Discussions that mention sustiva

HIV/AIDS Living With board

OK, so where do I start.

I am a straight male, 42 years old, living in the UK (Bucks).

I was diagnosed last year with AIDS, after being hospitalised with PCP - if anything it was more funny than anything else as I was rushed to a isolation ward because I they thought I had bird flu after returning from Thailand !! My CD4 count was less than 20 and the viral load was over the top of the scale which at the time was based on 100,000 - basically I guess if my lungs hadn't given me a final warning I'd be dead by now - and if you knew the probelms I had walking up the hill to the hospital ! My ex-wife was also diagnosed with AIDS - cd4 160 - she had throat growths.

Doctors say I must have had the virus for about 8-10 years, but that's impossible due to my partners, and I believe that I have only had it for 3-5 years max - I guess our strain is just more virulent. But I was not scraed when they told me - why be ? You can't change anything, you cannot deny it. Would I rather not have it - sure ! But now I have to live with it. I think I said oh damn at the time and went home for a cuppa.

The doctors put me on Kaletra and Combivir about 9 months ago, and within 3 months my viral load was 99.5% gone. My CD is now 120 and my Viral load is currently undetecable - or less than 40. OK I have to take an antibiotic everyday, but only 1 more tablet ! They did put me on Sustiva , but that drug had me walking into walls in the middle of the night and hallucinating !

I was back at work in within 10 weeks part time and now I am back full time. My work colleagues don't know my exact status, but they all have guessed. Apart from a few silly comments through ignorance, they accept me as they did before. I have not had a day off sick in 9 months now.

I divorced my wife in Oct 05. But after our joint diagnosis we kind of got together again. In fact we treat our recovery as somewhat of a compettion each third month that we get our results.

We had no family but after talking to doctors decided to start a family - and she is currently 7 months - baby boy expected 24/7. As long as her viral load is undetectable, she has a cesarian, doesn't breast feed and the baby takes AST for 6 weeks after the birth then the chances of him developing HIV is 0.1% or 1 in a thousand !!

Sure, there are days I feel down, but no more than before I was ill. I think to worry about HIV / Aids is to let the virus win. Don't think too hard about it , you'll worry yourself to death. I think the biggest worry is not how long do I have - it is more - in my case - am I going to die on my own. I thiknk HIV is harder for single people to deal with. I think I'd feel alot worse if I was on my own, but there are thousands of people all over the world with the virus and you'll find a partner.

And cheer up, the man with the scythe aint gonna get you yet !

I had a dream the other day. In my dream I had been asked to create an information board to go up in a HIV ward - not that there is such a thing here in the uk. I found myself gluing pictures of people with no arms and legs, horrific wounds, malformed children, children in wheelchairs and other really scray images onto a piece of cardboard.
A stranger stopped to ask me why I was putting all of these images onto the display. My response was that 'there are far more worse thing in this life I could have than HIV". I hope you can all appreciate the thought !

Cheer up friends, Richard:)