Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

Starting Antiretrovirals Wasn't an Option
Part of the Series My First Pill

By Aaron Laxton

March 24, 2014

Aaron Laxton

Aaron Laxton

Starting on ARVs [antiretrovirals] wasn't an option. From all the research I had done, I knew that the quicker that I started medications, the better chance I would have to remain healthy. I was diagnosed on June 6, 2011, and almost a month later I started on Atripla [efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC]. I remember that I was still trying to wrap my head around the diagnosis while comforting others.

Luckily, I had a great advocate and friend, Michael McGovern, who calmed me down and explained everything. He worked with me to get me enrolled into a 52-week study. At the time, I was unemployed with no health insurance. The first few weeks on Atripla was met with a rash that fully engulfed my body, however, that left as quickly as it came. The remainder of my time on Atripla (two years), I mainly would have upset stomach depending on the fat content of the meal the night before and extremely vivid dreams. Atripla helped me become undetectable within four months post diagnosis and it kept me healthy for the duration of the time I was on it. I have since changed over to Stribild [elvitegravir/cobicistat/FTC/tenofovir] due to the sleep interruption/vivid dreams that Atripla caused me.

What was your first pill? Whether it was AZT or Atripla, we want you to tell your story! Write out your story (between 200 and 1,000 words, please!) or film a YouTube video, and email it to mrodriguez@thebody.com. We'll be posting readers' My First Pill stories here in our Resource Center on Starting HIV Treatment.

Read other stories in this series.




This article was provided by TheBody.com. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:
http://www.thebody.com/content/74195/starting-antiretrovirals-wasnt-an-option.html

General Disclaimer: TheBody.com is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through TheBody.com should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.