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Aids diagnosed at 76

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Suarez:
I have a question concerning my father.  Both my parents have been diagnosed with HIV.  They are in their mid-seventies.

 

My father began losing weight a few years ago and despite several tests he was not diagnosed until a few months ago.  He had a number of opportunistic infections and when tested his CD4 count was zero. He was tested again last month and his CD4 count is now at 70.

 

Because he was tested positive my mother was also tested and is now of generally good health and on Atripla.  We have no problems with her and she is doing fine, I think it was caught in the early stages.

 

It is my father that causes a lot of concern for us. Although his viral load is now undetectable, he keeps on getting these infections that really knock him for six and has been hospitalised a number of times.  He is on a whole range of antivirals as he cannot have Atripla due to his kidney problems.

 

I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge of HIV when it is detected so late on in the elderly?  The consultants say all they can do is keep reviewing his medication but he does not really seem to be improving.  Was wondering if there was anything else I could do or read up on as I am concerned that one of these infections could have serious consequences

 

Than you in advance.

Jmarksto:
Hey Suarez; 

I am sorry to hear about your folks, but welcome to the forums.  I am by no means the guy to answer your specific question, there are many more experienced folks around and hopefully they will chime in, but I wanted to at least acknowledge your post.

A few comments regarding your father's situation.  The first is that about 1/3 of us diagnosed with HIV are done so at the stage of AIDS, so I am sure that your father's docs are familiar with the process and I would encourage a dialogue with the doctors about that process.  The other point is that while you have said that your father is not improving - you do note that he is undetectable and his CD4s have increased - so it seems there is some improvement. Finally, I would caution you about reading too much on the internet - there is quite a bit on opportunistic infections and it is easy to send yourself into a tailspin of worry about things that will have nothing to do with your father's situation.

I hope your father continues to improve and wish the best for your family.

Sincerely,

JM

Suarez:
Thanks for your reply Jmarksto. 

Your reference to the internet research is particularly appropriate here. I have ran myself ragged surfing on the issue and have spent literally days looking at articles that have almost turned me into a zombie. So much conflicting info out there.

I have had many meetings with the consultants but they are very non-committal.

I am based in the UK. Private treatment for HIV is not appropriate for this condition here and treatment is effectively confined to the state National Health Service which is free of charge.

Whilst surfing you come across many forums and other posts that seem to suggest that there is a 'hidden agenda' or an unspoken rule that there will be no over expenditure of the public purse on trying too hard to save those over 70 on a purely financial policy point of view.  I suppose this  is what concerns me most of all, namely that something could be explored that will not be.

I suppose the kernel of my concerns is whether it is possible to 'clawback' someone with aids at that particular age and you seem to suggest there is so i will continue to hope.  Thank you again.

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