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how long can i live
Jan 23, 2006

I did my test in June, went for results August, did first viral load and cd4 test Sept/Oct. My counts were cd4326 percentage 23.5 and viral at 7810.

I did a test in November and I dont have my viral load yet but my cd4 up to 386 and percentage 25. What if I had started medication, wouldn't that have been premature?

I know it is an individualized illness, but how long can I live? My doctor says hiv is no longer a death sentence but what exactly does that mean? Is it possible I could go a few years without going on medications? I am now taking Dr. Kaiser's K-pax vitamins. How long could I live on drugs? Is it possible I could really have 30 years? I am now 33.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

Your lab results illustrate why I always recommend getting at least two sets of labs prior to making a decision to start treatment or to wait.

Both of your labs show a CD4 count that is roughly at a level that starting treatment can be considered-- I wouldn't want you to draw any significant conclusions on the differences between the two CD4 tests. Hence, it wouldn't have been premature to start on the basis of either test; nor is it mandatory to start either. Yes, it's an individualized disease.

That said, assuming that you have a wild type virus (drug resistance tests showing no resistance), then you have a wide variety of individualized options to treat your virus-- medications that when you and your doctor ultimately decide to start- should be very well tolerated and cause minimal to no side effects. If you're able to access and adhere to medications, I do expect lengthy survival- certainly 30 years, but that depends on lots of other factors, like your genes, your tobacco consumption or other health issues.

I hope this helps, good luck and be well. BY



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