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How much time with HIV?
Jun 6, 2006

Dr. Bob

This forum is great (and funny, depending the situation), and recent orientations to Jake and Matt had been two pearls in your curriculum in this site. I always say we must profit our first coming out experience (as a gay) to cope with the anger of this kind of second coming out (as a poz). Moreover, you are one of my favorite resources to read in English! Thanks a lot for your advice, compassion and sense of humor. Im a 36 gay man, and when I received my HIV diagnosis in 1996 my situation was quite a few critical, VL 740.000, CD4 200, significant loss of weight and skin infections such as candidiasis and molluscum. Then, I started HAART without delay, and I cannot complain of the results, because Im keeping up myself undetectable and CD4 1400 at least, since many years. Ive read that time with HIV infection is a determinant factor in order to expecting lipoatrophy (an old companion in my case), the named immune reconstitution syndrome (fatigue) and the viability of a drug holidays. And here comes my insatiable curiosity, never satisfied. Viewing my initial results, is it possible to infer in a more or less rough manner how long I was infected at the time of my diagnosis? A fact is that my first sexual encounter occurred when I was 15 (receptive anal unsafe sex, and not exactly pleasant), and after that an important lapse of some six years until the next one.

Thanks! Ricardo, from Spain

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Ricardo,

Untreated HIV infection generally causes a loss of approximately 50-75 cells per year. Consequently I would estimate you have been infected for approximately 10 years. (This is only a rough estimate.)

Dr. Bob


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