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Healthy
Aug 28, 2008

I have been positive for 14 years and my viral loads go to like 50,000 and my T celss drop to like below 300 and I have swollen lymph nodes but I am not sick at all and don't even get colds, is it possible that I have some overall immunity and how do I find out?

Response from Dr. DeJesus

Not sure what you meant by "overall immunity", but if you are referring to the possibility that you have protective immunity against HIV, such as the one observed in patients considered to be long-term non-progressors, unfortunately the answer is no.

Patients with "partial immunity" to HIV, or "non-progressors" have evidence of no HIV progression. These people are able to keep HIV viral loads very low, usually <1,000 copies, with essentially no declines in CD4 counts, after their first drop during their initial infection.

Based on the information you provided, you have evidence of significant active HIV disease, with an elevated HIV VL and a significant immune reduction on CD4. The fact that you have been infected for 14 years without still getting sick does not mean that you have partial immunity. It just reflects that the HIV infection is taking a bit longer to progress, or progressing slower, but it is actively progressing.

In fact with those CD4 and HIV VL numbers now, you should seriously consider initiation of ARV medications.



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