Thursday 30 September 2021

12 Years on ARVs

A plan coming together

I had been on admission in hospital for 8 nights already, by which time, they have tried different approaches in medication and analysis, the knowledge the medical personnel had acquired from biopsies and leeching blood from my system was now coming together into a strategy and the professor was going to deliver a message about my diagnosis and the prognosis.

Until then, the medication I was on brought down the fevers, eased the pain, reduced the emesis, stop blood clots from forming, and halted the infection rate. The elephant in the room was the Kaposi sarcoma lesions that were prodded 5 days before, the dermatologist asked for a deep biopsy and after 9 injections of Lidocaine in my foot, I could still feel the pain, the results of their tests were taking time.

Preparing me for the future

The mammoth in town because it would have been too big for the room was what HIV was doing to my body and how it presented as AIDS, the screaming, “I’m here” through the megaphone of the lesions, that was the focus of the medical brains that attended my bed that morning 12 years ago.

I was given a sheaf of papers, basically the full medical notes for the new medication they were putting me on, they were going to address the root cause of my physical malady, the treatment of HIV with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), the kind of medication I had shied away from taking for years just because of too many reasons to mention. This was going to be the beginning of a lifesaving odyssey and the medics had no doubts in their minds that they were on the right track.

The drugs do work

I was put on the combination therapies of two tablets of Kaletra and one of Truvada daily, and there began a hope of life beyond my situation at that time, the beginning of living with HIV rather than dying of it through complications brought on by the virus. I was on this ARV drug regimen until the last week of May 2000 when I was switched to Atripla, because I was always having bouts of diarrhoea.

However, in a matter of weeks from 30/09/2009, my HIV viral load that was sky-high at hospital admission had reduced to undetectable, the drugs do work.

Blogs - The Cancer Tales (2009)

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