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Author Topic: DIAGNOSIS  (Read 7102 times)

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Offline BUZZCUTT

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  • Posts: 120
DIAGNOSIS
« on: November 23, 2008, 12:43:53 PM »
Hello All!

I do not want to sound redundent but if you are diagnosed with Aids with a CD4 of 11 and hospitalized with PCP/Thrush and are on treatment and your CD4 is going up - then why can't your diagnosis change from Aids to HIV - I know Aids results from the HIV infection - So If my CD4 goes up to 1000 will i still be considered as having aids? or will I be HIV + with Aids - I am confused on this-

Thanks
Buzz ♥

Offline J.R.E.

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  • Posts: 7,159
  • Joined Dec-2003 Living positive, since 1985.
Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 12:58:49 PM »

When I had my Aids diagnosis in 2003, with 16 t-cells and a viral load of 500,000, I also had esophageal thrush, along with Shingles and 30 pound weight drop, and eventually pneumonia, and a few other opportunistic infections. As far as I am concerned , I am a person living with Aids. Even though my numbers are above 300 and undetectable. That's just the way I look at it.

Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 8/2514,  t-cells are at 402, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 11%

  
 62 years young.

Offline BUZZCUTT

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 01:55:41 PM »
Hey Ray, thanks - i guess thats the way i am going to have to look at it - does the medications keep the OI's in check or is a person still prone to them?
Buzz ♥

Offline hotpuppy

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2008, 03:06:28 PM »
My understanding.... is that AIDS is an additional diagnosis to being HIV positive.  It was explained to me early in this year in a class that once you have AIDS the label does not go away.

My suspicion is that the label is based on treatment 10 years ago and that diagnostic labeling has not caught up with the reality of current treatments.  There seem to be a wide range of knowledge levels even among HIV organizations.  For example, many do not understand viral tropism or the importance of chemochine receptors.  (aka CCR5 and CCXR4 or R5 and X4). 

I would not let the stupidity of others drag you down.  Just like there are people who don't understand being gay, there is a larger population of people who do not understand HIV.  The most important thing is to know that our treatment options have never been better and you aren't the first person to have your "pet" (HIV) bring home some "friends" and have a party in your throat/ass/dick/vagina/mouth/etc.  You can evict them with good meds.  Although, the pet never goes away.  lol. 

Best Regards,
B
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 jkinatl2

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2008, 04:42:43 PM »
An AIDS diagnosis stays that way, even when the patient's cd4 count rises above 200. This if for basically two reasons, one scientific (albeit sometimes disputed and, hopefully someday, obsolete) and the other is statistical.

Ryan White, grants for scientific research, AIDS Service organization considerations and other funding often hinges on the number of reported AIDS cases nationwide. This number also help to determine outreach and financial consideration/monitoring in any given locality.

 People with asymptomatic HIV are considered to be of lower medical and financial priority. A great deal of funding is tied into this number, which is considered a permanent designation. Were this number to change from month to month,  then it would be difficult to establish the level of need from year to year. From a statistical standpoint, it makes sense to determine the number of people diagnosed with AIDS.

From a scientific standpoint, many researchers view HIV drugs and treatment the same way that people view, say, Rogaine for hair growth. If treatment money dries up, due to either national/state/local funding changes or changes in a person's circumstances (losing one's job or insurance, etc) then  in many if not most cases, the patient deteriorates rather quickly back into dangerous territory. Even if the cd4 count drops slowly, the rise in viral load (not to mention the notion if drug resistance, depending upon the cirsumstances) can speed up the process by which a person is more likely to experience symptoms.

So it is true that we can have immune systems well within a healthy range, and an undetectable viral load, and even a robust immune system (permanent damage notwithstanding) on treatment. A caveat, many researchers argue, is that this is a condition dependent upon continual drug therapy, and that ceasing that therapy (or becoming resistant) can often have a rapid begative impact.

Just as some damage caused by other illnesses can be permanent even when the underlying illness is cured (such as strep throat, gonorrhea,advanced syphilis, etc), so can damage done during an AIDS related illness (and some argue, simply having a very high viral load, especially in the brain and spinal fluid) be permanent. Therefore it is important for people, once diagnosed with AIDS, to be more careful about their health and symptoms even when the meds "restore" them to health.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2008, 06:07:21 PM »
Buzzcut, now that you've brought up this question twice in separate threads I really have to ask you why this matters so much to you?  If you can just wear the "HIV" label and not the "AIDS" label does this assist you somehow mentally?

