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question about magic johnson
Mar 3, 2004

magic johnson was infected or diagnosed in 1991. today he is at save viral levels (as far as i know) because he is on a potent drug cocktail. but how was he able to remain healthy from 1991 to 1996 before the better drugs came out? i know many people can be somewhat asymptomatic for years, but clearly if magic were a long term non-progressor, he wouldn't need to be on therapy today. so the odds are that he was somewhat symptomatic before initiating therapy. do you or does anyone else know what was going on with him from 1991 to 1996?

Response from Dr. Pierone

I don't know the medical details for Magic Johnson so I will answer this question in a general sense. Some people are incidentally diagnosed with HIV infection on the basis of a blood test for insurance purposes. In this circumstance, the infection may be picked up very early and the CD4 count may be in the normal range. If so, no treatment would be necessary for several years and this may have bridged the gap from 1991 to the advancement of HAART in 1996. Another possibility is that AZT monotherapy, followed by dual nucleoside therapy may have been prescribed during the interval from 1991 to 96. Many people that did receive single or dual nucleoside therapy were successfully transitioned to triple therapy when protease inhibitors became available.

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