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HIV positive, how is it possible? Will I be dead by 10 years?
May 4, 2002

Dear Sir, I've been diagnosed with HIV+, the only blood tranfusions I've had were in 1981,1982,1984 when I delivered my children and 1992, when I had a hysterctomy. I'm married, I've been faithful, my husband swears he has been faithful, and is more than happy to have a lie detector test(but I believe him, never doubted it at all) and he was tested and came out negative, my two son's that were born in 82 and 84 have been tested and are negative as well, thank God. I have been ill, during all those years, one doctor said I had asthma, and put me on steriod for quite a while, another doctor said, rheumatoid arthritis, I suffered from flu's, colds, sore throats, tonsilltis, each time my doctor would dismiss it as just the flu. I had hepatitis in 93, I've been given so many prescriptions, I thought I had a drug cabinet instead of a medicine cabinet. I always seemed to have swollen glands, but again my doctors would dismiss it as stress, flu, and give me pencillin. In 1999 I was told I had liver cancer and came to New Zealand for treatment. I've been in remission. But it is during this time, that I have found out that I'm HIV positive, how is this possible? and why have I been able to live without the correct drugs. Without sounding crazy, but why do some people pass away sooner than others like me????? I feel as if I should not be here, I'm confused. I've read in this web site, people can have Hiv and live a long time, but than I've also read, people do not live past 10 years with hiv? With all the medical problems I've had, I've ate healthy, excerised, never drank, never smoked, I've never taken illegal substance into my body,(this also includes my husband, neither one of us have ever drank, etc) and I've always tried my to keep the best attitude towards life...but now, I read how it's suppose to be impossible to live longer than 10 years with hiv? And it seems I have, can you please tell me if it's possible, you have no idea how confused I'am. By the way, my t-cells are 720 and my viral load is undectable. I would appreciate any insight...thank you

Response from Dr. Dezube

You raise several issues--- first, you went to New Zealand for liver cancer treatments and found out you were HIV positive. I am presuming that you had reliable HIV testing, but if there is any indication that the testing was not reliable, then please have the HIV status rechecked. Second, you read that people do not live past 10 years with HIV. This is simply NOT true. I have many many patients who have been alive with HIV for way over 10 years and should go on for more than 10 additional years. Not everything on the web is accurate. Third, how is it possible that you have HIV? I don't have the answer to this question, but I can say that I have many HIV-infected patients in my practice who swear on the Bible that they have no risk factors for HIV. My advice to all such patients is that it is better to look forward than to look backward. Concentrate on moving on and looking forward to a full and productive life. You can expend a tremendous energy by looking backward without ever getting an answer as to "how is this possible".

I'm scared and need some advice...
Preventive/screening for anal cancer

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