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Partner newly diagnoised
Apr 3, 2005

Mt partner and I applied for life insurance in Jan 05, I was approved and he was declined. The letter of declination stated he was HIV +, we were both shocked!

Two weeks later we had our first appt with the doctor at Owens Clinic in Hillcrest, Ca. At this time we were told his CD$ count was 217 and his viral load was 73,000. The doctor estimated he has had HIV for approx. 5 to 6 years, another shock for the both of us.

The doctor came him a prescription for Septra and set his next appt in two weeks at which time other medications will be prescribed.

Were are in desperate need of answers.

With his CD4 count being so low, will the medications improve this count, we understand the viral load will come down. Can you give us some input on what we can expect to happen from this point. We are very nervous because from our research an AIDS diagnoises is made with people having a CD4 count of 200 or less. He has no symptoms what so ever and looks great!

One last thing, if he has had it for that length of time how is it possible that Im still negative? I was tested in July of 04 and tested negative then as well. We are versatile couple so my exposure has been there numerous times? Im planning on getting tested again in May, what re the odds I will still be negative?

I hope you can respond, we are in terrible need of information.

Thank you

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post and questions.

I'm very sorry to hear about your partner. He is receiving care at one of the premier HIV centers in the country, and I'll suspect that he should get excellent care. I'd agree that the time for him to start treatment is soon.

Current HIV medication combinations are very effective, even for persons with very low CD4 counts (less than 50). In this regard, your friend, with a CD4 count just about 200 should fare well. Once medications are started (assuming that adherence is excellent and side effects are managable), I'd expect to see a >99% reduction in viral load within a couple of months and undetectable levels within 4-6 months. A typical CD4 cell count rise of 200 is seen within 1 year of starting on medications, often with a ~100 cell rise within the first 3-4 months.

Curiously, some sexual couples don't seem to readily transmit HIV-- it (knock wood) would seem that this might be the case with you. If you're negative to date, there's a good chance that you'll continue to be this way. I certainly hope so.

Stay in touch, let us know how things turn out for both of you. Good luck, good health. BY



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