Discussions that mention norvir

HIV/AIDS Living With board

I'll try to answer my part of the questions posed as honestly as I can.

Sarah: You can ask me anything, anytime. We've been posting here since March so I think you and I are pretty open with each other. I'm on 4 meds for the HIV: Epivir (one table twice a day), Norvir (one capsule twice a day), Agenerase (four capsules twice a day) and Viread (one table once a day). In addition, I'm on 10 mg of Prozac (just to keep the devils away) which I seem not to take religiously and on Prevasic for a slight case of gastric distress. Since the removal of the spleen in May, my doctor has discontinues Toprol XL (for blood pressure issues) and Provochol (for cholesterol issues). I have a really, really good friend (I'll call him Dr. B and to whom I thank the Gods) who was the PCP the tested me for HIV and is now working in education and research, but with whom I e-mail weekly, who has suggested that there are new medications that I may be able to try that would reduce the meds to may three different medication taken once or twice a day. And, yes, I have been other meds (but mostly the current medications for the past six years. I was taking Zerit until June of last year when we discontinued that and I started on Viread) and started on AZT and Zerit and Epivir 11 yrs ago.

LS: When I found out I was HIV +, my T-cell count was 200 (meeting CDC definitions) and has never gove above that. Simultaneously, my viral load has been undetectable for the past 11 yrs. The lowest my T-cell count has gone was 94 and is now at 144 (in early June, post-op). As my friend, Dr. B., has suggested (because I have a tendency to do this ("Don't get hung up on the numbers! They're only numbers! Tell me how you feel!")

Dave: A couple of things - I wonder why, if your viral load is undetectable, would you want to stop taking your meds? This confounds me. But, regarding your question about biopsies: it is unlikely that you would be able to biopsy all the organs where HIV may be hiding. Also, it is unlike that a doctor would want to biopsy all the organs because obtaining a biopsy is an invasive procedure and invasive procedures are always subject to the risk of infections. Also, I would doubt that you could or would want to find a doctor who would be willing to write orders to biopsy those organs that were causing you problems (if you knew) just because you wanted to play INdiana Jones (remember, you would need to test all of your lymph nodes, etc). Also, I doubt that an insurance company would cover the cost of these procedures when there are blood tests that can provide you with the necessary information.
So, as LS said, he and I take our meds and live our lives. For me, there are down-times for sure. This past May, when I had to have surgery, was certainly one of the most difficult, (But I tend to be dramatic and a hypochodriac - not a good combination) and I was able to get through it because of this post, my family, and incredible doctors (a bus full of rabbis, several priests, a heavy set nun, an Abbey in Michigan, and a couple of Pentacostals also helped.). But, overall, life is good, very good and there are more (many, many more) good days than bad. I cannot ever remember a time when I was sick from this disease although I have been sick of this disease on at least one occassion. Hang in there....keep us in the loop. chris