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Author Topic: Consequences of starting treatment later?  (Read 3631 times)

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Offline hiv_positive_BG

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Consequences of starting treatment later?
« on: February 03, 2013, 07:03:25 PM »
Hello, when lab tests confirmed that I've got the HIV, my CD4 cells have already been 178. I know, that it is good to start treatment, when your CD4 cells are 350. In some countries, treatment starts even earlier.

I wanna ask you, what are the consequences of starting treatment later, just because you've understood about the infection later?

I actually understood about the HIV, when my lymph nodes got swollen, my throat was aching and that ache did not pass for some 2 weeks.

Now I take Norvir, Reyataz and Kivexa, and for a month's time, my CD4 cells have raised from 178 to 491.

Yet I wonder - what's the difference between starting therapy earlier and later? Are now my chances for longer life significantly decreased, and why?

My lymph nodes have already started decreasing, but they've not recovered completely yet. Does that mean, that sooner or later I'll get cancer? Or such risk is present as long as my lymph nodes never restore back to normal? How long it is normal for them to get restored, until it's too dangerous for cancer?

I just wonder... what would be different for me, as I've started therapy not on 350 CD4 cells, but on 178... and also my lymph nodes have swollen, mostly on the neck...
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 07:06:02 PM by hiv_positive_BG »

Offline Ann

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 06:44:08 AM »
BG, there's a very good chance that you are actually dealing with a fairly new infection.

From what I've seen over the years, people who have low CD4 numbers who had been infected for years (before diagnosis) take a lot longer - years in some cases - to go from 178 to 491.

A fair amount of people who are fairly newly infected - and newly diagnosed - will have a low initial CD4 count. It's not uncommon, particularly if the person is diagnosed within the first six months to a year following initial infection. 

These people will typically experience a fantastic CD4 rebound when they start meds. Like you did.

An increase from 178 to 491 in only one month of treatment is a fantastic rebound in numbers. And that leads me to believe you haven't been hiv positive all that long.

So the take away message is: Stop worrying. You're on meds now, your numbers are improving at a fantastic rate, and you are going to be ok. Just keep taking your meds and attending your doctor appointments.

Also, stop worrying about cancer in relation to your lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes are a perfectly normal reaction to infection in the body. (and another thing that points to this being a newer infection)

The best advice I can give you regarding your lymph nodes is to KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF THEM!!! Touching and feeling them all the time to check whether or not they're still swollen can actually irritate them and keep them swollen. In fact, touching them all the time can actually cause them to swell in the absence of infection. Leave them alone!

Hope that helps. There's really no need for all this anxiety.

By the way, did you ever check out the Bulgarian language hiv information I linked you to in another thread? If you need the link again, let me know.

Ann
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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

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Offline hiv_positive_BG

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 01:13:05 PM »
Ann, thanks a lot for your advices and you calming me down.

I just wonder two more things:
- Will I ever stop sweating at night? That's started, when they've discovered I'm infected and they gave me the pills; it lasts for two months already;

- I've got the Seborrhoeic dermatitis, which, I've read, is typical for 30% of people infected with the HIV. Will that disappear as well? It's making my face look red at some points, and I wash it and put some nourishing creme all the time;

I've understood my initial viral load - it's been 22 500, and after a month of treatment it's fallen to 18 500. I don't know if that's good enough after a whole month of taking pills...

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2013, 01:22:24 PM »
There are prescription medications to treat seborrhoeic dermatitis -- is there a reason that your doctor isn't addressing this?
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline hiv_positive_BG

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 01:33:13 PM »
I still haven't told the doctors about it, I'm trying to deal with this by using nourishing cremes and washing my face more often. I manage normalizing the situation for a couple of days, but then dry skin under my eyes, around the nose and above the lips appears again. I just hope it'll get better, but will I have to use seborrhoeic dermatitis drugs all the time while I'm taking Norvir (ritonavir), Reyataz (atazanavir) and Kivexa (abacavir and lamivudine)? Also, I wonder if sweating at night would ever disappear, when could I expect it, or it'll continue all time while I'm taking the HIV therapy?

Offline texaninnyc87

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 01:35:12 PM »
i had symptoms like this but they seem to have gone away since i started meds. also, washing your face too much might dry out your skin even more and anger your dermatitis...
Dxd: 9/11/12
Blot confirmed: 11/12
12/12 cd4: 280 (20%) vl: 129,000
1/13 $tribild
2/13 cd4: 350 (26%) vl: 80
4/13 cd4: 510 (29%) vl:: 35
6/13cd4 350 (31%) vl: 21
9/13 cd4 492 (30%) vl: ud
12/13 cd4 846 (36%) vl: 100
1/14 cd4 480 (31%) vl: UD
3/14 cd4 650 (33%) vl: UD
6/14 cd4 410 (35%) vl: UD
9/14 cd4 439 (38%) vl: UD
12/14 cd4 551 (37%) vl: UD

Offline hiv_positive_BG

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 01:39:25 PM »
Strange, so you've stopped sweating after starting HIV therapy; I've started taking the HIV pills two months ago, but I still sweat quite much, and that happens only when I sleep, but each and every night... I wonder what could that be.

