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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
           
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Am I believing a lie?
Feb 9, 2006

I have been HIV positive for almost 5 years now and my approach to it has been to do everything my doctor says to do when she says to do it, but I don't think let it consume my life and I hardly think about it other than when I take my meds. When I was diagnosed my doctor informed me that there was no reason that I should tell myself I couldn't live a long normal life...the only difference between me and people without HIV is that I have to start eating healthy, exercising, and taking care of myself now instead of waiting until I'm in my 40s or 50s to worry about it. Is this true? I believed this wholeheartedly since she told me, but lately I've been having doubts. Am I believing a lie? How many HIV patients actually do live long lives well into their 70s or 80s?

Response from Dr. Henry

Patients who have access to good HIV care and take HIV meds to maintain their CD4 count to > 350-500 are likely to live for a very long time. Some patients have done well on treatment for > 10 years with no end in sight. Highly effective therapy has only been around for around 10 years so it hard to predict decades into the future but current experience is very encouraging. KH



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