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Long-term non progressor
Aug 13, 2004

I've been living with hiv for 10 years and am healthy. I only developed shingles 6 years ago and my legs have recently started itching. I only took ARV's for 6 months and then stopped. I'm healthy, I'm working, I'm physically fit, infact I'm beyond healthy. Does this mean I'm a long-term non-progressor? Please also explain in detail what it means to be a LTNP.

Response from Dr. Lee

You have not mentioned your Tcell count or your viral level. Long-term non-progressors have low viral loads and stable Tcell counts over several years. Sadly most people are not LTNP. In fact many people who feel healthy and well (physically fit) are mostly lucky that they have not acquired opportunistic infections, because they may actually have very low Tcells. (I recently had a patient who was working full-time in construction until he developed a headache and came in with cryptococcal meningitis and a Tcell count of 7!)

Please check with your doctor and check your levels.

Be well.


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