The fact of the matter is that it's just a technicality.  I was diagnosed with AIDS defining cd4 numbers 15 years ago, yet for the past year my cd4's have been consistently over 1,000.  Once  they were even 1425.  Does that SOUND like AIDS?  Do I get any OI's or are in danger of getting any?  No, but technically I'm still classified by the CDC as having AIDS.

WHO CARES???
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline hotpuppy

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2008, 09:27:11 PM »
Miss Philicia,
  Congrats on your status and numbers.... you go girl!
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 Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2008, 11:51:19 PM »
Miss Philicia ALWAYS turns it out :)
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Moffie65

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  • Living POZ since 1983
Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 08:51:07 AM »
Buzz, furthermore, if you ever get to the place where your disese keeps you from being able to work; the AIDS diagnosis puts you in a completely different catagory for collecting from SSDI, and also the IRS uses it for their perameters.  As stated above, it also helps with ASOs and other state programs. 

I have been HIV+ since 1983, and AIDS since 1994.
The Bible contains 6 admonishments to homosexuals,
and 362 to heterosexuals.
This doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals,
It's just that they need more supervision.
Lynn Lavne

Offline BUZZCUTT

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008, 02:15:32 PM »
Thanks Moffie,Jkinatl,and Hot Puppy for your response - i am sorry Miss P if i posted the same question 2x in 2 threads - i am new at this forum thing and i forgot - to anwer your quest Miss P it does matter to me mentally - aids sounds so terminal - but it is the diagnosis i have and have to live with it and it is taking me time to accept and talk about this illness
Buzz ♥

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 08:38:24 PM »
Hey Buzzy

... mentally - aids sounds so terminal - but it is the diagnosis i have and have to live with it and it is taking me time to accept and talk about this illness...

was wondering if it might not be the mental, "terminal illness" thing. 

But ...

you know...

if you are willing to take advantage of it...

that can be a very LIBERATING thing. 

Yes.  You had AIDS. It's serious.  You ALMOST DIED. 

But you've been given a reprieve of 1, or 10, or 20, or 40 or maybe even 60 years.  Sure you have to be careful with your health.  Sure those years are not guaranteed. And yes, some avenues may be closed off to you.

But now you know how much those years are worth to you.

So take them....


and RUN!

Live, laugh, love... Be strong
A
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 lusopt

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  • Posts: 61
Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2008, 07:31:49 AM »
The way i see things, its HIV that you have once your numbers are up again, i dont see much logic in saying that someone have aids just because the cd4 went under 100, 50, 40... the important thing is that they grew up again.

The way people see that, does not matter, what matters is that you have equal chances of being well such as HIV+ people.

15/11/06: HIV-
28/10/08: HIV +
- No Meds -
18/11/08: CD4 -650 (.......)  / -17.500 VL
01/03/09: CD4- 540 (19,6%) / - 2090 VL
17/07/09: CD4 -603 (20,1%) / - 5040 VL
27/10/09: CD4 -627 (21,5%) / - 10.896 VL
25/03/10: CD4 -609 (23,9%) / -11.602 VL
12/09/10: CD4 -555 (........) / - 55.500 VL
21/04/11: CD4 -466 (17%)   / - 50.339 VL
01/10/11: CD4 -375 (19%)   / - 73.058 VL

Started, Epzicom and Sustiva
01/02/12: CD4 -298 (23%)   / - undetectable

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2008, 08:39:23 AM »
The way i see things, its HIV that you have once your numbers are up again, i dont see much logic in saying that someone have aids just because the cd4 went under 100, 50, 40... the important thing is that they grew up again.


Except, of course, for the fact that there are naive and memory CD4 cells.  Losing a significant amount of the latter, even when later bolstered by a large amount of the former, can prove significantly problematic. Even when, on paper, the numbers themselves look good.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2008, 09:36:01 AM »
The way i see things, its HIV that you have once your numbers are up again, i dont see much logic in saying that someone have aids just because the cd4 went under 100, 50, 40... the important thing is that they grew up again.

The way people see that, does not matter, what matters is that you have equal chances of being well such as HIV+ people.



I seem to remember in previous discussions about the aids label that it is important where funding is concerned. Something about higher numbers of aids diagnosises translating into higher funding. Maybe someone who knows the specifics of this concept can chime in. Moffie?

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2008, 09:40:35 AM »
I just don't see the usefulness in getting all mentally bent out of shape about the word "AIDS" vs. "HIV" -- this indicates something deeper and more problematic, IMO, and I think that this is an issue quite overlooked purposefully by many on this board.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2008, 09:53:52 AM »
I just don't see the usefulness in getting all mentally bent out of shape about the word "AIDS" vs. "HIV" -- this indicates something deeper and more problematic, IMO, and I think that this is an issue quite overlooked purposefully by many on this board.

