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Author Topic: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?  (Read 4156 times)

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Offline Roie

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Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« on: March 04, 2008, 08:06:45 AM »
What indications tell us how long we have been HIV poz.

I have noticed that many people say here that they were infected for yrs before even finding out that they were infected. How do they know this? I think that I was infected in April 2007 but not sure because I may also have been walking around with HIV for longer or much much longer.
Cruise on down the High Way

"When people who are not ready jump in, things can go horribly wrong. For most of us, there is always time to take a deep breath, consider one's options and make a careful, sound decision based on clinical fact, not emotion."
MtD

Offline Desertguy

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2008, 09:16:54 AM »
I believe that a good indication is your CD4 count and your Virla Load count. Myself mine was CD4 120 & Viral Load of 970,000 there 2 doctors both said I have had it for 10 - 15 years
Hope this helps

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2008, 10:03:21 AM »
If you're first test for HIV happened to come back positive then it's just an estimated guess of when you were infected, based on your lab numbers at that point and the average progression rate of HIV infection.  As it's based on an average there's a lot of room for this "guesstimate" being wrong, I assume.  In my case I know that I did not have unprotected anal sex outside of 5 years previous to my diagnosis.  I also was slightly below 200 cd4 so my doctor estimates 5 years, which I guess is still a somewhat quick progression to those cd4 numbers, but it is what it is.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline riverlassie

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2008, 12:56:54 PM »
Being an ex-drug addict I actually know exactly when I got infected. And sadly I did nothing to stop it.that was over 20 years ago . But I'll never forget that moment for as long as I live.
Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere.

Offline Roie

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2008, 01:17:18 PM »
Is it not an individual thing per person where each of us react differently and our counts change independantly.
Mine may change rapidly and someone else change more slowly.

When I was diagnosed in July 2007 my CD was 300. and VL 40000, I began my meds a month ago at a CD count of 278 and VL 28000.  I think I was infected in April 2007 but perhaps not? Perhaps it was 1 or 2 years proir.
Cruise on down the High Way

"When people who are not ready jump in, things can go horribly wrong. For most of us, there is always time to take a deep breath, consider one's options and make a careful, sound decision based on clinical fact, not emotion."
MtD

Offline Coffeechick88

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2008, 10:41:20 AM »
I know exactly when I got infected because I had only one exposure, so it was easy for me.  For most situations, it is just a best guess situation.  You can go by CD4/VL, but keep in mind that doctors can only give you an estimate based on the average--not everyone responds to HIV the same way.  Another reason you can't go purely on CD4 is that it is very rare that you have results for that number in non-infected individuals, so since the reference range is roughly 500-1500 for a normal person (labs vary slightly, but it is around that number), you can't know if you naturally are in the higher end or lower end in terms of CD4 count.  So basically, it will always be an estimate that a doctor can give you, but nothing exact.  Also, if you have regular HIV tests, it can be easier to pinpoint the time, since you can work your way between that last negative result to the current positive and estimate based on that.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2008, 10:43:51 AM by Coffeechick88 »
Lucas James is here
Born 6-14-08 at 1233 am
8 lbs 14 oz, 22 in long

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2008, 12:22:50 AM »
I was testing every six months, Christmas and Independence Day, had been doing that for years.  I believe I know who infected me and on which night (very early morning).  I also believe he knew his status and passed it on to me to get even with someone else.

When I am in Palo Verde, I leave red roses on a grave and when I am in Long Beach, I leave a pink rose on the other grave becauase, I outlived them both.  Doctor asked me once, "how did you get your HIV"?  Well I got mine the old fashioned way, I earned it  ;D Have the best day
Michael

Offline thunter34

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2008, 12:34:07 AM »
Doctors swear that I must have been infected for at least 5 years when I clocked in with 145 t cells and falling.  But I know that I had negative blood tests for my preceeding history and was in a monotonous     monogamous relationship and didn't really get my dick on full force with multiple guys until late 2001 / early 2002.  And I believe I remember my conversion sickness.  I put mine at late February 2002.  Full tilt AIDS by December 2004.  Under three years for me.

Of course, the docs will look at me and smile and nod with that "we're doctors and you're either lying or mistaken" smile of professional pleasantry.  What they are not appreciating is just how much I detest needles, and these were blood tests.  I know - and remember clearly - each and every time I've had to be subjected to any dreaded blood draw.

I'm a pussy about it.
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline lucas clay

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2008, 03:32:55 AM »
I don't have a clue when i got the "bug"
The only time i remember feeling really bad was when i got the shingles back in 2001.
 Felt so bad that night.
Don't know when my whole world came crashing down around me.
Life was so good for so long.
 Then life as we know it is gone, slipped from our fingers in the wink of an eye.
Seems like a dream that you cant quite remember,try as you like you can never recapture it.
You would Think i would have felt it fade away.

                                                 ( sorry for the hijack)
                                                                              Lucas

                                           

Offline Roie

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2008, 11:10:35 AM »
  What they are not appreciating is just how much I detest needles, and these were blood tests.  I know - and remember clearly - each and every time I've had to be subjected to any dreaded blood draw.

