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How fast will I progress if at all
Jun 11, 2002

Between eight to ten years have past since my last negative antibody test and hadn't been tested since. In January of 2002 I felt unusually fatigued. I was working 60 hour work weeks during the holidays and was very stressed out. I was experiencing nervousness, mood swings and tachycardia over the slightest amount of exertion. This prompted me to get an HIV antibody test and my results came back positive. I went to a specialist and my first set of labs were a CD4 count of 550 (cd4 25.1) and my viral load was 523 [<50] RNA COP. My doctor had a relatively optimistic tone and said that my exhuastion was most likely not HIV related but probably due to overwork and stress. He said my viral load was extremely low and recommended that drug therapy was not neccessary at this point. He ordered routine testing every four months and sent me on my way. It took about two months for me to feel myself again and now I feel awesome. If it wasn't for that unusual episode I may never have decided to get tested. So I guess it was probably a good thing. My question is, based on these numbers, how fast or slow do you think the virus will progress in me? Also, how many CD4 cells are gobbled up per year if any with a low viral load such as this? Thank You!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I agree with your doctor. Treatment is not indicated at this point. Your immune system is able to contain viral replication quite well at this point. It is difficult to predict progression, and more difficult with only one set of numbers. Several points will need to be constructed to see whether your CD4 count is stable and viral load is flat, or there is a downward trajectory.



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