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Need answers, not getting from friend
Jan 5, 2005

My best friend, a gay male 34 yrs old, called me on New Year's Day to let me know he was in the hospital. He then told me he just found out he had AIDS, CD4 at 38 and a viral load of 150,000. The doctors have started treatment, but I do not know what he is taking. He has lost use of his legs due to a 190 lb. weight loss (from 400 lbs.+ ) I realize that everyone responds to treatment differently, but can you give me some idea of life expectancy from this point? He, of course, is optimistic, and I am doing everything I can to support him, but I need a straight (pardon the pun) answer. Any information you can pass along would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, John

Response from Dr. Young

John- Thanks for your post.

Sounds like your friend has very advanced AIDS, with a profoundly low CD4 cell count and marked weight loss. His immediate health risks would focus on whether he has other HIV-related complications or not.

That said, the general prognosis for persons with AIDS who have access to medications and can adhere to the prescribed regimen is quite good-- results from long-term studies show that persons with CD4 counts below 50 appear to respond as well as those with more intact immune systems (at least for some drug regimens). This would suggest to me that your friend has a guarded, but promising prognosis.

The essential thing at this point is to work on the adherence and very close clinical monitoring of his progress and symptoms.

Good luck, keep us posted as to his progress. BY

Can I stop my meds ?
Time to start??

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