Nov 22, 2001
I'm one of those long-term patients (+>12 years)who is not pursuing antiretroviral therapy, choosing to treat infections as they occur. VL>75,000, T-Cells 4. I struggle with thrush (Ampho-B) and wasting. Suddenly, with no changes in meds, I have no thrush (3 weeks now) and have gained 15 pounds! Also, my cognition is much improved. I do still have asymptomatic MAC, and major anemia, with a low retic count. I'm certainly not complaining, but I'm unsure about how to interpret what is happening to me. Any thoughts?
Response from Dr. Feinberg
I'd saaay that you are extremely fortunate to be doing better without any treatment for your HIV. But you're playing with fire: you have end-stage HIV disease, poor nutrition (wasting) and resistant candidiasis requiring amphotericin, and at some point your recent good luck will run out. I think most patients would prefer HIV meds to ampho B, but you may be unusual in that regard.
If I were you I'd seriously rethink your approach to your HIV disease-- if you take and respond to HIV meds, you'll have years of healthy life ahead of you. If you stick with treating each OI as it comes up, and continue down the path of general deebilitation, you will die from your HIV, sooner or later. Please think about this aaaagaain, and give yourself a chance. Good luck!
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