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Author Topic: Super Virus ?  (Read 4148 times)

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Offline blind

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Super Virus ?
« on: September 28, 2008, 08:31:45 PM »
I found out I'm poz on Sept.3  My ASO couldn't schedule me until 9/30 which at that point I'll proably have to wait at least a week for my CD4/VL/Chems. The only symptoms that I thin I have are mosquito bites that seem to be inflammatory and I guess some seborrhea psoriasis around my nose.

The waiting game is absolutely killing me. There are two ASO's in my town and don't know yet how to decide which to choose. Should I be using this one month time frame of just meeting with my "to be" physician be the deciding factor? No one seems to be in a rush. Everyone seems to have a lackadaisy attitude; except me.

My partner was diagnosed with CD4<75 & VL>800000 he says "he was negative and me being a big strong guy I must have infected him with a super virus, which is why I have no symptoms".  Is it possible that being such a fit strong big guy that I was never affected by the virus but was able to spread some type of "super virus" ???

Online RapidRod

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Re: Super Virus ?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2008, 09:11:23 PM »
Not everyone has symptoms with HIV. If your b/f has AIDS he's had HIV for a while.

Offline madbrain

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Re: Super Virus ?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2008, 07:01:05 AM »
Hi,

My partner was diagnosed with CD4<75 & VL>800000 he says "he was negative and me being a big strong guy I must have infected him with a super virus, which is why I have no symptoms".  Is it possible that being such a fit strong big guy that I was never affected by the virus but was able to spread some type of "super virus" ???

I'm sorry about your new diagnosis.

On average, people go to the AIDS stage (which your partner is in) in 4 to 8 years without treatment. The odds are in favor of your partner carrying the virus for a while for his numbers to be where they are at. But it's not impossible that he is a faster than average progressor also.

Genetics do play a role in how two different individuals will respond even when exposed to the very same virus. Just because you are a big strong guy and had no symptom doesn't mean that you didn't carry the virus. It doesn't have to be a particularly bad strain or mutation or certainly not a "super virus". The only thing that can really tell you for sure how long you have had HIV is the time since your last negative HIV test. The same is true for your partner.

Good luck figuring out your ASO and doc. Whether there is a need for you to rush or not depends largely on your initial numbers and the change in the next set of test after that (at 1 or 3 months). Usually the CD4 should be available in less than one week. It is the VL that takes one week. You can try calling the lab or doctor to get the CD4 results earlier if you really can't wait.

Offline newt

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Re: Super Virus ?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2008, 04:58:48 PM »
There is no such thing as an HIV super virus. If he has a new infection his body is prob still adjusting and his CD4 will go up and viral load down. Otherwise he's unlucky and his genes is not compatible with innate control of the virus. He's still gonna be bummed with you for being sick.

The typical time to treatment, that is immune damage producing a CD4 that suggests treatment, is:

 - about one third of HIV-positive people will stay well for up to 10 years after infection, even without treatment.
- 60% will start treatment after 4-5 years.
- 2-3% of people can become ill more quickly and need treatment much earlier.
- 2-3% of people can go for 15-20 years without treatment.

It's not really imporatn when you start, it's that you start, and can get on with life and be healthy.

All the best.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline hotpuppy

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Re: Super Virus ?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2008, 10:10:15 PM »
Blind,
  Welcome to the forums.  Part of the reason your ASO's may not be in a hurry is that disease progression takes a while.  Time is usually on your side.

When you are first infected, HIV runs rampant in your system.  Your viral load will spike and 1 million copies/ml is not unusual.  It will knock your immune system on it's butt in many cases.  Your body does mount an effective counterattack and can surpress HIV for a period of time.  Each person's response is different, hence why some people start treatment earlier.  A small minority of people (less than a few percent) are considered elite controllers who have immune systems that can keep HIV in check without drugs. 

When evaluating an ASO you need to look at the long term.  I don't know where you are at but if you tell us I'm sure someone can tell you the good and bad about each ASO.
- How quickly can you get in to see them?
- Do you like the Doctor?
- Are you comfortable with the staff?
- If you are gay or lesbian, is your ASO gay friendly?  Some are more so than others.

For example, here in Houston... Legacy and Harris County Hospital District are the two dominant ASOs.
Legacy is good about appointments and you can get in and out quickly.  Many staff are Gay or Lesbian.  It's a smaller setting and they seem compassionate.  Many clients are gay.  HCHD runs Thomas Street Clinic, an outpatient HIV treatment center.  It's 4 stories tall and has at least 200 employees.  It's impersonal and takes forever. 

