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a quiet virus
Nov 1, 2006

Here is my question been positive over 20 years now I am 35 never taken any meds still play football with the local kids go to the gym and work full time. So why am I not sick or dead from not taken any med at all it is just mind over body. Or do I have a strain that is different my doctor says I have a very weak strian it that true are there ones out there and could I have it Thank you take care Christina

Response from Dr. Daar

Hi Christina, Congratulations on doing so well and thank you for this great question. The reality is that everyone is different and HIV disease progresses at very different rates. There are those who become ill within a few years of infection (rare), and others that remain healthy off therapy for decades. Remember, the average time from infection to symptoms of AIDS is approximately 8-10 years without therapy. Obviously, with close follow-up and initiation of therapy when appropriate we believe most people will be able to live long healthy lives.

In your case there may be anyone of a number of explanations for your success. There may well be some differences in your virus that allows you to remain stable off therapy. In addition, there are a variety of genetic factors that have been identified over the last decade that have been shown to be associated with slower disease progression. At this time I would encourage you to take care of yourself and be followed by your provider with the hope that things will continue as is for many more years.

Best, Eric

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