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Author Topic: Need help caring for HIV poz relative  (Read 3136 times)

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Offline Maestro

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Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« on: September 01, 2006, 09:08:08 PM »
This could be the saddest story I ever heard, except for the part that I am living it and can't stop to be sad...

My (blood) uncle had been with the same man for about 35 years.  Everyone knew them as a couple.  Them became "The Uncles".  World travellers, they were living a very full life.  About 7 years ago my uncles partner, call him Jon, developed PCP pneumonia (is that the correct term?).  Upon going to the hospital, it was discovered he was HIV +.  He was very close to dying.  Even went blind while in the hospital.

After a relatively brief stay in the hospital, he was better and returned home now on Kaletra, Ziagen, and Viread (again, sorry if I have the spelling wrong, I am new to this).  He developed a couple of opportunistic infections, mostly fungal, over the years, but nothing serous.  He is a VERY thing man and that always just seemed how he is. 

Fast forward to this summer.  The two of them are travelling through Europe.  I get a phone from my Uncle that Jon has broken his hip while vacationing in Europe and is a hospital recovering.  No big deal.  However, while in the hospital, Jon develops kidney failure.  Has to go to another hospital.  Still, my Uncle has it under control even though they don't speak the language. 

At the new hospital, he develops pneumonia (non-pcp).  Now he has to be sedated, taken off his HIV meds and put on a respirator in a coma like state.  The toll finally starts to wear on my Uncle and he asks if I can head to Europe from the states.  So I fly last minute to Europe and find my Uncle in horrible condition.  He is worrying himself to death and is incapable of even getting out of bed.  So my first task was to find the hospital where Jon was.  Done.  He is stable but in horrible shape.  So I go back to the hotel and am wiped out from no sleep for 48hrs.  The next morning my Uncle calls and cannot breathe.  I am in the room next door so I run over and he is having a heart attack in front of me.  911 apparently is not 911 in Europe.  I finally get an ambulance to come but they arrive to late.  He is dead.  Now I have to find a way to get the body home, AND try and take care of Jon (the HIV + person) in the hospital! 

A phone call to the embassy gets the ball rolling and I finally make arrangements for the body to be shipped home.  The doctors tell me Jon has less than a 30% chance of pulling through, so I leave for the states as well.  Of course, the second I return, he starts to improve.  I could not handle another flight so I sent my sister.  She is there when Jon wakes up from the coma state and has to tell him that his lover died worrying about him while he was in a coma.  Not a pretty site.

Meanwhile, his breathing was horrible and needed to have an emergency trach put in.  After about 2 weeks he was well enough to fly him home on a Jet ICU (65,000 USD later!). 

He came straight to an ICU here in the states and the wife and I have been caring for him ever since.  He spent about a month in a rehab hospital.  He can walk with a walker (just very slowly).  He refuses to mourn for his lover.  Very strange.  I think there might be an addiction to pain pills, though he says he needs them for his neuropathy (sp?).  He has darvocet, percocet, vicodin, oxycotin and oxycodin.  Yikes.

So we got him a full time nurse and a furnished apartment near by.  He was getting a little better, but 3 days ago had to be rushed to the hospital again because of kidney failure.  In Europe his creatine level was above 5.  This time is was around 4.9.  The doctor at this hospital took him off Viread last night and changed it to Invirase.  Said his kidneys are showing improvement already.

So this is where we are at.  Very sad and very trying on my family.  He has NO other family, so we are happy to help.  However, we have a newborn and it gets difficult.  I realize this is a long email, but it is good to vent.  So I have some questions I would like some help with if anyone can.

#1  His t-Cells are between 100 and 140.  He says this is normal for him.  However, he has trouble recalling facts and such.  Is this an alarming level?  Am I endangering him by bringing my baby around?  I know babies are like germ headquarters!

#2  Could the Viread be harming his kidneys now after 7 years on the meds?  Can there be another underlying cause? 

#3  I don't mean to sound morbid, and I realize no one has a crystal ball, but I need to know what kind of care we are looking at here.  Should I expect him to have a full return to his pre-europe state (which was a little off anyways) or am I at the very beginning of a long, drawn out tragedy?

I appreciate any help you can offer.  I know everyone has a story, but this is like a train wreck. 

Regards,


Offline aztecan

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2006, 11:01:07 PM »
Whew! Where to begin?

First of all, you are an angel for doing this for your uncle's partner.

To answer your question about Jon's CD4s, they are not normal. They are at a low enough level that he is still at risk from several opportunistic infections if he is isn't on prophylaxes for them.

