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Author Topic: PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV FOR MANY YEARS  (Read 2408 times)

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Offline luckyone

  • Member
  • Posts: 36
« on: August 22, 2010, 01:21:47 PM »
Hi, its been a while since ive posted,last sept. 2009 tested poz and have gotten a lot of support and help here since then. My question is to anyone who has lived poz for many years even decades,ive been on meds since dec. 2009 and am undetectable as of june 2010, should i expect to have a normal (so to speak) lifespan if i continue to stay vigalante with my meds. (atripla) any experience or opinions GOOD OR BAD will be helpful. thak you for any responses.

Offline GSOgymrat

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,119
  • HIV+ since 1993. Relentlessly gay.
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2010, 01:37:26 PM »
I've been HIV+ for 17 years and there are a lot of people on here who have been HIV+ for a lot longer. My unsubstantiated opinion is that people who have been diagnosed recently will probably live a relatively normal lifespan provided they have access to medical treatment, which definitely is not guaranteed. I think people like myself who were around pre-HAART and experienced high viral load, low CD4, multiple opportunistic infections and numerous medications may have more medical issues down the road.

Offline luckyone

  • Member
  • Posts: 36
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2010, 03:54:51 PM »
thanx for your response that seems to be the general consensus that im hearing from drs. and nurse practioners,however its sometimes hard to beleive that with all of the old stereotypical things that are usually associated with hiv,of course i know everybodys experience is just that there individual experience,stay well thanx again.

Offline libvet

  • Member
  • Posts: 330
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2010, 07:46:16 PM »
I don't know if it helps, but I have been positive since 1986 and on meds since 2000. 

I went on meds after getting an AIDS diagnosis with 22 t-cells and 250,000 vl.

First set of meds was Combivir (3tc and AZT) and Sustiva.  Went undetectable in 3 months.

Switched out the Combivir for Truvada after two years (I hated the twice daily dosing and truvada allowed for a once daily regimen).

Switched again to Atripla when it first hit the market (not really a change, just 1 pill instead of 2).

Still doing good in 2010 with an undetectable viral load and around 650 tcell count. 

Offline aztecan

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  • Posts: 5,512
  • 31 years positive, 59 years a pain in the butt
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2010, 08:44:52 PM »
Hey Luckyone,

I think you have asked the $64,000 question.

As it says below my photo, I tested positive 25 years ago. I've been on meds for 14 years.

I believe the answer to your question depends a lot on you. As already stated, it is important to have adequate medical care. I truly believe that many people will live what  might be considered a "normal" life span.

But there is no guarantee and it will take work on your part if you want to be an LTSer.

If you're a booze hound or a druggie, those activities take their tolls. If your diet sucks, you eat nothing but red meat and full-fat cheese, never exercise and smoke a pack a day, well, I think you know what I mean.

Another part of the equation is unknown. When I started meds in 96, they were literally life savers!  ;D

But I do have long-term side effects from them that I am addressing.

I now take Truvada and Isentress. Love the combo, no initial side effects, aside from dizziness, which some here claim is just me being me.

But I don't know what the long-term effects will be, say, 14 years from now.

There is also growing evidence the virus itself actually accelerates the aging process. There has been some research showing people my age, early 50s, have immune systems of those a couple decades older, even though we are undetectable.

All of this is very new and still being researched, so who knows what breakthroughs, or other issues, will be discovered.

The best hope for all of us, newly infected or long-term survivors, is to try to live as healthily as we are able, to monitor our health regularly and address problems when they arise, not let them develop into something more serious.

I know this probably sound like common sense, but many people don't do this.


« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 08:47:05 PM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline tednlou2

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,731
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2010, 02:50:26 AM »
I found this story very inspirational.  It is of an 88 year-old who has HIV.  I, like many, wondered whether this lady was just recently infected or whether this was a long-term infection.  She got HIV in the 1980's.  At 88, your immune system has already weakened a lot.  From what the doc says, she is still going strong.

Below is the Q&A:

Your 88 Year-old Patient
Aug 20, 2010

In a recent question to you, you mentioned you have an 88 year-old patient with HIV. Some I know who read that, including myself, were very curious how long that patient has been infected. If this person is now 88 and had the virus from the beginning, 30 years of infection and living that long, and to that age, would be very inspirational. I don't mean to lessen someone who was infected in 1980 at age 20 and is now 50. It is just that we think living with this virus to age 88, when the immune system is already weakened, is very nice to hear. I'd rather they not have the virus, but you know what I mean.

We were just curious whether the 88 year-old was just recently infected--even some in their 80's still have active sex lives.

  Response from Dr. McGowan

Thanks for your follow-up. She was actually infected in the 1980s from her husband who contracted HIV from a blood transfusion. So she is a very huged inspiration to me and hopefully to others as well. Of course, she has been very adherent with treatment and keeps things in a proper perspective.

Thanks, Joe


what will happen after i turn 50?
Jul 29, 2010

heard, learnt, discussed and read a lot than i should have , about hiv in last 50 days, (when i was diagoned).waiting for my next follow up in few days and probably my doctor will put me on ART.my question is that recently i read that my thymus gland works till the age of 45-50 only...so does it mean that it won't be producing and cd4 cells after that age...than what will happen.......and what will art will do that time. this means i can't expect to even live 25 years now???? or after that there won't be any rise in cd4 even with art and i have to c my counts falling......m scared

  Response from Dr. McGowan

Dear m scared.

Most of the CD4 cells that recover after treatment come from expansion of cells already in the body and blood. By the time you reached 50, you have gotten through all the childhood illnesses, vaccinations, exposures to everything that came down the pike. your immune system has reacted to them and developed "memory" for these infections. Although the CD4 number goes down with HIV infection, the "memory" and capacity to respond to these infections is not wiped out and can generally be regenerated and built up by expansion of the CD4 cells in the body. That is why we do not miss the thymus as we get older. Just a bit of good news: my oldest patient is now 88 years young and going strong and by 2015 half of people with HIV in the US will be over age 50. Do not worry too much. The first step will be to fight back, start meds, get the virus suppressed and start to heal. Best, Joe



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