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new to hiv so confussed
Aug 31, 2005

Doctor, I was diagnosed as HIV positive on 10th of June 2005 when I was admitted for an operation and my report shows cd4% 24.12% and cd4 count 483, on the other side on normal range its mentioned 28% to 58% and 500 to 1400 respectively with viral load around 16750, so please do tell me [1] theres any need for me to start any kind of medicine and can you tell me what stage of HIV I am going through is it early one or later one. [2] My wife has been tested on 14th June 2005 after I was diagnosed positive but she was tested as negative so please tell me that when should I again test her for final satisfaction that she is negative and she is safe. [3] And I am doing sex with her with condom only is it safe for her or I should stop doing sex with her to kept herself negative. [4] And do tell me till what period she can remain negative, if I will use condom forever and do take all precautions while doing sex, so called safe sex. She can remain negative till ever. [5] I am facing problem of common cold and mouth ulcers frequently, is this problems are related to this virus or its normal human problems. [6] Can you tell me does smoking and drinking alcohol occasionally really directly effects cd4 counts, does HIV people cant do smoking and drinking at all to keep virus in control. Does smoking and drinking directly effects immune system more; lastly [7] is there any hope of curing this HIV? Any medicine in future will cure this and how much approximately time it will take to discover the treatment for curing HIV since I dont want to die early since my baby is just 1 year old only. [8] And how long can a normal HIV person can live with good and healthy life? Or else what is the life of person having HIV? Please do reply all my points in detail for this I will be thankful to you.

Response from Dr. Horwath

Antiretroviral treatment would not be recommended with your CD4 count (483) or viral load (16,750), unless you developed symptoms related to the HIV. Symptoms of a cold are probably not related, but some types of mouth ulcers may be, so you should have them looked at.

You should always use condoms when having sex with your wife. The risk for transmitting the virus to her will always be present. The current treatments are not a cure and do not eliminate the virus from your body. Current treatment is very effective and should help you to lead a long and productive life. Of course, nobody can predict how long you will live (with or without HIV).

You should avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, both of which can affect your immune system. More importantly, both smoking and alcohol can have long term adverse health effects, and you should do everything you can to keep yourself as healthy as you can. That is the surest way to prolong your health and life.



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