Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol

6 Factors to Consider Before Starting HIV Treatment

September 26, 2013

 2/8 

Side Effects

Factor #1: Side Effects

Diarrhea is one of the common side effects of HIV meds that one needs to accept may occur. While it's by no means a guarantee that you'll get it yourself, I don't know anyone taking HIV meds who doesn't, on occasion, have an accident when they can't get to a bathroom. It challenges one's dignity, but most people find they can adapt by taking diarrhea medications and following a routine that includes carrying extra underwear. (There's even an app for that: Several bathroom-finder apps have proven very useful to clients and friends!)

Rashes, headaches and nausea can also occur, often when starting a new drug. (Learn about managing these and other short-term side effects of starting HIV treatment.)

In addition, potential long-term effects of HIV medications are now emerging, which may include liver, cardiac and metabolic problems, as well as diabetes, high cholesterol/triglycerides and osteoporosis. Unfortunately, we just don't know what the long-term impact is of these drugs. But we do know what the long-term impact is of not taking HIV meds at all.

Despite these side effects, most people choose to begin HIV meds and work with their doctor to closely monitor their impact, not just on HIV, but on other physiological systems as well.





This article was provided by TheBody.com.
 
See Also
HIV Medications: When to Start and What to Take -- A Guide From TheBody.com
More on When to Begin HIV Treatment

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Celestina (Nigeria) Wed., Nov. 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm EST
Cd4 drops no sign of sickness at all,the last i did the test it was 605 but now 517 why is it so,does it mean my body is forming resistance to the drugs or what?
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Geraldine (Nigeria) Wed., Nov. 6, 2013 at 4:58 am EST
Hiv is going round in Nigeria , somone u know got HIV at the age of 14 years and he doesnt know how he got it but he has vowed to share it as much as he can because he is angry that he got it and cant explian how.AHF should please focus on Nigeria before his likes will share it everywhere. Serious advocacy testing etc is required please
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Ditto Thu., Oct. 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm EDT
Always astonishing to me how when it comes to PrEP, all concerns are brushed aside. If you have the misfortune to actually seroconvert, the conversation changes. We start hearing "Whoah, hold your horses. Are you sure you're not a drug addict? Do you really think you're prepared to take one, maybe three pills EVER DAY? Is anybody checking to make sure you're really taking your pills? We think you can stand to be a little sicker, so maybe you should wait". Maybe newly diagnosed would do better to tell their providers that they're negative and can't be bothered to wear a rubber to save their life. "I need this to live" just doesn't seem to hold any sway with the medical community these days. Or is it that having the misfortune to produce antibodies fundamentally alters out view of what people are capable of?
Reply to this comment


Comment by: steve (San Diego) Wed., Oct. 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm EDT
Wow! Kind of sensationalized scaremongering there dude! I was diagnosed 1/13 CDC staging C2, started Stribild 2/13. The first week on meds was hell, linear progression to no big deal by week 4. 2 log fall in 30 days, 5 months to undetectable. Cd 4 normal range now >500 and 30% and improving. All in all no f*ucking deal, no side effects. Take my pill every morning (100% cART complaint is the key!) and give it a kiss and blessing for making my life 100% normal again :) Stop perpetuating the stigma please and lets just get on with living our wonderful but all too short lives :)
Reply to this comment
Replies to this comment:
Comment by: joe Sat., Nov. 23, 2013 at 4:33 pm EST
Thanks for your up lifting advice


Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:

Advertisement