In February 2014 was diagnosed with HIV after being hospitalized with PCP (pneumocystis pneumonia). My diagnosis was a complete shock to me, and I knew I would have to take the medication from then on. I was sent to a clinic where the doctor prescribed Isentress (raltegravir) and Truvada (tenofovir / FTC) to treat HIV and Bactrim (co-trimoxazole) to prevent PCP from returning. When I started this scheme, I kept thinking, "what are these drugs and what are they going to do with my body?" And "I really would not like to take prescription drugs for the rest of my life? ".
For me, my first pill was psychologically challenging. I did not believe these tablets were going to save me, but, yes, they were going to hurt me. This is mainly due to the fact that I am a bit against taking remedies when possible. I am a person who believes in the power of nature to heal us, and that food is medicine. In addition, I was reading about how these tablets can cause damage to my liver or kidney function. Each day was a battle for me to swallow the pills.
As you can see, the Isentress / Truvada scheme did not work for me. HIV viral load continued to increase, and my CD4 count continued to decline to dangerous numbers. My doctor had not performed resistance testing on me when I started HAART, and I looked forward to seeing how my body would react. In addition, I had removed Bactrim because of the itchiness it caused, which was so numerous that it came to the point of developing small rashes on my skin. My doctor decided to run the tests and stopped the medications. I waited for more than a month for the results and was left untreated for a long period of time.
Once the result came, she told me that she wanted to start with Edurant (rilpivirine), Retrovir (zidovudine, AZT), Norvir (ritonavir), Truvada (Prezista darunavir) and Dapsone. How could she want to prescribe so many potent drugs for me? I was in shock, and full of fears of what all those medications could do with my body. I literally thought it would destroy me and she discouraged me from taking any dietary supplement.
At that moment, I sought a second opinion, as I had lost most of my confidence in my doctor, and it did not seem to me that I needed to take so many medications. The new doctor saw me and made his own tests and concluded that it would be good to take Prezista, Norvir and Truvada to treat HIV, and Dapsone to replace Bactrim. It turned out also that I was resistant to Edurant, and my ex-doctor had prescribed it for me. Needless to say, I was delighted because I would not have to take as many pills as my old doctor had prescribed. I have been under this medication since August. Since then, the pills have worked and my viral load has declined rapidly as well as my CD4 count which has increased well. Unfortunately, I have been experiencing periodic diarrhea since the beginning of ART (Antiretroviral Therapy), but the probiotic has helped me fight.
In addition, the psychological challenges have continued for me.
I HAVE NOJO from the pills I take every day, and I'm very afraid of the damage they might be doing to my body. This attitude may seem strange, since the idea is that in the long run, pills help "of the sea" the virus and allow me to live a longer and healthier life, but I can not control the fear I have of them.
I have tried everything I can to take care of my body since the beginning of my Antiretroviral Therapy against HIV. Starting with regard to taking various supplements including N-acetylcysteine (NAC), coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), elderberry, selenium, black seeds, and even 15.000 mg of vitamin C per day.
I have done all this to help support my body in the healing process, but recently I discovered that my viral load did not decrease in the last month, which put me and my doctor on alert. I wonder, now, if I may have done something that I should not ... and since I have already had a medication regimen that did not work, I would stress I wonder if my current regime will continue to do the " trick". Translator's Note: I kept _truque_ word because it says a lot about the psyche of the author of the text and because sympathized with the focus)
All I can do for now is to keep the hope that my current ART regimen has not stopped working and that everything will work out regardless of my personal feelings about the pills.
I'm really grateful to all the men and women who fought and died to ensure that people like me have these pills to help us live healthier lives. Not a day goes by where I do not think of all the people who have succumbed to AIDS due to not having any treatment for it. I need to stop beating me for taking these pills and look for the good they do. I hope someday to be happy and know quebasta take one tablet daily, or live long enough to see the real cure for this virus.
By Jason Q
From December 2 2014
Translated by Original Claudio Souza in The Mental Challenge of Taking My First HIV Med on August 30 2015