BOB BRANIGAN: I've always been one to go to the gym and take care of — and exercise. And so I kept on doing that and also was watching my diet as to what I was eating.
Initially, the combination of diet and exercise seemed to stabilize the levels of cholesterol, but then they started rising again. To the point where my doctor seemed to felt that perhaps I should go on Lipitor to see if that would bring the cholesterol levels down
ANNOUNCER: Unfortunately, Bob developed an allergy to Lipitor. His doctor then switched him to another medication to lower his cholesterol. It seemed to work; at least for a while.
BOB BRANIGAN: But then, again, we started seeing an increase again in the cholesterol levels. And by that time, my doctor seemed to feel that it wasn't so much the diet and the exercise. I believe he said it was the d4T that perhaps was increasing the cholesterol levels and perhaps a change in combination was merited.
ANNOUNCER: Another change of HIV medicines proved to do the trick.
BOB BRANIGAN: My cholesterol now on the new combination of Viread, Trizivir and Sustiva as well as the 20 mg of Pravachol, the cholesterol has significantly come down to more manageable levels. It's still elevated, it's still not at a normal level, but it's not as high as it had been on the previous combination.
ANNOUNCER: Whether it's diet, exercise, cholesterol-lowering medications or changing anti-hiv medicines, the important thing is to keep the cholesterol in check.
BOB BRANIGAN: The advice I would give to other people with elevated cholesterol levels is that you owe it to yourself to watch your health. You've got a disease now and you've got something else in the mix here and to try to keep yourself as healthy as possible.