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Author Topic: Longevity  (Read 1056 times)

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Offline BangkokGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
Longevity
« on: April 03, 2014, 11:09:01 AM »
I posted a couple weeks ago in this forum -- I had my first HIV+ test on March 1.

I thought I would start a new topic as this is a separate subject.

I'm getting to the point where I might be (emotionally) ready to start telling people close to me.

These people are not as educated on this issue as we are here -- many still think this is a death sentence.  They are going to think I'm going to die soon...and I have to convince them otherwise.

But, speaking of longevity in real terms.  With the current drugs available and early treatment (I am sure I was infected between six and eight months ago, and my CD4 is still a high 800)...is this really going to let me live a normal life span (I'm early 50 now).  Or will the infection it take some years off my life?

I know it is important to remain a positive outlook, but I'd really like to know in no-nonsense terms.  It will help me in my discussion with people around me, and I don't like to beat around the bush.

Thank you all!
1 April 2013     HIV-
1 July 2013      very ill -- seroconversion?
1 March 2014   HIV+
                         CD4 787
4 April 2014     CD4 661 / 29%
                         VL 4,826
15 July 2014    CD4 588 / 30%
                         VL 16,364
03 Aug 2014    daily:  600mg Sustiva once; Combivir, twice

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 9,940
Re: Longevity
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 01:39:33 PM »
Bangkok, yes you can live a normal life span.  You are newly diagnosed and (most likely) infected, so your chances are very good.  Do you have any idea when you will start meds? 

I would just plan on living a long life, as long as you do the things to take care of yourself...good diet, keeping yourself in good health etc.    We all know what we're supposed to do, the challenge is often doing it. But I believe you'll be fine. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline BangkokGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
Re: Longevity
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2014, 02:11:06 PM »
Thanks.  I am waiting for blood work to come back, which will then allow a doctor to prescribe my first meds.  So I will be starting in the next week or two.

I am just curious about how the disease is known to affect life expectancy at this stage.  A bit?  Some?  Not at all?  I wonder what the actuarial tables would say, not that anyone would give an HIV+ person a life insurance policy.
1 April 2013     HIV-
1 July 2013      very ill -- seroconversion?
1 March 2014   HIV+
                         CD4 787
4 April 2014     CD4 661 / 29%
                         VL 4,826
15 July 2014    CD4 588 / 30%
                         VL 16,364
03 Aug 2014    daily:  600mg Sustiva once; Combivir, twice

Offline AusShep

  • Member
  • Posts: 207
Re: Longevity
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2014, 02:34:06 PM »
Hey BangkokGuy,
Good to see you're going to start treatment, but listen to Betty.  Your chances are very very good.

The problem with statistics is that they're really only applicable to a large population, they don't tell you much about your individual chances.

The chances are you will never be run over by a bus, but someone probably gets run over nearly every day; there's no need worrying about it, just look before you cross the street.

An individual with a low CD4 count may live healthy until they're 90, they may not.  We know the odds are better with normal CD4s, but for a particular individual, no one can tell you for sure.

Take care of yourself and take your meds as Betty recommends, and you'll be fine.  Worrying if you'll be one of the rare cases of something isn't helpful, and there's not really anything you can do about it other than taking care of yourself along the way.


Offline zach

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,446
  • not fade away
Re: Longevity
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2014, 02:40:39 PM »
With adherent meds, you'll probably live a normal lifespan. Get them, stay on them. Chances are better than not the HIV virus will only be a nuisance, and never develop into the disease AIDS. Probably greater chance of dying in a scooter crash. Love BKK, but y'all are insane.

Your CD4 numbers are great.

This is not going to kill you, or even take anything from your life expectancy. If you take meds.
gonna go up to the mountain, for to find a little peace
looking over the valley, for the beauty i see
out across the hills, forevermore

Online pittman

  • Member
  • Posts: 215
Re: Longevity
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2014, 11:04:18 PM »
You are in a great place with respect to your numbers. You can rationally and reasonably expect a normal life span if you adhere to your treatment.

You will see many somewhat recent studies that show a slight (2 years or so) statistical shortened life span.  What I will just point out is how to keep that in perspective:

If you compare those that regularly exercise to those that are sedentary, you will see slightly worse lifespan differences than those between HIV- and HIV+ individuals.

Eating healthy is similar.

Avoiding stress is similar.

Routinely not getting enough sleep is similar.

The point is, there are many things that are in your power to influence to improve your health and increase the likelihood of a long healthy life. Managing your HIV is just one single aspect, and you should not become overly obsessed with actuary tables and the like.

Just live your life in a generally healthy manor and you will be in a better place than many who may be HIV- but yet still fail to pay attention to their health in all the many small ways they could.


Offline BangkokGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 23
Re: Longevity
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2014, 01:07:57 AM »
Thank you, pittman.  That puts things in perspective.

So, I'm also wondering -- if CD4 levels stay in normal range and VL is undetectable, what is it that might cause a shortening of expected lifespan?  Do the meds and/or the virus do things to your body other than producing full-blown AIDS that shorten peoples' lives?

Thanks all for the insight, I am new at this.
1 April 2013     HIV-
1 July 2013      very ill -- seroconversion?
1 March 2014   HIV+
                         CD4 787
4 April 2014     CD4 661 / 29%
                         VL 4,826
15 July 2014    CD4 588 / 30%
                         VL 16,364
03 Aug 2014    daily:  600mg Sustiva once; Combivir, twice

Online pittman

  • Member
  • Posts: 215
Re: Longevity
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2014, 10:06:38 PM »
Thank you, pittman.  That puts things in perspective.

So, I'm also wondering -- if CD4 levels stay in normal range and VL is undetectable, what is it that might cause a shortening of expected lifespan?  Do the meds and/or the virus do things to your body other than producing full-blown AIDS that shorten peoples' lives?

Thanks all for the insight, I am new at this.

It is not easy to answer that definitively. 

First, remember that as others have pointed out, the statistics are based on a population and not entirely meaningful when applied to an individual.  It is also a moving target in that the life expectancy gap is constantly shrinking and may very well be approaching the point of being unmeasurable.

As to *possible* HIV impacts, constant low level inflammation is one cited frequently.  The medicines are generally well tolerated with very low incidents of side effects.  Keeping an eye on your liver and your kidney functions is important however.  Moderating your alcohol intake or anything that can add extra stress to your liver or kidneys is probably a good habit to develop.  Monitoring for heart disease is also a good idea. There is a slightly higher incidence of heart disease with HIV+ individuals.

Don't go overboard. Just use some common sense and start with building good health habits a bit at a time. There really isn't any magic formula or special secret to it. Just the normal things everyone should be doing. (Plus taking your meds!)
 


Offline Ann

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  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Longevity
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2014, 05:28:29 AM »

Don't go overboard. Just use some common sense and start with building good health habits a bit at a time.
 

^^This.

It's not a good idea to start trying to make all sorts of drastic changes to your life (ie eating/drinking/exercising habits) all at once, particularly when you're still mentally and emotionally adjusting to your new hiv status. You're setting yourself up for failure if you try to do it all right now.

Be kind to yourself - but don't baby yourself either. Try to strike a balance and take things one day at a time. You can't change yesterday and tomorrow never comes, but you can make small incremental changes today. Build yourself a firm foundation before you build the tower.

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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

 


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