August #115 : Haart-less and Healthy - by Laura Whitehorn

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Table of Contents

Bite The Bullet

Gazing into Our Genes

Touch That Dial!

A New Med for Old HIV

Doctor's Diary - August 2005

Haart-less and Healthy

In the Swim

A Summer's Day

Block Those Rays


What, Me Sue?

Getting Out on the Job

The Bad Seed

The Sperm Cycle

Condom Wrap-up

Think Kink

Meet Our POZ Personals Catch of the Month

Ask The Sexpert-August 2005

Got Zen?

We're All Living With Nuts

Oh, Daddy!

The Real AIDS Vaccine

High Risk Offensive

Follow the Leader

Crime Blotter


HIV 411: What's Hot and What's Not

Mentors-August 2005

My So-Called Afterlife

Doctor Feel Good

Editor's Letter - August 2005

Mailbox - August 2005

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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August 2005

Haart-less and Healthy

by Laura Whitehorn

Checking HIV for 20 years—with prednisone alone

Mark Milano
New York
HIV Treatment Educator
Diagnosed 1982

New Yorker Mark Milano has had CD4s as low as 74, but he’s found a way to stay med-free and healthy. His secret? A steroid that, oddly, suppresses your immune system. Say what? Read on.

The Discovery: “In 1985, I had sarcoidosis, a non-HIV autoimmune condition. [Corticosteroid] prednisone cleared it up. I kept taking it for the condition—and my CD4s held up. Then, I read that prednisone slows HIV. When I tried testosterone instead, I lost CD4s.”

The Take: “Dosing is key. Taking too much or taking it daily causes hormone problems. I take 15 mg every other day, with only minor muscle loss and fat gain (which may just be age!). I’ll give up  muscle for the CD4s!”

The Science: “HIV needs activated CD4 cells to reproduce, and low-dose prednisone suppresses immune activity just enough to slow down HIV.”

The Result: “I’m healthy and active. My CD4s stay around 400, though my viral load is 475,000.

The Future: “If my CD4s settle at 200, I’ll be happy to go on HIV meds.”

The Feelings: “I’m glad I stuck with what I felt was right. I don’t know if it will work for others, but it works for me.”                                                          

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