I go to Legacy for primary care, and I participate in a drug study at Thomast Street.  I go to Thomas Street for bloodwork and it will literally take 4 hours to get in, let them do 2 blood draws 4 hours apart, and get my new months' meds.  I don't think I would willingly choose Thomas Street over Legacy as my ASO. 

As for the Super virus rumors..... part of what most ASO's appear to do is try to scare you into playing safe with the threats of reinfection, super virii, etc.  If a super virus existed it would have spread rapidly through the gay HIV+ community.  I know some will not like this.. but I know very few poz guys who play safe with other poz guys.  There are a couple of documented cases where extreme behavior managed to get a few individuals a collection of HIV subtypes.  When I say extreme behavior I am referring to going to a bathhouse every night for months on end in NYC or SFO and getting screwed 10+ times a night.  If you statistically "sample" that much you will find one of everything.

Don't concentrate on that... it will make you a wreck.  You have plenty of time to adjust, and get going and have a full life.  Treatment, taking care of your body, and frame of mind are the most important things.  If you are stressed, go get counseling.  Talking to a neutral person can be very very helpful.
Don't obsess over the wrong things.  Life isn't about your numbers, it isn't about this forum, it isn't about someone's opinion.  It's about getting out there and enjoying it.   I am a person with HIV - not the other way around.

Offline blind

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Re: Super Virus ?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2008, 07:48:13 PM »
well I finally got my results and what a surprise they were:
CD4 - 102  VL >194000
I only got tested just for the heck of it - how did I have no idea I had contracted the virus. Are my chances now greater for OI's since I'm going to start treatment with a CD4 count so low? Is it true I should not expect to have my CD4 count rise more than 50/year; yet the VL should drop 1 log per month? My doc wants to give me both flu and pneumonia shot now, I asked the questions shouldn't I wait until my CD4 count goes up - anyone want to give me some opinions on these and more questions I might have  ;D

Online RapidRod

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Re: Super Virus ?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2008, 10:15:45 PM »
Yes you should be on meds. Yes you are at risk for PCP and should be on an anitbiotic. Yes you should have your vaccinations.

Offline Assurbanipal

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  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: Super Virus ?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2008, 09:08:40 AM »
Hi Blind

With a CD4 count of 102 you are currently at risk of opportunistic infections.  As Rapidrod says, in addition to the shots, it's likely your doctor will want to put you on an antibiotic pill to ward off pneumonia. 

You should also expect an analysis (genotype/phenotype) of what specific strains of HIV you have and what drugs will work best.  And then you will want to start drugs (HAART) to get healthier. HAART will usually help your Tcell count to rise-- 50 per year sounds on the low side, many people see them rise quicker than that, but everyone is different.

Until your Tcell count is over 200 you might want to be particularly careful about protecting yourself from potential illness -- use gloves to change pet litter (or get someone else to do it), wash food carefully, lots of hand washing, moderate exercise, eat healthy, lots of sleep etc. 

And take a look at the lessons on this site -- they can be very helpful.

http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Introduction_4702.shtml

But be glad you caught this before you got a major opportunistic infection; with some care and attention now you should do great!

Best wishes
Assurbanipal
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline madbrain

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Re: Super Virus ?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2008, 05:02:24 PM »
well I finally got my results and what a surprise they were:
CD4 - 102  VL >194000

Did you get your CD4 percentage ?

Quote
I only got tested just for the heck of it - how did I have no idea I had contracted the virus.

Most people have no idea that they carry the virus until they get tested. I found out during my annual physical visit and I was the healthiest ever I had ever felt at that time. How long ago was your last negative HIV test, if any ?

Quote
Are my chances now greater for OI's since I'm going to start treatment with a CD4 count so low?

Yes, anyone with a CD4 under 200 is generally at greater risk for OIs.

Quote
Is it true I should not expect to have my CD4 count rise more than 50/year; yet the VL should drop 1 log per month?

I'm not sure about those specifics. I think a 50/year increase for CD4 is a a low expectation when you start in the 100 range. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Hopefully your VL will go to undetectable in the few months after you start therapy. Once the VL is undetectable your CD4 may go up more.

Quote
My doc wants to give me both flu and pneumonia shot now, I asked the questions shouldn't I wait until my CD4 count goes up - anyone want to give me some opinions on these and more questions I might have  ;D

These shots are standard of care pretty much for anyone with HIV/AIDS regardless of your CD4/VL numbers. Make sure you have them. I think the pneumonia shot is every 5 years. The flu shot is every year.

 


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