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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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"normal life" is that true'???
Sep 11, 2009

Hi Dr Keith. First of all I wanted to thank you all your effort in order to help us to cope with this situation. I have been recently diagnosed (4 months ago) and infected (8 months ago max). My numbers are fine 542cd4 / 10000vl, 35%, now 549cd4 / 25000vl, 31%. CD8 are increasing from 550 to 750, 35% to 41%. The results from my resistance test are going to be ready next week. Meanwhile I wanted to ask you how normal life could it be with this infection? Is it really only taking one or two pills or life is going to change in dramatic way because of the infections, side effects, etc... I dont do drugs, nor smoke or drink. I do excercise and have a very normal life. Thank you very much and I really appreciate your time and help.

Response from Dr. Henry

The goal (until a cure is available) for HIV treatment for for patients to have a long (shooting for normal life expectancy) and high quality (feeling good) life. Access to quality antireretroviral therapy is key for most patients to approach those goals. For patients who suppress their HIV levels to undetectable and achieve and/or maintain a CD4 count of > 500 their health may approximate that of HIV negative persons. We are still learning about the long term effects of controlled HIV infection and of long term use of medication (medications continue to get better). Each patient has some unique factors impacting their health (HIV and general) so access to an interested and knowledgeable HIV specialist is important to achieve best outcome possible. KH

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