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Concerned about my numbers

Dec 15, 2000

Thanks for your great work Doc. Im a 38 y/o male. I live a very healthy lifestle, work out, eat well and take supplements. I was diagnosed HIV+ in October 1999. Im quite confident that I converted in late January of 1999 when I experienced a severe 4 week viral syndrome. An HIV test came back neg at that time.

I just received my first CD4 and viral load test results. CD4 was at 360, VL 40,000. My doctor is repeating the test to see what direction Im headed. My obvious concern is that my T4 count is so low only 9 months after infection and my VL is reasonably high. I was preying that things would have come back better. Everyone was saying..dont will probably be several years before you need to consider drug therapy.

How unusual is it to see these numbers so fast...and what are my prospects? Might they get better?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Your CD4 count today, assuming an infection of 2 years, is somewhat dependent on where you started before infection. If you were on the low end of normal (say 500), then your count is not unreasonable. If preinfection your count were 1000, then you have had faster progression. Since we are not in the habit of getting CD4 counts on healthy HIV negative people, we usually never know what the baseline uninfected level is. But given those numbers, I would recommend treatment.


VL margin of error & accuracy of antibody test

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