Here is a link regarding CD4 cells

http://www.aidsmeds.com/lessons/TCellTest.htm

Regarding the Viread, here is a link describing it and its side effects. Kidney problems are one of the side effects, usually when someone has kidney issues to begin with.

http://www.aidsmeds.com/drugs/Viread.htm

As for what type of care this man will need, that is hard to say. Some people bounce back to pretty much normal. Others never regain the vitality they have lost.

All of this with a newborn at home? YIKES!

As far as bringing the baby around Jon, children usually become walking germ factories after they are exposed to other children. Is it risky to bring a newborn around someone who is severely immunocompromised?  I'm really not sure. Maybe our dear Ann will chime in. She is a font of knowledge.

Wish there were more I could offer. As I said before, you and your spouse are angels for doing this.

Let me know how things go. You are welcome to pop in any time.

HUGS,

Mark
« Last Edit: September 01, 2006, 11:03:39 PM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Moffie65

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2006, 05:06:27 AM »
Wow, sounds a lot like some of our stories here, without the trip to Europe.  The amount of medication he is taking for the pain, could easily be messing with his ability to reason, as you have stated.  I cannot give any suggestions.

I only want to say that the scenario you have so very well illustrated here will more than likely be a longer recovery period than a shorter one.  What you and your wife have done for this man is incredible.  I would suggest that you find the nearest AIDS service organization, get him signed up for Ryan White, and see if you can get some help with his care, counseling, and medications.  He is obviously in dire need of help from outside your family, and this is available in most states.  Some have less help than others, but in the end, anything will help get you guys some rest and a break.

Keep the kids away until he gets a little better and until he is a little more on his feet.  His body is currently very vulnerable.

IN Love and Support.
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 Maestro

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2006, 08:14:35 AM »
Thanks for the quick replies.

I will follow up on your suggestions.  My concern with the viread was basically how could he be taking it for 7 years with no kidney trouble, then all of the sudden, wham! 

As far as AIDS organizations, he absolutely refuses to join anything like that.  I made him a psychiatrist appt. and he almost exploded with anger.  He let it slip that he is afraid they will find out his mind is slipping and send him to the looney bin.  I tried to tell thim that they really dont do that anymore!  But like I said, he is tough to reason with.  He is in serious denial and he thinks that he will just get better, go back to his home, and everything will be like it was.  I suggested giving my Uncles clothes to charity and he got angry at that suggestion. 

So, we will continue to try and I will continue to update.  Thanks for the positive support.  We were a little worried that the reaction would be something like like, "Hey, we all got our problems, deal with it!".  But thanks again.

M

Offline Ann

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2006, 08:19:35 AM »
Hi M, welcome to the forum.

As the guys have said, wow, what a story! I would also like to thank you for stepping up and taking care of "the Uncles".

I'm guessing that you are asking about the baby not so much because you want to show the baby off, but because of the difficulty in having two totally dependant human beings who need your time and attention and it would make life easier if you could sometimes do this at the same time.

To be honest, unless your Uncle (I realise he's your Uncle's lover, but I'll call him Uncle as well for convenience) is living in a tiny bedsit, I think it is do-able to take the baby along on visits. Here's what you need to do. As long as baby is healthy, all you really need to be doing is religiously follow good hygiene rules. This means HANDWASHING at every opportunity and at every step going back and forth between baby and Uncle.

With your Uncle's fragile state and low CD4 count, rigorous adherence to hygiene is of utmost importance anyway. I can't stress hand washing enough. Our bodies are veritable germ factories - babies and adults alike. We all have organisms on our skin that while harmless to most, can spell disaster for the immunocompromised. Today you can buy alcohol based hand rubs and I suggest you buy a few of these to have around his house - one at his bedside, one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen at the very least. Please explain to your Uncle that this is for his protection. Don't let him think you are doing this to protect yourself from him, but rather the other way around.

Good hygiene in the kitchen is also of the utmost importance. Moffie might chime in with more info here.

The most common infant infection that you need to guard against is thrush. You can avoid this by careful sterilization of the baby's bottle and other feeding equipment. If baby does happen to get thrush, (and this is a leading cause of diaper rash, so get any rashes checked out by your pediatrician asap) remember to follow the hand washing rule without fail, especially after diaper changes - even if it's just a wet one.

I can't think of anything else to add where baby is concerned - just make sure you adhere to good hygiene. When you wash those hands, give them a good scrub and make sure you get between your fingers. If you use the alcohol rub, get this between your fingers and don't forget the backs of your hands too. Most germs are spread via our hands so please keep them clean. If you touch the baby, make sure you wash your hands before you attend to your Uncle's needs. That's really the bottom line here.

