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Author Topic: Newly diagnosed, 26  (Read 2116 times)

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Offline Lamek

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Newly diagnosed, 26
« on: April 28, 2019, 08:36:22 am »
Hi family! So I tested poz on March 18 this year. So I decided it is only fair that I post and share, after weeks of starring on these forums. They kept me sane! Even though I wished the test came back negative, I did not have a huge emotional breakdown because I know there is treatment and I can take care of my health to lead a normal happy life.

After diagnosis I was put on Atripla, with a VL of about 68000 and CD4 480. Doc says I might have had it for about 5 months. After a few weeks I regained my energy back, but boy, my mind feels foggy and drowsy ..it's so hard to concentrate. My job requires a lot of reading and focus (technical industry) and it's just so hard to work with this persistent state.

I don't really experience anxiety or 'depression', I'm just frustrated by the fact that I cannot work properly. I find myself reading a passage over and over...poor concentration.

I have become aware of these CNS side effects of Sustiva and in Atripla, and I am wondering whether I should ask my doctor to change me to something else? Or must I just wait and hope for an improvement? I'm now just about to finish my second box of Atripla. I'm just stressed because my progress at work is slow and I'm lagging behind.

What do you guys suggest? Or is this the 'normal' state I am supposed to be in while taking ARVs? Is this how you guys constantly feel? I'm thinking I can tolerate other side effects but this drowsiness/confusion/groginess is impeding my work. And if I were to lose my job I would  + insurance and I won't afford to live a healthy life 😪.

Any suggestions? And ja I started to take it on an empty stomach. The weird dreams are also gone now now.

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: Newly diagnosed, 26
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2019, 08:51:40 am »

Welcome to the forum, sorry to hear about how you are feeling but glad to hear reading the forum has helped and, that you are on treatment.

Doc says I might have had it for about 5 months. After a few weeks I regained my energy back, but boy, my mind feels foggy and drowsy ..it's so hard to concentrate.

Nobody from a VL & CD4 count can say how long you have been living with HIV sure those numbers could be 5 months or could be 5 years.

Any suggestions? And ja I started to take it on an empty stomach. The weird dreams are also gone now now.

Depression, stress & emotional strain can all express itself in a number of ways including what your posting, it could indeed also be the settling in stage to the medication or prehaps a combination.

You have now started to take the meds on an empty stomach that's good, how have you been taking it like this now? Also drink plenty of water and, before bedtime should help. Normally it settles after a few months but if it does not or you find it unmanageable than please do speak to your doctor about your options.

Take it easy

Best, Jim 
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Offline Lamek

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Re: Newly diagnosed, 26
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2019, 09:02:37 am »
Thanks for the feedback.

Previously I would take it immediately after a huge meal supper, normally includinga big piece of steak. But I realised that the grogginess and weird dreams were just intense. Driving has been challenging, but it's getting better now.

Offline kentfrat1783

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Re: Newly diagnosed, 26
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2019, 10:21:58 am »

I was on Atripla after my Dx but have since switched to Triumeq. 

For me, Atripla increased my anxiety issues and made it hard for me to sleep.  It was also suggested to take without food so that made it hard some days to take it close to the same time each day. 

I would suggest that if you feel it interfering with your daily life is to mention it to your doctor the next time you see them.  It could be a reaction or something else that needs to be looked into.  Just hope you have a doctor that hears you.

Wishing you the best.
06/08/2020 - CD4 257 (20%) VL <20
03/17/2020 - CD4 285 (19%) VL 101       (2.00)
09/17/2019 - CD4 218 (16%) VL (?)
06/18/2019 - CD4 173 (16%) VL <20
03/13/2019 - CD4 170 (16%) VL <20
January 2019 - Started Triumeq
12/05/2108 - CD4 174 (18%) VL <20
08/28/2018 - CD4 166 (15%) VL <20
05/08/2018 - CD4 106 (11%) VL <20
03/05/2018 - CD4   90 (10%) VL <20
12/11/2017 - CD4   60 (  8%) VL ?
09/07/2017 - CD4   42 (  6%) VL  54        (1.70)
May 2017 - Started Atripla
05/11/2017 - CD4     2 (  1%) VL 169,969 (5.23)
Dx`d May 11, 2017
Location: USA

Offline Lamek

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Re: Newly diagnosed, 26
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2019, 11:11:38 am »
Thanks for the tip.

The insomnia and constant waking up in the middle of the night is really disturb too. And yes, since one has to take it on an empty stomach, one has to make sure that they have their dinner early...and sometimes it's just not possible due to schedule. And the doctor advised me against fast food.

I'll hear what he suggests in two weeks when I go for another prescription of vitamins and mineral (he didn't do for multiple months last time, like he did with the Atripla).

But i must mention that I'm enjoying the way I'm putting on weight. 😊 I have been struggling to gain weight all my life...now I'm constantly hungry and eating like a pig 😅.


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