While I absolutely agree that getting used to the "labels" associated with HIV and AIDS is maybe the most important thing a person diagnosed can do, I admit that it can take time to do it. Sometimes an awful lot of time. And, well, in my own experience, it comes around now and again, just when I think I am cool with all of it.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline BUZZCUTT

  • Member
  • Posts: 120
Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2008, 09:57:34 AM »
Thanks Jkinatl2, lusopt and ann - sometime i think about things too much
Buzz ♥

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2008, 10:01:52 AM »
Another way of looking at the aids label is instead of thinking Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome,  think Acquired Immune Deficiency SURVIVOR.  It works for me...

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline BUZZCUTT

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2008, 11:42:40 AM »
Thanks Ann - I will look at it that way from now on
Buzz ♥

Offline vanlefar

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2008, 04:12:38 PM »
I have participated in a lot of this AIDS vs.HIV diagnosis my partner. He was diagnosed in Sept. with 14 T-cells, which I think means he is considered to have AIDS. I have had many discussions where he thinks that nearing the 200 t-cell marker that he will then "only have HIV." There is a psychological need for him to believe he no longer has AIDS, and that the change means he will not be as ďsick.Ē I also wonder if it is due to the fact he was diagnosed with AIDS, instead of being considered HIV positive. I wonder if my diagnosis as HIV positive with 425 t-cells is causing him to feel alone. I certainly hope that is not the case because his diagnosis has saved me from having a late diagnosis, we are in this together. Sorry for rambling, but society has once again created a label to simplify a complex and scary issue that too many of us have to deal with.   

Offline MaxPep

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2008, 04:47:54 PM »
I agree.  I was recently diagnosed and before I got my initial labs back I prayed and prayed that my CD4 count was above 200 because I didn't want to have an AIDS diagnosis.  And then I started asking myself why.  I realized it had everything to do with my mental thought of having what society terms as AIDS.  Now, I realize that it really doesn't matter having an AIDS diagnosis vs an HIV diagnosis.  I am going to still live a long, happy, healthy life.

Also, my doctor told me that they don't use that anymore as a determination for an AIDS diagnosis. 
12/5/08 - diagnosed
12/7/08 - CD4 70 15%, VL 21,181
12/19/08 - CD4 82 16.5%, VL 20,000
Started Atripla, Zithromax and Bactrim
1/24/09 - Next Labs
No OI's to date

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2008, 05:43:45 PM »
I hate to tell ya, but the mean people out in society that are going to stigmatize you about AIDS don't care if you have 198 t-cells or 202.  You still have AIDS to them either way.

I've also looked LESS sick at 185 t-cells than I did at 520, but I'll save that story for another day.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline BUZZCUTT

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2008, 12:32:52 PM »
I hate to tell ya, but the mean people out in society that are going to stigmatize you about AIDS don't care if you have 198 t-cells or 202.  You still have AIDS to them either way.

I've also looked LESS sick at 185 t-cells than I did at 520, but I'll save that story for another day.

I want to hear the story when its another day
Buzz ♥

Offline melloyellow

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2009, 09:15:13 PM »
Buzz, furthermore, if you ever get to the place where your disese keeps you from being able to work; the AIDS diagnosis puts you in a completely different catagory for collecting from SSDI, and also the IRS uses it for their perameters.  As stated above, it also helps with ASOs and other state programs. 

I have been HIV+ since 1983, and AIDS since 1994.

What do you mean by the IRS uses AIDS for their parameters?

Thanks

Offline jason35

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2009, 04:46:44 PM »
ive been looking in here for a few months now and the site has been a great help!!  this is my first post!!

see i was diagnosed with a cd4 of 129 back in June and high viral load (cant remember what as i was still in shock). i did not have any OI's.  I count myself lucky cause i found out my x had it and then it got me thinking and i did the test,!!

anyway the point, ive seen many doctors as i had a few problems when i started the med's.  none of them used the term AIDS and all said I was HIV+ and we are taking it from there!!  so i was never told i had AIDS, i consider i dont have AIDS but i am HIV+!!  i think doctors dont used the term cause it is upsetting to some!!  thats my experience

oh im on Kaletra/Truvada and my cd4 is 330 and undectable, i still have my really really bad days but it is getting easier!!

so buzzcut your HIV+, forget about the AIDS and lets have a fun future:-)
never surrender

Offline BT65

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Re: DIAGNOSIS
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2009, 08:30:42 PM »
Jason35, welcome to the forums.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

 


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