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My brother has aids

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My brother has had hiv since 2004, but refused to take medication, choosing to believe the denialist's theories after reading a book by Phillip Day (world without AIDS i think).

He became ill with pneumonia a few weeks ago, and now his cd4 count is 0 and his viral load is 250,000.

He's now out of hospital on antibiotics and is feeling a bit better, but can't start retrovirals for a few weeks, i think because of the antibiotics.

I'm really concerned that this is a very dangerous time for him.

I have 2 questions:

1/ should he keep away from other people in case they have colds, etc
2/can he go back to just being HIV+, once he has the retrovirals, considering he's never had them before.

Please can anyone advise.

Thanks, Andy

I'm sorry about your brother. 

As too your questions.  Things like colds and such don't really have an effect on patients with HIV.  Those things are protected by the humoral part of the immune system, opposed to the cellular compoent that HIV screws up.  I wouldn't hurt at this point to try and keep him away, just because any illness affects the whole body and he's a bit weak at the moment.

Well, he''ll never go back to being HIV+, at least on paper, but yes, he can recover and increase his CD4s and decrease his viral load with medication.

I hope he's gotton over the dangerous and deadly information the denialist spout and will quickly find his road to recovery.


When my hubby was diagnosed in May 06 he had a CD4 of 85 and a Viral Load over 280,000. He was running fevers of 103 when I took him to the e.r. He had meningitis. His CD4s are now 252 and his VL is undetectable. Its taken him 9 months to get his numbers where they are today. It can be done with the meds.

Keeping you and your brother in my thoughts and prayers.


Andy, hi, you're a great sibling to your brother who really needs you.   

I'll repeat what my doctor told me when I had 42 cd4 and that is: When a person starts meds, the meds will act on HIV's ability to copy itself and once that's slowed down alot, the body can then focus on making new cd4. Hoping for lots of cd4 for your brother. The members here on AIDSmeds have tons of experience and we're pulling for your brother just like you are.

Ask us anything.

How do you feel about your brother's healthcare team? Are they specialists in infectious diseases? HIV/AIDS? When I had 42 cd4, it was imperative for me to see a specialist in HIV/AIDS

Meds are not terrifying as the denialists make them out to be. It took me 11 days to adjust to meds and now my cd4 is over 300 (see my "signature" below)

I've had HIV probably since 1999 but I didn't start meds until 2005

Thoughts and prayers for your family,

Thanks for all your replies, they all sound very encouraging, I will let you know how he gets on in due course

I just thought that once you have AIDS there's no way back but clearly that's not the case.

Thanks again.


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