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Treatment Decisions

HIV infection can be treated in many different ways. Your treatment choices depend on your case and the problems that the virus cause you. You and your doctor have many choices ahead and this is where having a strong relationship with your doctor is imperative. Discuss all your options, all the medications available, what the possible side effects are, how long do you have to take it, what if it doesn't work. These are some of the many questions that I have.

There is so much new information about HIV each and every day. I try to check the CDC AIDS Daily Database at least 3 or 4 times a week because there is so much research and progress. Help by learning as much as possible about our disease.

Even if you are treated--you can still infect others. So learn how to protect yourself and others.

Knowledge is the key--it's how I help make the decisions regarding my care.


Opportunistic Infections

There are more than 20 diseases that take advantage of a low T4 count and these are referred to as opportunistic infections. Many can be prevented, controlled and cured. They are very common among those infected with the virus. Early treatment at the sign of any changes in your health, may prevent a much more serious condition.

There are many medications available, used alone or in combinations to treat infections and other related illnesses. There are also preventive treatments--used to keep an infection from starting. Since there are certain disease that are common among HIV/AIDS patients, physicians can prescribe a medication before we get sick.

The following symptoms can be caused by HIV or by other illnesses. You should see a doctor as soon as possible if you have any of them:

*fever that won't go away

*swollen glands in the neck, armpit, or groin

*a white coating on your tongue or in your mouth

*a dry, nagging cough

*shortness of breath

*night sweats

*a weight loss without dieting

*prolonged loss of appetite

*diarrhea that won't go away

*sores or rashes that won't go away

*headache that won't go away

*changes in memory or vision

*weakness or numbness in arms or leg

*genital sores, discharge or irritation

*constant tiredness

These are just a few and if you notice ANY changes in your health at all, please contact your physician.