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Author Topic: How important is to get medications?  (Read 1713 times)

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Offline antreylez

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How important is to get medications?
« on: September 12, 2011, 03:53:18 PM »
Hi! i'm new in this site... and also new in the HIV world... i just got my results and tasted positive last week... i new this was going to happen and i've been working with my psychologist to get over it. i'm ok now... but i wonder HOW IMPORTANT is it to get the special health attention?...

I'm from Mexico and i've heard from some poz friends that it's a bit difficult to get the right attention here... i've been thinking that i don't want to live the rest of my life using pills :S ... but sometimes i think that would help me live more... i'm confused and before taking my final decision i wanted to ask it here!

Hope someone can help me with this! thnx

Offline newt

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Re: How important is to get medications?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2011, 04:15:30 PM »
Hello welcome

The pills are easy compared to HIV, and the meds for things you get with HIV when not on the pills. So that is the big picture.

Take time, find out about HIv, fuind out about meds, take em at the right time and live a long, happy life. At the rate research is developing treatment as it is now will by history in 10 years, it will be much simpler.

So, to answer your intial question, yes, the medicine is important. It will save your life.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline leatherman

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Re: How important is to get medications?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2011, 04:17:33 PM »
Hello and welcome, antreylez. As the saying goes around here, I'm sorry that you had to find us; but I'm glad you did find us. This site, with it's lessons section and people from all around the world to offer support, advice and knowledge, can be a great place to find what you need to know.

While I can't speak to your exact situation as I'm living in the US, let me start by saying that finding out your blood stats (viral load and t-cell count) and the trend over several tests, will be an important issue in starting to take care of yourself and treating your HIV. You may not need meds for a while, or you may need them to start soon. The first thing is to find a doctor, and find out those stats after having blood work done. You and the doctor can work out where you go from there.  ;)

i've been thinking that i don't want to live the rest of my life using pills :S
you also need to work on this notion. :) Nearly everyone eventually goes onto some type of pill as they age. Insulin, thyroid, blood pressure, heart medications, you name it and someone is on it for life.

HIV medications are no different in that respect. HIV medications are the ONLY thing that treats HIV and w/o them HIV leads to AIDS, and AIDS leads to death. It's that simple and the meds are that important. If you're worried about side effects, you need to study up more about the meds available in 2011 and learn that they have few, if any side effects, for most patients; and most patients don't report long-term side effects either. (all that information is available by reading the package insert about each specific medication. You can find out sorts of info on those inserts about how long a drug remains in your system, how eating affects the absorption, and exactly how many people in the studies have exactly which side effects.) Of course, if you do have side effects (beyond the initial ones as your body adjusts) there are plenty of other meds you can, with the advice of your doctor, try until you find the regimen that works best for you.

So while you're waiting to get lab work done to find out your stats, you need to evaluate why you think HIV aren't life-saving life-enhancing medications and work on changing that attitude towards a more (yes, it's a horrible pun) positive attitude; because in the long run, it's only those HIV meds that will reduce the HIV in your system enabling your immune system to function properly keeping you healthy and well - and ready to get the most enjoyment out of your life. ;)

best wishes to you and here's a link to the Lessons section where you can learn nearly everything you need to know about the virus, the tests, and the meds.

  ;D mikie
leatherman (aka mIkIE)

All the stars are flashing high above the sea
and the party is on fire around you and me
We're gonna burn this disco down before the morning comes
- Pet Shop Boys

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Offline jkinatl2

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Re: How important is to get medications?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2011, 04:27:50 PM »
First off, welcome to the forums! You will, no doubt, generate a spirited conversation with this posting.

As someone who has recently tested positive, I will assume you are recently infected (correct me if I am wrong). If this is true, then you might have a long time to consider medication. Sor some people it's six months. For others, six years. Some lucky few eitherr progress slowly or not at all.

The last two groups, of course, are rare. We have a few in our midst at AIDSMeds.

