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Author Topic: HIV & Aging  (Read 1948 times)

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Offline Delby

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  • Posts: 140
HIV & Aging
« on: March 31, 2014, 11:04:46 AM »
There has been so much talk recently about how people with HIV should expect 'normal' life expectancy, but there has been little attention or consideration for what quality of life we may expect.

As i age (coming up to 8 yrs since my diagnosis), I worry about my future. It's not enough for me to simply be alive, if the quality of my life is so far diminished that it may be argued it's not worth being alive. I'm not at that point in life, but i can't help but think about my future. I have a wife and young kids and I worry for them if they are going to have to spend their lives looking after me. I have too much pride for that.

I am eternally grateful for the meds we have today. I am eternally grateful to be alive whilst so many others before me have died. But I want to know whether you believe it is possible to live 50 yrs or more poz in good health. Or should we expect a barrage of ailments and illnesses and we'll simply be hanging on by a thread. Perhaps those of us that came through the 80's and 90's suffer maladies that are a result of earlier medication types. Maybe for someone diagnosed in the 21st century, then it is possible to live a long, normal and healthy life?

Do you think it is possible or is there simply no way of answering this question until we've seen another 40-50yrs of data? My doctor in the UK seems to think HIV is completely manageable and we should all expect a very long and healthy life. He would much rather have HIV than diabetes. I don't know...sometimes I feel the my Doctor is simply trying to make the best of a bad situation and ensure his patients feel positive in mind.

What do you think?


Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: HIV & Aging
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2014, 11:40:35 AM »
Going from an old post of yours I can tell you are 35. My feeling is that positive or negative anyone can begin having medical issues after 40 with greater frequency. At the age of ~45 I developed serious podiatry issues which have, in turn, caused huge amounts of nerve damage -- it's not really anything to do with HIV, more an inherited/maternal side issue that just happens to demand a lot of my time (many times over more doctor's visits than HIV), large amounts of pain, etc. and has greatly impacted my life. Meanwhile my HIV is indeed "manageable" if you go by my lab numbers for the most part. But that can change quickly as I am seeing from my liver numbers -- out of range but not sky high so no bad damage, but I am 50 and have been on HIV meds for over two decades.

btw, the post where I found your age is dated in 2007 and you happen to bring up some of the same "quality vs. quantity" issues. Nobody can answer these questions for you -- what's going to happen to me and when, so why keep asking them. Worry about health issues as they arrive, don't worry about nothing for seven years. Constant worry and anxiety is worse in terms of "quality" than these other things you seem fixated on. Just my opinion.

ps: your doctor is correct in the most simplistic terms -- HIV controlled as measured by lab numbers; he's glossing over the myriad things that can happen to a patient, but mostly because there's not way to anticipate them or give anyone great statistics on what happens to how many people at what age. But yes, indeed you can possibly expect, for example, things like arthritis to occur in your body a decade or two before the age your parents had them.

Bad things happen to negative people you know -- I just had a close HIV-negative friend die of uterine cancer at age 44 and another die a decade ago at 39 from pancreatic cancer. Such is life.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Theyer

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Re: HIV & Aging
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2014, 03:25:30 PM »
Until there is the evidence from at least one whole generation then this ? cannot be answered in any complete way. Fear off what the future will bring is a universal fear , we all have to keep it in its proper place . If you are doing all you can to remain healthy , do all you can to keep it in a mind closet and get on with the here and now.
"If we can find the money to kill people, we can find the money to help people ."  Tony Benn

Offline mecch

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Re: HIV & Aging
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 05:25:29 PM »
There has been so much talk recently about how people with HIV should expect 'normal' life expectancy, but there has been little attention or consideration for what quality of life we may expect.

What do you think?


There is constant attention to quality of life.  There is research going on all the time.  There are always threads in this forum, every month it seems there is an active one about this topic.   So this "little attention"???  Maybe you haven't paid attention.  Maybe because its too stressful for you and feeds your doubts, fears and anxieties.

Is there something going wrong in your quality of life that is bringing you down?

Other than that, I ditto Miss P and Theyer.
ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Offline mitch777

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Re: HIV & Aging
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 05:26:09 PM »
Even though each "generation" of people living with HIV may bring along different challenges we are all guinea pigs to some extent. HIV and it's treatment has only been around for a bit over 30 years but there has been major progress along the way. 

Personally, having lived with the bugger for over 30 years has long ago taught me to deal with any crap as it comes as Miss P. and Theyer have said. Even having been on some of the old "bad" meds and the length of time living with the virus I can say that my life has been a charmed one so far for the most part and I have every intention of living many, many more years to come. If for some reason that doesn't happen? Oh well. Hopefully I will be a happy cookie when it comes time to crumble.

33 years hiv+ with a curtsy.

Online harleymc

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Re: HIV & Aging
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2014, 03:52:46 PM »
The 'quality' of your life is largely in your own hands  25 years into my infection I would have said I didn't have good quality of life, but 29 years in I do.

What's changed? Cut out the fags, increased exercise, greater social mixing, better food, doing some vocational study (getting ready to re-enter the workforce), getting out of an abusive relationship. It's taken a LOT of conscious effort and that all started with Neuro Linguistic Programming and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to stop my mind from holding me back.

The cd4s have shot up to an amazing 140.

Offline buginme2

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Re: HIV & Aging
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2014, 03:59:02 PM »
There has been so much talk recently about how people with HIV should expect 'normal' life expectancy, but there has been little attention or consideration for what quality of life we may expect.

As i age (coming up to 8 yrs since my diagnosis), I worry about my future.

What do you think?

Take the HIV out of your statement and anyone in the world, hiv positive or not could have written that.  As people age, they worry about quality of life.   As you age your going to have more and more medical problems, just like everyone else.  That's life.

Exercise every day, eat right, laugh, have lots of sex, go on trips, learn something new, treat people well and when you die hopefully you'll have no regrets. 

Don't be fancy, just get dancey

Offline AusShep

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Re: HIV & Aging
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2014, 05:29:54 PM »

What's changed? Cut out the fags, ...

Man, I was really offended on so many levels before I realized you meant stopped smoking  :D

Offline pittman

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  • Posts: 273
Re: HIV & Aging
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2014, 10:35:17 PM »
Man, I was really offended on so many levels before I realized you meant stopped smoking  :D

Same thought here. If he meant smokes, no problem. If he meant the other, then my only response is "like hell I will!"  :P

Online harleymc

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Re: HIV & Aging
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2014, 06:12:16 PM »
LOL LOL LOL AusShep and pittman.
I'd forgotten that some parts of the world call us big old poofters "fags".

I'm definatley not cutting out sex with men from my life.


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