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HIV Life >> Living With HIV

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CLT
Newbie

Reged: 10/30/06
Posts: 8
Have I Gone from HIV to AIDS? HELP!!!!
      #213480 - 10/30/06 05:30 PM

I will keep my story pretty short. March 20th 2006 I found out I was positive. My CD4 was 336 and my viral load was 55,000.

August 14th I take some more labs and had not been able to go back to the doctor until today October 30th. I found out my CD4 is now 160 and my viral load is 20,000.

WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING TO ME?
I feel so normal, so great, so vibrant, SO HEALTHY and now this news. The doctor wrote me out a prescription for Atripla. Thank GOD I have good insurance and will be able to afford the drugs.

Questions?
Do I now have AIDS?
Will things be instantly better once I start meds this weekend?
Anyone out there on Atripla who has NEVER been on any other meds?
Becacause of my faith in God, I know He is going to see me through this. I just dont understand why does it seem everything is progressing so fast yet I feel great. Someone, anyone, please help a BROTHER out. Thanks.

P.S. Should I change doctors? I called my doctor who is a physicians assistant and he never called me back. I wanted to talk over the phone way back in August because my work schedule would not permit me to take off as yet for any reason (new job) I am angry that he never called me to tell me that I needed to get on meds ASAP. Here it is almost NOVEMBER and now I know because I finally was able to take off time. Also, he seemed really distant in talking with me today. Usually he is jovial and fun, today he was cold and to the point. What do you guys think?

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Have I Gone from HIV to AIDS? HELP!!!! new
      #213584 - 11/01/06 08:36 AM

Change doctors immediately! You need someone who cares! And you need treatment before you get an opportunistic illness! You should make an appointment for this week if possible. You may feel great but your immune system is really compromised so its best to get treatment. Luckily your viral load isn't too bad.

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PositiveInPVD
Fanatic

Reged: 03/12/06
Posts: 55
Loc: Providence, Rhode Island
Re: Have I Gone from HIV to AIDS? HELP!!!! new
      #213620 - 11/01/06 07:31 PM

AIDS is defined by a CD4 count <200 and HIV+. I have also heard that an official diagnosis can be HIV+ and an AIDS defining illness (i.e. PCP, candidiasis, etc).. So the answer is yes, you have AIDS. Its scary to think at teh AIDS stage when you are still just dealing with being HIV+. Indeed there are some that progress pretty quickly, and on the opposite end of the extreme, some that never progress, or dont for a very long time for that matter. Why is that? Well there are different strains of HIV, and everyone is different, the way we tax our bodies, how our immune system is before HIV, etc. There are many factors that I think they are still learning every day with new research.

The good news is that you will bounce back with your retroviral therapy. But you do need to get a referrall to see an Infectious Disease doctor, preferably one with a specialization in HIV. You need someone that can help manage this for you, and it sounds like thats not happening the best way at this critical juncture of the disease.

My advice to you is get a new specialist, get over the emotional stuff with some help, and do your best to commit to a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, eat better, get off smokes and booze and drugs (if those apply). Hell I can say I havent been perfect....i love my booze, but I did quit the smoking. You will get better. I had a CD4 count of 50 at my worst upon diagnosis along with AIDS defning illness. That was Dec 2002. March of this year my CD4 was 808, with 3.5 years now of an undetectable viral level. The likely fact though is that, without those meds, ur body is gonna be in World War 3 trying to build itself back up. It sounds like you have an agressive strain. Good luck, and be well.
Todd

--------------------
CD4 808 (41%), VL <75, liver still functioning great,lipids normal!!!

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Have I Gone from HIV to AIDS? HELP!!!! new
      #215249 - 11/22/06 09:42 AM

Physicians Assistants are just that....assistants. They simply do not have the knowledge or experience to treat HIV...Get a specialist!

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CLT
Newbie

Reged: 10/30/06
Posts: 8
Re: Have I Gone from HIV to AIDS? HELP!!!! new
      #215368 - 11/22/06 11:50 PM

Its almost been 3 weeks and I am doing great on the Atripla thank God. I have my first doctors appointment 12/6 to do labs to see how well my body is responding to the medication. I am so glad the brunt of the minor side effects I experienced are over. I'll keep everyone posted.

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CLT
Newbie

Reged: 10/30/06
Posts: 8
30 Days Later..From 160 to 500 CD4 new
      #218120 - 12/12/06 08:24 PM

I have a PRAISE report! I would have everyone on this site know that just about 30 days ago my CD4 count was 160 now 30 days later and me adhering to my Atripla regime coupled with FAITH and PRAYER my CD4 count is 500. The doctor had told me to only expect about a 50 to 100 count increase and anything over that would be a MIRACLE. I guess you can say ITS A MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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