HIV+ people who have never taken AIDS drugs, or have stopped taking them.
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Marco

Original Story, 2013

I was diagnosed with HIV when I was 17, in 2000. I am now 30 (2013) and I have never taken medication although I have been advised to do so various times. The first time was as soon as I was diagnosed. I had a high viral load, but also a very high CD4, around 700, if I remember correctly. I refused to start treatment.

I chose not to tell my parents, and just deal with it myself. I was able to tell my brother a couple years after, and my long time girlfriend of course, who has been with me for 8 years, and is negative.

I have travelled the world pretty much non-stop since I got diagnosed, for work, and also to enjoy my life to the max. I have seen many different doctors, but also kept track of my levels on my own when I felt there was no competent care or did not have the budget. I have very low trust in doctors and mainstream medicine generally.

I was seriously recommended to start treatment 2 years ago in a Caribbean country, having a CD4 count of 350 and viral load of 52,000. They wanted to put me on AZT. I again refused treatment, even though the pressure on me was quite high, but I was getting tested in this free clinic. I just peeked over the people’s prescriptions and all of them had AZT written on them. As it was a highly toxic and rather outdated drug, I was sure that this setup was just a way for pharma companies to get rid of their old drugs, with funding from developed countries (i.e. US $1 billion towards HIV… or lets say $1 billion to pharma companies to get rid of their old meds). It was also a form of genocide, I believe. I think the same thing happens in Africa.

What I could see in the faces of the people, and what I still notice in people who have been caught in this treatment trap, are evident signs of intoxication, not sickness. They all had that same “baggy skin”. dark circles under their eyes, and skinny unhealthy bodies.

And of course with hardly any education how can they even imagine what is told to them by a doctor may not be the truth? They just take the pill, it’s free… go for it…

My further tests were not too bad. Right now I see a viral load of 46,000 and CD4 of 294.  Any doctor would be obliged to tell me at this point to begin treatment, but I don’t feel weak, I don’t get sick more than other people, I recover from infections normally. The only time I got sick this winter was after being a little shocked and worried and a little depressed, by seeing my CD4 under the 300 mark…. a bit like the $99.99 cent strategy … looks a lot less than $100 right?

So I do realize emotional health has a lot to do with physical health. But, no big deal. I had a fever for two days and an ear infection and recovered quite quickly. I have had a few so-called HIV sicknesses in the past: herpes zoster, twice in 4 years, but nothing else. I take home-made colloidal silver every day, at quite high dosage, taking a break on it now and then, which took care of a little yeast overgrowth I had, and that seems to keep me healthy.

My worry is being on my own with no professional to actually back my decisions, especially after my last doctors visit. I went to look for a good doctor at a main hospital here in Europe. She took all my details again…sex life…drugs…infections…and all that crap…she started pointing out all little things that could get me worried…starting with things like “oh you always have acne” (for one little pimple I had on my face), oh about the dandruff… and oh it looks like you’re turning blue (from the silver). She did all those standard checks, blood pressure, neurological responsiveness (touch the tip of your nose with your eyes closed). I could feel she was just trying to find stuff wrong with me…that she was clinging to the smallest things, since all turned out to be fine, trying to get me worried about something.

Then she of course she seriously recommended me to start a light treatment (Edurant+Kivexa), showing me this cute little pamphlet, advertising this new little pill of the future, talking about it as this reeeaally small pill just once a day, low toxicity, (yea side effects are just severe depression, suicidal tendencies, liver and kidney failure… no big deal)….and then she said this phrase to me which really sort of confused me:

“THE LESS I PRESCRIBE TREATMENTS THE LESS I EARN”

Of course I was not surprised about this reality. I pretty much imagined that’s the way it works, but what puzzles me is why did she say that and then recommend treatment?

2017 Update

I was totally against taking meds, but I’m now taking antiretrovirals, since November 2015, (15 years after diagnosis) not due to cd4 counts, which had been in the 200-300 range for the last 3-4 years and a VL ranging 90-150k, but because I had pretty high blood levels of herpes simplex, cytomegalovirus, pretty swollen lymph nodes , enlarged spleen, and a high grade dysplasia  (AIN level III) due to HPV, which needed surgery. Hospital and suregeon highly recommend therapy to avoid dysplasia recurrence and possible evolution to carcinoma. So decided to give the meds a try, to see if they would take care of these evident symptoms. After 1 week taking 1x tivicay and 1x truvada daily, lymph nodes went back to normal,  spleen reduced, after 1 month viral load down to 100, after 3 months almost undetectable (30 count) , and undetectable now of course, cd4 back in the 700s. No recurrent dysplasia yet. Too soon  to say it’s clear though. No side effects from meds, except slight ear ringing.  No change in energy level or immune response to common illnesses ie cold etc…. which has always been above average.

You can contact Marco via email at: nevermeds@gmail.com