November #118 : Doctor's Diary - November 2005 - by Neal Rzepkowski, MD

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Senior Class

A Place at the Table

Food for the Soul

Med Blues

Doctor's Diary - November 2005

Talking Turkey

Licking Lipo Where it Lives

Tea Cells

Ask the Sexpert - November 2005

Bedroom Gambling

Word Therapy

Employee of the Month - November 2005

No More Stickups

Postscripts from the Edge

Buzz - November 2005

Positive I.D.

Courting Disaster?

Rent's Due

Mentors - November 2005

Pushing the $$$ Envelope

I Demand a Recount

We are Family

Founder's Letter - November 2005

Mailbox - November 2005

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

November 2005

Doctor's Diary - November 2005

by Neal Rzepkowski, MD

A doctor with HIV is also a patient

Every three months, like anyone else with HIV, I find myself at the other end of the stethoscope, visiting my doctor. Though my training allows me to be confident about making treatment decisions, as a patient, my intuition and knowledge of my own body also guide my choices.

I go to a large HIV clinic, so I sometimes get switched from one physician to another. When I got a new doctor two years ago, I told her that my regimen for the last three years was a single drug, Epivir (3TC)—with my previous doctor’s approval, of course. I’d been on a 3TC/Zerit/Viramune combo when my lab work suggested that my virus had developed the M184V mutation. While that mutation meant that I had resistance to 3TC, studies were finding that it also made HIV less able to reproduce. With my CD4s staying around 500 and viral load holding at about 20,000, I had felt safe breaking the triple-combo-or-bust rule.

But my new provider didn’t agree. “Just humor me,” she said, and I did, stopping meds altogether. I knew that together we would figure out what to do if I got sick.

Three months later, my viral load was up and T cells down. We agreed: back to my one-med regimen. My labs soon reverted to their former status, and I knew my gut instinct—that of a well-informed, empowered patient—had steered me right. Like some of my own patients, I had played my role as a full partner in my relationship with my doctor.

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Did you participate in an event for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2016?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.