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is it possible
Jun 16, 2009

hi i am recently diagnosed HIV positive. first time my viral load was 146 and my cd4 was 746. last week i re tested my viral load is 49 and my cd4 is 960. is that possible? my doctor said i should be happy but i am scared of it. i have been living positively, my partner is negative. we are getting married i watch what i eat and excersise but i am scared off looking at this as a good thing. i dont have any signs of infection. i found out i was positive when i did my regular by anual HIV test. my question is does it happen for the viral load to go down without medication and cd4 to improve?

Response from Dr. Frascino


Is it possible for someone recently diagnosed to have their plasma HIV viral load decline from 146 to 49 and their CD4 count increase from 746 to 960 spontaneously? Absolutely! Particularly in folks who have been relatively recently infected. Shortly after infection the CD4 count can plummet and viral load skyrocket. As the body's immune system kicks in and begins fighting the virus, the HIV viral load often declines significantly and CD4 cells increase, at least for a period of time. Certainly over time (years and years) the general trend is slow depletion of CD4 cells and high HIV plasma viral loads in the untreated HIV infected patient.

I agree with your doctor. You should be pleased that your CD4 counts are essentially within the normal range and your HIV plasma viral load is very low. (Both 146 and 49 are considered very low.)

I'd suggest you learn more about the basics of HIV, HIV monitoring tests, HIV therapies and the natural history of the disease. Begin with the information on The Body's homepage under the heading "HIV Basics." From there you can proceed to the expert forums, archives and related links.

Good luck. I'm here if you need me, OK?

Dr. Bob

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