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Is it worth it?
Feb 28, 2012

Thank you for taking my question. I developed AIDS in 1991. Long story short I have endured sickness from medications to hip replacements and so much in between. Now after all this fighting to stay alive I find out I am in stage 4 of kidney disease and will need dialysis and a kidney transplant to live. I do not think I have the energy to continue with this. I don't even know if I will be put on the transplant list due to having AIDS. I am undetectable and have a CD4 of 255. If I stop the HIV meds now and if I decide against dialysis how much time do you think I would have. If I had realized in 1991 how my story would end I don't think I would have bothered for so long. Thanks

Response from Mr. Vergel

Hang in there. You are obviously a survivor and will get through this like you have done it in the past with other health challenges.

I have known people living with HIV who have had kidney disease and had to wait for a transplant while getting frequent dialysis. It was not fun for them, but they eventually got a transplant and are doing fine now.

It is unfortunate that some of us have survived this virus for so long and now have to endure the cumulative effect of medications on our bodies. Sometimes it is hard to justify to keep going forward. At those moments we need more support than ever to overcome yet another obstacle. But when we finally do, looking back at our victory over another life threatening problem is the greatest satisfaction. In the case of kidney disease, the wait for an organ while someone goes through frequent trips to a dialysis clinic can wear you off. I hope you have a good support system that can give you strength to continue the fight. I truly believe that we will have a cure sooner than we thought, and that some of us will live to see it even after having to endure challenges that made us doubt if it was all worth it.

This is a good paper showing that HIV+ patients have the same kind of response to organ transplantation as HIV negatives, which is very encouraging: HIV-Infected Liver and Kidney Transplant Recipients: 1- and 3-Year Outcomes

Just know that we at thebody.com and here to serve as part of your virtual support system.

Hang in there and let us know how you are from time to time.

Nelson



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