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Author Topic: Need orientation...  (Read 2672 times)

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Offline inthesameboat

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Need orientation...
« on: December 09, 2006, 10:36:33 AM »
hello everybody!
I was Dx on July 2006..  The first time that i got my test i had a cd4 of 600 and viral load of 30,000.  3 months later i got re-tested and my doctor looked at me very seriously and suggested to put me on meds due to a CD4 of 500 with a viral load of 60.000.
I see a lot of people that goes long w/o meds even with higher numbers..   
I know that every case is different but i would love to hear from you and your experience with this. That can help me a lot to make a decision on that.
Thanks for helping me with this.
Life is hard sometimes..and we are stronger everyday.

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2006, 10:47:10 AM »
Good morning. When do you suspect you got infected? Here's something that might help. It's from earlier this year:
http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=5657.0

Offline allopathicholistic

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,258
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2006, 10:48:38 AM »
I think Reply #2 in the above thread is interesting (from "newt")

Offline Cliff

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,645
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2006, 11:00:25 AM »
You results do not suggest that you need to go on meds.  Read the US guidelines on treatment and talk to your doctor again.  Treatment is suggested when your tcells drop below 350 and/or your viral load is over 100,000.

Your doctor may just be more aggressive, but he should at least be completely open to you about why he is proposing to go on treatment now.

Offline Cliff

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  • Posts: 2,645

Offline Life

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,388
  • Member 2005
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2006, 11:26:13 AM »
As Cliff said, you still got some time...  Welcome to AM and Happy Holidays..

Love

Offline Longislander

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,486
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2006, 03:42:05 PM »
Welcome to AM. I'm sure the links mention above will help you with the decision on meds. If you're not mentally ready for meds, take your time for now. Get another set of labs first.
infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline J.R.E.

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,180
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2006, 04:01:53 PM »
Hi There,

Welcome. From this sites lessons, the following ;

"The big question is – and this is quite a point of controversy – should you consider starting therapy early? "Early" is now generally defined as a T-cell count above 350. Some experts believe that therapy should be started early, before the T-cell count shows signs of immune-system damage. Others argue that starting therapy early isn't any better than starting therapy later, and that you should wait to start therapy until your T-cells have fallen below 350 (but not below 200).


http://www.aidsmeds.com/lessons/WhenToStart3.htm


http://www.aidsmeds.com/lessons/WhenToStart5.htm


Hope you find this helpful-----Ray


Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline Blixer

  • Member
  • Posts: 712
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2006, 06:58:04 PM »
I'm one that opted to start treatment early and aggressively.  I started meds 3 months after diagnosis with a CD4 count of 524--well above the 350 mark.  My VL was in the 66,000 range.  Could I have waited long?  Sure...   Should I have waited longer?  That will be determined by the future.  In my mind I wanted to get the best jump on this virus possible.  I wanted to start before any significant damage was done to my immune system.  I know there are pros and cons of starting early. I know there is the risk of various types of toxicity.  But I've been on meds for 9 months now and I still think the aggressive approach of my doctor was the proper path for me. It might not be for others.  But I've been on hypertension medication for decade so I was already used to taking medication once a day.  Just adding three more pills was no big deal for me.

Talk it over with your doctor.  Get all the infomation you can.  Read over the information shared by others on this site.  Then ultimately you have to make the decision that you think is best for you and for your future.
David
Diagnosed 1/9/06
8/27/2007 CD4 598, 29%, VL 58 (72 wks)
11/19/2007 CD4 609, 30%, VL < 50 (84 wks)
2/11/2008 CD4 439, 27%, VL <50 (96 wks)
5/5/2008 CD4 535, 28%, VL <50 (108 wks)
10/20/2008 CD4 680, 28%, VL <50 (132 wks)
Changed to Atripla in 2012
1/14/2013 CD4 855, 35%, VL <40

Offline aupointillimite

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,229
  • FUS DO RAH!
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2006, 07:13:54 PM »
Welcome!

Like Blixer, I have an aggressive doc who recommended meds because she likes hitting early and hitting hard, so I've begun Atripla. 

Everyone has their own opinions as to the best time for starting meds, but they're such serious stuff... that no time is going to be optimal until you feel ready and comfortable taking them.

Get all the info you can before you start gulping pills, your labs are pretty rockin'; the decision lies with you and your doctor... but if I might inject a little bit of my two cents... I'm pretty new to the HIV game (almost 2 years), but there's no way I would have felt ready to start meds mere months after diagnosis.  This is just me personally, but you seem to have a bit of time to get used to things and talk things over with your doc.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Oceanbeach

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,565
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2006, 08:11:41 PM »
When I was diagnosed HIV+ in 1994, I refused meds.  I had a hang-over that day and was not up to thing about HIV.  I do not remember my numbers and did not save a copy.

