   

Sounds like you are quite a strong person in order to help him out like you are.

Wishing you the best!

Wesley
Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

 


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