As I look through all the wonderful pictures and comments about AIDS/LifeCycle 2013, I find myself getting excited about AIDS/LifeCycle 2014 already. My fundraising goal is $12,000. I also want to recruit at least one virgin to the ride. And what are the best tools we can use to create donors and future riders and roadies? I think it is probably each other and our stories.
|Me and Jim Akers. Photo from Chris Eisenberg.|
Four days without treatment means there’s a chance I developed resistance to one or more of the drugs in the pill I take (there are three medications total in that pill). If I develop resistance, I may have to go on what they call a “salvage regimen.” Less effective medications. More difficult to manage undetectable viral loads. More side-effects. And greater chance of developing resistance.
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They deal with nasty side effects and a low, but still detectable, viral load. Until one day, that virus which can still replicate because it’s not fully suppressed finds a way around those salvage meds and the patient develops resistance.
Another salvage plan is chosen.
And maybe another.
Until no options are left.
Then… well, the virus does exactly what it did back in the early days before we had any medications. It runs its course.
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You’re donations also go to help cover the gap – those who fall through the cracks of the system. Many of which, like me, fall in the middle class. My medication costs about $2,000 a month. Even for those who donate $50 and think it’s too little to make a difference, it can cover one pill for one day – and like I mentioned above, I only missed four days.
That is how you’re saving lives.
And I can’t thank you enough for that.