The specialized treatment you need right now is monitoring. Being confirmed HIV positive, you will need to see a doctor to get a CD4 count and viral load. These tests measure the surrent state of your immune system and the amount of HIV in your bloodstream.

As a newly infected person, these numbers might jump around a lot for a few months before settling down. So don't freak out if things look bleak after your first blood draw.

Three or so months after your first blood test, you will need a second one. Your numbers should not be as wonky then (if indeed they were wonky before). Three months after that, you and your doctor should begin to see a trend. Three months after THAT, you might need to make a determination regarding medication.

Now this is average. Some people jump into medications as soon as their first blood draw. And in some cases, where the CD4 count is remarkably low (indicating a seriously compromised immune system) this is a good idea. The research is still unclear as to whether a rebuilt immune system is as strong and robust as the one you cultivated from birth.

But here's the thing, which seems to be at the core of your query. You will, at some point, be strongly advised to take medication for your condition. And at the current state of medicine, this means a pill, or a couple of pills, once (or twice) a day. For the rest of your life.

That sounds overwhelming, I know. But consider that prior to 1995, your option was to take fistfulls of AZT several times a day, which made people really really sick (killed a lot actually). Or before HIV, when people just, well, died.

Because advancements in medicine cannot undo the fact that, until it evolves otherwise, HIV can and likely will still kill you without  medication.

You are lucky, believe it or not. The days of taking fistfulls of medications are, for most people, in the past. The days of pills turning the body into a permanently painful, crippling, and disfiguring prison are (for most people) in the past. Those of us Long Term Survivors deal on a daily basis with situations that likely will never, ever, ever happen to you.

Do the pills have side effects? Sure. Most pills do to a degree, and these are some powerful things. But many people are able to take one pill a day, endure maybe six to eight weeks of mild side effects while their bodies get used to the medications, and then go on with their lives. The side effects, for many people, go away completely.

But the truth is, you still have a very serious virus in your system. And if left untreated, it will probably eventually kill you.

Worse than that, before that killing happens, it stands a great chance of eroding your quality of life until you look and feel like the faces of AIDS in the old posters, the gaunt and sad and lost faces that scare so many people to this day.

That doesn't have to happen.

The new medications have been streamlined to the point where people like you and people like me will have zero in common, experience wise, regarding living with HIV.

Except, of course, for the cost.

I have no idea what your state of health care is like. But cost factors in to a lot of people's choices in treatment here in the US. Getting a CD4 and Viral load count every three months is not inexpensive.

And though many medications are going generic in the next few months (and are likely available in Mexico in generic form already) they are still not ever going to be exactly cheap. That's where networking and knowing your healthcare system will come in handy. And there are far more knowledgeable folks than I who can help you with that.

But in short, don't underestimate this disease. Please. I've seen too many people come here and do that, and die way too early and unnecessarily.

But respect does not have to equal fear. I respect that my car is a two thousand pound machine, but I am not afraid to drive it. Even here in Atlanta, where fear might be warranted.

I urge you to see your doctor, who might refer you to an Infectious Disease specialist to get you started. It's a journey, having HIV. But it no longer needs to totally define your life.

That having been said, PLEASE read our extensive LESSONS sections here at AIDSMeds and on Poz.com - they can fill in many if not most of the blanks. This really is one of the leading places for accurate and readable information.

Again, welcome to the forums. Sorry you had to find us, but glad you did.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline antreylez

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  • Posts: 4
Re: How important is to get medications?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2011, 04:30:46 PM »
Wow! thank you guys (Matt, Mikie and jkinatl2)... ur information was really good, i know it's going to take a while for me to understand all this situation and i want to do it with the best attitude :D

so... it seems easy: no meds- no life! :S ok... i think a Doctor would be the best option then! :D

thank you so much again!
greetings from Mexico
« Last Edit: September 12, 2011, 06:18:57 PM by antreylez »


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