One more thing. It might boost your Uncle's moral to have baby around. (provided he likes children! ;) )  You can even let him hold baby, as long as baby does not have a cold or anything. Just make sure baby is clean and freshly changed first. And wash your hands after the diaper change - after the diaper change is all cleared away as well. I really can't stress the importance of hand washing enough!

Good luck and keep us posted. We will be here for you whenever you need information - and moral support too. Please feel free to come here even when you just need to vent. We know it can be difficult for carers and we will offer you support in any way we can.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...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 Ann

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2006, 08:25:36 AM »
M,

I knew there was something else... baby vaccinations. When baby gets vaccinations, please discuss them with the pediatrician to find out if the vaccinations are LIVE vaccines and if you need to keep baby away from an immunocompromised family member, and if so, for how long. I know the polio vaccine, for instance, is excreted in an infectable form into the diaper after administration of this vaccine. (Again... hand washing!!!) So please, ask your baby's doctor about any vaccines baby is given and what, if any, impact it might have on an immunocompromised family member. You don't need to mention hiv specifically if you don't want to - just the fact that you have an immunocompromised family member.

Ann
« Last Edit: September 02, 2006, 08:27:09 AM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...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 Ann

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2006, 08:34:03 AM »
M,

I've just read your latest post. Please reassure your Uncle that he is most likely experiencing what we call brainfog. Many of us suffer from concentration and short term memory problems - I do. He's not going nuts. It's just another aspect of living with hiv.

If he also starts having motor skill problems such as balance and hand-eye coordination difficulties, there might be underlying central nervous system problems and this should be checked out asap. This is also NOT "going crazy" or anything of that nature.

Please reassure him on this point. Many of us who live with hiv experience "brainfog" and we're not going to the "looney bin" anytime soon.

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 Maestro

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2006, 10:32:59 AM »
Ann (and others),

Thanks for all the tips and info.  Here is my latest question.  Just spoke to Jon today in the hospital.  He sounds great.  Doctor says his Kidneys seem to be returning to normal, but they are keeping him to observe because we have been through this before.

So here is my question:  Should I expect a lot of these ups and downs in the coming months?  3 days ago he did not have the strength to lift his head up and I was sure he was going to be dead in 24 hours.  Now he sounds fit as a fiddle.  This must be the 3rd or 4th time we have gone through this.  I am basically asking those who have experience with these matters.  Is this common?  I don't mind if it is, but I need to mentally prepare myself.  It is tough to be positive when he has been in the hospital 6 times in the last 3 1/2 months.  Not to mention the extremes of his physical condition.

As for the brain fog, this definitely describes him to tee.

Thanks again,

M

Offline Christine

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2006, 11:02:57 AM »
Hi Maestro,
Thank you for caring for your Uncles so well. It is wonderful to know there are kind, compassionate people in the world.

To answer some of your questions. It will probably be a hard, long journey ahead of you and your Uncle. As Mark had said, contact a local ASO, and perhaps talk to the social work department of the hospital and explain what happened. It might even be easier to print out your original post and let them read it. You and your wife need help as the caregivers.

The brain fog could be from the hiv meds, or from the pain meds. Yes- hiv+ do take pain killers for  neuropathy, but it seems like your Uncle is taking a lot. Does his doctor know that he is taking all of those? Many members here see a psychiatrist or therapist, it does not mean we are crazy, it just helps us deal with everything.

In regards to the baby, I would ask his doctor. Defiantly handwashing is a must when you are around him- lots of soap- front and back, under the nails, wash the time it takes to say the ABC's or sing Happy Birthday. The had gel is a good idea too. This is to protect him from you, not the other way around.

Aidsmeds has excellent section on lessons. I would suggest you and wife read it, and print it out for your Uncle to read.

In regards to helping him deal with his grief, just be there for him. Everyone grieves differently. It is hard for me to even wrap my head around what happened to both your Uncles, and your family.

Please post back here whenever you or wife need support or questions answered.