Offline texaninnyc87

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 01:40:52 PM »
i think you might jsut have to wait until your cd4s come up a bit?
Dxd: 9/11/12
Blot confirmed: 11/12
12/12 cd4: 280 (20%) vl: 129,000
1/13 $tribild
2/13 cd4: 350 (26%) vl: 80
4/13 cd4: 510 (29%) vl:: 35
6/13cd4 350 (31%) vl: 21
9/13 cd4 492 (30%) vl: ud
12/13 cd4 846 (36%) vl: 100
1/14 cd4 480 (31%) vl: UD
3/14 cd4 650 (33%) vl: UD
6/14 cd4 410 (35%) vl: UD
9/14 cd4 439 (38%) vl: UD
12/14 cd4 551 (37%) vl: UD

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 01:42:54 PM »
I still haven't told the doctors about it, I'm trying to deal with this by using nourishing cremes and washing my face more often.

Have fun with that because I seriously doubt it will work. You need an anti-fungal cream for skin areas and shampoo for scalp area. I realize that you live in Bulgaria but these should not be difficult to obtain nor expensive. And while certainly most people see this issue decrease once going on medication, I can say that personally even being on treatment and a really high cd4 count that I sometimes have it flare up so these are still good items to have around for that.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline hiv_positive_BG

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 01:46:12 PM »
Miss Philicia, thanks for the advice, my CD4 count goes up quite well I believe, yet I can't deal with seborrhoeic dermatitis and sweating. I'll wait for some more days and find anti-fungal cream, as you advice me. Thanks a lot.

Offline oksikoko

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 09:33:20 PM »
Strange, so you've stopped sweating after starting HIV therapy; I've started taking the HIV pills two months ago, but I still sweat quite much, and that happens only when I sleep, but each and every night... I wonder what could that be.

Здрасти, BG. It's possible that your night sweats are completely unrelated to HIV. I used to have them for years before HIV. I had them during and after seroconversion, during and after medicines. I don't have them very often anymore, but I still do from time to time. I'm glad they've stopped, but I used to wake up with a bed as wet as if I'd taken a bath. Waking up to that on a cold morning is no joy. Luckily I sleep alone.

It can be many things. But it's often stress, anxiety, fear. It may not be, and I don't want to minimize the problem. I know it can be terrible to live with. But if you can, try not to worry too much.

Между другото, аз лошо говоря български, но спомням си няколко думи. ;)
Code: [Select]
2014-11-14: CD4 Wars Episode II: Return of the Stribild (released in Europe as Stribild II: Werewolf Bitch)
2014-11-06:                ☣ VL (→) 12,627      ☣ CD4 (→) 639
2014-??-??: off treatment  ☣ VL (?)              ☣ CD4 (?)
2013-10-03:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1105
2013-05-23:                ☣ VL (=) undetectable ☣ CD4 (-) 945
2013-02-25:                ☣ VL (-) undetectable ☣ CD4 (+) 1123
2012-12-16: Enter Stribild
2012-11-20: HIV+           ☣ VL (→) 132,683      ☣ CD4 (→) 920
2012-04-01: HIV-
Dates in this signature file conform to ISO 8601. ;-)

If no one complains, nothing will ever change.

Offline hiv_positive_BG

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 06:39:35 PM »
oksikoko, your Bulgarian is brilliant, if I have to judge from your last sentence :) Maybe you've left Bulgaria as a child, or?

To be honest, I don't sweat at night anymore. Plus skin problems get better and my face looks clear now...

But what is strange: I feel my "swollen", or enlarged lymph nodes on the neck tighten, I've started feeling them being there (until now I've only seen them in the mirror, now I feel there are two bumps on my neck). I guess they were softer up to now. They get smaller, but what is strange: I see them "beating" with the rhythm of my heart, as strange as it seems! They enlarge a bit with every beat of my heart, as if I have two more hearts on the neck... That's really, really strange and I think it's high time those enlarged lymph nodes disappear, yet it doesn't happen and I fell them get harder and even "beating"... wow.

I just want to thank Miss Philicia for the advises and the PM as well!

Offline hiv_positive_BG

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 10:17:57 AM »
Hello again, I hope it's possible to ask one more question... I felt I've got a sore throat yesterday evening, so I drank one multivitamin tablet - that always helps me. I've drank a couple of green tea glasses in the morning, and a few hours later everything is fine again. Yet, I see two smaller lymph nodes have appeared above the two bigger on my neck. The first two appeared when I was diagnosed with the HIV. Those two started getting smaller with time, yet have not disappeared yet. Now, the new two, which are even more smaller, came up. Should I do something, or that's due to the fact I was about to catch cold, but, hopefully, neutralized it?

Offline pozsocalguy

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Re: Consequences of starting treatment later?
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 04:17:00 AM »
I can only speak for myself, but I started treatment very late (As in 119 pounds, 63 T Cells, Viral Load off the chart) and 10/11 years later, I'm still here.  For the first year the T Cells climbed from 63 to about 450. Today they are in the 900-1100 range and Viral Load is undetectable.

I would say, try not to get caught up in the numbers and let your doctor worry about that. It sounds clichť, but the less worrying you do, the better you'll feel. HIV can do a number on the body, but as you get better and your immune system builds up more, a lot of the symptoms go away. Lymph nodes can act up for a multitude of reasons, but HIV definitely can make them swell.... but so can a cold and all sorts of things. Talk to your doctor next time you see him (or give him a call) and hopefully he can reassure you that you don't need to worry so much.
I am the libertarian, atheist, lovechild of Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynde. Oh, and PS....  Madonna is EVERYTHING, Everybody else is NOTHING.

 


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