My Pills

My Pills PictureTreatment Conversation
From the beginning of HIV treatments, people with HIV have shared each others pill story. What’s working, what isn’t, which pills have side effects which ones less so. The story of HIV medication has been one were medication generally has become easier to take (less quantity of pills) and more benign (less side effects for most people). People with HIV continue to share their treatment experience for the benefit of all.

HIV medication charts
Sourced from the web Pill Chart 2012  and now 2013 HIV Drug Chart- By Positively Aware Its worthwhile learning the medical name for your medication rather than the brand name, by doing so you avoid confusion and get to know the actual medication in your one pill combined regimes.

Normal life expectancy with HIV Pills
What follows is a great article on how  Life expectancy in older people with HIV could exceed the average – as long as ART keeps working

New Pills in the Pipeline
As a come across worthwhile  summary articles I’ll link them to this page Six promising HIV Drugs in the Pipeline

My Pill Story
In brief pill history for Cipriano Martinez, diagnosed with HIV in 1993,
1st regime started September 1997 (AZT, 3TC, Nevirapine),
1st regime adjusted September 2010 (TFC, 3TC, Nevirapine), it remains my current regime
In excellent health cd4%-30% +, Viral Load Undetectable since starting treatments (17 years approximately)

Benefits of starting Early – Context 2014 developed world
Some of the benefits of starting early include, a tailored regime to minimise any side effects particular to your body, preservation of your immune system and its capacity to self regulate, reduction in damage caused by untreated HIV inflammation, reduced density of hidden HIV reservoirs leading to greater likelihood of future cure, if started within 6 months of infection potentially functionally cured after 3 years (Visconti Trial), and lastly a massive benefit to others when you achieve undetectable viral load you are virtually non infectious (Swiss Statement).

When to Start Treatment 
In February 2013 Positive Living Victoria sent a media release (reprinted below for your benefit) providing a position statement on when to start treatments.
Position Statement on Early HIV Treatment for Individual Benefit and for Prevention

Living Positive Victoria
Suite 1, 111 Coventry St, Southbank
3006!Tel: 03 9863 873303 9863 8733
MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 4 February 2013
Living Positive Victoria advocates for early HIV treatment
People living with HIV are being encouraged to start treatment early for their HIV
infection in a position statement on HIV treatment issued by Living Positive Victoria.
The statement supports the increasing volume of research and expert opinion
around the world that early treatment for HIV infection has an important protective
benefit for the individual’s health and can also dramatically reduce the risk of
transmitting HIV to others when used alongside other proven prevention measures
like condoms.
“This is one of the most important issues facing people living with HIV,” said Sam
Venning, President of Living Positive Victoria, “The decision to go on treatment has
always been something that any person with HIV eventually has to face and we want
to support people to consider starting treatment early – firstly and most importantly for
their own health.”
In a recent brief issued by the Centers for Disease Control in the United States, the
Centre for Disease Control states that “providing treatment to people living with HIV
infection to improve their health must always be the first priority.” It goes on to state
“early anti-retroviral therapy helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives and
also lowers their chances of transmitting HIV to others.” Similar statements have
been issued recently by leading HIV agencies in the UK and in the prestigious New
England Journal of Medicine.
“It is important that anyone living with HIV and ready to take treatment is able to
access treatment, regardless of their CD4 count (a measure of the damage being
done by HIV in the body). Current regulations in Australia prevent people with higher
CD4 counts (i.e. above 500 CD4 cells) from being prescribed treatment under the
pharmaceutical benefits scheme. We are calling for the removal of this arbitrary
restriction” said Venning.
“We will support anyone living with HIV who is willing to start treatment early to
understand the importance of adherence to treatment, potential side effects but also
the health and preventative benefits of early HIV treatment. And we believe that an

important group to educate and inform are couples where one person is HIV positive
and the other HIV negative” said Venning “Studies have shown that being on
treatment dramatically reduces the risk of the negative partner being HIV infected.”
“HIV treatments are now more effective, have fewer side effects and are easier to
take than ever before and there is growing evidence that not only do these
treatments support and protect an individual’s immune system, they can significantly
decrease the forward transmission of HIV. We believe that Living Positive Victoria
has a responsibility to support people with HIV to consider the early treatment
option” said Sam Venning.

The position statement can be found at http://www.livingpositivevictoria.org.au/livingwith-
HIV/resources
—ENDS—

References:
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe1213734
https://www.wp.dh.gov.uk/publications/files/2013/01/BHIVA-EAGA-Positionstatement-
on-the-use-of-antiretroviral-therapy-to-reduce-HIV-transmission-final.pdf
http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/treatment/resources/factsheets/tap.htm
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