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I need your help, please.
Sep 27, 2011

First I want to thank you in advance for your help. A few months ago I took blood tests and tested positive. In the most recent tests resulted 2280.000 viral load and CD4 17 cells/mm3 copies. They did an endoscopy and was diagnosed with gastrointestinal SK. I talked with my Dr. who told me we can start with Kaletra, lamivudine and Retrovir. Because of some emotional and anxiety issues I did not ask many questions about this treatment. Do I take the medication in the mornings, afternoons or evenings? Do I need any extra meds for the SK? From what I understood this means I have AIDS, right? What would my prognosis be? I am a young man, 19 years, I'm in Mexico, I have several years with the virus now. How often do I need to have tests done or change meds? Thank you very much for your attention.

Response from Dr. Young

[This is from my HIV specialist friend, Dr. Jair Garcia from Monterrey, Mexico]

Thanks for trusting in us Im a physician working and living in Monterrey Mexico, so I can understand how you feel about the situation around your new life style. First, I want to thanks your answer, that could be a common answer in recently diagnosed patients. The antiretroviral meds are vey flexible to take: the best hour to take your pills depend on your activity. You can choose the better hour at day so it can become a daily ritual for you, and this could make you to not forget your meds. So, if in these "few months ago" you havent be stable taking every day the pills, you must think about making the needed changes. Also, all the gadgets to improve your taking meds (small box, ring tones, alarms) can help you. Many patients are benefited if they write a daily record of the food and pills, looking for bad interactions between. A patient told me he have discovered migraine because of the orange ink in the Cheetos and not because the Efavirenz! So, you have to remember all your food and you can find some.

The other important question you ask is related with your Kaposis Sarcoma: it can be well controlled with the antiretroviral meds. Dont worry, dont forget your meds. Intestinal SK is common and will need some months to recover and your first contact HIV doctor would perform you another colonoscopy.

And yes: an HIV infection plus SK is AIDS. But dont worry about the "name" or "tag": just worry about dont forget your pills.

I think that if you are looking for information in these amazing web page (thebody.com), probably you are already also making the best for you. And the best for you includes quit smoking, eating well, taking care of your sexual activities, and all those stuffs. I congratulate you for making the best for your health, and invite you to keep doing it!

Best, Jair García-Guerrero, MD Monterrey, Mexico



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