>Oh man...just wait until Josh_Ingu sees how this thread has turned!
Been out of the country for the last month and not followed the board. Deeply saddened to read the thread. I see KS has squashed the "funny theories" aspect of the thread, so I will be able to leave that alone (for once).
I am really sorry to read of this, and greatly applaud your honesty and bravery in posting. As was said earlier, possibly the most important thread on the whole board to be honest. It would be nice to see this thread made as a "sticky", possibly at the top of the health forum.
As someone one who has had *countless* arguements on this and other boards with the nay sayers (i.e there is no such thing as AIDS or HIV , the drugs make you sick) I get depressed that people *still* disbelive the facts despite the mountains of evidence. Personal stories like yours help to re-inforce the fact that it *is* out there.
I know of four people personally who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Two thais and two farangs. Both the Thais are dead, and both the farangs doing well. No real surprises there.
In UK, you will be in good hands. If you are not comfortable with your present doc (the schmuk with the mixed up diagnoses), get a referral to another doctor. There are many very, very good docs there.
You said you had type E if I recall, which I am not sure is definitive (as I am not sure if the first test would pick that up), you may want to make sure of that specifically, as it could have some bearing on your treatment regime.
As to the meds, the best single piece of evidence I ever saw was a plot of mortality rates in America of people infected with HIV. Upto the late 80's (hard pushed to recall the exact date) it was an almost flat line - pretty much everyone who got it died within a few years. After the introduction of the retrovirals, the death rate *plummeted* right down - which is a long way around saying that the anti-retrovirals and protease inhibitors *work*. Lots of drug combinations are being tested and improved, and they are working on good, single dose formulations (i.e. the days of 18 different pills per day at precise times are long gone).
On a side note, this is not necessarily the situation here in Thailand. Most of the drugs people take here are low quality copies (generics) and they are associated with a *high* risk of drug resistance. So on your question of treatment here versus there, bear in mind that the original drugs are expensive here (and may not be available in the future - for reason gone into on other threads).
As was pointed out elsewhere, non-compliance with the drug regime (not taking your meds) is a major cause of what fatalities do occur, as well as other factors (drink etc was noted). Maybe worth checking out what (if any) alcohol is allowed on your med regime. Keeping yourself as "healthy" as possible (I know that sounds silly, but you know what I mean) also seems to play a major role in determining how well people do.
Also take control over your disease - read up (as you are clearly doing), listen to your docs and *think* about what they are telling you. They are not perfect, so the more you know about your disease the better off you are.
I wish you all the very best. Although difficult, try to keep a positive frame of mind - as has been noted its no longer an immediate death sentence, and, properly managed can be no more of an problem than other chronic diseases such as HepB or diabetes.