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Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
           
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first lab results
Mar 10, 2002

Hello, and thank you for your great work on this site. I was recently diagnosed in December but I think I've been infected for about a year. My first test results revealed that I had a cd4 level of 770 and a high viral load of 136,000. My doctor said that, barring anything unusual happening, and keeping in mind my good eating/non-smoking/exercising/etc habits, that I probably wouldn't need to start meds for a few years.

I have two questions. #1 - Are the numbers at all affected by illness? I was feeling under the weather and had swollen glands in my throat the day I had the blood drawn. #2 - Based on what I've told you (I'm also a 31 year old male), do you agree with what the doctor had to say? I know that high viral load levels cause the cd4 levels to decrease more quickly. Do I need to be immediately concerned?

Thanks again for your help.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Both viral load and CD4 counts can be affected by acute illnesses. Although I agree with your doctor in the short term about delaying therapy, given your viral load, I would be following your CD4 numbers carefully. MH



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