Simple and Effective
May 20, 2004
First off thank you very much for this site, I know you have probally heard this before but i need to say in my darkest moments this bounty of resources has given me the sanity to manage. I tested positive for hiv last yr. in NYC, and i have been deeply drepressed since. I was at 370 CD4 and 50,000 VL june03. By Nov03 I was at 330 CD4 and 100,000 VL. I then moved to Spain and in Jan04 I was measured at 300 CD4 and 240,000 VL, May04 I was at 270 CD4 and >500,000. Treatment was suggested and i started on Sustiva once a day and combivir twice a day. (did I wait too long, I mean My VL was pretty high ) Now I'm on Drugs 2 weeks and I have constant daily headaches and alot of fatigue that simply compounds the depression. most of the time i find myself alone, no-one in my family aside from my wife(who is negative) knows i am positive. I have an 8 yr old boy, and i thank god i was able to have him before all this.. Truth be told if it wasn't for him i wouldn't see much reason to deal with drugs or side effects or declining health or being a threat to others.( like my wife). By the way we have sex now once a month, protected of course but i am scared crazy she will be infected. at first she wasn't as concerned as me, but now i can tell she is just as worried. With due right, I don't know if i would be so willing if roles were reversed. My questions are.. is this an effective treatment? it certainly is simple. How long do I have before the real side effects kick in and what should i expect? what drugs have the least side effects? another thought that has been nagging me is how long can HIV live outside the body? ex: blood on a teeshirt, seman on a tissue, what about blood on skin or under nails, are these possible ways of spreading this crutch. Drs. thank you for providing these forums of hope. I'll keep reading...
Response from Dr. Henry
If there is no resistance Combivir + Sustiva is a highly effective therapy. For many the headaches diminish over time. HIV does not live long outside the body--ie of blood spill then once dry then HIV usually not viable. 10% bleach solution kills HIV on contact. Yoyr particular combination compares well to other regimens regarding few side effects. Everyone is a little different so if side effects remain bothersome there usually is another medicine that can be substituted for the likely offending drug in most western countries. KH
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