My HIV Diary: Change in the Numbers, Week 48

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Ryan Dixon (a.k.a former porn star Kameron Scott) has started taking HIV medication. He’s keeping a diary of his experience.

Being in my mid-20’s isn’t easy, add HIV on top of that and we have one hell of a complicated life. I’m making the best out of the hand life has dealt me and the decisions I’ve made along the way. Writing helps free my mind. Hopefully these words will help you understand the plight of others like myself, and inspire you to live each and every day in the moment.

Week 48 (July 26 – Aug. 1)

Having just left my doctor’s office I now have a new rule: never let anyone draw blood on you for the first time. My arm was like a pin cushion after he was done. It’s not like I haven’t already been a practice dummy the entire time for this study. He felt bad but I told him not to worry about it. I had fun at his expense that will be worth looking like a junkie for a few days.

My numbers this visit were a little surprising but pretty much on par for the course like they have been the last 11 months. My CD4 count did drop from 745 to 415 but my percentage stayed the same, at 38 percent. My lymphocytes were higher than the last visits so that may have accounted for the lower T-Cell count. The doctor said I could have had an infection that caused the numbers to change, but since the percentage stayed the same there was no need for alarm or concern. He mentioned that he once had a cancer patient that was HIV positive whose CD4 count once dropped to 20 because he started chemotherapy. But since his percentage stayed the same they knew the number would come back up which it eventually did. Seeing as these numbers are two months old I’m not worried about them at all.

We discussed my stomach issues that I was having looked at for possible food allergies again this visit. He told me that HIV medicines boost a person’s immune system which is the reason reaction to food or other allergens can be heightened because the body can finally react to them. I’m thinking my problem is most likely dairy products. I’m doing a little self experimenting to see if I can pin point the problem myself. Almond milk isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be and it didn’t upset my stomach at all.

After the first year is up in the study there are talks about switching to an injectable medicine study. I’m already approved for that study and was asked to switch to it. These next few weeks should be interesting.