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What labs to track?

Aug 19, 2002

What labs to track?

Since my infection in 1999 my doctor has always given me a copy of my lab results and is very good about explaining anything that is out of normal range, or telling me if something has markedly changed since my pervious visits.

And since 1999 I have entered my viral load, t-cells and weight on an Excel spreadsheet and then graph the results for each. It has been very interesting (and encouraging) to see the viral load drop to undetectable and the t-cells make a slow climb up to the high 400s. Are there other labs that are significant or might be helpful for me to follow in this manner too?

My current medication is only Trizivir since June, prior to this I was on Viracept and Combivir, the change was just to lessen the pill load, no medication failures so far.

Thanks for your help.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The answer depends on how obsessive you want to be or whether you have any other medical illnesses that need routine monitoring (e.g. diabetes, high cholesterol etc). In our clinic, we draw a fair number of routine labs on a quarterly basis. These would include blood counts, lipid panels, liver panels, etc. If everything is OK in you, it is probably not important to be tracking or obsessing about normal labs. There is probably not any other important HIV specific labs to follow.

a very high viral load
Test results the same day?

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