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HIV Drug ResistanceHIV Drug Resistance
          
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Adherence =Hope
Feb 2, 2008

I recently mailed Dr Sherer to enquire about the development of resistance in my particular combination. Thanks for the reassurance Dr! He thought it might be a good Idea if I shared my story with the forum, just in case it gave some hope to others. I am glad to do this as this site was invaluable to me when I was diagnosed in 2000. I apologise if I should have posted in another section.

I live in the UK and am a 42 year old gay man, I have been in a monogomous relationship for 18 years, my partner is negative. I guess I was infected in 1988-90. When diagnosed my CD4 was 170,9% and viral load through the roof. I honestly thought my life was over and for a couple of months did not see a way forward. I immediatly began therapy on Combivir and Sustiva and within a month was undetectable and Cd4 had risen to over 500. For the last 7+ years my count has been consistently over 1000, currently 1300, and my CD4% has risen to 33%. I have always maintained my viral load below 50 copies, except for a "blip" in December where it reached 86 copies...prompting panic here! I really don't know why I have been so lucky but I just want to let others know that there can be hope. I have an excellent Doctor who always listens to my questions, however petty, and the support of a great partner as well as half a dozen friends and family with whom I chose to share my diagnosis. I have,thank God, remained in excellent health and maintained full time employment in a very stressful job. I have been 100% adherent, to the half hour, with all my meds and have never missed a dose. I place my meds where I can see them, in the same place, at the same time everyday. If I am going out anything I need to take is in the same pill box in my pocket before I leave the house. This has become a total habit and is as natural to me now as getting in the shower in the morning! I don't want to preach and I know I have been one of the lucky ones,with excellent results and as yet no side effects, but I really believe that the key thing is adherence. I honestly would never have believed I would have still been here almost eight years ago. Don't give up and never be afraid to ask your medical providers ANY quetions or queries you have. Thanks again for all the invaluable support this forum gives to us around the world. Best wishes Liam

Response from Dr. Sherer

Thanks for sharing your story of hope. There's no reason to think that you can't do the same for another 8 years, and more.


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