Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Finally...my meds arrived!

Last week i had an appointment with my doctor. He was finally able to prescribe me the best medicine that would work on me after considering all the results of the laboratory exams that we did. The pill is called ATRIPLA. It is one pill with three HIV medicines in it. I am copying and pasting some of the important facts about the pill here in my blog.

ATRIPLA is a combination of three HIV medicines: SUSTIVA® (efavirenz), EMTRIVA® (emtricitabine) and VIREAD® (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate).

How Does ATRIPLA Work?
ATRIPLA contains three HIV medicines in one pill: SUSTIVA® (efavirenz), EMTRIVA® (emtricitabine) and VIREAD® (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate). This combination works to lower the amount of HIV in the blood (called "viral load") by interfering with the way HIV makes copies of itself (called "viral replication"). Lowering the amount of HIV in the blood may also help increase the number of T cells (also called "CD4+ cells"). CD4+ cells are an important part of your immune system, because they help the body fight infections.

For many patients, ATRIPLA may be a complete regimen, with three medicines from two different "classes," or types of drug, in one pill. For some patients, ATRIPLA may be taken with other HIV medicines. ATRIPLA contains two NRTIs (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) and one NNRTI (efavirenz). Regimens that combine HIV medicines from different classes are effective because they help to slow HIV multiplication during several stages of the process.

ATRIPLA does not cure HIV and has not been shown to prevent passing HIV to others.

Ask your doctor if ATRIPLA is right for you, and see your healthcare provider regularly. Individual results may vary. Please click here for Important Safety Information, including information on lactic acidosis, serious liver problems, and flare-ups of hepatitis B (HBV).

Next post will be about the side effects of the pill and if I am experiencing them....and the answer is yes..that's why I have to hit the bed now.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I love my "Family"

I was talking to my sister one night in the instant messenger. We were kinda catching up of what's happening to her. She said she was dating someone and that she really really like this person but there is one catch. This person is also poz. At that moment I felt cold and numb. So I started to educate her about HIV and I was pretty sure at that very moment she was wondering why I knew some facts about HIV, but she didn't ask. We just continued on talking, telling her that HIV isn't bad that she could still live a normal life even if the person has the virus. They could still even have sex if that's what they want to do. And so the conversation went on until, I couldn't any longer keep my secret. I was thinking at that time that maybe this is the sign for me to open up my situation to my "family". So I told her. At first she wasn't really taking me seriously, but I told her that it's true and then started the story behind why I knew I had the virus. She was very supportive, I asked her to call my other sisters and so that I could tell them and they were also very supportive. Of course, there's the worry about how I was doing here now that I have this, or if Im feeling ok. I told them that nothing has changed in me, except for my lifestyle. On their part, they told me that nothing has changed, I am still their sister that they knew, that they love so much and that they're always there whenever the time comes for me to go....drama!

Sya mga lola!! tama na nga! See you next post!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trivial Pursuit.....some facts.

Just a few notes for some people very important to me...yung mga nagcocomment sa blog ko. Thank you so much for all the encouraging words na pinopost nyo. I am happy that in some ways, this blog helps to educate people. I would like to answer your questions in this particular post. Minsan kse sa sobrang work, I lost track of the people who ask me questions kaya iisahin ko na lang to answer those which I can remember.

When you get into meds, and bumaba masyado ang count ng CD4 cells mo, then you get the AIDS na, but if you are way above the line, then you are just HIV+. If you get sick, it doesn't mean you can't go back to being healthy again. Kaya lang iniiwasan magkasakit especially if you are HIV+ is because there could be complications and these complications could have fatal effect in your organs, and it could even cost your life. Yeah you are HIV+ but you died of pneumonia naman. So that's why people with HIV should always be in top shape. Pag nagkasakit ka, then you have to treat that sakit before going back to your normal routine like going to the gym or partying (but i dont recommend this). Make sure you dont have the ailment and then you can do your stuff again. Meds become part of your life. My doctor told me you have to be concious when to take it, if your medication time is 2am, you have to get up at 2am and drink your tabs.

