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How To Start HIV Therapy?
Dec 22, 2011

Hello,

First of all I would love to thank you all for this fantastic web content, very easy to understand and very beneficial!

I am a 28 years old male who lives in Turkey.

I have just tested and unfortunately results are positive. (Both elisa and western blood.)

Number of CD4 cells are 291 and my viral load is 61.000.

My doctor said that it was not too bad but we had to start medication immediately!

I have Storcin and Truvada every night before I go to sleep! Is this a good combination to start? And does it matter what time I get them?

It's been just two weeks that I get the pills, honestly had some side effects at first week - nightmares, dizziness etc - but now I am quite okay with the pills. I really wonder if my medication works well or not! Any clues before I get tested again?

With these pills, should I get some vitamins? Or any specific food suggested?

I've just read that coconut milk helps to increase CD4 cells and lower the viral load! Is it true?

I get a GNC dietary supplement and also 3 echinacea extract tablet per day (I get echinacea tablets for 2 weeks then I have a break) Should I keep doing this?

And last question:

I was just about to own a dog before I learnt that I am HIV+! What should I do now? Own or give up?

Thanks for your help,

Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for the compliments and I am glad that you are tolerating the meds well.

It is best to take the meds (especially the stocrin) at bedtime on an empty stomach (at least 2 hours after eating). This may lessen some of the side effects and let you "sleep" through any you may have.

A balanced diet is best, if you are unsure you are getting all of your nutrients through your diet then taking a multivitamin (especially with B complex vitamins) may be helpful.

Use of echinacea is controversial and may not be best if used long-term. This was addressed recently in The Body: http://www.thebody.com/content/art6034.html No more than 2 weeks at a time is best, as you are doing.

Although I have seen many claims that coconut milk may be beneficial for HIV, there is no scientific evidence to support its' use. Since you will be treating your virus with proven therapy, there would be no downside to taking coconut milk, but I would not count on it as part of your treatment.

Many studies have shown health benefits from owning a dog and you should go for it and enjoy!

Best, Joe



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