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28 pills a day!!
Feb 8, 2008

Hi Doc, I read that you take almost 28 pills a day (properly sequenced) to manage your illness!! I feel almost giddy!! Tell me doc, out of a normal 8 hours working day that we typically have, how many hours we need to dedicate to HIV care and prevention. Do we even get time to concentrate on our office work, particularly if it is a strenous sales (Business Development) job like mine which involves frequent travelling, long calls and fire-fighting. I tested poz this year, but am feeling totally fine. Do you think that I should shift to a desk job before starting medications.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Do I think you should switch to a desk job before beginning HIV meds? No, not necessarily. Many HIVers can continue on with their usual routines while taking their meds, particularly the newer more convenient, less toxic medications. I've been HIV positive since January 1991 and been taking antiretrovirals for over a decade. Consequently I cannot use some of the newer medications, as my heavily treated strain of virus would not respond, due to resistance, etc. If you are starting your first regimen, chances are it will be a less toxic, more convenient (fewer pills taken less frequently) regimen than what I am currently using. Plus many of my daily medications are taken to treat, counteract or prevent complications from my antiretrovirals. So, for instance, if you begin Atripla as your first regimen, it would be one pill once per day. If this or another simple regimen is well tolerated, I see no reason to change your lifestyle or employment situation. That said, if your job is extremely stressful, you should cut back whether you're HIV positive or not.

Dr. Bob



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