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Understanding HIV
      #79187 - 12/15/03 07:34 PM

I know someone who has hiv that i care a lot about. he found out he was pos back in April and his doc told him that it looked as though he has had it for a year and a half. if he is going on 2 years of being hiv positive how long will he live with hiv before it turns into AIDS? i know there is no exact date but how long do people usually go with hiv before it becomes full blown. i am only trying to educate myself and understand to be a better helper. Also do you start treatment as soon as you test positive if so are there any side effects associated with the meds? Are there any mental side effects also? any help would be great! thanks

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Re: Understanding HIV new
      #79208 - 12/16/03 05:18 PM

hi, it is very important that your friend get under the care of an HIV specialist if he is not already. It is also important that he take care of himself-try to eat right, take his vitamins, exercise, and minimize smoking and alcohol.

HIV does not ever have to turn into AIDS. Your friend should have his bloodwork monitored about every 3 months so they can track the progression of the virus. Generally when his t cells reach 350 or viral load climbs up to 50,000, DR's recommend the patient start meds. Yes Meds can cause side effects, some people have little or no side effects, some people have some. Every person is different. It is important that your friend relaize that HIV is no longer a death sentence. The disease can be controlled with proper care. There are many people that have had 20+ years and still alive today. And it will only get better as more meds come out.

Good luck to your friend!

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