One Pill a Day?

I recently upgraded my old cell phone to an iPhone.   My old phone could not send a text without me punching all of the various numbers buttons lots of times to get the correct letter to show up.  My texts tended to be very short.  As I learn to use my iPhone I am happy to discover new gadgets in it and I’m aware of how easily it has slipped into my pocket as a necessary, frequently referred-to item.  If you’d told me twenty years ago that I’d use my telephone to tell me in a human voice how far it is from where I’m standing to my home, or show me the traffic pattern in downtown Houston at 5 pm when I’m in New York, or that my phone could take my picture and send it to my sister in Florida, ( my iPhone can do a whole lot more than this, I know! ) well I don’t know if I would have believed you.

How far we have come from those early days of treating HIV with the “cocktail”.   In the late 1990s we routinely recommended patients take multiple different medications several times a day.  Every day.  Some pills had to be taken on an empty stomach, some with food, some every eight hours on the dot, some at bedtime only.  Initially we were glad to have these options for some of us knew a time even before that, when we’d barely been able to treat a few of the effects of the disease, never impacting HIV itself.  Still, it required a dedicated, determined patient once we did have effective therapy.  And now!  Now we have two options for one pill once a day as a full treatment regimen to treat HIV, with more options coming in the next couple of years.

The changes in these last twenty years are quite remarkable.  Yes, my iPhone is remarkable in that context.  But hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from HIV are alive today because of the changes in the medications.  My old cell phone and its short text messages were nothing when you think of it that way.

About susanball

Speak Your Mind