Hugs to all of you!
Christine
Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline penguin

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2006, 12:43:13 PM »
M, welcome,

you are a star of the brightest kind, for hanging in there and supporting him through this.

with the kidneys, if things have started to improve so much since stopping viread, then likely, that has been the culprit. His doctors need to keep a close eye, actually both eyes, on the kidney function, in the future, and adjust medication dosages if appropriate.

his cd4 count is low, yes, but his recent health problems, & the huge, horrible stress of losing his partner, that will have knocked things sideways..this should pick up as he gets stronger. Do you know what his viral load is doing at the moment? There is info about this, what it means, in the lessons section which other have pointed out.

ups and downs, yes there will be, but hopefully they will lessen. It is a slow process, the regaining of physical, and emotional strength, bit of a rollercoaster sometimes, but he will get there,with support(emotional and medical) + time + lots of tlc.

you will both always be welcome here, anytime, to ask as many questions as you want, or just to offload. good luck with everything.

Kate




Offline Moffie65

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2006, 01:06:35 PM »
Gotta come back,,

He must take his medications on time, and with the regularity of colckwork.  This will assure that if his body is capable, he will/can return to total good health.  I will state here, that the level of Psycho meds he is taking are not a good sign.  He will need to "feel" how his body is doing, for him to be able to respond in time to avert other things that might come along. 

Any way you look at it, you all have a long road ahead, but stick with us, and we will help you along.  He doesn't have to know if you are looking for resources to provide care, aka. ASO, but for your own sanity, and for a localized retreat for you guys, you need to do it for you.  The Ryan White Act does cover care givers, as this often is the only life line for someone with HIV.  Please do it for yourselves. 

In Love and Total Support.
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 Maestro

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2006, 02:10:17 PM »
Thanks for all the tips.  Now we have a new obstacle.

The hospital told me his creatine (sp) level is about 2.5.  They want it in the high 1's before they let him go.

They also said his red blood cell count is dropping.  They want to try to get this under control with a blood transfusion.  This would be his second transfusion in about 2 months. 

So, here are some questions I have if anyone knows the answers.

Can the anemia be brought on by the lowered kidney function?  Is anemia common with HIV + patients?  Is anemia a common side effect of the HAART meds?  And lastly, are these transfusions a risk due to his low t-cell count?

Any help is of course always appreciated.  I will keep you all posted on his progress.  Some days I am sure he is going to make it, others it is iffy.  I guess that is what they call day to day. 

M
« Last Edit: September 03, 2006, 02:12:42 PM by Maestro »

Offline Ann

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2006, 05:29:30 AM »
M,

It is unclear which drugs he is on at the moment. We'd need to know what he is currently taking - everything he is taking - to have a better idea. You might also want to post your specific treatment/drug related questions in the Treatment Forum because two of our brightest posters (where treatment issues are concerned) check that forum more often than they check this one. You can keep this thread going to keep us posted and ask the more day-to-day, practical questions.

And please, do keep us posted.

Ann

PS - have a browse through both the Treatment Questions Forum and the Side Effects Forum and you may find some answers that way. You can find these forums either on the main forum page, or by looking in the left hand column of any forum page. And of course, by all means, feel free to post your specific drug related questions in which ever forum you think is most appropriate, so you can get some tailor-made answers. Give as much detailed info as you can (drugs, drug changes, lab results etc) - the more information you give, the better the advice will be.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2006, 05:50:40 AM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...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 penguin

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2006, 08:43:02 AM »
M,
as ann says, it  would be useful to know what meds he is on, if that is info you have.

Can the anemia be brought on by the lowered kidney function? 

yes, in a nutshell, the kidney problems can cause a lack of the  hormones that are needed to stimulate normal red blood cell production by bone marrow.
bit more about this, and anaemia in general, here:
http://aidsmeds.com/lessons/Fatigue6.htm#Production


Quote
Is anemia common with HIV + patients?  Is anemia a common side effect of the HAART meds?  And lastly, are these transfusions a risk due to his low t-cell count?

yes, fairly, for all sorts of reasons.

can be, depends on which ones, azt is the biggy for this, but also many of the drugs used  to treat or prevent opportunistic infections - some of which your uncle will be on, i'm sure.

as for transfusions, is a case of weighing up the benefits and need for immediate results. epoetin alfa (procrit, i think, in the states?) is a proven drug to help increase red blood cell production and reduce transfusion need - has anyone suggested this/is it being used?

hope that helps a bit, take care

kate


Offline Life

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2006, 12:23:07 PM »
Nothing to add but I am simply in awh of you Maestro for doing the "Next Right Thing"..   Grace my friend, Grace..

Love

Offline Maestro

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2006, 05:35:56 PM »
Update on his condition:

Thought he would be being released from the hospital today.  RBC's have stabilized.  Still a little below normal, but don't appear to be dropping anymore.  The creatine level is still above 2 so the doctor wants to keep him in for another day or 2 and see what happens.

