Q and A


I have just started treatment and have questions…

I have started ART (raltegravir and Truvada) having a CD4 of 700.

Do you know what it will happen with my CD4? Will it remain the same or it will decrease? If I will have other infections will it decrease and increase again? What do I have to do to protect my liver and kidney not to be affected by toxicity of medication? Will ART cause me pain? What do I have to do to have the same life like I had it before HIV.

I have muscle pain, headache and I become weak and very worried, I sleep less What I have to do to be the same like before? I hope that they will find a cure soon and my body won’t be affected by HIV.


Hi there,

How are you handling being positive, do you have any support?

It is good you have started treatment (ART). Your CD4 count (marker of your immune system) is very strong. You can expect your CD4 to gradually increase (although it is at a good number already). This link explains more about CD4 increasing and calculates how much it might increase to.

As your CD4 count is strong, you are unlikely to develop any opportunistic infections. You need to keep adherent to your medication and this will keep you healthy. The i-Base guide to starting HIV treatment explains more.

You don’t need to do anything to protect your liver and kidneys. The routine monitoring form the clinic will make sure that this is okay.

HIV meds in 2016 have much fewer side effects compared to meds that were first used. Taking ART Should not cause you pain and if you are experiencing pain you should speak to your doctor. Likewise, you should speak to your doctor about your other symptoms as we cannot diagnose them.

Once your viral load is under control you can lead a full and long life like any one HIV negative. This will hopefully reduce how much you worry. Whilst there is no cure at the moment, HIV treatment is very effective but it’s also important to keep healthy in other ways such as diet and exercise.

Please let me know if you have any more questions.


  1. Simon Collins

    No, this is all nonsense, the so-called herbal remedies are nonsense, the HIV tests are negative. Please see the first question at this link – and this will take you to more information.

  2. Yaw

    I want to find out whether a person can be infected with hiv but will not develop antibodies making it difficult for test that look for antibodies to inform the person of his hiv infection. A friend traveled outside our country for a month and got hooked up with a lady from one of the southern African countries. Not knowing the lady was hiv positive but did not inform my friend. It was somebody who told him but it was too late. He asked the lady and she got angry and was defensive telling my friend she will report him to her lawyers for disgracing her.When my friend returned home after the one month, he started experiencing flu like symptoms, severe muscle pains, rashes at his back, started feeling sleepy at anytime of the day. He started taking some local herbal medicine which purport to cure hiv. After taking it for 2 months, I advised him to stop and to hospital to test for the presence of the virus. He agreed and stop taking the herbal medicine and went to test. He has tested 3 times in a year but always its negative. But within the year, he has almost experienced all the symptoms of hiv infection. Muscle and joint pains, swelling of groin lymph node, rashes, pains in the neck sometimes, feeling fatigue after work and feeling sleepy at meetings and when driving, stomach upset sometimes and sometimes he feels sick. So he thinks that he has the virus but because he started taking the herbal drug just 1 month after the encounter with the lady, he might not have developed antibodies to the virus which the test look for. He doesn’t know what to do next.

  3. George

    I Had Penis Bacteria Infection Std After Sex.I Was Treated And Cured Bt I Fear Getting Hiv Test.

  4. Simon Collins

    Hi George, what are you afraid of? The only way you can know your HIV status is to test. Whatever the result, it is always better to know.


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