So i guess this also answers the question that its not true na walang gamot for HIV/AIDS, my doctor said that 20 years from now, pwedeng may cure na for AIDS and HIV is almost equivalent na lang sa cancer. In fact mas fatal pa nga daw ang cancer. The mortality rate for cancer is even higher than the mortality rate of AIDS. You may not even die of HIV/AIDS nowadays, so ingat ako lagi sa pagtawid sa kalsada because that could possibly be a reason for an early death for me...LOL.

UPDATE: this march I will start my meds. I have a lot of lab tests to do before I could start on meds. The doctor wanted to have a baseline of where I am really in terms of infection. He will give me triplets. It's a concoction of three meds in one capsule. I dont know if my feeling is right but Im excited. Maybe because I really wanted to keep my self in top shape. I am healthy right now, in fact my doctor was surprised because coming from a very different place, a tropical country and coming to US with very different weather, di daw nagsusuffer ang health ko. In fact almost all the people who have been living here in the US nagkasakit na because of the really worst weather we are having now (because of Global Warming), ako hindi pa (knock on wood). And i am very thankful for that, aside from mahal ang magkasakit dito, I am sure im still in good shape considering I have a new boarder in my body.
I might have more interesting post in the future. Thanks for reading my blog.

Monday, February 11, 2008

after a long wait.....

I finally had the chance to see my doctor last week. The doctor was assigned to me by my case manager. My manager asked me if I wanted a female or male doctor, but no offense to female doctor, I chose a male doctor. You see, it's different talking to a male doctor instead of a female one, especially if you're talking about sex, and not just straight sex but gay sex. I had my shares of misadventures with the female species before, although two of my best friends are female but they are one-of-a-kind. One I could not forget was from my former officemate, we were talking one day about relationships and out of nowhere, she was lashing out gay men and telling me, "kayong mga bading salot sa ming mga babae". Duh?!? Even she was joking about it, I really really was offended by her remark and from then on I choose the stuff that I discussed with her. Now, I heard she had a bad incident with another gay employee in the office and worse was this gay employee was taking his rebuttal to the big boss.

Anyway back to my visit to the doctor, I had a very informative talk with him. He just again strengthen my belief that I could still live a normal life and do what normal people or gay people would do. He even told me that I could have sex again after he gives me a "clean bill of health" which just mean that he was able to establish my baseline viral load and CD4 cells count. Next plan is I will have my blood drawn again before I start on pills. He said he will give me a single capsule with three medicines in it. It's called the triplet, a concoction of three medicines in one. He warned me already that if I misses dosage in my other meds, then this shouldn't happen with the triplets. I should really follow the time religiously. After hearing that, I remember the RENT musical, and they have a scene there where everybody's beeper sounded all at the same time, and it just signals the characters that they need to pop a pill. I dont think Ill have one of those gadgets, it might just catch attention.

I also met the nurse assigned to me and she was a lovely old lady. She helped me thru the pre-exam preparation and she told me that the doctor who's coming to check me is one of the best in US right now. I am really lucky to be here, best doctor in the US for free to treat me. Yeah unfortunately of HIV/AIDS. Sigh. But yeah, I guess there's a purpose why I am here now.
Gotto leave you guys for now, Ill keep this blog as updated as it can be but I also have to work to make a living. So just check from time to time. By the way, the good news is with the meds now, I have 20-30 more years to live and by the time I reach 60, with the advancement happening, I'd get another 20 years. That's the good news!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Not so Happy New Year

Yeap, my new year isn't so happy at all. But still, I want to greet everyone a Happy New Year and wishing you the best in 2008.

I got my lab results finally. My CD4 cells are below normal and if goes down further I would be classified as an AIDS patient. My viral load or the HIV in my system is typically low. The lower viral load you have the better for your health. So how come my HIV is low and at the same time my CD4 is low. The most ideal situation is that when your CD4 is above normal, your HIV load is low....but in my case they are both low. The doctor gave me an explanation, and that its possible that I have HIV for quite some time already which means that most of the CD4 cells have already been eaten up by the virus. My immune system is just strong enough to fight the infections and when my immune system went down, then that was the time the HIV attacked.

Pretty bad news for me but that's the reality, we have to deal with it one way or another.