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Why Am I Doing So Well
Jun 14, 2013

A little over 6 years ago, I was diagnosed with a full blown case of AIDS. T cells-61 and viral load 276,00Today I am undetectable and t cells are 986. I eat well , don't smoke or drink, take my meds every night and rarely get sick. I had a cold in April that was gone in 14 days. When I started my regimen of Atripla and am still on the same regiment, the doctor told me because of my age, there was a slim chance for a recovery according to one of the experts in California that he met at a convention.Can you shed some light other than I beat the odds. My infectious disease specialist is amazed, as I was 60 when I was diagnosed. All other blood work is normal.

Response from Dr. Young

Hi and thanks for posting.

While I would agree that you were diagnosed with advanced HIV/AIDS, I'm not startled about your response to treatment. Indeed, I would not have prognosticated that you had a slim chance at all- but perhaps 6 years ago we (or your doctors) might not have been so confident of a robust response to treatment.

What we do know is that most current HIV medications work very well in stopping the virus and restoring immune health. Yes, people who are older tend to have blunted CD4 cell responses (you didn't), but also tend to be more likely to be adherent to medications. Perhaps working in your favor was your otherwise excellent health and lifestyle (no alcohol, tobacco, etc).

With your good health fortune, I'd direct your attention to the myriad issues of healthy aging with HIV; this would include assessment and prevention of cognitive health, prevention of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, frailty and mental health.

Last, remember that even experts (like me) can be wrong from time to time. Fortunately, the expert that your doctor met was wrong-- in a good way.

Be well, BY



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