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meds and life expectancy
Aug 2, 2006

Hi:

I read your repsonse of July 23rd. It is in line with most of the reading that i've done. I am now 49 yrs old....

1.) So, recently dianosed, should i expect approx 13yrs of additional life??

I was diagnosed on June 1, of this yr. CD4 of 349 and VL of 89000, I was immediately put on sustiva and truvada. I had minor side effects such as a rash, ears ringing and wild dreams.

2.) My I/D doctor indicated that I might be taking this for 20yrs... could that be possible?

3.) I have had no testing at all, was that a mistake before beginning meds?

I am exercising 3 X per week, eating right and cut my drinking down to one glass of red wine per day. Hope I can still enjoy that.

I am finally having my first HIV / blood test since meds, I'm anxious about the results. ANY ADVICE?

Any other comments or suggestions for me at this time?

Thanks for all your good work and dedication.

Response from Dr. Wohl

Hi

1. Please do not read too much into that '13 years'. This comes from an analysis of data from a variety of sources and is an estimate of years gained by modern HIV care. The additional years are not from diagnosis. They are on topof the survival that could be expected without such care. As most people do not spontaneously combust at the time of HIV diagnosis the overall, averaged, estimated, extrapolated, generalized (get the idea?) years of life added with current treatments is in the neighborhood of 13 years.

2. Your regimen is a good one. Take it every day and who knows (not me) how long it can last. Aim for 20 years. If you only get 15, you are still a champ in my book.

3. Do you mean resistance testing? If so, I would not sweat it. Resistance to one or more of these meds is not common although it remains an important concern.

4. A glass of wine a day is probably therapeutic. Keep it up.

5. As far as advice, get a really nice note book (leather bound is particularly nice). Bring it with you to all medical appointments and in it record such important info as dates of doctor's appointments, all meds you are prescribed and changes in dose and frequency, lab results (ask the doc to photocopy and place the copies in a section of the note book), doctor's contact numbers, questions to ask at you next visit and the answers, etc. This will be of tremendous value to you.

Good luck

DW



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