HIv Infected People - Staying Informed About Treatment

The bottom line in enjoying life with HIV in as healthy fashion as possible is that the infected person needs to stay informed about options including but not limited to medical treatment.

The person with HIv / AIDS, whether in New York, San Francisco or Guam, needs to be able to discuss treatment options with his or her physician, needs to know when to take medications, proper nutrition, options for financing the expensive treatment drugs and generally how to stay as - healthy - as - possible.

An HIV infected person on Guam needs to know when to inquire about new medications coming to market and needs to know when to inquire about new medications coming to market and needs to know which side effects are to be expected with which medications, what to avoid when taking certain medication, whether to take medication before or after meals and when to see a doctor, etc.

Special opportunistic infections require special treatment. For HIV infected women who are of child bearing age, there are special concerns. Changes in recommended dosages of medications, adding or deleting medications are important developments that people with HIV need to keep informed. Although the list of what HIV infected people need to know is endless, there several solutions to keeping informed.

Arrow recommends that every person infected with HIV or AIDS subscribe to at least one national magazine for people with HIV.

There are a variety of magazines including POZ, which is a slick publication with lots of advertising dollars to back up the production. They charge $19.94 for a year's subscription, but in the past it has been free to people who identify themselves as HIV positive. You may check out POZ at 1279 Old Chelsea Station, new York City, NY 10113. Their telephone is (212) 242 - 1900

Highly recommended is a Chicago publication which is printed bi - monthly and called Positively Aware. It is a straightforward, easy to read publication covering in detail important topics for those infected. In the July / August 1996 issue they provided a chart with advice about taking a variety of commonly prescribed HIV / AIDS related medications and in the November / December 1995 issue provided a two page chart with telephone numbers for patient assistance from drug companies for HIV / AIDS related medications. In Aware devoted two pages to a chart identifying potential drug interactions.

In other issues Positively Aware has explained about protease inhibitors,discussed when to apply for disability, how to avoid viral hepatitis, what viral load means, discussed coping with HIV / AIDS nutritional needs, and oral care. In addition to easy to understand articles, it has a section called News Briefs which highlights briefly what's new.

this is a no nonsense publication with limited advertising addressing real needs of people with HIV / AIDS. Positively Aware costs $15 for six bimonthly issues per year. To subscribe, send your name and address with the check to Positively Aware, 1258 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657 - 3292. It is mailed in a plain, sealed envelope.

there are other publications too such as AIDS Treatment News, being Alive, Body Positive and the NAPWA Link about which we have some information.

One last note, the National Association of people with AIDS is the mother of all organizations for people infected with AIDS. Individuals should write NAPWA for information about membership which is $65 per year for HIV positive individuals and $80 for others.

NAPWA Membership includes bi - monthly copies NAPWA publications like Medical Alert, NAPWA Notes and the Active Voice as well as information about discounts on medications. If you would like to join NAPWA, write them at NAPWA, 1413 K. Street, Washington DC 20005

If you would like a copy of NAPWA's Medical Alert you can also request that, A subscription to Medical Alert, is typically eight pages, features medications and other topics is printed in English and Spanish and is free.

Copies of some of the publications discussed in this article are available for review by arrangement through Arrow at 734 - 4080.

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Last updated : Saturday, October 19, 1996
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