Email 505: "Immunocompromised" and Life Expectancy

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 10:11 AM
Hi, Pozziepinoy!

Just want to ask something. If a poz started his ARV's above CD4 of 300, never had any infectious diseases, is complete with his vaccinations, no hepatitis, regularly exercises, no vices, eats right, gets enough sleep and now has undetectable virus load and a CD4 of 700+, can he still be considered immunocompromised? And regarding the life expectancy of a Filipino poz under treatment, do you have any info about this? What's the age of the longest living Filipino poz so far?

Positively Positve,


Hi Squidmarked.

Thank you for your email. Thank you for sharing your concerns with us.

If you would check the definition of HIV, it is an immunodeficiency virus and according to wikipedia, a person who has an immunodeficiency of any kind is said to be immunocompromised. Those are terminologies and definitions but come to think of it with a normal CD4 count and undetectable VL, you should not be immunocompromised anymore, right? "Immunocompromised" is a loose term then, as for one, we are dependent on ARV's and without them our immune system will fall prey to the virus again. My point here is that we have a virus that lingers within us, that is just being "tamed" temporarily by how effective our medicines are. That is why we need to have our CD4 count and VL checked frequently and on a regular basis because they can fluctuate depending on the effectivity of the ARV's. This means that the virus at any time, (and is possible), can compromise our immune system if the ARV's that we are taking become ineffective (i.e, become resistant) to combat HIV, even though our last CD4 was normal or our last VL was undetectable.

So far there are Filipinos who are on ARV's for more than 10 years now. I met Caucasians who are living since 1984. I believe that with recent breakthroughs with medicines, HIV life expectancy is good and PLHIV's can live normal lives like any normal individuals now as long as they are adherent with their ARV's and they keep maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

I hope I was able to answer your concerns. Feel free to email me again if you have other questions.

Stay healthy,

NO PLHIV is alone with his or her struggle with HIV!"


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