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Gena Tev indicates "Progress" after gaining weight amid AIDS journey

Social media influencer Gena Tew has celebrated yet another weight gain as her health continues to improve following her AIDS diagnosis.

Tennessee-based Tew has documented her health journey in a number of social media posts since going public with her diagnosis in March 2022.

In a TikTok clip shared on June 11 and viewed over 14 million times, the model showed herself struggling to get out of her bed. Her weight had dropped to 65 pounds and muscle wasting had weakened her legs, she revealed.

Her health has improved in recent months, she said, and her weight has risen to over 100 pounds, but Tew continues to struggle with other issues, including an inability to walk unaided and blindness in one of her eyes.

Tew recently took to her TikTok account to excitedly reveal that her weight continues to trend upwards.

“Guys I went to the doctor today and your girl needs to eat well because I was only 105 pounds a few months ago. I tried to keep it there but your girl is 109 today,” she said in her video clip.

Tew, who captured the video while sitting in a car, then pulled herself up by her hands to give viewers a closer look at her body.

Wearing a pink ribbed dress, she said, “Look at those thighs, y’all!”

However, while Tew celebrated her weight gain, she admitted there were limits when she said she was getting “chub-chub” around her stomach area.

“I have to calm down. I don’t want to be fat,” she told fans. “I just want some muscle because I’m getting a little chub chub. You can’t see it, but I can see it.

“There’s nothing about wanting to stay skinny. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I have to relax while eating because I eat too much.

Tew told her TikTok followers back in November that her blood CD4 count has been increasing as her health continues to improve. The count is a measure of the number of CD4 cells, a type of immune cell that HIV attacks.

In a video clip, she said: “I just had my last blood work done and as you know … my CD4 count was 112. So now it’s 159. So I think in the next three and a half to four months I’ll be over 200 . I’m excited.”

She continued, “As my doctor sees it, on paper they say they will see it as HIV instead of AIDS.” Once her CD4 count exceeds 200, she is classified as living with HIV and not having AIDS , she explained. According to the Mayo Clinic, HIV typically becomes AIDS in about eight to 10 years if left untreated.

Tew, who still cannot walk unaided, said in October the viral load in her blood means she cannot transmit HIV to another person.

“I’m undetectable, folks. That means non-transferrable,” she said in a TikTok video. “With that in mind, people ask me, ‘Are you going to get married or have a baby with someone with AIDS?’ I don’t have to marry someone with AIDS. They don’t have to have AIDS. That means I can’t transfer it to the other person.”

Tew went on to say her potential partner might take precautions, such as a drug called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which reduces the chances of contracting HIV from having sex or injecting drugs.

“I can live a normal life. Let’s get rid of that stigma,” she said in her video. “AIDS is not a death sentence. I survived – I am a survivor.”

Thanks to antiretroviral therapy, HIV/AIDS patients can suppress viral replication in the body and block transmission to others. The patient then has such a low HIV level in the blood that it can no longer be detected in conventional analysis.

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