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

December, 2018

I would like to share I little bit of my experience since I got diagnosed in 2016 with HIV.

First I would like to mention that from 2007-2013 I was very hard on myself (alcohol abuse, smoking, not eating healthy food, not drinking sufficient water, etc), which created a lot of factors that were slowly damaging my health over the years. Plus I was bulimic and anorexic, and dealing with depression.

I had two healthy kids, my last one was born in 2012. Both kids are completely healthy and with zero presence of the virus.

From 2012 into 2014 I dealt with a lot of trauma and domestic violence that ended up in my divorce from the father of my children and everything went down hill from there. My kids and I became homeless and didn’t have a place to go, we ended up living with some friends and I just never took care of my health during those hard years at all. I began abusing of alcohol, starving myself for more than 12 hours without food and water, I was so depressed and stressed with trying to get back on my feet, that my body started to show a lot of conditions (migraines, lost of hair, bronchitis, herpes, etc). I was so busy trying to fix my life and to find peace to myself and my children that I just never listened to my body.

In 2015 I was fixing my migration status and during a period 9 months I received two doses of the MMR vaccine. I asked the doctor if the second dose was needed and he told me yes, so I proceeded to let them give me the shot. A week later I noticed a lot of hair loss, chills, and fatigue, followed by irritation in my throat that left me super sick for month and a half. I went to the doctor and they prescribed me antibiotics and an inhaler because I had acute bronchitis and the coughing was making it difficult for me to breathe. 

In 2016 I got my annual Pap smear screening, I also agreed to be tested for STDs. I will never forget that day when the doctors told me that my HIV test came back positive and I needed to see a specialist ASAP. 

I could tell there was something going on in my body due all the changes and conditions I was having. I had a lot of questions and went into a deep depression, thinking that I was going to die very soon.

At my visit with the infectious disease specialist , after reading my results, he prescribed me two different kind of medications: Genvoya [elvitegravir, cobicistate, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide] and Bactrim [Septra, a sulfa-drug antibiotic].

A couple of days after starting the meds I starting to feel worse than I was before, i had to call in sick at work due to all the dizziness and extreme fatigue, I started to have problems with ulcers in my stomach due to the growth of H.Pylori bacteria (a doctor did some lab tests to find out ). I was just not feeling well since my first day on ARV treatment and I asked the doctor if there was a natural alternative for me, since medications were not helping my condition. He replied, “No” , and insisted that those medications are my only hope to have a better life and to live more years in health.

After doing my own little research I decided that I didn’t want to live that way, taking AIDS meds and feeling ill all the time. So, I decided to do a test and stopped taking them in July of 2018. I have been taking better care of my health, exercising, eating whole organic foods, drinking good water, supplementing with herbs and protein, Whole Foods vitamins, reducing stress and getting enough rest.

In these past several months I been feeling very healthy and well. But now I am pregnant and all the questions come back to me because I heard that there’s a chance my newborn can get the virus and I want to know where to get more information on how to take care of myself during and after pregnancy so my newborn gets the chance to live a better life than me. 

I’ve talking good care of myself, and I have so many questions on how to deal with the criticism of others that think that my actions are only endangering the ones that I love. I know I can live long enough to share my story one day and I just want my baby to be born and grow up as a healthy kid.