As early as December 1999, the military hospital in New Orleans said my HIV test was inconclusive. A month later (January 2000), I was ordered to have a confirmatory test done but the results were never disclosed to me by the Army Reserve. In 2002, I was hospitalized for dehydration and double pneumonia (PCP). During my hospital stay, the doctor said I had AIDS.
Several weeks after my release, I returned for a routine check-up in May 2002. The nurse and doctor insisted that I had to start on the HIV/AIDS medications. For the next three years, I intermittently took the prescribed doses (Combivir, etc). On each medical visit, my CD4 count remained stable or went down. I asked the physician if the medication killed the cells. He said yes. I then asked, “how can my numbers go up, if the cells are being killed?” He was mute like Harrison, the CDC statistician in WRONGFUL DEATH.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, I was attending a LRS (Louisiana Rehabilitation Service) seminar in Kenner, Louisiana. I left the meeting area, and I didn’t know which way to return to my room. After about five minutes, my sense of direction returned (early stage Dementia/AZT type). I told my specialist about it and he laughed. I was fed up! I took myself off all medication.
When I returned for a follow-up visit, the nurse said my viral load was 500,000 and my CD4 count was nearly 400, proving that the medication did retard the CD4 increase. It lowered the viral load, but it also lowered the CD4. After conversing with the African American Infectious disease specialist, I was convinced to take another medication that did not contain a renamed AZT. It went okay for a while.
Then, something triggered me to buy Peter Duesberg’s book. I then contacted him at UC Berkeley. It took him the longest time to convince me that nothing was wrong with me. I had a whole bunch of “what ifs”! Despite Duesberg’s insistence, I stubbornly refused to abandon totally the establishment’s thinking on AIDS. I switched from one HAART Regimen to another over the next six years. I didn’t get any better.
In June 2011, I asked the nurse and the Infectious Disease Specialist to fill out some paperwork for a Department of Labor program called “Ticket to Work.” They refused.
This refusal spurred me to abandon the HAART regimen for the last time. I realized that these people were not concerned about my welfare. I stopped taking the medication but I still suffer from its side effects–palpitation in the chest (that makes you think you are having a heart attack), chronic diarrhea, dementia, rashes, suicidal thoughts, medicine taste in my mouth, herpes like ailments, coughs, anxiety, depression, and the list goes on.
Since then some sense has got through my thick skull, I have been okay. I work sometimes, play tennis and do many of the things to which I had grown accustomed before the diagnosis and medication. Yeah! I’m okay with the decision to stop killing myself, based on the recommendation of a bunch of self-serving liars.
Black Guinea Pig