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In my 30s
Jan 26, 2014


Let me begin by saying that you are truly an inspiration to me!!!

Here's my question: I was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 26. At that time, my CD4 count was about 500. A couple years passed by (meanwhile, I still saw my doctor for checkups every 3-4 months), and my CD4 count dropped to the 400s. My doctor and I decided it was time to begin treatment. I started taking Atripla and have been taking it for the past 4 years. I've been undetectable and my CD4 count has always been between 500-800.

I also suffer from hypertension (I've taken meds since the age of 21). I am not overweight nor am I out of shape. Unfortunately, the sole factor in my need for high blood pressure meds is my genetic makeup (every single paternal male in my family suffers from hypertension).

Anyway, my HIV specialist says that I'm more likely to die from a stroke or heart attack than to die from an HIV-related issue. Do you agree with this?

Response from Mr. Vergel

Thanks for your kind words.

Your doctor is probably right. Many HIV+ people like you will do well and live a long life since you were able to start treatment before a lot of destruction of the immune system happened.

Stay well and keep taking care of yourself. Watch your lipids, blood pressure, and all the things that most humans have to monitor while they age.

In health,


13 years and counting
Recently diagnosed hiv +

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