World’s Oldest HIV-Positive Person Celebrates 100th Birthday

If you need yet another piece of evidence concerning the way in which the life of HIV-positive people has changed in the past decade, here it is! The world’s oldest HIV-positive individual just celebrated his 100th birthday, regardless of the fact he was diagnosed back in 2004.

A Centennial Man Known as the Lisbon Patient

Miguel, known from media reports as the Lisbon Patient, is in perfect health for a person his age. He has experienced some hearing loss and he does have vision problems. These, however, are nothing out of the ordinary for a person who has just turned 100.

Nobody who meets Miguel could tell that he has been HIV-positive for more than a decade.

Miguel first arrived for hiv treatment in 2004 in a hospital near Lisbon. He had been suffering from colitis, a rare form of lymphoma and his CD4 cell count was exceptionally low. CD4 is a type of white blood cell that plays a crucial role in maintaining an adequate immune response.

Soon, the medical team responsible for his treatment found out that Miguel was in the first stages of AIDS following an HIV infection.

According to doctors, Miguel had arrived to the hospital just in time. Had treatment been postponed, he would have suffered from additional conditions and complications resulting from the immunodeficiency.

Miguel underwent several rounds of chemotherapy to combat his lymphoma. After the stabilization of his condition, doctors used a combined antiretroviral therapy to control the AIDS.

Media interviewed some of the treating physicians who said they’d been concerned about Miguel’s ability to recover at such an age. The Lisbon Patient, however, surprised everyone by demonstrating his incredible ability to heal and recover.

HIV: No Longer a Death Sentence

Doctors don’t really know when Miguel became infected with HIV.

According to the treating team, he had been living with the virus for at least a decade before being diagnosed at the age of 84. It was established that unprotected heterosexual contact probably contributed to the spread of the virus.

In 2004, Miguel was on the brink of death due to the accompanying conditions that are so typical for AIDS. Today, his story is completely different.

Miguel’s CD4 cell count has gone back to healthy levels and his HIV viral load is undetectable. This means that Miguel cannot pass on the human immunodeficiency virus to another person.

Due to his incredible story, Miguel has become an icon, a beacon of hope for all of those struggling to accept their HIV-positive status. He lives almost entirely independently and does not need assistance with most daily tasks.

While Miguel’s family has asked for his family name to remain concealed, they’ve agreed for the medical team to share his incredible story. Miguel’s doctors say that many of their patients still believe that they’re doomed after getting an HIV diagnosis. The truth of the matter is completely different and examples like Miguel’s are used to motivate and encourage those starting the journey towards recovery.

Scientific Advances Come to the Rescue

Seeking HIV testing as soon as unprotected contact takes place is one of the first steps towards ensuring the management of the virus in the event of exposure.

Medical researchers have come up with several breakthrough solutions for HIV-positive individuals and people at risk. The good news is that such preventative and treatment options are available in Singapore.

Apart from timely HIV testing, those at risk of an infection should consider two additional opportunities – HIV PEP and HIV PrEP.

HIV PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. High risk individuals, for example those who have casual and unprotected sexual contact, could consider getting the therapy in order to reduce significantly the case of HIV infection after exposure.

Antiretroviral therapy medications are taken for a specified period of time and when administered correctly, HIV PrEP is 99 per cent effective in preventing an infection. The treatment involves taking two pills before sexual intercourse and one pill per day in the coming few days. You can learn more about HIV PrEP by contacting Shim Clinic.

HIV PEP or post-exposure prophylaxis is a treatment routine to be administered after unprotected contact. It can once again reduce the risk of the HIV virus spreading.

Correct administration shortly after intercourse (up to 72 hours) reduces the risk of becoming HIV-positive by 90 per cent.

Call Shim Clinic at (+65) 6446-7446 or visit us during our open hours every day of the week to find out more about HIV prevention, testing and the currently available treatment options.