It’s been a hard month. Depression is never long in coming. Having passed all the main analyses, I felt so clearly how in a year, all my internal organs grew older to 15-20 years: senile changes in lungs, senile change in the bone tissue, compression of the bile cyst and etc. Just a year ago, I thought that Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) made me look so ugly only outerly.

All this thanks to disorder and illiteracy of infectiologists from Russian AIDS Agency, who prescribed me stavudine without any examination hoping only for hit-or-miss. Moreover, they never asked me how the therapy passed. Specialist, who prescribed me this treatment, was literally shocked, when he saw me in a year and 4 months. He further insisted on cancelling the therapy. Over these 1, 5 years, I lost around 20 kilos. I noticed how my arms became skinny, the belly inflated, my skin sagged and shrunk, and the face looked like a baked apple.

Only at that moment, I learned about the adverse reactions of stavudine during the long-term use. This medication caused the rapid aging of the whole organism. Unfortunately, there is no any chance to stop or slow this process down. However, I do accept the fact that our specialists know nothing about it. Now, I’m rapidly losing the life energy. My life seems to be coming to an end, to the last act, if not a miracle or someone who will hear me and help professionally. You may ask me: Where was I looking all this time? The outer aging I noticed in 2010, less than in a half of the year. With this question I approached the doctor at the City AIDS center, who observed all my diseases. Our doctors are not competent in the antiretroviral therapy, since they’ve never studied it. I also asked about my dystrophy, and tried to find many things out, but always received the only answer – CD-4 cells continue growing, and nothing but the AIDS. This is how our life is treated. The doctors have no clue in the questions regarding ART. They prescribe the therapy without any careful examination and further do not even observe the process of treatment. In 2011 they started to study something, and seem to learn a lot, but what do we have to do right now? They are not trained in it. Do you think that I am the only one? No, people just keep silent, being shy of each other. I would even go to the court, if I ever find a good lawyer, but the thing is that I don’t have money to pay him.

These are the thoughts that come to mind every day and every month. How much time do I have: 1 or 15 months? The depression is unbearable, heavy and oppressive. I’m scared of this despair.

1. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) – The drug treatment, which stops the spread of HIV infection
2. Stavudine – One of the medications applied in the Antiretroviral therapy
3. CD-4 – The form of lymphocytes, which serve as a basis for the immune system. HIV affects these cells first.

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