Being Honest Even When You're Scared and Complera Update
A Video Blog
By Justin B. Terry-Smith
December 21, 2011
I've been on Complera for about three months now. It has gotten better for me. I don't know why my viral load shot up and my T cells when down a little before I started this new treatment. When you are public about what you have you tend to not be public about when you are scared or when it doesn't seem like it is going to get any better. I've not been telling everyone that my VL shot up and my T cells went down again. I was scared and all I can say is that I'm only human. I'm human and I do make mistakes. I don't want to feel like I've not been honest, nor do I feel like I should be chastised for not telling all, all the time. But I have to be honest.
Right before I started Complera my viral load was 1,207. I thought I was undetectable and I wasn't. My viral load shot up from 0 to 1,207 and my T-cell count was 363. I was shocked and shaken. Then I get e-mails and texts from friends saying that their T-cell counts are in the 1000 and they are undetectable. It is a little discouraging, trust me. But I don't let it discourage me from doing what I need to do to survive.
Now, after about 3 months of being on Complera, my viral load is now 763 (DOWN FROM 1,207) and my T-cell count is 380 (UP FROM 363). My doctor is keeping a close eye on me and he wants me to do better. I have been stressed out so much that it is really taking a huge toll on my skin. My rosacea is out of control and I'm a little scared. I just wish I had that complexion that I had before HIV, but alas, that isn't happening anytime soon. So, I've decided that it is time for a change and I need to start with the food I put in my body and start exercising more and more.
Ham, Egg & Cheese Sandwich
Oatmeal & 2 Strawberry Yogurts
BLT Sub Sandwich (Sometimes w/o Bacon)
Fish, Rice, Veggies (Protein)
Centrum Fish Oil (2 Pills) Vitamin D (2 Pills)
I will have an exercise regime ready when I know what I can do and when I can do it, but I will try to start yoga again on Saturdays.
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Justin B. Terry-Smith may be one of the most public African Americans living with HIV: He has his own blog and Web site, and he's even on YouTube. And who can blame him? Only 30, he already has an incredible story to tell. Justin admits he used to live "a very dangerous life," but since his diagnosis three years ago, the former heavy drinker and drug user has turned his life around.
Photo credit: Don Harris
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