As the winter solstice approaches, I am aware of what a noteworthy month this December is for me, in ways that have nothing to do with the holidays. Fifteen years ago this month I was informed that I was “HIV-positive”. Five years ago, I started this blog, primarily to share my experiences with both the diagnosis, as well as previous and new health issues. I will be sharing some exciting news about some changes that will be happening to resistance is fruitful a bit later in this post.
In nearly every conversation I’ve had with Affecteds who are experimenting with ways to reduce the toxicity of antiretroviral (ARV) regimens, questions about “AIDS drug resistance” comes up. Resistance is often raised as a boogeyman in research trials of monotherapy and intermittent treatment options. While drug resistance—especially bacterial antibiotic resistance to staphylococcus or tuberculosis, for example—is increasingly a problem in modern medicine, one is unlikely to hear drug resistance discussed quite the way it is with AIDS. No other pathogen is described as “sneaky”, “clever”, or more mutable than HIV, despite the fact that retroviruses do not even meet most definitions for being a living entity, let alone have a brain.
Stop the nukes! No, not nuclear weapons. Well, yes, those too, but today I’m writing about the increase in reports I’m seeing from the AIDS drug medical literature calling for an end to the use of nucleoside(tide) reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), not-so-ironically referred to as “nukes”. As I have written previously, there have been rumblings from clinicians and researchers in the medical literature since at least 2010 to get rid of the NRTI class of antiretroviral drugs entirely from treatment guidelines.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this change will occur at anything comparable to the speed with which AZT and other poison pills were “fast-tracked” to market more than 25 years ago.
Very good news: I just received the results of the confirmatory AMAS cancer screen, and it was “normal”, or negative. In fact, the results were in the lowest possible range provided on the test. The result from my first AMAS test a couple of months ago was “elevated”, which required a confirmatory test. For obvious reasons, I have very mixed feelings about this test, but I am ready to put it behind me.
As I was doing some housekeeping on my blog, clearing crud out of my drafts folder, I noticed a couple of reasonably complete posts that were never published, for whatever reason. Since they are rather old, and I chose to post-date them, they may not get noticed by the email subscription service, or RSS feeds.
Here’s a list of old posts that have never been seen before:
Meanwhile, I have been fighting severe fatigue again, and that has led me back into that dark place called depression. I don’t want to write about that, of course. I want to write only about successes and victories. Twice last month I felt the onset of shingles in my left eye. The first time I was able to send it into remission quickly and with no evidence of an outbreak. The second time, the inflammation persisted for nearly two weeks, and I am only now feeling as if I might have kept it from erupting into a serious and disfiguring outbreak, like the one that hospitalized me in September, 2012.