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How to know a prognosis.
Oct 31, 2013

Hello- This is Miguel again, from México. It's been a while since I do not ask you a question again.

Just to remember, december 2012 I was diagnosed HIV+ with a cd4 count of only 6 even though I did not have symptoms of AIDS (just minor gut problems like bloating and soft stool)and vl of 95000. I've been positive for only about 2 years and yet my cd4 cells went down at a dishearthening rate. I started taking efavirenz and truvada, which diminished my viral load to undetectable in 5-6 months; now, after 8 months of treatment I've just started Atripla. Meahwhile I've been taking and doing everything that I can to go out of the "danger zone": taking vitamins, supplements, selenium, antibiotics,doing excersice, eating and sleeping well, etc., but none of the last seem to work with me. My CD4 one month ago was of 101.

When I started treatment, even though the low numbers, I was so motivated to "get well" (I have not been sick)by all the stories of other people who managed to increase their numbers and even of those who had near death experiences.

Up to this point I'm still physically fine but emotionally so exhausted; it's like I'm just waiting for that OI that will take my life to an end.

So my question is, in the case of us, the people who is not able to increase their CD4 count to "good levels", what is the life expectancy?

I know I sound so disgusted, but it's just that since I was diagnosed positive I've not had inner peace. Thanks a lot for your anwer.

Miguel.

Response from Dr. Young

Saludos Miguel y gracias for su nota.

It's very good to hear from you again and to know that your on a good medication regimen and have an undetectable virus. These are the most important things- exercise and eating well are important for all (as is avoidance of tobacco). I generally don't advise people to take extra vitamins and supplements (with the exception of calcium and vitamin D, if dietary intake is insufficient).

I'd hope you to live a normal life expectancy- the likelihood of this, of course, will increase as your counts improve- especially out of the more dangerous <200 area. It's just that it may take longer, since you started with such severe immune injury. So while it may take time for your immune system to recover from HIV-related injury, I'd be patient with your body (and your lab reports).

I hope that helps, y un abrazo fuerte, BY



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