The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Choosing Your MedsChoosing Your Meds
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Long-Term prognosis

Jun 22, 2002

I wrote to you a fews days ago about my brother refusing treatment. We DID manage to get him hospitalized (brochitis & awaiting results for possible PCP infection). His viral load is 750,000+, his T-cells were under 20. He's 1st being treated with Antibiotics and then will be placed on HIV med's. In addition, his doctor is prescribing Home Health Care since he was also diagnosed with Depression.

He's been POZ for 12 years and has a history of Cocaine abuse (also smokes Marijuana and occaisonal use of Crystal. DOES NOT INJECT ANYTHING).

Assuming !?... He can give up the drug abuse AND stick to his med's what is his prognosis for long term survival? He feels he'll die very soon no matter what he does and so there is no point in changing life-style habits. Is he right? Is he that far gone (T-Cell, Viral Load, Weight loss)? Will he die with-in a year no matter the effort?

I don't want to see him give up but I also don't want him to spend his last days battling his demons for no apparent gain.

Please, what are his odds either way... are they any different?

Thank You.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your follow up.

As you might guess, it's tough to accurately put a number of survival. Your brother's situation is pretty serious, given the active pneumonia and very, very low T cell levels. We know that the odds of successful therapy go down with lower T cell counts and higher viral loads-- in this regard, your brother will need a little luck, and I'd point out too, that probably a maximally potent regimen with a really big focus on adherence.

Despite these caveats, I have a number of patients who have made wonderful recoveries from just this situation-- overall, I'd think that the odds are pretty good; certainly better than 50-50; certainly good enough to counsel you (and your brother) to pursue very aggressive treatment.

Good luck, stay in touch. BY

cold sweat
Do I have to start again

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint