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Oldest known person living with hiv

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--- Quote from: philly267 on April 24, 2007, 01:48:00 AM ---Just out of curiosity, how does one actually figure this out with any degree of certainty?  The virus has only been scientifically identifiable for 23 years.

--- End quote ---

In some cases, folks have had various blood and tissue samples taken for other
reasons / diseases which had been frozen and stored, many years before HIV
could be detected.  These have been used in some cases to detect just how
far back someone has been HIV+.




--- Quote ---Just out of curiosity, how does one actually figure this out with any degree of certainty?  The virus has only been scientifically identifiable for 23 years.
--- End quote ---
The virus has been genetically traced back to it roots in Africa.  It appears to have crossed the simian/human species barrier in the late 1920's to early 1930's.  Though it may well have emerged and died out several times before that.

The earliest cases, proven from frozen plasma samples, date to 1959.  They are from a Dutch sailor, who worked in Africa for a while, his wife, and their newborn child.

While a test did not become available until 1984, many of us LTS folks recognize that we experienced classic seroconversion symptoms years before we were clinically diagnosed.  In my own case, I was diagnosed just before Christmas 1985.  I am quite sure I was infected in the Fall of 82 or Spring of 83, a period where I had long on/off bout with flu like symptoms, night sweats, etc.

I have heard that the longest lived HIV+ person in Canada was miss diagonosed as being a Celiac and put on a grain free diet.  He did so well on the grain free diet that he stayed on it with good results even after getting a poz diagnosis.

Dear Worried -
        Based on risk behavior I can say with absolute certainty that I had to have become infected sometime between mid to late 1979 and the early spring of 1980, which makes it around 28 years, as SASA noted above. I am now 56 years old and I've never had any of the usual opportunistic infections, and I'd have to say that I'm in astonishingly good condition for anyone my age - poz or neg. (Of course, now that I've said that I will probably come down with some bizarre medical condition, and if I do, I will blame you! lol.) For what its worth, I also became coinfected with Hep C back then. I have no idea how many more years I have left on earth in this body, but I've lived an amazing life for the last 28 years, and but for the difficulty of finding appropriate women to snuggle up with, I really can't complain. Other than some generally tolerable mild peripheral neuropathy that began when I started taking DDI way back when, and the emotional isolation that was problematic for many years, I've probably been very fortunate, and when I read the posts of others here who have suffered terribly, it touches me very deeply.
       Needless to say, everyone is different. In my case, my doctor and I are reasonably certain that I am lucky enough to have at least one genetic receptor mutation that has kept the monster at bay, and the only real side effects that I experience from taking Atripla are very vivid dreams (which I kind of enjoy in a strange way) and some sensitivity to foods that sometimes induce mild gastrointestinal discomfort.
       On the plus side, I believe that having HIV has actually made me more empathetic towards others, and I try to lead my life with meaning and conscience. I've been a practicing attorney for 25 years, and because I  am constantly reminded of the frailty of human existence, I like to think that the virus has made me a better person and a more conscientious lawyer (and no, the two are not mutually exclusive, you wiseasses out there!)
        The best advice I can give you is that you try to maintain a healthy diet and take care of your body and your spirit, avoid unneccessary stress, and be as conscious an individual as you can. It may not work for you, but it seems to do the trick for me.
         Hang in there.


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