My wife and I went for an HIV test when she went for antenatal care and we were found to be discordant because I am HIV-positive while she is negative. My CD4 count is 175 and the doctor referred me to an HIV/AIDS centre for care. He gave me septrin and told me to begin taking it. I was told it could boost my CD4 count to the point where I would not need ARVs. Is there any other way I can boost my CD4 count naturally without taking ARVS? Please advise on the lifestyle I need to adopt because for a start I have stopped staying out late, taking alcohol and I donâ€™t smoke. I need all the basic information on living healthy with HIV/AIDS.
YOU should be commended for going with your wife for antenatal care and taking the HIV test together. Lack of male involvement is one of the drivers of the HIV epidemic in Uganda and responsible for the high rates of new infections among couples. Studies show that 60% of new infections are occurring in marriages.
If she had done it alone, you could have assumed you too were HIV-negative and would eventually infect her and your children.
Septrin is given to people who are HIV-positive because it has been found to protect them from opportunistic infections such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, brain abscess, malaria and toxoplasmosis.
(Toxoplasmosis is a disease of mammals caused by an organism transmitted to humans via undercooked meat or through contact with infectious animals, especially cats.)
Septrin is not given to boost CD4 counts though sometimes CD4 counts of HIV-positive people increase when they are on the drug and other components of the basic care package (i.e. safe water, sleeping under insecticide treated mosquito nets and proper nutrition).
It is important that you are counselled and prepared to take ARVs before your immune system gets badly damaged. You will also be given information on how to live positively with HIV/AIDS.
It is commendable that you accepted your status and are avoiding harmful practices like taking alcohol and smoking.
You and your wife should go for couple counseling and discuss safer sex practices to avoid infecting others or getting more virulent HIV strains.
We are discordant and sheâ€™s pregnant