March 11, 2009

March 11, 2009
Side Effects

Thanks for stopping by to check out a day in my life. After a recent cold front, we are having some beautiful sunny weather here in north Florida with high temperatures in the lows 80s.

I started off my day with my protein shake and a workout. Today was chest and tricep day. I am still doing three sets of each exercise and four to five exercises per body part. My body is finally getting solid again. Definition and vascularity are returning. My strength is also increasing. So stayed tuned for further developments as I fight to get my body back into shape. For those of you who joined let me know how you are doing.

Speaking of how you are doing, I get a lot of questions about side effects of HIV medications both people of both HIV statuses.

Now first I need to mention the side effects are not nearly as bad as when we only had a few HIV medications and had to take them in high doses in order to hope to stay alive. The high doses of the medications is what made the side effects be so severe in most cases.

Now that we have many more medications, we are able to pair them where the levels can be much lower and still retain the HIV virus. Thus making it much easier on your body. That being said, people still has some side effects and I do not want to discount their discomfort or problems.

And you have to remember that all medicines can cause side effects and the drugs used to treat HIV are no exception.

Researchers have been concerned that HIV treatment might increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including illnesses such as heart disease and stroke.

But there is more and more evidence that it is HIV itself that is the main cause of the increased rates of cardiovascular disease seen in people with HIV.

Italian researchers have found more evidence supporting this theory.

They found that it is HIV itself rather than anti-HIV drugs that causes damage to the smooth lining of veins and arteries (endothelial dysfunction). This can be an important early warning sign of cardiovascular disease.

Their research involved people starting HIV treatment for the first time. Some started treatment based on a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), and some with treatment that included a protease inhibitor. The researchers compared these people with ten HIV positive individuals who were not taking anti-HIV drugs.

After a year of HIV treatment, there had been subtle improvements in the health of the veins of people taking HIV treatment. These improvements occurred even though the level of cholesterol increased in many people taking anti-HIV drugs. But researchers found that evidence of damage to the veins and arteries was still present in people not taking HIV treatment.

So there is one more reason to do everything we can as far as health wise if we want to live a long time with HIV. You need to eat nutritionally, get adequate rest and exercise. Needless to say you should avoid alcohol, tobacco and of course hard drugs.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab