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Diagnosed with AIDS & pnuemona lifespan?
Dec 21, 2009

My boyfriend is 26 years and he was just diagnosed with AIDs after developing pneumonia. He has lost 20-30 pounds over the prior 3-4 months from chronic diareah which he never got checked out. He has always been thin but now he is just skin and bones and is very weak. He has been in the hosptial for 3 weeks and he is still there. He was treated for his pnuemonia and he just began HAART treatment. My question is with is his lifespan looking to be if he started HAART after developing pnuemonia and being diagnosed with AIDS? Is it too late for him to have a near normal lifespan?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Unfortunately I do not have a crystal ball that can accurately predict the future. It's unfortunate your boyfriend ignored his health for so long that he became critically ill with AIDS complicated by a significant opportunistic infection. His prognosis will depend on how well he responds to treatment of his opportunistic infection and to his combination antiretroviral regimen. I have seen some truly remarkable cases of significant immune restoration (improved CD4 counts and "health") with effective antiretroviral therapy. (See below for a recent example.) Your boyfriend will need to work closely with his HIV physician specialist. This will critically influence his chances for significant improvement, both short- and long-term.

Good luck to you both. Tell your boyfriend about this site, if he doesn't already know about it. There is a wealth of information here that could be extremely enlightening and helpful for him.

Dr. Bob

AIDS to HIV - CD4 Count Dec 21, 2009

I just found out my brother was diagnosed with AIDS last year. He was admitted to the hospital with a CD4 count of 2. He's now substantially about 200, I think in the 1,000's. He works out every day, eats well, in general, very healthy. I read your other answers to this questions stating that you can't go from AIDS to HIV, he's always going to be diagnosed with AIDS. But does his treatment and other factors different than someone that hasn't had AIDS before? Is he more susecptible to infections or illenesses than someone that is only HIV? Or is the AIDS diagnoses just that... just a title still for him? He's 25 and I'm so worried for him now. I keep reading that people that have HIV can live somewhat normal, long lives... but can that be the same for him since he was diagnosed with AIDS?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

The term "AIDS" is indeed just a title (artificial classification) and in many ways really not all that useful anymore. "AIDS" was coined in 1982 prior to the discovery of the causative agent: HIV! There was no way back then to determine if someone had the disease until they got really, really sick with an opportunistic infection. The term AIDS was created to allow the epidemiologists to count cases and track the epidemic. Much has changed since then. We now have excellent diagnostic tests to determine who has contracted HIV. If someone is HIV positive, he has HIV disease. AIDS now refers to a more advanced stage of the disease. However, treatment with effective combination antiretroviral therapy can significantly restore the health of folks with AIDS (immune reconstitution), as is the case with your brother.

Although he will always carry the diagnosis of AIDS, what really matters as far as his mortality and morbidity is concerned is how well he has responded to treatment (degree of immune reconstitution). Your brother's recovery is dramatic and very encouraging.

Dr. Bob



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