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Author Topic: Newly Invected - A million questions!?  (Read 7543 times)

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Offline hozer

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Newly Invected - A million questions!?
« on: February 19, 2007, 12:04:50 AM »
hello all...

i finally decided to get active and stop wondering --- my doctor, i thought, at first was great but now he's just annoying me. I find he doesn't educate me enough and many times he doesn't explain anything.

for example ---- i lost sensation in very end of my big toes... this started about 4-6 weeks after starting treatment -- he said it was nothing and should pass... later in an HIV support group I find it's called neuropathy -- very common and not much can be done. I don't care about having it was much as it being something so simple. I suppose it could be something else but I'm starting to get scared like this doctor is not a good ID doctor...

so here are my questions...

1. Pills.... I was doing once-a-day Atripla -- but had an almost fatalistic rash to the sustiva-- hospitalized me for a day so on to the next: Truvada, Reyataz and Norvir combo.
oops forgot the crucial--- diagnosed 10-27-06 and confirmed with blood 10-31-06 (halloween). CD4 was 440 and VL was 660,000 --- doctor recommended combo and never told me that i could wait and see--- i was pretty sick though (recovering meth/x/k/ghb addictions) --- and pretty much-- i didn't eat or sleep for the month of august-- gala vanting in the bathhouses in chicago --- that's when I had to get it.

I went through hell for 4 months--- I had psoriasis since I was 17 (I'm 28 now) -- and I guess-- we all guess--after docs, meds, specialists and hospitals (6) -- no one knew what I had wrong.... but I had this rash that was postulated on my back, scales on my arms, legs and feet -- scales and scalp eczema --- i had that facial rash that makes you look like a red raccoon --- finally my doc went with a derm consult and we treated it as psoriasis and fungal infections ---

the biggest bitch of it all was the ITCHING --- and the blood work-- over and over -- syhpuluss and hep testing-- everyone was convinced it was those two-- or or the other no matter how many times i cleared the test....

so after everything -- up to today and including my newly psych treatment for my craziness with all this mess I got myself into .. I'm on...(the vitamins i started on my own after reading online)

 Reyataz 300
 Norvir 100
 Zyrtec - 10mg
 500 mg Vit C
 1 garlic tab
 Zoloft 50mg (Starting)
 1 garlic tab

 Seroquel 100mg

My VL has dropped from 570,000 at Christmas to 220,000 in the beginning of Feb-- T cells went from 440 to 560..

LOL! I'd say I lost you by now but -- from what I gather --- most of you veterans are ready for more =)   

so my questions...

1. What should I add to diet?
2. Why do I fart so much? (No I'm no kidding) - I eat high fiber cereals everyday to keep me 'moving' -- advice?
3. Whats Selenium about? ???
4. What is this percentage (%) many of you are displaying -- I assume it's the T4-percentage-- how do I calculate mine?
5. Did anyone try .. or is on the KPAX vit supp? Just curious about this all-in-one HIV vitamin combo
6. I've been juicing and i contrib that to feeling better---and cleaning me out -- Any one else have severe eczema and/or psoriasis that was irritated by seroconversion?

I think I'm going to do a cleansing diet --- I'm hoping the biggest factors are the fact that I quick all drugs, liquor and smoking the day I was diagnosed and my body is just purging a decade of poisens but you would think I would be cleared by now?

so -- that's me for now -- more of rants but some questions there--feel free to reply to one or all--- thanks guys! ;) ;D :D
« Last Edit: February 19, 2007, 12:06:32 AM by hozer »
--== hoZer ==--
diagnosed 10-06

02-07 cd4: 560  vl: 220,000
12-06 cd4: ***  vl: 570,000
11-06 cd4: 440  vl: 660,000

Offline Tucsonwoody

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Re: Newly Invected - A million questions!?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2007, 12:41:15 AM »
Hey Hozer -

It sounds like you're going through many of the issues many HIV+ people deal with and I regret that so many different things have happened so fast.  I'm not one of the experts here, so can only give you a couple of leads on answers, but am sure you'll hear from many people who can and will help a lot.

First - if you haven't already, take a look at the lessons section here on Aidsmed.  There is a lot of great info there, for instance here is part of the explanation of CD4 cells and percentage: http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/TCellTest_4727.shtml

What is the T4 Percentage?

If you look at your lab report, you will also see something called your CD4+ percentage (%). This is an important number for you and your doctor to know. In healthy adults, the number of T4 cells make up between 32% and 68% of the total number of lymphocytes a large group of white blood cells that include T4 cells, T8 cells (see below), and B-cells. In fact, the lab uses the T4 percentage to determine the number of T4 cells in a sample of blood.