I'm a pussy about it.

You have to come get blood drawn from my nurse Vered. She is the most professional blood drawer I know, and I never feel a thing EVER. She is wonderful and I am so pleased to have her for my nurse.

Lucus, Please cheer up. It all looks bad, and perhaps it is. but you can handle it.
World has not crashed. You will be ok.
Cruise on down the High Way

"When people who are not ready jump in, things can go horribly wrong. For most of us, there is always time to take a deep breath, consider one's options and make a careful, sound decision based on clinical fact, not emotion."
MtD

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2008, 11:16:13 AM »
I once had blood drawn by an idiot, and it seriously went wrong and the blood sprayed up into her eyes and all over the room.  And you really have to be bad to mess up with me -- my veins completely stick out on my arms due to lipoatrophy... nurses generally love me for this reason.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Roie

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2008, 11:23:50 AM »
I once had blood drawn by an idiot, and it seriously went wrong and the blood sprayed up into her eyes and all over the room.  And you really have to be bad to mess up with me -- my veins completely stick out on my arms due to lipoatrophy... nurses generally love me for this reason.

Thats what my nurse said, that its my veins that are good, But they dont stick out or anything.
That sounds like a very traumatic blood taking.
Diid the nurse freek out? Would it be possible to contract HIV that way?

Cruise on down the High Way

"When people who are not ready jump in, things can go horribly wrong. For most of us, there is always time to take a deep breath, consider one's options and make a careful, sound decision based on clinical fact, not emotion."
MtD

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2008, 11:26:18 AM »

Diid the nurse freek out? Would it be possible to contract HIV that way?


She freaked out a little, but not wildly.  I suppose there's a small chance of infection, but I always assume once the blood comes in contact with the air that due to the virus' fragility it's pretty neutered.  Someone else will have to really speak to this.  I never bother with learning obscure infection possibilities.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline BT65

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2008, 06:24:53 PM »
Every time the lab tech can't get the right spot I just want to yell 'give it to me, dammit, I'll do it!'
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline madbrain

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2008, 06:59:57 PM »
It's possible to know if you had fairly frequent HIV tests .

My last 3 tests were :

early March 2006  - HIV-
late June 2006 - HIV-
late October 2006 - HIV+

It can take some time from infection to show up in a test . CDC says usually testing at 3 months is OK, but there are some rare cases where antibodies don't show up until 6 to 12 months. My doc thinks I was infected between June and October 2006. I think I was more likely infected around March 2006.

Offline vivyt

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2008, 08:22:47 AM »
I am glad someone brought up this question because I have been wondering the same thing. I was diagnosed in May 2007 with a CD4 of 15 and a VL of about 500. I don't know if that is normal having such a low VL and a low CD4. Most people on this forum have high VLs and low CD4s. Looking back I think I seroconverted in 2005. Is it possible for it to progress that quickly?

Offline Coffeechick88

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2008, 10:29:22 AM »
I once had blood drawn by an idiot, and it seriously went wrong and the blood sprayed up into her eyes and all over the room.  And you really have to be bad to mess up with me -- my veins completely stick out on my arms due to lipoatrophy... nurses generally love me for this reason.
Damn, that person must have hit an artery for that to have happened.  Those with lipoatrophy with are among my favorite people to draw and put IVs in since usually they have veins you can hit from across the room.  I have once been called for an alleged difficult draw and that person had huge veins.  At least that idiot had stopped at 2 sticks per protocol and not tried to stick that poor patient anymore.  I don't know why people like that are allowed to do phlebotomy. 
Lucas James is here
Born 6-14-08 at 1233 am
8 lbs 14 oz, 22 in long

Offline Coffeechick88

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2008, 10:36:43 AM »
I am glad someone brought up this question because I have been wondering the same thing. I was diagnosed in May 2007 with a CD4 of 15 and a VL of about 500. I don't know if that is normal having such a low VL and a low CD4. Most people on this forum have high VLs and low CD4s. Looking back I think I seroconverted in 2005. Is it possible for it to progress that quickly?
It would not be the usual to progress that quickly, but I suppose not impossible--I am one who believes the patient would know better about possible exposures they had than the doctors since the doctors weren't with them in the bedroom.  It is more common to have a high vl and low CD4, but it isn't always the case.  I am like you--I progressed to a low CD4 pretty quickly, but my viral load never got higher than 1500, with the exception of the initial viral load, which was taken when I was seroconverting.
Lucas James is here
Born 6-14-08 at 1233 am
8 lbs 14 oz, 22 in long

Offline germangirl

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2008, 06:40:58 AM »
My husband`s doctor told us that it is impossible to determine the infection date by regarding the cd4 and VL, cause everybody is an individual and some have a rapid decline of cd4 others not.
One of my husband`s friends for example is positive for about nine years now. He is still not taking meds. His Cd4 are 350 and his VL is only 4000. 25%.
Other people I know have worse values although they a surely infected years later than my hubbie`s friend.

So could be a great error to determine your infection date by your values.

Greetings from Germany
Eres el aire que respiro,
Eres el compania de mi soledad,
Eres el luz que me ilumina,
Eres el camino en la oseuidad.
Dedicated to my husband

My husband is positive, I am negative.

Online RapidRod

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2008, 06:50:01 AM »
Your husband is correct. You cannot go by your CD4 and VL numbers to give you a objective time line.

Offline majik13

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2008, 07:14:11 AM »
I know exactly when I got infected because I had only one exposure, so it was easy for me.  For most situations, it is just a best guess situation.  You can go by CD4/VL, but keep in mind that doctors can only give you an estimate based on the average--not everyone responds to HIV the same way.  Another reason you can't go purely on CD4 is that it is very rare that you have results for that number in non-infected individuals, so since the reference range is roughly 500-1500 for a normal person (labs vary slightly, but it is around that number), you can't know if you naturally are in the higher end or lower end in terms of CD4 count.  So basically, it will always be an estimate that a doctor can give you, but nothing exact.  Also, if you have regular HIV tests, it can be easier to pinpoint the time, since you can work your way between that last negative result to the current positive and estimate based on that.
I don't remember the day but I remember when I found out,when I asked my doctor was i going to die?He told me,VR280 that I was dianose in time.But this was in 1988.doing a time when alot of my friends were dying and sick.I was going blind from diabetes.Even then their was doctors who just would go through the motions because they didn't know what to do.There was only one test they could give me to find out  why i was losing wait and drinking water like crazy.so i
went to emergency and I told the doctor my simptoms.He checked my clucose 1600.and the doctor to this clinic i was going to was not aware of bactrom and that was the wonder drug it came just in time. BACTROM is why I'm still here.

Offline netta

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #21 on: March 27, 2008, 12:47:13 PM »
I know when I got infected. It was 1986. It was my ex, who was an ex-h -addict. We were living together and planning on getting married,he was not active in his addiction at that time.He also had two brothers die the same month of overdoses.Then I found out his baby mama died of aids that same year !!When he got sick he moved back home and died about a year later. I remember everyone saying he had aids, but i was in denial and ignorant.Then in 1990 i got tested and got a letter saying it was important i come to the doctor, but i ignored it!!!I remember getting very sick with flu like symtoms and missing a whole week from work,when he and i were livng together.How about in 1994,I had a dream about him and he was trying to tell me something!! , then I got very sick with  pnemonia and went in the hospital  and found out about the same time I had the dream.!!!
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 12:54:38 PM by netta »
"to thine own self be true"

Offline Roie

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #22 on: March 27, 2008, 01:22:11 PM »
Netta, thats a very sad story. How are you today, and I am so happy that you are here.
Just Look after your self please.
Cruise on down the High Way

"When people who are not ready jump in, things can go horribly wrong. For most of us, there is always time to take a deep breath, consider one's options and make a careful, sound decision based on clinical fact, not emotion."
MtD

Offline redhotmuslbear

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Re: Is it possible to know how long we have been infected for?
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2008, 09:00:15 PM »
While I was officially diagnosed in May 1998, I had suspected for many years that I was infected Labor Day weekend 1982 at the start of my sophomore year of college by a big gorgeous Swede who also gave me syphilis.  The syphilis was treated promptly and aggressively, but I began to have bouts with night sweats, fatigue, and freakishly swollen lymph nodes and intermittent rash for which my doctors could find no explanation.  Those bouts lasted about eight months, and I consciously avoided testing for years because of the complicationI felt an HIV+ test result would introduce into having my CSF shunt revised when needed. 

In December 1994 I was tested when a neurosurgeon cut himself while working on my head.  I was not informed of the results at the time, but I was positive;  and the doctor did 30 days of 3TC as post-exposure prophylaxis.

In 2005 I was informed of a frozen viial of my spinal fluid in Houston from 1984.  I asked the lab tech calling "Could you see if it's positive for the presence of HIV?"  After some explanation and another call from her manager, the sample was tested and showed that the virus was established in my spinal fluid 18 months after infection, not a big surprise.

Given all of the evidence,I'm not surprised that I can pinpoint the source of my bugs--I was relatively chaste during that period.  I'm very thankful that I did not infect my ex of 12 years, though I am chilled by the number of men I may have exposed to the virus over the years.

Namaste,
David
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." - BF Skinner
12-31-09   222wks VL  2430 CD4 690 (37%)
09-30-09   208wks VL  2050  CD4 925 (42%)
06-25-08   143wks VL  1359  CD4 668 (32%)  CD8 885
02-11-08   123wks off meds:  VL 1364 CD4 892(40%/0.99 ratio)
10-19-07   112wks off meds:   VL 292  CD4 857(37%/0.85 ratio)

One copy of delta-32 for f*****d up CCR5 receptors, and an HLA B44+ allele for "CD8-mediated immunity"... beteer than winning Powerball, almost!

 


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