Coming up on my 1st anniversary
Jun 8, 2014
Hi Doc, as always thanks for your time and I truly appreciate your words of wisdom. You along with this forum have seen me through my first year of being poz. I was hoping you could give me your opinion as in a couple weeks I will have officially been poz for 1 year.
Last June I was driving by a free hiv testing event. It had been about 10 years since I was tested last and even though I did not believe I was an at risk individual, I decided what the heck, might as well be sure. Needless to say, it came back positive, I immediately saw a PA at the clinic where my first blood draw showed a VL of 68k and a cd4 of 303 at 18%. I was started on Atripla and 4 weeks later my next labs came back with my VL down to 189 and my cd4 up to 449 at 21.5%. Three months later my VL was undetectable and my cd4 was 518 at 25.9%, my last lab report was 6 weeks ago, still undetectable and cd4 were 620 at 31%. I am scheduled for another lab test in August. I am a 47 yoa Caucasian male, I don't do drugs or drink in excess. I am on Lisinopril 40 mg that keeps my BP controlled. Other than some allergy meds I take time from time, I'm on no other meds.
I have been through the stages that one might expect, denial, rage, sadness and now acceptance. I have done well with my meds only being late by just a few hours on two occasions since I started. I used to hate my pill time and although I really never had any side affects, it was my daily reminder that I was hiv poz. I have tried to turn that around to where my pill time is not just about hiv now, I have begun to take all my meds at the same time, my Atripla, my Lisinapril and my vitamins. It is no longer hiv pill time it is med time and I feel this has helped.
So.... I just had a few questions and I ask you because it is hard to understand my new ID doctor at times and although I may change doctors in the future, right now I'm staying with him as I feel I have everything under control again. Finally returning to a normal life after dealing with this over the past year.
1. Would you say I'm doing about normal on my labs or is this above average. 2. Can I keep taking the meds as I described all at once. 3. Is it unreasonable to hope for better numbers well within the Normal range or since I'm coming up on a year of being on meds will my numbers start to level off? 4. Given my numbers, do you think it is within reason to switch to a 6 month lab / clinic visit instead of every three months? 5. Is there anything else I should do? My doc just keeps saying your doing fine. I'm in and out of his office in less than 5 mins. I guess this is ok, but he never does an exam or asks questions, just goes over my labs and sends me on my way.
Thanks for taking the time, I appreciate your input.
Response from Dr. Holodniy
1. Above average. 2. Yes. 3. Probably start to level off. 4. Not yet. Wouldn't do that until after at least another year of undetectable viral loads. 5. Don't think there is anything else for you to do.
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