The T4 percentage is sometimes a more reliable measurement than the T4 count because it tends to vary less between measurements. For example, one person's T4 count may vary between 200 and 300 over a several month period while their T4 percentage remains constant at, say, 21%. Provided that the T4 percentage stays at 21% or higher, the immune system still appears to be functioning properly, regardless of what the T4 count is. At the same time, a T4 percentage at or below 13% regardless of what the actual T4 count is usually means that the immune system is damaged and that it is time to begin prophylactic treatment (drugs to prevent diseases) for opportunistic infections like PCP.

You should be able to get that % number from your doctor.

The gas is not uncommon, I know when I was really sick last fall I could have filled the goodyear blimp and I think the Army was going to use it as a weapon...but as I got healthier and started being able to drop some of the meds I was on, it went away.

This article at the body website says in part, this about the ol gas issue: http://www.thebody.com/gut/gut_5_gas.html

Are HIV Meds to Blame?

Basically every HIV medication can cause gas, but these in particular may be more likely to do so than others:

    * Kaletra
    * Norvir
    * Invirase
    * Truvada
    * Viracept
    * Viread

So it could be med related.  But diet also can have an impact as you probably already know.  That article offers some suggestions on reducing the problem.

Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that as your immune system starts to get better it might start fighting things you have had but that it couldn't fight before and that sometimes means that for awhile you'll get sicker, before you get better.  Doesn't happen to everyone, but can make you worried if you're not aware of what's going on.

So there are a few things I hope will help some.  I'd also add that one of the hardest things to do, but also one of the most important is to try to not let all these issues overwhelm you.  Easier said then done...but hopefully as others respond and you read some of the other posts here, you'll see there are so many people who have made it through these very rough few months.

I am also glad you took the time to post these questions, as you are no doubt asking questions that others are thinking about as well.  Hope to see you here often to rant and rave and let us know how you're doing...that's what this place is really all about.
And I wished for guidance, and I wished for peace
I could see the lightning; somewhere in the east
And I wished for affection, and I wished for calm
As I lay there - Nervous in the light of dawn

Offline allopathicholistic

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  • Posts: 3,258
Re: Newly Invected - A million questions!?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2007, 05:59:12 PM »
In answer to your numbered questions:

1. Re: Foods

(When you get to that page, note the "Lesson Index" on the right hand side and you'll find this about foods: http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Nutrition_4981.shtml )

3. Re: Selenium

5. Re: KPAX


The AIDSMEDS built-in search function is ***excellent*** so have fun searching and learning!  ;D  http://forums.poz.com/index.php?action=search  8)

Offline PJC0510

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Re: Newly Invected - A million questions!?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2007, 08:58:59 PM »
Yep the gas is the worst!  It did stop after a bit, I am on truvada and kaletra.  Now there is the diarrhea now and then, maybe once a week.  But Take meyamucil in the mornings to stop that. 

Hang in there, the farts will cease (from the pills anyway!_  =)
I may never beat HIV, but then again, it will NEVER beat me!

Offline sdcabincrew74

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Re: Newly Invected - A million questions!?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2007, 09:59:06 PM »
Well have 18 months on the same combo, (norvir, truvada and reyetaz) the farts have not stopped for me.  I take gas-x which helps a bit.  The combo is easy on the body (at least for me) so you should see good results. 

Find a good HIV or infectious disease specialist, if you do not like your doctor switch!  Your relationship with your doctor will directly impact your quality of life, IMHO.

As for vitamins, basically, do not waste money on KPAX (IMHO) eat a good healthy diet, lots of protein and fiber, watch the bad fats and enjoy.  Nothing, no pill in the world, beats a varied diet high in fruits, vegies, dairy, meat, poultry and seafood.  All things in moderation.

Do not forget a daily walk or some other form of exercise, that will help your waist line, reduce stress and keep you moving.  Also, truvada can cause insomnia for some and exercise helps overcome this.

Lastly, no science on this but, water, LOTS of water.  Lets face it the meds are toxic.  Keep the water flowing in your body.  There is little science behind that but I can tell days I am not drinking enough water.....lots of clean water to keep the system flushed out!

Take care, it does get better hon!
The difference between an overnight and a layover is luck!

