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Really weird question regarding HIV / AIDS that's bothering me

Feb 26, 2011

Hi David, this might sound stupid but I'm asking a question that's been bothering me for a while...

I have been recently diagnosed with HIV and awaiting blood results. Now if the blood results come back and my CD4 count is below 200 then I technically have and "AIDS" diagnosis... but if over 200 then its an "HIV" diagnosis. I feel normal, not sick/don't look sick, eat healthy, exercise 3 times a week, non smoker, an occasional light drinker etc., and I think I'm likely to have a CD4 count over 200 (I hope). I noticed I have some anal warts as well, but I don't know how that will play a role.

But since HIV is very unpredictable the number which will come back can be below OR over 200 so I'm still unsure.

Now my question is if I have an AIDS diagnosis from the results, then go on treatment, continue a healthy lifestyle and so on, and over time my result are better (eg. CD4: >500, VL: undetectable etc), would I still technically have AIDS? Is AIDS "reversible" back to HIV, due to results, or would I have AIDS forever though my blood work says otherwise?

Also a person that has an AIDS diagnosis but gets treatment to have better results overtime... COMPARED to a person that has HIV and continues treatment and never prgresses to AIDS.... does one have a higher expectancy than the other? Or would it be the same regardless if the guy that progressed to AIDS before is now on treatment?

Please help me out. I'm a bit confused and scared for when my results come in.



Response from Dr. Holodniy

No, you would no longer have AIDS, as that is a diagnosis that indicates severe impairment of the immune system. If you were to start HIV treatment with a low CD4 count and it increases to near normal levels, then you would no longer be at risk for serious complications associated with AIDS. Your results, as far as we know, would be on par with someone who starts with a higher CD4 count.

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