Living through AIDS and surviving

Question

Hi Ben,

Hope u are well and in the pink of health !

I was an AIDS patient in 2012 with a CD4 of only 7 when I was diagnosed. In addition, I suffered from advanced Kaposi Sarcoma which required me to go for extensive chemo for almost a year, 15 cycles altogether. After which, I told the doctor I wanna stop cause the treatment has created a big hole in my pocket.I am not fully cured from KS cause the time when I stopped there are still small marks on my lungs, and legs.

Ever since I stop the chemo, my CD4 has jumped from just 56 to 110 and then 156 and 215 and then 236. My last CD4 test was only 219, seems like there is a decline for the first time after 2 years. I am worried if my CD4 will keep falling from now. I hope it wont and will still continue to increase cause I am feeling good generally healthy and happy. My KS marks seem to look like small moles now and I am breathing comfortably.

I dont suffer from much side effects from my current ARV of Truvada and Isentress except for slight heatiness and mild body discomfort once in a month. My only worry now is I tend to sweat over excessively especially when the weather is warm. This is not the usual me before I was diagnosed with HIV. Should i take this as normal ?

What is the chances of me having a normal life expectancy ? I am hoping that I will survive through to see the cure someday for HIV. Presently I am 44 I was diagnosed when I was 42.

I also have a bad habit of keeping late nights like sleeping around 3am and wake up around 9am. Is this ok for a person like me who is HIV+??

Really appreciate your feedback and advise on this.

Answer

Hello and thanks for posting.

Sounds to me that you're making an excellent recovery from severe AIDS and KS. Your CD4 count is bound to fluctuate in this pathway, and the small decline that you had on your last test is absolutely nothing to be concerned about.

The sweating that you report isn't a typical side effect of medications or HIV- it would be worth mentioning this to your care provider. Staying up late isn't a problem; just make sure that you strive to get an adequate amount of rest.

As for life expectancy, I'd expect good things for you. While you were diagnosed with late-stage disease, as long as you stay adherent to your medications and medical follow up, I'd expect you to live many, many more years, even to a normal life span (which for white male Americans is 77 years).

Hope that helps, and stay in touch. BY