Will I be an Elite Controller forever?
I tested positive in 1992 and shortly after was considered an elite controller since my viral load was undetectable and my t-cell count was actually above 800 for several years. In 2011, it was suggested that I start meds because my t-cell count was dropping but I remained undetectable. My question is how long does an elite controller remain an elite controller? Is this something that lasts the life of the person?
HI, how are you?
It is very rare to be an elite controller. For this reason, research surrounding why some people suppress HIV and maintain CD4 counts is not well understood.
For this same reason, it cannot be determined if being an elite controller is life long or not. It is likely that a number of personal factors (genetic and lifestyle) will impact on how your body responds to HIV. This is also what is going to impact your status as an elite controller.
It is possible that some people may remain an elite controller for their entire lives. But this is not always the case for everybody.
As your CD4 count is now falling, it is suggestive that HIV is starting to impact your immune system. Starting treatment, will prevent this from happening to a greater degree and continue to keep you healthy.