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Life expectancy after AIDS

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mamaangie:
Hi all. This is my first time posting. I was diagnosed HIV+ on Aug. 27, '07 and found out it was AIDS on Aug 30, '07. My CD4 count was 6 and viral load of over 500,000. Started meds on Sept. 13, '07. Had to go to the hospital on Sept. 24, and I was there for 7 days. I am scared to be optimistic about living a long time. Actually, I am just scared. I have read many, many stories on long life with HIV, but not about anyone whose CD4 got down to below 200. Any of you long timers got a story for me? I would really appreciate it. Thanks. Angie in WV

leatherman:
Welcome! You've come to a good place and there'll be plenty of people after me to tell you a ton of things you should know; but let me first tell you something to ease some of your current fears.

Almost 10 yrs ago (it will be in Mar), I was in the hospital with a VL of 490,000, only 2 t-cells, and PCP pneumonia (this was my second time in a two yr period being this sick and in the hospital). Although that was a rough time, and the meds back then weren't as good as the ones today, I struggled through and things got better. Now, nearly a decade later, my tcells are about 250 and my viral load has hovered near "undetectable" for nearly 3 years. And I'm actually healthier than I've ever been in the last 15 yrs.!

At first, I used to think I wouldn't live to be 35. Then I wasn't certain if I'd make it to 40. I felt pretty good about turning 45. And now I'm actually thinking I could make it to 65!  ;D

The only piece of advice I would give you is to always stay compliant to taking your meds. I learned the hard way and that's how I ended up in the hospital that second time.  ;)

Glad you found these forums, and I'm sure you'll find all the answers you need.

mikie

Miss Philicia:
My cd4's were below 200 when diagnosed 14 years ago (probably infected 19 years ago, give or take).  Mine are currently over 1,000 but keep in mind I went for the first decade before breaking 400.  Mine also were not as low as yours currently were when diagnosed, they were still in the 100's, but still current treatments available to you are beyond what anyone had in the early 90's.  Always keep that last bit in mind.

There are many others on this forum who have recovered from quite low numbers upon diagnosis, but you should be aware that you will have to work very hard the first year or two to get them into a safer zone.

Dachshund:
 By all indications I probably was infected sometime in the early 80's. I lived in denial for the next ten years or so until Aids decided I should take notice. My counts when I became ill were cd4's, I think about eight, with a viral load of 650,000. Fast forward to 2007. I'm 55, work fulltime and really can't complain. You will read stories of many, many, people that have rebounded quite dramatically from a a situation just like yours. Through treatment and most importantly adherence you should see dramatic results. I know it's easy to say and there is no doubt it can be an emotional roller coaster, but your focus should be on the now and getting yourself healthy. I speak from experience when I tell you the future will be here faster than you can say H-I-V. I'll even go out on a limb and tell you, you can plan on that.

Good luck,
Hal

megasept:

--- Quote from: mamaangie on October 05, 2007, 12:25:59 PM ---Hi all. This is my first time posting. I was diagnosed HIV+ on Aug. 27, '07 and found out it was AIDS on Aug 30, '07. My CD4 count was 6 and viral load of over 500,000. Started meds on Sept. 13, '07. Had to go to the hospital on Sept. 24, and I was there for 7 days. I am scared to be optimistic about living a long time. Actually, I am just scared. I have read many, many stories on long life with HIV, but not about anyone whose CD4 got down to below 200. Any of you long timers got a story for me? I would really appreciate it. Thanks. Angie in WV


--- End quote ---
Welcome, Angie!

"Scared to be optimistic"? Being optimistic while facing the truth is a wonderful condition that will serve you well. Don't try to "cure" a positive attitude.
Nitty-gritty:

I have a friend on a new treatment (drug trial). He's POZ 25 years and has had an AIDS diagnosis about 20 years. He just told me his CD4 count tripled to 11, probably due to the meds (they brought his massive VL down low, maybe to undetectible). So, you can live many many years with 4 T-cells, as he did, or 10 or 90 or 580. I am not making light of it, because the thought of going below 200 scares me too, but it does relieve some of the worry. Some portion of your immunity is still working, and that is what you need to encourage! Good Health!

 8) -megasept

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