10 Things You Know If You Are HIV Positive

10
Never take a regimen of only 1 HIV medication. Most of the time it takes 3 or more medications to suppress HIV. Sometimes a pill has more than 1 medication, like Combivir or Trizivir.
9
An HIV regimen has two parts: the “anchor” and the “background.” Use one of the following as an “anchor“:
Sustiva Kaletra
Atazanavir (+ Norvir) Lexiva (+ Norvir)
Crixivan + Norvir Viramune
Invirase + Norvir Viracept
Fuzeon (injection only)
For “background,” use one of the following combinations:
Ziagen + Epivir (Epzicom) Emtriva + Viread (Truvada)
Retrovir + Epivir (Combivir) Emtriva + Videx
Epivir + Videx Emtriva + Retrovir
Retrovir + Viread Retrovir + Videx
Emtriva + Zerit* Epivir + Zerit*
Epivir + Viread Ziagen + Emtriva
*Higher incidence of fat wasting is associated with Zerit.The following combinations are NOT recommended:
Retrovir + Zerit Zerit + Videx
Epivir + Emtriva Ziagen + Viread
Videx + Viread

Your doctor will help you choose based on your treatment history and your feelings about side effects and food restrictions.

Note: Other combinations of medications are possible. Talk with your doctor about what options are best for you.

8
If your viral load is greater than 100,000, avoid Viracept or Ziagen as the “anchor” medication in your regimen. On the other hand, if this is your first regimen and your viral load is less than 50,000, one of these drugs may be a good choice for you.
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7
Take every dose of every medication everyday, on time. If you can’t do this, stop taking all of your HIV medications. Skipping doses of your medication does more harm than good.
6
Do not take any medication or supplement, whether over-the-counter or by prescription, without making sure there is no interaction with your HIV medications. Some interactions can be fatal.
5
Eye care is important. If you experience “floaters” or any changes in vision call your doctor immediately. Some conditions, such as CMV, left untreated can cause blindness.
4
If your T cell count is less than 250, or if you have night sweats and fever, consider taking HIV medications. They may save your life.
3
If your T cell count is less than 200, take medication to prevent PCP, a pneumonia that can kill you.
2
If your T cell count is less than 50 cells, take medication to prevent MAC, a bacterial infection that can kill you.
1
Choose a doctor with experience in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. The more experience, the better. This is the most important decision you can make.

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