We could hear the disappointment in his voice when he found out he would not be coming home today.  I should know more by Tuesday.

M

Offline Maestro

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2006, 11:01:04 AM »
Reading some of the posts around here I came up with another CD4 question.  My Uncles cd4 is arund 180.  He tells me that is the high end for him and usually is between 100 and 180.  He says his Viral Load is usually undetectable. 

After looking at many of the posts here, it seems that not many people on the meds are that low.  I see a lot of 300-400 range.  And people tend to talk about the problems they have while in the 100 range.  Is it possible 180 is normal for him and we just go from there?

Secondly, I teach high school Biology so I have been using this experience as a chance to educate my students.  I would LOVE for my Uncle to come in and talk to the kids, but he never, ever would.  Anyways, a good question came up.  A student was asking about the opportunistic infections.  He asked me if when the HIV attacks the CD4 cells, then when you have an infection, and the CD4 cells are more active, does your viral load increase as a result?

I like to think I know a lot about biology, but I have no idea about the answer.  So I figured I would ask here.

Thanks in advance.
M

Offline Maestro

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2006, 10:08:53 PM »
OK.  Uncle is back from the hospital and appears to be doing well.  However, this is like the 3rd or fourth time I have said to myself he appears to be doing well, only to be back in an ER in a couple of weeks.  I hope this time the wellness sticks.

I got to admit, I thought HIV was pretty much a death sentence, and I thought the fact that he was living for 7+ years an anomoly.  However, the more I read from the people on this board, the more wrong I see I am!

Keep up the good work.

M

Offline Eldon

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2006, 10:32:20 PM »
Hello Maestro,

It is good to hear that your uncle is doing well and is out of the hospital. Continue doing what you have been doing for him with your Love and your Support. He needs a strong support system.


Have the BEST Day!

Offline MoltenStorm

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2006, 09:11:53 AM »
Quote
A student was asking about the opportunistic infections.  He asked me if when the HIV attacks the CD4 cells, then when you have an infection, and the CD4 cells are more active, does your viral load increase as a result?

What my doctor told me is that his CD4 cells and HIV are linked meaning that whenever the immune system is stimulated, HIV comes out for a stroll as well. That is why Euchinacea and such herbal remedies are cautioned for HIV+ individuals. Think of it this way, a school of fish live in a cove where a predator also lurks. Whenever they go out into the open, the predator is not going to let his meal go by without grabbing some. From what my doctor said, HIV is the same way with one's CD4 cells. That's why, he said, HIV+ people are encouraged not to take things that boost the immune system.

Diagram form (in case that made no sense whatsoever):

Immune Sytem Activates ----> HIV Activates -------> Loss of CD4 cells to HIV

The doctor did say that there are times when HIV doesn't, but that as a general rule, one doesn't want to "dangle the catnip in front of the cat," so to speak.
"Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful nor conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, adaptation in A Walk To Remember

CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 7 Nov 2006
CD4: 555 / 29% / Undetectable - 5 Feb 2007

Offline Maestro

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2006, 09:40:48 AM »
Molten...

Thanks for the info...makes sense to me.

Maestro

Offline CowboyPOZ

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2006, 01:56:53 AM »
Maestro,

I have friends who have been positive for over 20 years. Everything depends on the person, attitude and how the doc treats the disease.
God Bless you! You have the heart of an angel. While I have no words of wisdom I offer you my prayers.

Okie Cowboy Guy

Offline RevMC

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Re: Need help caring for HIV poz relative
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2006, 11:07:09 AM »
Welcome to the group!!  As you can see you are not alone.  I saw that you noticed people's t-cell countss in the 300 - 400 range.  I've been HIV+ for almost 19 yrs that I've known of, my count has always been around 225 - 270, not on meds for many years.  I'm what some would call a rarity, my body keeps the virus in check (for now).  Even on meds, counts went up and then back to where they were before taking meds.

You are not alone.  My partner has also been HIV+ for 18 yrs.  I've posted a topic about caring for him.

Keep posting away, this is a great group.  We all wish you well.
Part of my story: "Sale Of A Lifetime" POZ December 2003
http://www.poz.com/articles/172_752.shtml

Started on Truvada and Viramune on 2/15/07

Jan 8, 2007   t-cells 215  Viral Load 10,000  24%
March 26'th  T-cells 306   Viral Load  UNDETECTABLE
June 2007 t-cells 375 Viral Load UNDETECTABLE
August 2007 t-cells 290 Viral Load UNDETECTABLE



Love and Light and Reiki sent your way,
Rev. Michae

 


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