Two years later, I was diagnosed with AIDS in a Los Angeles hospital with a CD-4 of less than 100, an VL of 36,000 and  PCP.  I remember that day very well as that was the day I started losing everything like job, house, car, self-esteem.

When I got out of the hospital and into regular care, I was given the option to hit AIDS with the "big guns."  I did my best "Susan Hayward" and said, "I want to live."  This was 1996 and I was put on a regimin of 30 pills each day.  There was 6 Norvir to be taked 3X's each day, something for Thrush, something for a possible TB exposure (INH?), and something for everything else.  I spent at least two years so sick, I could not leave the house.

If I had it all to do over again, I would have taken the meds the first time offered with my HIV diagnosis.  Have the best day
Michael

Offline Eldon

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,664
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2006, 01:07:19 AM »
Hey Inthesameboat!

The others have covered the ins and outs on if you should or should not start taking your meds. It is all your choice. You may also want to get a few more labs done as well to see what sort of fluctuations your numbers are doing.

I wish to extend to you a WARM WELCOME here at the AM forums. Here you will find the encouragement, communication, understanding, support, some cries, some laughter, and many of your questions relating to HIV/AIDS answered.


We have a great group of Real People who will listen as well as answer you. We are here to encourage one another and to learn from each other.

With the consideration of implementing a Positive Mental Attitude, it will also assist you on your journey in this life as well as having a Positive Impact on your immune system.

In fact, through your Positive Mental Attitude, it will help you push forward through all of the obstacles on your path that you are now walking on.

Talking to other people helps us see that we are not the only ones with problems. Feel free to come and vent with whatever is on your mind from time-to-time.

Often the act of writing and the ability to “see” your feelings leads to therapeutic insights and solutions. .

In the interim, you may want to start taking a multi-vitamin, Omega 3 and you may want to keep an eye on your diet.

Exercise at least three times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Make the BEST of each and every Day!

Offline inthesameboat

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2006, 10:18:09 AM »
GUys !!  You are amazing...!!
After getting infected ..this is the best place to be..
I live by myself as most of you and my family is very far..To far as to get them concern about my current situation..Sometimes is not easy to deal with all this by yourself and in this forum i found the support and the answer that i need to keep on going..
Thanks to you all..   ::)
Life is hard sometimes..and we are stronger everyday.

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,398
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2006, 10:46:00 AM »
Hey Inthesameboat,
Just to add my voice to the chorus, Welcome! Glad you found us.

Now regarding meds, as you can tell, there are different schools of thought on the matter.

I started when my CD4s were at 430 and my viral load in the 60,000 range. Mind you, back then, the cut off for beginning meds was a CD4 of 500.

I believe in aggressive treatment. It has served me wel. But, I also had been positive for 11 years before starting meds.

The real key here is whether you are ready to start treatment. It is a committment.

Your numbers are still in the safe range. This means you have the luxury of waiting should you decide to. Were it me, I would want at least three sets of labs under my belt to show a trend before starting to discuss treatment.

Ultimately, it is up to you. I would have a heart-to-heart with my doc, let him know your feelings and ask any and all questions you may have.

I would make a list on paper to take with you so you don't forget to ask about something. I do this because I always forget something if I don't.

Let us know how things are going and what you decide to do.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline inthesameboat

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2007, 08:01:39 PM »
Hello Guys..Thanks you all for your help..  I think is time for an up date on my case.. ;)
The doctor wanted me to go back in less than a month..i finally did almost 2 weeks ago after almost 2 month..I don't wanted to start medication's during my vacation with me family , they don't know and i don't want them to know..
I got a call from my doctor office ( first time he does that) to make sure that i made my follow up appt..  I know well what that means.. I'm going to start medications in 2 days..
I'm a lot more ready now that what i was on my last visit and part of that is from all the good orientation that i got from you guys.. 
Now is going to be time to start dealing with the side effects..( hopefully none or with whatever comes next) 
Thanks again ...
Life is hard sometimes..and we are stronger everyday.

Offline Longislander

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,486
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2007, 08:09:13 PM »
Hey buddy, thanks for the update. Could you tell us what your new #'s are?  I'm still not on meds, and am curious at what point you've decided to start.

