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Asymptomatic; feeling great! How long should I wait?

May 26, 2002

Am 51 year old married male; HIV+ four and one half years..Never put wife at risk..stopped relations 5 years ago...she does not know of status...terrified to tell her but of course evenually I will. My question! It seems that most go for 8 to 10 years before symptoms arise. I have a real problem starting meds (with all those side effects) with no symptoms! I would like to wait it out especially with all the changes that seem to be coming down the pike in the not too distant future. hopefully something better will come along over the next few years. Also, am I at a disadvantage because of my age? I have not seem a DR. about my status so don't know Viral Load, or CD4, et. Thanks

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

I cannot accurately counsel you about when to start without knowledge of your CD4 count and viral load (I'd also want to know your HIV genotype, but this recommendation would vary somewhat from location to location).

I'd strongly recommend that you find a HIV expert in your region to have these tests performed, and counsel about what these tests mean for you (of course, your welcome to ask us here, too).

In addition to these HIV tests, in our practice, new patients get a physical examination, testing for TB, hepatitis and syphillis exposures; fasting lipid (cholesterol and triglycerides), free testosterone levels (can decrease with HIV infection). Also, we make sure that patients receive pneumococcal and flu vaccinations, and vaccinations to prevent hepatitis A and B infections, when appropriate.

Hope this is a useful start, stay in touch. BY

Asymptomatic for More Than 10 Years

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