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Reged: 05/06/05
Posts: 924
Loc: Los Angeles
I have HIV Associated Dementia after 24 Years
      09/03/08 03:38 PM

Sorry friends for my earlier angy post, but a diagnosis that you are losing control of your emotions and your higher brain functions due to HIV is most distressing.

My HIV specialist and my AIDS neurologist at UCLA have both told me that the occurrence of HIV dementia is not related to either viral load or CD4 count. The virus enters the brain shortly after infection and remains there protected by the blood brain barrier.

In the brain it infects cells in the brain and produces toxins that cause brain cells not infected to die. I recently had a spinal tap which found tens of thousands of HIV per ml of spinal fluid and protein left from dying brain cells. Fortunately the brain is a miraculous organ that quickly adapts to the loss of brain cells.

Nevertheless, I am now completely disabled as I cannot control my emotions, nor remember instructions, nor do multi-tasking work like driving a car. Fortunately, I planned for this event twenty years ago and I will have an ample income in my retirement.

If there is a lesson in what is happenning to me, it is this, "Fully live today." AIDS caused me to do everything I ever wanted to do, and I now have great memories to contemplate.

My doctors are urging me to consider a living arrangement in which I can move from independent living to full care. I have found several and next year my partner and I shall move into one of them.

One of you wrote that it is misleading to believe that HIV will not kill you. Until a way is found to kill the virus completely, we the infected will have to deal with the various shocks that HIV and the meds deliver. Eventually, for most of us, one of those shocks will kill us.

I had 24 good years, and I intend to have as many more as I can before the curtain comes down on my conciousness.

If you are depressed, or quick to anger, or forgetful, or find that you have unexplained weakness, get yourself to a neurologist with AIDS experience. You may have early stages of HIV dementia. Early identification will allow the doctors to treat the emotional problems which are at times so miserable that death is preferable. I sufferred for years with all those symptoms and the quality of my work and my life sufferred as well. I should have applied for disability retirement years ago.

Water over the dam, now.



Life is a river.
Carpe diem.

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Subject Posted by Posted on
* I have HIV Associated Dementia after 24 Years ScotCharles 09/03/08 03:38 PM
. * Re: I have HIV Associated Dementia after 24 Years ScotCharles   09/05/08 05:41 PM
. * Re: I have HIV Associated Dementia after 24 Years Florida69   09/04/08 02:29 PM
. * Re: I have HIV Associated Dementia after 24 Years RevAnn   09/05/08 03:35 PM
. * Re: I have HIV Associated Dementia after 24 Years Bear60   09/04/08 01:09 PM
. * Post deleted by Becky AIDS2HIV   09/04/08 02:15 PM
. * Re: I have HIV Associated Dementia after 24 Years OhTam   09/04/08 02:05 PM
. * Re: I have HIV Associated Dementia after 24 Years cunta_stalwart   09/03/08 04:25 PM

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