|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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