Ed Perlmutter, Boston; Diagnosed in 2006
Those were stressful days for sure -- severe anxiety, depression and physical illness make for bad company. But the nurses and physicians at the infectious disease clinic treated me with respect and exhibited patience and wisdom every step of the way. We had begun to forge a relationship built on truth and trust. I learned that I would be on the Reyataz (atazanavir), Norvir (ritonavir) and either Truvada (tenofovir/FTC) or Epzicom (abacavir/3TC, Kivexa) arm of the study, and in my infinite wisdom I thought it would be a good idea to start treatment during the week I had planned a September vacation at my friend's house in Wellfleet on Cape Cod; quiet times in a peaceful place, no distractions or responsibilities except taking care of myself by commencing my treatment. The clinical team thought my plan acceptable provided I check in with them on a daily basis. Within six hours of taking my first dose, however, I started to feel ill and by the next morning I had broken out with high fever, tremendous chills and extreme nausea.
Read Ed P.'s full story of starting HIV treatment.