Preparing Yourself for HIV Treatment
More than almost any other, one's relationship with his or her HIV medications is an intensely personal, long-term obligation. While it's certainly lifesaving, it requires consistency, determination and acceptance of side effects, both anticipated and unanticipated.
I have been on this road since 1988, and I am most certainly alive only because of these medications. Coexisting with our HIV meds has certainly become easier. There are more medication options than ever before, there is an increased understanding of side effects, and drug combinations are much more convenient to take.
But it is critical not to lose awareness of the tenuous balance between the risk and benefit of HIV medications. Despite today's reassuring, carefree, almost casual portrayal of life on HIV meds, taking them remains a serious, lifelong commitment with medical, emotional, social and financial consequences. Because of the nature of this commitment and its significance, anyone starting HIV medications needs to consider several factors. Here are six: