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please tell us?

Nov 1, 2002

dear mr. shernoff, i am aware that you have been poz for many years now and are doing fine. could you tell me if you are on antivirals? i know its a personal question, but im very curious and sometimes another person's story can bring hope to many. is there anything special u do to keep up ur good health? would u be willing to share with us your latest labs? p.s. i dont mean to pry, i just really am curious. thanks if you decide to answer, and thanks for helping people in general even if you decide to keep it private.

Response from Mr. Shernoff

I have been on antiretrovirals since the HIV test was developed. First it was AZT, but never on those crazy high doses. My doctor was one of the pioneering AIDS physicians who intuitively felt that combination therapy was the way to go long before there was empirical evidence for this. I am on combination therapy that currently consists of three drugs.

My viral loads are beneath the level of detectability, and have basically been so since I began uisng a protease inhibitor. Occassionally I have a very low level of virus. For instance once it was 53 and another time 112. But in the subsequent blood test it returns to undetectability. My CD4 counts vary from 450 to 750.

I do drink alcohol, but in very moderate amounts, a glass or two of wine most evenings with dinner. Once or twice a month I have a cocktail. I do not do any recreational drugs, except an occasional puff or two of pot. I am very careful to eat healthy food and a balanced diet. I eat everything, including meat and occasional foods like pizza. I do eat too many desserts.

I exercise almost every day. I do at least 35 minutes of cardio and often more, on the average 5 times a week. I lift weights 3 or 4 times a week. I also take 6 yoga classes a week. I pay close attention to my body. If I get tired, I take a nap, or sleep in. I am now 51 years old, and am trying to adjust to my body becoming middle aged.

Most of all I think that simple luck has alot to do with my good health.

I hope that this information is helpful.

Michael Shernoff, MSW

Telling Parents About Sick Son

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