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Personal Choice...No Meds
May 25, 2004

I'm a 42 white male. I have a cd4 of 78 and v.Load of 78,000. white blood cells are 3.6 and low plattelets of 16,000. I've made a personal choice not to take meds. I've been very blessed not to have any O.I."s yet accept thrush twice, Ebstein Barr.

I know that my good forture will not last forever. My question is, what do you think my remaining lifespan will be with these numbers according to statistics. Thank you for the awesome work you are doing.

Response from Dr. Boyle

Why you would deny yourself the benefits of the medical miracle that has occurred in the past 8 years puzzles me, especially since antiretroviral therapy has become simple (as few as 3 pills a day), well tolerated (most of my patients don't have any side effects after the first few weeks), and low toxicity. But, everyone gets to choose their own path... As far as your question, there is no specific data that predicts mortality in someone with your CD4 count, but so long as you take OI prophylaxis (e.g., Bactrim), your survival could be from months (especially if your CD4 count goes below 50 and you become at high risk for CNS lymphoma among other bad things) to several years. Tough to say. But, if you get on effective antiretroviral therapy, you may still be able to live a normal lifespan.



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