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Posts: 7,542
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: Newly Invected - A million questions!?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2007, 07:22:55 AM »
Hello Hozer,

Welcome to the forums. One thing you may want to consider, is dropping the Garlic. Garlic has been known to interact, with some of the HIV protease medications. It's alright to eat cooked garlic, But probably should be avoided in the supplement form. Sorry to hear about the problem with Atripla. Hopefully this new regemin will do it's job.

If anyone has any updated information regarding garlic use, along with HIV medications, could you post some info?....


« Last Edit: March 05, 2007, 07:29:25 AM by J.R.E. »
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 20mg of Atorvastatin, 25 mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Amlodipine Besolate 5mg-- Updated 9/24/2017

Diagnosed positive in 1985,.. In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started on  HAART on October 24th, 2003.

 As of 9/18/2017,  Viral load remains <40
CD 4 @358 /  CD4 % @ 13

 65 years young.

Offline budndallastx

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  • Posts: 463
Re: Newly Invected - A million questions!?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2007, 09:10:02 PM »
Welcome to the forum .. I am sure you'll learn a ton of information from everyone on here. 

On the doctor front, you might want to shop around to see if you find another ID who you're comfortable with.  My ID doctor at first was a prick but I called him on it and now we're a good team.  I still wonder and question everything he says but it does help when I meet with him from my checkups since I already have the basis for my questions from this forum and "the body".

Have you seen an allergist for your psoriasis ?  A friend of mine was told she had psoriasis but it turned out to be an allergic reaction.  She had never been allergic to anything before so it was a surprise to discover she had a food allergy. 

Wish you all the best ---
Meds since: 11/20/2006
Sustiva / Truvada
12/08/2008 VL:<48 CD4 622 (38%)   
9/8/2008 VL:<48 CD4 573 (30%)
5/2008 VL:<48 CD4 464 (30%)
1/2008  VL: <50  CD4 425(28%)
9/2007   VL: <50  CD4 465 (27%)
6/2007   VL: <50   CD4 443 (26%)
3/2007  VL: <50   CD4 385 (25%)
12/2006 - VL: <50   CD4: 384 (25%)
11/2006 - VL:  22K  CD4: 208 (18%)

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Newly Invected - A million questions!?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2007, 08:14:22 AM »
Hi Hozer, and welcome to the forums.

You need to stop taking that garlic. Garlic can interfer with the absorbtion of your Reyataz and Norvir and you DON'T want to risk that happening!

You should carefully research any suppliments you take, before you take them, because there are quite a few things out there that can interfer with how the meds work. A good all-around multivitamin is a good enough place to start - the KPAX is one of the best for positive people because there is nothing in it that will cause potential problems.

Remember, suppliments are not a replacement for a good, well balanced diet. The suppliment, or add on to, the don't replace if you see what I mean.

As others have told you, the Lessons section here is an excellent place to start learning. Please also have a look at the Welcome thread (found at the top of the Living With forum) where you can find out what else this website has to offer.

Hang in there... it does get better in time.

Hugs for the new guy,
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Life

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  • Member 2005
Re: Newly Invected - A million questions!?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2007, 10:44:41 PM »
Hozer Welcome to AM....   Its going to easier....   



Offline jimw

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  • Posts: 109
Re: Newly Invected - A million questions!?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2007, 02:19:46 PM »
Hoozer, welcome to the forms.  I switched to the same regimen you are currently on back in December and had the worst farts imaginable - the kind that followed you when you tried to walk away and could peel the paint in the subway.  It has stopped somewhat - unless I eat chocolate, and then watch out!   You will soon learn what foods you can tolerate and what causes you to fart.  I take KPAX and Juven as supplements.  Also, Ann is right, my doctor suggested I stay away from garlic.  good luck with everything, and welcome to the forum.  Jim

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Newly Invected - A million questions!?
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2007, 09:17:12 AM »
Hozer, welcome! You've already gotten some good and informed responses so I am just going to focus on one issue you have raised.

Developing a good working partnership with your doctor is one of the most important elements in keeping you healthy. He didn't answer a question to your satisfaction about neuropathy in your toes. You're entitled to get respectful answers to your questions.

At the same time I am wondering how long you have known the doctor. It can take time to develop a mutually respectful partnership. If you consistently find in the future that you're not getting answers you need that could mean you need to look around for someone you can work with better. If you think that in general he is a competent  practicioner then it may be worth your while to give it some time to see how things go.

You don't have to learn everything at once. Give yourself time to get adjusted to living with HIV and the meds.

You're always welcome here to ask questions and to discuss whatever maybe on your mind.

Andy Velez


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