Thanks
infected 10/05 diagnosed 12-05
2/06   379/57000                    6/07 372/30500 25%   4/09 640/U/32% 
5/06   ?? /37000                     8/07 491/55000/24%    9/09 913/U/39%
8/06   349/9500 25%              11/07 515/68000/24     2/10 845/U/38%
9/06   507/16,000 30% !          2/08  516/116k/22%    7/10 906/80/39%
12/06 398/29000 26%             Start Atripla 3/08
3/07   402/80,000 29%            4/08  485/undet!/27
4/07   507/35,000 25%            7/08 625/UD/34%
                                                 11/08 684/U/36%

Offline inthesameboat

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2007, 08:18:09 PM »
Thanks for the reply..
You know what..I have no idea about my numbers yet..  lol  But i know they are not that good when the doctor call to make sure that i make an early appt...  ( well  ,,The secretary..lol  )
But he already mentioned treatment with my previous numbers.. 
I'm ready..  I work in a hospital among sick people all the time..  I have long shift at work sometimes night shift so i can't take risks 
My appointment is in 3 days and i promise to let you know.. :)
Life is hard sometimes..and we are stronger everyday.

Offline inthesameboat

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2007, 07:07:06 PM »
Well guys..here's the up date..
I went to my appointment yesterday with my mind set to start medications and ready to listen to my lower cd4 and very high viral load..  After all my mental stress the numbers were my best since my diagnose  6 months ago..  cd4 went up to 647 and the viral load dropped to 20,000..
The whole mental process was very useful..Your help guys ..AMAZING as usual..
I'm not starting meds yet but I'm learning to live with a very queer virus  ( and not in the nice way..lol )  I'm learning to keep my hope and fears low before my follow up visits..Now i know what many of you know.. Take the numbers as a guide but not as an absolute.. Don't get into fear with the first no so good numbers cause that can jump or fall..Wait for trends.. Enjoy the happiness of good numbers but face with hope the lowers one..  and when the time for medications comes..Just open your mouth and swallow.    ;D  Keep the hope high..and keep on going because nothing is over until is over.. and this is going to be a very , very long fight ..
Thanks guys.. 
Life is hard sometimes..and we are stronger everyday.

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,398
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2007, 09:36:36 PM »
Hey, great numbers!  I am very happy for you.,

Quote
Keep the hope high..and keep on going because nothing is over until is over.. and this is going to be a very , very long fight ..

There you go!  That't the attitude to have and a great step for yourself.

Now, step number two. If living with this bug has taught me anything, it is never take life for granted.

So, smell the roses, have a snowball fight with the neighbors, whatever, just enjoy each day.

HUGS,

Mark
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline inthesameboat

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2007, 02:16:09 PM »
21 years living with this...
You are a hope for sure...
Thanks for the mice posting!
Life is hard sometimes..and we are stronger everyday.

Offline poet

  • Member
  • Posts: 934
  • Poet living and working in Central Maine
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2007, 03:46:46 PM »
Welcome to the forum.  Since you've got the time now (before starting meds.) take a look around, including the threads linked already.  We have lot's of people here with lot's of thoughts about when they did, when they would, the how's, why's, etc. here.  But don't get overwhelmed by it all, which you don't sound in your posts as though you are.  You will find the time that you want to start meds.  Best, Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline red_Dragon888

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,811
  • Love and Be Love in Return
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2007, 04:03:24 PM »
From personal experience, I did not take meds for the longest.  Dx in '85 and only recently started taking meds.  That is about twenty-two years, and could be longer by a year or two.  Last year, I had bouts of weakness and thought nothing of it, but seriously, it was the HIV weakening my system.  The weaker I got, the less I believe it was the HIV or I would rather believe that my body would over come it.  Now that I am taking meds, I realize how close to death I really was or at least compromising my immune system.  You may even, if you really pay attention, notice that you are not one hundred percent or that you are experiencing sicknesses.  I know the fear, and I have been there and I am here to tell you take the meds.  We are only human, and the meds will prolong your life whether you believe it or not.  I did not and was willing to prove through death.  Now, that I am taking the meds and realize it is not as bad as I had feared, I feel that the future is assured.  I guess back in the '80, AZT was killing more people and it was hard to believe that the medical industry could find something better.  The combos now are good and if you let it, it will increase your CD4 and decrease your viral load.  I hope you will overcome your fear and get on the meds.  Besides, when one dies, many others will suffer in his wake. Take care and be good.
Joe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=I3ba3lnFHik

“Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything o

Offline inthesameboat

  • Member
  • Posts: 14
Re: Need orientation...
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2007, 02:34:14 PM »
Thanks for the messages and advice..I'm listening..and I'm not as scared as i was about the meds..I know well the difference between this new combos and the old ones..
Whenever my doctor think that is time to start taking meds..I will..  :)
Life is hard sometimes..and we are stronger everyday.

 


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