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Author Topic: HIV MEDS AND MENTAL HEALTH  (Read 2144 times)

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Offline ThePerfectStranger

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« on: August 05, 2007, 06:32:57 PM »
This message has also been posted under the Mental Health threads topic area but I felt it was relevant to this area as well... hope no one minds...

I am a long term survivor of HIV (approximately 25 years now) and work in the HIV field as a personal assistant to an HIV doctor in a private practice.  One question that never seems to get asked but should be (IMHO) something EVERY person who is on treatment is this:

What are the long term mental side effects (both temporary and permanent) from taking these highly toxic medications for most of our lives?  It goes to reason that as chemical beings (which we are) who each have unique amounts of any given chemical in our system (both naturally occurring and the ones we choose to ingest either medically or socially) that these drugs will have some sort of long term effect on our brains.  This just seems to be (to me at least) an obvious conclusion... so the question is, why are there no studies being done to determine the long term effects these drugs are having on our brains and not just on our bodies - since we have already determined that many of them do horrible and sometimes irreversible damage to our major organs it stands to reason the long term effects on these medications should be just as damaging (if not more so) to our brains.  So does anyone out there know of any studies being done in regards to this and if not have you asked yourself (and your doctor and his drug reps) why no one is looking into this?  Once upon a time there was a condition known as "AIDS DEMENTIA" - the question now is will we now be suffering through another period of HIV related mental illnesses that are being caused by the meds themselves?  Has it occurred to anyone yet that the depression and anxious feelings and anger and other feelings most of us did not normally experience on a daily basis could be the result of the meds effects on our brains?

If you are an activist I think this is the one of the most important issues facing the HIV community now and one that needs to be looked at seriously.


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