The story begins in 2007 when my wife was feeling unwell (She had been diagnosed with hepatitis ‘B’ some 20 years previous when she gave birth to her son). After visiting our local GU (Genito-Urinary) Clinic they had diagnosed her with HIV and a a result it was suggested that I have a full sexual health check. I was given the all clear but I was advised that I have a Hep ‘B’ jab. Six months later we returned to see if the drugs were working for my wife. Whilst there it was suggested that I was tested again for HIV and, surprise, surprise, I was now positive and a file was created for my records but when I mentioned that one had been raised on the initial visit I was told that it had been mislaid!
Upon one six monthly check-up, I asked the Doctor (who is a leading authority in the UK): why don’t people who have an organ transplant or blood transfusion, who have no immune system, get AIDS? Her response was that it is a different immune system😁 – since then neither my wife or myself have been checked by her!
I was prescribed the same meds as my wife: Atripla+Truvada. I took the meds religiously for some five years whilst undertaking my own research into HIV. Then I decided to reduce my intake by one day a week after each six monthly check-up at the GU Clinic, providing there were no adverse reactions – there weren’t, each visit showed an undetectable viral load and an improving CD4 count. I am now down to taking the meds once a week. My intention is, after my next check (when I shall be 65) next March, if I’m given the all clear then I shall cease taking the meds entirely. Then, when I have a check-up in September 2020, if I’m still showing a good CD4 count and undetectable viral load, I shall break the news to my HIV specialist.
It’s now been three weeks since I had my annual checkup and have received no negative feedback. So, as planned, I shall withdraw from taking any medication completely for my life-threatening disease. Just to recall, after each of my previous six-monthly check-ups, I had been reducing intake of medication by one-day with no adverse effects.