Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Update - June 2013

I thought I would update the situation. It is now 2013, we are still together and content to be together.

I rarely write on my blog now, but keep it open because I know this journey is not finished, that one day I will have something to write again.

But for now we take our HIV medications, get on with life and cope with the health problems that have come along, and they have. Some caused by HIV or the meds , some not - Barry prostate cancer and diabetes. The diabetes  caused by meds, the cancer not.
 Me Avascular Necrosis in the form of Kienbocks, which could be med related osteoporosis, which is for definite due to the meds I am on which has been admitted one of the drugs I am on should not have been a first choice for a post menopausal woman as it is know to cause osteoporosis in much younger people than me and I did not have it before - I know that for sure as due to my accident in 2003 I have had bone scans before and this developed 2 years after starting this med.

I also have arthritis and  worsening of my mobility due to my damaged leg. We both suffer chronic fatigue which makes like hard and high cholesterol which is drug caused .
But in the main we continue like many older couples with health problems - I am now 60 he is 61 .

But we have survived and are doing well in terms of HIV. Both of us have undetectable virus loads and CD4 counts above 600, which considering our age and our late diagnosis, is remarkable.
There has been some recent hopeful research that says that those with controlled HIV, who are undetectable and have a  CD4/Tcell count of above 500  have the same mortality risk of peers without HIV
http://www.aidsmap.com/People-doing-well-on-HIV-therapy-have-a-mortality-risk-identical-to-that-of-HIV-negative-peers/page/2664793/

This is heartening to read as previously to this the research pointed to a shorter lifespan, not much shorter if doing well on the meds, but that you could expect between 5 to 10 years less.

However I still believe HIV, or the meds age you. That age related conditions may happen earlier for Poz people than if they were not Poz and for some cause health problems that you may not otherwise have had.

 In fact I know some of what we have is HIV/meds related, and for some of us, me included, but not Barry, being HIV positive takes a toll on your mental health and general wellbeing.

But the prognosis for those with HIV is improving and improving all the time, and with new meds coming on board al the time that are more easily tolerated and less damaging, the picture is a lot more hopeful for us all that have access to these medications. Sadly there are still those, and surprisingly in developed countries like the US even, that do not have access to these meds. But we do and we are very lucky to have HIV now and not 20 years ago.
So for now we get on with our lives. Barry has even started and continues the business letting out a Yurt, camping and a small flat on our smallholding, to supplement his small pension.
The fatigue and other factors sadly limits our social life. I would like to have more of a social life, I am not sure Barry would , he has never ben one to go out socially much, but I used to be a social animal.



However we are living our lives as best we can and supporting each other.
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