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Onset of Symptoms
Apr 25, 2010

I'm not sure which expert to ask .... you seem the nicest.

My partner (I'm a F, partner a M) had extensive blood transfusions in 3/83 (over 20 units) We got married in '91. After being sicker and sicker, starting in '04, he was finally diagnosed with advanced AIDS shortly consequent to a Dx of StageIV CNS Non_Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Following a healing miracle, debulking head surgeries, and R-Chop Chemo Tx (w/ intrathecal injections), to make a long and horrifying story short, he beat the rather terrible odds and survived and hasn't relapsed, the HIV is undetect., HCV is well-controlled w/ normal liver panels, he's religious about the anti-virals, I tested negative for both viruses. The infect. desease Drs. ran tests on him in '07 which showed he had that natural Scand. resistance (part Danish), so he was asymptomatic for about 21 yrs. I'm just wondering if that is even possible, or did he get infected sometime down the line. I don't believe he ever did drugs or had sex w/ men, and has the transfusion scars, but I have these nagging questions. So, my questions: Can someone be asymptomatic for so long? He was 200 CD4 at time of Dx. Do some people never get symptoms and keep their CD4 at Ok levels even though infected w/ HIV? My husband had a case of encephalitis (eastern) as a young man in Brazil, got very sick and recovered, plus got the following diseases in India and Pakistan, also when younger, before the transfusion (for a terrible crash): malaria (the kind that can be treated and cured), enteric fever, cholera and typhus. He's a strong person, who never got sick with anything until the AIDS symptoms. Some of his Drs. thought that his immune response may have been quite hieghtened by exposure to these maladies, but since there's no research on these exotic ailments w/ Westerners, it was just a conjecture. Have you ever heard of such things. Thanks for tackling this complicated case.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I am not aware of any data to suggest that having any of these other infections somehow alters the course of HIV infection. Yes, people can be asymptomatic for many years and it depends on their underlying immune system and the type of virus they were infected with.



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