In the current era of HIV treatment that's both effective and tolerable, people's stories of starting HIV meds have changed considerably. HIV treatment may come with fewer side effects and the assurance that, if all else goes well, those meds will be a person's companion for a long, full life. But the treatment cascade reminds us that, in the United States, only a third of people living with HIV have been prescribed HIV meds.
One thing is certain: Whether you took your first fistful of pills in the late 1980s or began last week with one of several single-pill regimens, starting HIV meds is a life-changing event. Many of our bloggers and community members have told their stories of starting treatment; here's what some of them had to say about it.