Long term prognosis - second opinion
Sep 14, 2006
Dear Dr. Pierone:
I was diagnosed with HIV in October 2005. I have not yet started meds because my Dr. (Edwin DeJesus in Orlando, FL) does not think it is time. I have the most respect for him and his opinion on HIV. He is the best. My last Tcell count was 588 and VL 9000. Dr. DeJesus has told me that I can live a normal life span if I adhere to my medication, take care of myself and continue to follow his directions carefully. I am a 39 year old male who does not smoke cigarettes or take drugs. I drink on occasion; Im a professional who holds a masters degree and access to good heath care. Do you share his optimism, and do you think it is possible to live into my 80s like the other members of my family seem to do? I look forward to your medical opinion. Thank you in advance for your help in this matter.
Response from Dr. Pierone
I share your high opinion of Dr. DeJesus; he is truly one of the best HIV doctors that I have ever met.
I share his optimism about the excellent prognosis of HIV infection for people with access to HIV medications, good health habits, and the ability to demonstrate high level adherence to a medication regimen when HAART becomes necessary.
Your situation is particularly favorable because you have a relatively low viral load and well preserved CD4+ lymphocyte counts. But I also believe that even individuals with advanced disease at the time of diagnosis can recover and lead normal long lives as long as they adhere to a healthy lifestyle along with their HIV medications.
So now that you have your second opinion confirming your favorable long-term prognosis we will expect a progress report every five years henceforth. Best of luck!
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