From two weeks to two months.
Exactly two months today when I started taking ARV’s (Lamivudine/Zidovudine and Nevirapine). First two weeks is crucial as this is the window period for the side effects – fever, body pain, rashes. I recalled my friend telling me, if we get through that two weeks alive then we’re ok. At least for me, my friend however, was never spared from the Nevirapine rash.
As for me, the first two weeks gave me fever at night and a slight fatigue feeling at work (in the morning – and I am not even doing anything yet). I am also under prophylaxis, considering my low CD4 count. I have to take antibiotics to protect me from acquiring TB virus and Pneumonia. Two weeks prior starting my ARV’s, I started with my prophylaxis – Zithromax and Cotrimoxazole. Zithromax, which I have to take 1500mg once a week, sent me to the hospital – this is within the two-week window period. Doctor’s findings – Drug Induced Gastritis. So, it is not the ARV’s that sent me to the hospital. It’s my prop.
The day after I got out of the hospital, Nevirapine was increased to twice a day since my body responded well with the meds. Surprisingly, since then I never had fever, I never felt fatigued, no body pains. Lab tests are all ok; result is always within the normal range. Thank GOD! I am still hoping and praying that everything will be ok and that I don’t have to switch meds as this would mean another adjustment.
Today, I feel happy and healthy. There are even times that I don’t feel or think about "it" anymore.
Happy 2nd monthsary to me and my partner – ARV!