February 24

Well it is nearly eleven months since I found out that I was living with HIV. Yesterday, I was up at the HIV clinic once more.

Results

CD4= 160%, 8%
Viral Load = 60,000

On diagnosis, my CD4 count was 100, but my Viral Load was 29,000.

Meds

With the news that my viral load was more than double what it was when I was diaganosed – I rethought the issue of medication and was prescribed the same combination as the last lot I tried. That is, Viramune and Truvada.

I took them last thing at night last night and am aiming to take them last thing at night every night.

HIV in the news

When I got back to the HIV Support Centre yesterday, I read in The Guardian a column entitled One test, but two results by Elizabeth Pisani. It’s probably just that as a person living with HIV I see those three small letters everywhere – but it was a good article. One part that struck me was:

At an HIV research meeting this week, boffins from the World Health Organisation revived a mathematical model that shows that if we test everyone in Africa for HIV once a year and give everyone who tests positive drugs right away and for the rest of their lives, we’ll wipe out new HIV infections within seven years. …

Sadly, it’s not that simple. For one thing, HIV is most infectious in the few months after a person is first infected. Even if everyone got tested annually, we’d miss most of these new infections. Second, people’s viral load spikes upwards if they get another STI, or if they stop taking thier medicine because the clinic runs out of stock, or they went on a three-day bender and forgot their pills.

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