Email 487: Wants to Live Without ARV's

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 8:22 AM

Gusto ko lang malaman opinion ninyo.  Pag ba mababa ung CD4 count kunwari 80, syempre kelangan mo na mag-take ng ARV drugs.  Sapilitan ba yun or iko-consider din kung ano choice mo.  Para sa akin ayoko na magtake ng ARV sakaling mababa na CD4 ko. Di naman sa nag-gi-give up na ako, gusto ko lang natural na lumaban katawan ko and if its my time to go then so be it.  Alam ko sigurado maiinis yung Doctor sa hub sa akin kasi  
yoko rin sumali sa gathering nila or maki interact sa ibang PLHIV, wala nga ako nasabihan ng meron ako nito.  I plan to live as normal as possible.



Hi Pedro.

Thank you for your email. Thank you for sharing your concern.

Here is my honest opinion since you are asking me:

1. Nobody can force you to take ARV's even though your CD4 is already at AIDS level (below 200). The doctors can recommend but can't force you. You alone can take care of yourself and not them. It is your life and it is going to be your choice.

2. Once your CD4 has gone down to 80, your immune system is already low that any opportunistic infections (infections that you already have but have been "tamed" by a good immune system, but will come out as deadly when the immune system has been compromised), can create havoc to your health. By not treating HIV, the opportunistic infections will keep on coming back and hurt your health, and most of the time can cause death. People don't die of HIV but rather by the opportunistic infections brought about by the compromised immune system brought about by HIV.

3. Having infections, even a simple cold, can lower down the immune system as the HIV replicates faster with the presence of any infection. If your CD4 count is already down, it will keep on spiralling down to dangerous levels with the presence of any infection (common cold, flu, etc), thus opening the pandora's box and letting all opportunistic infections to come out.

4. ARV's can improve your immune system and bring your CD4 count up to safer or healthier levels by "taming" or not allowing the HIV virus to replicate anymore. Thus they serve as a protection so that the opportunistic infections that may lead to death won't come out anymore. They don't kill HIV but rather help in preventing the virus from hurting your immune system anymore. This in turn helps a person to live a normal and health life once again. Of course, this will be a lifetime commitment until a cure has been found, but it is our only hope to live.

5. Like what I said, it is going to be your decision. But also consider these fact: taking ARV's which are FREE in the Philippines is better than getting hospitalised because of opportunistic infections. I for one spent almost P500,000 when I got hospitalised for 10 days because of pneumonia. Now, I don't get sick anymore.

Those are my opinions and I hope you would reconsider.

I hope I was able to answer your concerns. Feel free to email me again if you have other questions.

Stay healthy,

NO PLHIV is alone with his or her struggle with HIV!"


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