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

Personal Story

First Day on HIV Meds Brings a Miracle From Mother Nature

Part of the Series My First Pill

July 1, 2014

Marcel Gil

Marcel Gil

I vividly remember the day I took my first ARV [antiretroviral] -- Aug. 8, 2012. That day stands out in particular, because it snowed for a few hours, and the last time it snowed in Johannesburg was June 1981. I joked with my specialist that Mother Nature was giving me something pretty to watch to take away the stress of getting that first prescription. I was more relieved than scared. I was tired of tests every three months to check for the 350 CD4+ count threshold. The CD4 no longer mattered; I wanted to start.

Nevirapine [Viramune] and Truvada [tenofovir/FTC] were my first pills. I was also being treated for bipolar disorder, so Atripla [efavirenz/tenofovir/FTC] was not an option. I barely noticed side effects. The initial strain of taking the medications was that, every time I took my meds, I was reminded of my status.

My next tests weren't great and a resistance screen showed multiple resistances. I jumped around a few meds, of which AZT [Retrovir, zidovudine] was definitely the worst. The nausea and running tummy just got worse. Finally, I settled on Aluvia [Kaletra, lopinavir/ritonavir], 3TC [Epivir, lamivudine] and Isentress [raltegravir]. The Aluvia keeps my stomach active, but I have been on this regimen for about 11 months, during which my CD4+ count has shot up incredibly and my viral load is now undetectable.

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.


Copyright © 2014 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.



This article was provided by TheBody.com.
 
See Also
More Personal Accounts Concerning HIV Treatment

No comments have been made.
 

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