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Fouth Year And Still Healthy
May 4, 2005

Hi, I'm 55 in my fourth year of infection. I actually feel better than the first three years with CD4'S at 325/25% and VL staying around 5000-7000 down from 35000 in the beginning. I have not been on any meds. I know there are many factors and that I can't be complacent. My question is how long do you think I can remain healthy given the above information? Thank you for all your great work.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

There are a couple of ways of thinking about the answer to your question. First, with your relatively low viral load, it's not likely that you'll have a rapid decline in CD4 cell count. With this, you'd likely remain healthy for the near- and intermediate-term future-- even without HAART medications.

You do have an absolute count that is in the range where we'd think about initiating treatment, though there's no immediate rush to start in my book. With appropriately selected and managed antiretroviral treatments, there's no reason to think that you'll remain healthy for many, many years.

I agree that complacency isn't a good idea. Get routine health monitoring; focus on good habits, diet and exercise; I'd be planning for a long and healthy future.

Thanks for posting and your welcome comments. BY



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