May 29, 2010
Hi Dr, Firstly would like to thank this site and all the Dr's here. My problem is nothing but confusion i got to know that i was HIV 7 months ago and i got my CD4 count 750 and my PVL 110 month and a half ago as till now i dont have any problems but the thought troubles me of how long will i live as i have a lot of responsibility on me for my family and well i have heard with my kind of status its yet a few years to reach for medicens as its very slow is it true also could you tell me if good medicines available in India as india being one of the biggest exporter of HIV drugs wats the life term expected also is it like normal daily life with some precautions. Wat should one take care of most of to b in best of health. I am sure u will be the best of help for me. Can you suggest the best food and exercise for me.
Response from Mr. Vergel
I am so sorry that you are going through such worry searching health as a newly HIV+ person in India. I am glad you are very healthy now and that your lab numbers are good. If you have 750 CD4 cells, you do not need treatment. But it is good to know where to get it if you ever need it.
After a few searches, I found this 2010 directory of clinics that give free HIV drugs to people in India: http://www.nacoonline.org/upload/Care%20&%20Treatment/ART%20centres%20March-2010.pdf
You need to download adobe reader free (adobe.com) to read that file.
I have lived with HIV for 27 years, so you can live a long life with HIV.
Here are a few tips for anyone who is recently diagnosed:
Take your meds on time to keep your viral load undetectable to remain healthy and to minimize the risk of infecting others
If you've never had hepatitis A or B, ask your doctor about getting vaccinated against them.
See a dentist twice a year. The first signs that your HIV infection is getting worse often appear in the mouth.
See your doctor every 3 months. This will allow your doctor to track changes in your viral load and T cell count. Talk to him or her about newer, more "side effect friendly" medicines.
It's important to avoid activation of the immune system. Treat any non-HIV illnesses you experience as soon as possible. These illnesses activate the immune system.
If your T (or CD4) cell count is less than 200, take medication to prevent PCP, a pneumonia that can kill you.
If your T (or CD4) cell count is less than 50 cells, take medication to prevent MAC, a bacterial infection that can kill you.
If you have more than 200 T cells, get a Pneumovax every 5 years. Pneumovax is a vaccine against bacterial pneumonia.
Drink lots of water and avoid sodas and fruits juices (eat fruit instead, you need the fiber.)
Monitor your fasting cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, liver and kidney functions at least every 6 months.
Exercise with weights/machines 34 times a week for an hour, and also do cardiovascular exercise (elliptical trainer, fast walking, light jogging, etc.) for at least 30 minutes a day after weight training. Make sure that you sweat! You can also do home based exercises as shown here: http://weboflife.nasa.gov/exerciseandaging/chapter4_strength.html
Cut sugars, maximize good protein and good fats (olive oil and cold water fish), fruits and vegetables of all colors. Do not skip breakfast!
Take at least a multivitamin a day with meals.
Motivate yourself with a buddy, support group, and surround yourself with smart and up-beat people. Find your life purpose
Have nutrition-dense snacks available and never get too hungry or too thirsty. Examples are nuts, hard boiled eggs, lean meats, tuna, milk/cheese if you can tolerate it, whole grains. No white bread and watch your sweets!
If you have to, use stimulants wisely and in moderation (coffee and green tea)
Get good quality sleep
Manage stress with relaxation techniques, hobbies, and learning to let go of anger and unrealistic expectations
Get a least 20 minutes a day of sunshine. Your body needs it to make Vitamin D for bone health
Please let me know if you need anything else. We are here to help even if we are miles away.
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