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Hugo’s Story

When Hugo was first diagnosed with HIV in 1995, the prognosis was not very good. This gave him a deep appreciation for life and all its experiences. He also witnessed a lot of change in the HIV community and progress over the past two decades. And this has always fascinated him. In fact, Hugo originally emigrated from Mexico and got U.S. citizenship in order to pursue a medical education. At the age of 62, he is now seeking a degree in theology to help share what he’s learned about faith.

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Hugo looking at the night sky

“My doctor and I talk about adherence to treatment, which is very important for HIV.”

About BIKTARVY
Hugo at a farmers market

“When I started treatment, I had to take a lot of medications. Now, I take a single pill at bedtime.”

How to take BIKTARVY

Because science doesn’t have all the answers, Hugo believes that’s where faith comes in: to give life purpose and people community. Originally, Hugo felt rejected by the church. But, after some time, he went back to church and studied theology. And he’s come to the conclusion that at the center of every religious tradition is love in its purest form.

“Love is a funny thing. It’s difficult to define, because it’s not meant to be defined. It’s meant to be felt.”

Hugo leading a discussion at church

What is BIKTARVY®?

BIKTARVY is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults and children who weigh at least 55 pounds. It can either be used in people who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before, or people who are replacing their current HIV-1 medicines and whose healthcare provider determines they meet certain requirements.

BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

What is the most important information I should know about BIKTARVY?

BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects:

  • Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV and stop taking BIKTARVY, your HBV may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking BIKTARVY without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health.

Who should not take BIKTARVY?

Do not take BIKTARVY if you take:

  • dofetilide
  • rifampin
  • any other medicines to treat HIV-1

What are the other possible side effects of BIKTARVY?

Serious side effects of BIKTARVY may also include:

  • Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking BIKTARVY.
  • Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys. If you develop new or worse kidney problems, they may tell you to stop taking BIKTARVY.
  • Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat.
  • Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain.

The most common side effects of BIKTARVY in clinical studies were diarrhea (6%), nausea (6%), and headache (5%). Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or don’t go away.

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking BIKTARVY?

  • All your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis virus infection.
  • All the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements. BIKTARVY and other medicines may affect each other. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist, and ask if it is safe to take BIKTARVY with all of your other medicines.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BIKTARVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking BIKTARVY.
  • If you are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call ‍1‑800‑FDA‑10881‑800‑FDA‑1088.

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