Undetectable VL?: How Did I do It?

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 2:45 PM

Yesterday I received the greatest news ever since I was diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. My VL was already undetectable!

BRIEF MEDICAL HISTORY

It was exactly September 1, 2011 when I got diagnosed with HIV stage IV because of my recurrent bibasal (two lungs) pneumonia and pneumocystiis pneumonia (PCP). I had my first CD4 on October 2011and it was 70. That same month I also got my viral load (VL) and it was 115,00. My infectious disease doctor said that I was almost on my deathbed then because I was late diagnosed. I was hospitalized for 9 days, and spent almost P500,000 on hospitalisation and medicines. By October 6, 2011, I started to take my ARV's, lamivudine, tenofovir and efavirenz. After 11 days, I had body rash that lasted for 3 days. I also had oral thrush and fluconazole was prescribed for 14 days. The ARV's that were prescribed in 2011 are the same medicines that I am taking up to now. I am taking all of them still at exactly10pm everyday.

On June 2012, I got my 2nd CD4 count and it was already 487. I was still taking the same ARV's at exactly the same time. I never had any illnesses then.

On January 2013, I got my CD4 count and it was 537. My Viral Load was already tested and it recorded "undetectable". I am still taking the same meds, had one bout of colds that lasted for 4 days and had on and off seborrheic dermatitis in between my brows and scalp which I easily treated with Tinactin ointment and head and shoulders shampoo. I was late in taking my ARV's once, about 2 hours, when I forgot to bring it to Subic and I was forced to come home with the recommendation of Dr. Ditangco.

SO HOW DID MY CD4 GO UP FAST AND MY VIRAL LOAD BECOME UNDETECTABLE?

A lot of people have been asking me how I've done it. They are requesting for health tips. People are clamoring for my best practices.

So here are the things that I wanna share with everybody.

1. Utilize the power of FAITH
a. BELIEVE that you can fight HIV

  • Since HIV is not a death sentence anymore, that means that you can fight it. Fight it head on. Fight it with all your might. Don't let it overpower you, instead empower yourself to become more powerful than it.

    b. BELIEVE in yourself.

  •  You alone can do it. Not your doctors, not your medicines but YOU. The rest are all "machineries" to fight it but without your willingness to fight, then you will lose the battle. Be disciplined. When I received my VL result, I thanked Dr. Ditangco for all her help. She replied back with this message:
                   " It is your self discipline that did it. Keep it up!"

  • You are in control of yourself. You will dictate what your future is with HIV. If you want to beat HIV, then focus on all the things that you can do. 
  • Set your goals. From day 1 you have to commit to your health. You should put in your mind that your health comes first from now on: not your family, not your work, not your hobbies, not your relationship. You have your health to worry about. You need to move move fast and overcome all obstacles. You need to clear your mind and just focus on getting well.
     c. BELIEVE in your doctors.

  • Your HIV doctors will guide you throughout the process of treatment. All you have to do is to follow all their recommendations.
  • Partner with your doctor. They can't dictate what you need to do but you can partner with them with all the decision making. Your health will depend on this partnership. 
  • If you have doubts, ask. It is better to clear your mind with any confusion or any misinformation so you can just focus on getting well.
  • You need to be comfortable with your doctor for you to believe in all the decisions and advices made.
       d. BELIEVE in your ARV's

  • Your ARV's or the HIV meds will "tame" the virus and prevent it from replicating.  Believe with this premise in mind.
  • Believe that the ARV's will work only if you will follow precisely how to take them. As advised, they should be taken:
              - at exactly the same time, everyday or every night
              -no missed doses
              -don't be late in taking them
              -don't use herbal supplements and other supplements that might have risk in decreasing the
               potency of the ARV's without the knowledge of the HIV doctor.

2. Stay Healthy

    a. Don't get sick! The HIV replicates every time you have an infection or you are ill
    b. Eat a balanced diet with less cholesterol in the food. One complication of ARV's is that it increases 
        the bad cholesterol in the body so be extra mindful on what you eat.
    c. Don't eat raw food as you might get bacterial infections from them.
    d. Avoid circumstances wherein you can get infections

  • avoid crowded places so you won't get communicable diseases like colds and flu
  • Don't play with dirt, as you might get toxoplasmosis if you are not yet exposed to it.
  • Stay away from cats as they can transmit other opportunistic infections.
  • Always sanitize your surroundings with alcohol or use hand sanitizers
  • you can wear a mask if you are very particular to airborne infections
  • always use protection during sex to prevent:
             i. coinfection with another strain of HIV
             ii. coinfection with the HPV and you might resort to having warts on your private parts
             iii. coinfection with other sexually transmitted diseases like syphillis, gonorrhoea, hepa A, B   and C

     e. Manage Stress!

  • Avoid stressful environment if you can.
  • If you can't avoid it, always have a de-stressing activity:

            - relaxation exercises like yoga or tai-chi are good mind and body exercises
            - workout in the gym: lifting weights, boxing, cardio
            - participate in any kind of sports: basketball, swimming, volleyball, etc.
            - have a hobby: reading a book, photography
            - take a vacation. See places. Go out of town or out of the country
          iii. Sleep at least 8 hours a day. Take power naps if you can.

     f. Exercise:

  • Workout at least 3x-5x a week
  • Do cardio exercises 3x-5x a week.
  • Do strength training exercises

      
3. Be Optimistic
    
    a. A positive mind can do wonders for you!
    b. It can be treated! You just have to stick to this and just believe it!
    c. Others have done it and so can you!
    d. Other PLHIV's are living for decades now so you can too!
    e. A lot have undetectable viral load and that should be your ultimate goal!
    f. A lot of PLHIV's are living their normal lives now and fulfilling all their dreams!
    g. With the technology now, there will be a cure someday!

4. Be Kind to Others

    This is the secret to everything. This is your second life so put more meaning to it!
    1. Love other people.
    2. Don't hurt others
    3. Help those who are in need.
    4. Be charitable and generous.
    5. You have a chance to live a healthier life so pay forward all the blessings that you have been
        receiving.
    6. Thank all those who stayed by your side.
    7. Smile and the whole world will smile back at you.

5. Stay Happy!

You have been given a chance to live and be healthy. Find your niche in this world. You are given this chance once again for a purpose. For all you know, this might be a blessing in disguise. When all is said and done, the best that you can do for your self is to stay happy. 


Trust me. This works. You alone can do it. Follow what I have mentioned above and I am 100%
that you will belong to those who have succeeded in "taming" their virus to undetectable levels!

Good luck!




"WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
NO PLHIV is alone with his or her struggle with HIV!"

-Pozziepinoy-






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