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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
           
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How are you?
Jul 2, 2003

Hi Bob! how are you doing? i hope you are well..

Its Rich from the UK the "messed up British guy22" i think was the title for me at one time on your forum!

last time we was in touch you had been to London to the west-end.Hope you can remember me..know it must be hard with all the messages you get. a little backround for you..

I was drug raped and infect with HIV and HepB in May02 diagnosed in August 02

Im getting in touch with you because i am confused..

In Dec02 my viral load was 11.900 copies per/ml and my CD4 was 590, i recently got my results for my March03 tests and my Viral load was 7000 copies per/ml and CD4 890 im just wondering does this mean my body is killing it? could my body possibly kill it all? have you heard of anyone being +ve and then by some miricle the virus dissapears? i am not on/never have been on meds.HepB has gone above average liver fucntion tests.

Do you think it could have gone down because i was receiving "reiki" and "crystal therapy" or because i took a herb called "rhodiola rosea" or because i started taking testosterone to help with fatigue? any idea? or could i possibly have a "superhuman body" haha .. thought that would make you laugh! :o)

Otherwise i am feeling great, depression has gone and i forget i am even +ve nowadays (not sure if that is good or bad) keeps me sane anyhow...,after the events of last year..

I was in your part of the world recently, sunny Florida nice place indeed. hopefully i will be back again one day.. and maybe meet you! your a true great guy. and i mean it!

with kind regards, respect and love from Britain...

Richard x "messed up Bitish guy22" :o) not anymore...

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey there Richard,

I like Richard a whole lot better than "messed up British guy 22." Its less to type and infinitely more appealing. What great news! Youre body has handled the hepatitis B infection well (normal liver function tests) and appears to be coping nicely with your HIV infection as well!

Do you have a "superhuman body?" How would I know? You didnt send any pictures along with your post!

OK, so whats happening here? First off, no, there have not been any miracles yet whereby someone with confirmed HIV has been cured. Sorry.

Next, it is not at all uncommon to have fluctuating HIV viral loads and T-cell counts. The way it usually works is that when someone gets infected, the viral load shoots way up, and the T-cells start to get wiped out (fall). Then, the immune system kicks into high gear and tries its hardest to control the infection. This usually knocks the viral load down somewhat, and the T-cells tend to drift back up. Often, equilibrium is reached between the invading virus and your bodys immune defense mechanisms. This is called the viral set point. This equilibrium can last for years, but eventually the virus wins out, except in a very, very small number of very lucky folks called long-term non-progressors".

So what determines the viral set point? A variety of factors, including the aggressiveness of the particular HIV strain, concurrent infections or coinfections (like TB or hepatitis), the integrity of a persons immune response, age, and a whole host of other things as well.

What about reiki, crystal therapy, and rhodiola rosea? Ill never argue with success, but scientifically, none of these have been shown to have an effect on HIV disease. Testosterone? That can certainly help improve symptoms of hypogonadism (low testosterone), including decreased libido, decreased muscle mass, fatigue, etc.; however, it also does not have a specific antiviral (anti-HIV) effect.

The good news is that you are feeling great, the depression has lifted, and you seem to be adjusting well to your positive status. I agree you do not need HIV meds at this time. Current guidelines suggest treatment should be considered when T-cells fall consistently to the 300-350 range. That may not happen for a number of years in your case. And by then, maybe we will have a "miracle cure" or at least more potent, less toxic, medications to work with.

Continue checking your T-cells and viral loads every 3 months. Your HIV/AIDS specialist (and this website) will keep you updated on emerging new therapies.

Glad you liked Florida, but for a really great time, try San Francisco on your next visit. Florida has its problems. For instance, votes dont get counted, Mickey Mouse seems to be everywhere, and Dumbo is running the state. But thats just my personal opinion, mind you.

Stay well, Richard. Well get through this together, OK?

Dr. Bob


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