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Ageing
Nov 6, 2013

Hi, I was late in being diagnosed, it took a life threatening bout of PCP for my local doctor to arrange an x-ray, which revealed the PCP and my dentist who said I has leukoplakia.

That was in late 1994 and I was in hospital for a while fighting the PCP. Had 2 more episodes of PCP since, the last in 1998.

When I was diagnosed with HIV, my CD4 count was zero! Now on my 5th drug regime, the CD4 count is approaching 900 with an undetectable viral load.

I used to live near Manchester in the UK, I now live in the west of Scotland with my partner in a rural area, much better all round, as I used to have bouts of depression caused by anxiety which required medication. I continue to smoke a pipe, something I've done for most of my adult life

I'm currently 62 yrs of age and I'm very active (too active probably). I enjoy keeping chickens and I have 14 flocks. All told we have around 180 birds. Each day I clean out 14 coops, which takes around 2 hours, followed by a further 3 hours later in the day either topping up bedding or cleaning drinkers.

I have spinal problems (prolapsed discs) which cause intense pain in the legs and back. I'm now experiencing pins and needles and numbness in the legs, buttocks and genital areas.

My blood work is good, no problems with liver or kidneys, on statins, medication for slighty high blood pressure, pain killers for the back problem.

I do so enjoy doing all the work involved with our hen keeping. Am I storing up problems for later? Probably, but I'm not stopping doing it, at least not yet.

My question (finally) is, given my late diagnosis are my hopes for a further 10 to 15 years wishful thinking?

Response from Mr. Vergel

I think that most of us who are aging with HIV can live a long life if we keep our HIV viral load undetectable, monitor our organ functions (liver, kidney), monitor our bone density every 2-3 years, monitor our lipids, keep our hormones in balance, get anoscopies every 2-3 years, exercise and eat a balanced diet. Enjoying the present moment and having support are probably as important as the things I just mentioned.

It seems that you may be doing a lot of this already.

If your CD4 cells remain elevated your chances for cancer or cardiovascular disease may be lower. I guess only time will tell about how well we will do when we reach our 70's and beyond. Access to good health care and a support system can do wonders for long term survival.

Nelson



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