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Confusion in reading lab results
Nov 9, 2003

I have been HIV+ since 1996. I always thought when your T-cell count went up, the viral load would go down. In 8/3, my T-cells were 168, my VL was 224,638 at 15. On 9/5, my T-cells climbed to 463, my VL dropped to 268 at 15. Then today, I learned that my T-cells dropped down to 247, yet my VL dropped to 86 at 15. How can my T-cells drop at same time my VL drops and what does this say? My meds aren't working or is this an error by the lab technicians? Help. I don't understand what this is saying to me. 86, by the way, is the lowest VL count that I've ever had since being diagnosed in 1996.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I take it you started treatment in August, hence the decline in viral load. I also take it that "15" stands for the CD4 percentage, or does it stand for somethng else. Although we would expect the CD4 count and percentage to be going up after treatment, the drop in viral load is significant, so at this point I would not worry too much about the CD4 changes.



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