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Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
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Apr 29, 2003

Dear Dr, I am just curious to find out how much emphasis one needs to put on their labs If your viral load gets pretty high, should one start to panic or if your CD4 count gets fairly low, should one get worried. The reason I ask is because I have gotten so many different viewpoints on the counts themsevles.My doctor told me recently that now they tend to look at the percentages more than anything-is this correct to your knowledge???????? Would appreciate some feedback Thank you for your time

Response from Dr. Holodniy

It is hard to generalize too much without knowing your specific case and numbers. There are certain guidelines for recommended action based on study data and expert opinion. For instance treatment is recommended when CD4 counts are < 350, OI prophylaxis is recommended when CD4 counts are < 200 or 14%. Treatment recommendations also reflect viral load. So if the CD4 count is < 350 or the virel load is > 50,000, most people think that this is sufficient risk for disease progression and recommend starting treatment.

My Viral Load & T-Cell Count
down side of viral load assays

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