HIV Treatment: Keeping It Effective
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Looking for tips on keeping your HIV treatment effective? Watch this video.
Transcript: The key to controlling HIV -and keeping your CD-4 count high and your viral load low-- is to stick PRECISELY...
The key to controlling HIV -and keeping your CD-4 count high and your viral load low-- is to stick PRECISELY to the daily schedule for your medication. If you miss doses or don't take them on a regular schedule, the virus could thrive and mutate so that one or more of the medications becomes ineffective. This is called DRUG RESISTANCE, and signs may include fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea. To keep tabs on how well your medications are working, you will get regular blood tests that measure your viral load and your CD-4 count. If the meds ARE working, the viral load may become very low or almost undetectable. And your CD4 count may be near normal. Another way to make sure your treatment remains effective is to be aware of any side effects that pop up unexpectedly or that are severe. They may signal that your multiple drug cocktail is no longer working, and it may be necessary to try another combination of drugs. Some side effects CAN be sudden AND serious, so it's important to see your doctor as soon as you notice them. Journaling even your minor side effects is a good idea too, so you can discuss at your next appointment. Another important way to protect the effectiveness of your treatment regimen is to make sure that ANY OTHER over-the-counter medications, supplements or drugs you're taking do NOT interfere with your antiretrovirals. Always discuss this with your doctor BEFORE you take anything. A healthy lifestyle, with physical activity, good nutrition, and stress management is also important for keeping your treatment working. For more information on living with HIV see the other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-21 | Tags »
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