After being diagnosed with HIV on 2013, my first round of laboratory indicator follow-up showed an undetectable viral load, and my CD4 count - an immune health measure, above 900 / mm3 (typical of healthy adults with CD4 between 500 and 1.200 cells / mm3). I remember my nurse having been surprised by the result and asked for another round of testing to make sure it was not a lab error.
That's when the second round of tests came back, with similar results, he told me I could be an elite controller.
Did you know that the higher estimate, about 5% of people living with HIV maintains a CD4 cell count normal (above 500 cells / mm3) for eight years or more even in the absence of antiretroviral therapy?
Researchers call these people "non-progressors long term" since they remain asymptomatic or have a large delay in disease progression over the course of HIV infection.
A smaller subset of people with HIV, about 1% -consegue suppress viral replication and to maintain the CD4 count higher than expected. Elite controllers, as we are called, keeps their viral loads undetectable even in the absence of antiretroviral therapy, although some small increases viral "fruitful", has been documented in some individuals.
Some may be jealous because I have been able to escape the daily struggle of HIV, antiretroviral therapy (and side effects) that most people with HIV have to bear with patience in their lives. But I can not say I felt lasting relief, so to speak, on my status as an elite controller.
After finding out that I was an elite controller, I felt a lot of confusion. I knew what an elite driver, but does not translate to know what it is, when it is actually a.
I was not new in the HIV world I had previously been a volunteer working with the community of homeless people with HIV that was offered to those who wish to pursue a career as a researcher in microbiology and HIV, but I realized that I knew nothing about what was happening in my own body.
I would like to start antiretroviral therapy (ART) immediately. I wanted to have a proactive attitude, so that I could feel in control of my own health.
When I was told that there was really no compelling reason for me to start ARV treatment, I had mixed feelings. I was relieved not to have to take one or two or five pills a day. But I also felt a lack of control over my own condition. How would I take care of myself? There was nothing I could do?
I began to discover what an elite controller is, and not having to take antiretroviral drugs, can be priced Despite the ability to suppress HIV replication, elite controllers often suffer from chronic immune activation and inflammation over a longer time than seropositive "normal" levels and higher than experienced by people with HIV who control their viral load with HAART. While the cause of inflammation is not well understood, it is connected to all kinds of health problems such as, for example, cognitive conditions and cardiovascular diseases.
Note the Soropositivo.Org Editor: I suggest a pause in your reading, to watch this video and comprender, rather, what it is the immune response and how this could translate into SUFFERING for that person with this supposed "advantage". But, if you, like most of the people who enter here do, leave the video for later, nothing will be asked for it, neither in this, nor in the other world 🙂 🙂
If you saw the video you also understood that God is wonderful, right? (I.e.
One study showed that elite controllers has a higher hospitalization rate for cardiovascular disease than people on antiretroviral treatment, they have suppressed their viral loads and also people on antiretroviral treatment with a detectable viral load. Cardiovascular events were, from a statistical point of view, the cause of about 30% of hospital admissions of elite controllers, but less than 15% for people taking antiretroviral drugs.
I'm just in my "twenties" and already started to worry about how these things affect me in the medium and long term. For me, being a person "ART-free does not seem a benefit under any circumstances, given that it only means that my health may still be at risk, despite the absence of need of ART.
At this point, "research has not yet defined " if Elite Controllers can get some benefit from taking standard ART. Em a small study, with 16 elite controllers found that treatment of 24 weeks with HAART reduced some measures of immune activation and inflammation ("biomarker" proteins) that are associated with mortality in people with HIV. Residual HAART also reduced the number of anti-HIV antibodies and viruses that persist in blood and intestinal tissue levels of elite controllers.
But because this study had a small sample size and not beyond 24 weeks? More monitoring is needed to see if these types of changes are clinically relevant, and make a significant difference in the lives and health of elite controllers?
A recent review in The Journal of Infectious Disease this year it was concluded that we need better data before setting treatment recommendations for doctors on how to treat Elite Controllers. At this time, if, and how to prescribe antiretroviral drugs for Elite Controllers is a topic that "lies firmly in the category of" expert opinion. "
Manage my HIV infection is a constant correction process.
I commit to constantly engaging myself with research that can inform me what is the best way to take care of my health. The scientific community is constantly correcting and expanding what we know about HIV and elite controllers. I read everything I can, and I'm not afraid to ask questions, and doing my homework with my health allows me to actively participate in the decisions made about my health. Constant correction means that someday I may need to start antiretroviral therapy, or maybe some other medicine.
Now, which means I'm just trying to live a healthier life that I can, as I did before being diagnosed with HIV: practicing physical exercise, healthy eating and fighting for a balanced life.
Rodney Rousseau is a gay man living with HIV HIV immunology completing a graduate degree in Toronto, Canada. Rodney is an activist and community member working with a particular interest in the impact of basic science and clinical research and interdisciplinary understandings of HIV as a complex health problem. Rodney is also an author with PositiveLite.com.
Crowell, T. et al. Hospitalization rates and Reasons Among HIV elite controllers and persons with medically controlled HIV infection. Journal of Infectious Diseases. TO 2014.
Karris, M. and Haubrich, R. Antiretroviral therapy in elite controllers: Justified or premature? of infectious diseases. TO 2014.
Krishnan, S. et al. Evidence for innate immune system activation in HIV-infected type 1 elite controllers. Officer of infectious diseases. TO 2014.
-Saag, M. and Deeks stated, S. How do HIV elite controllers do what They Do? Clinical Infectious Diseases. YEAR 2010.
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