I'm kind of late to respond to this thread, but I thought I might be able to contribute some of my experiences on HIV meds.
I've been POZ since 1992, and I went on meds immediately because I had a fairly aggressive doctor who believed if you're below 500 Tcells, you should go on meds immediately. When first tested, I had 482 Tcells, so I started taking AZT, the only medicine that was available back then. For the first 2 or 3 weeks, I felt like I was always about to hurl. However, when my Tcells hit 891 three months later, I recognized the value of taking meds earlier than a lot of other guys.
I had checked a number of doctors before choosing the one that I was convinced was one of the best in the city, the state, and possibly one of the best in the nation. I know that's not possible in smaller cities or towns, but I believe it's extremely important to find a doctor you can trust completely, one who can dispel most, if not all, of your fears, and answer all of your questions. Another suggestion that worked for me was to learn everything I could about HIV and AIDS so I could have actual conversations with my doctor so I felt more like a partner in deciding the course of my treatment.
For the next 6-8 years, I took every knew medication that was available because I seemed to become resistant in record time. This was before phenotyping and gentotyping, and there seemed to be a great deal more research and general interest in developing new meds. My Tcells kept sliding downward until I finally dipped below 200 Tcells around 2000, so I officially had AIDS.
Another step I took within weeks of learning my HIV status was to join a POZ support group that was held at a local church under a program funded by the county health department. When I joined the group, there must have been 70 or 80 guys who attended our twice-monthly meetings. I learned so much from the other guys, but this was back when a lot of the guys infected in the early and mid-80s started dying. Our support group was down to approximately 20 men after 6 years, and 4 years later there were only 7 or 8 attendees because most of the guys who were in the group were benefiting from new drug regimens and no longer feeling so bad, so they kick-started their old lifestyles, going out at night, finding new boyfriends, and dropping the group that had meant so much to them a few years earlier.
It wasn't until I started reading about "HAART" and "drug cocktails" in 1996 that my treatment seemed to change altogether. I still changed meds frequently but I actually stopped thinking that my lifespan was limited to 10-12 years as one doctor had told me back in 1992. In fact, there were 2 or 3 hour periods when I would forget about being HIV+!
In late 2007, after 4 years of Fuzeon injections twice a day, I finally asked my doc if I could drop Fuzeon and take Selzentry, one of the first entry inhibitors on the market. I had just become undetectable for the first time in 15 years, and my doc was a little hesitant for me to change meds that were working, but he agreed when I finally convinced him how miserable I was with the Fuzeon injections. Since Sept. 2007, I've been on the same cocktail of Selzentry, Truvada, Norvir and Prezista. I've remained undetectable for the past 2 years and my Tcells have climbed steadily to 323 -- not huge, but I am no longer considered an AIDS patient, according to my doc. That was a huge morale booster!
I realize this was probably more than you wanted to know about my HIV journey, but finding out all I could about HIV, and reading about current and upcoming treatments made me feel like I was fighting this chronic condition as an equal partner with my doctor.