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Viral Load/CD4 ?
Feb 22, 2004

My son was recently diagnoses HIV. He started out with cd4 of around 300 and viral load 20,000 his cd4 has continued to drop and as of Feb it is 251. His viral lode in Dec was down to 2,000 but is back up to the 20,000 with the cd4 of 251. What does all of this mean??

Are people really living long lives?? It has only been since 1980 that so many died. I know that drugs are helping, but doesnt it get you in the end? My son is only 23.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

You don't indicate whether he is getting HIV meds or not. Given those numbers, his immune system is moderately suppressed and he probably should be on treatment. Combination therapy in HIV has made remarkable progress in the last few years. Regimens are easier to take (many given once daily) and some toxicities have been minimized. We are still writing the book on longevity. However, many people, who would have died, are now living relatively normal lives, if treatment is started early in the course of infection, they are adherent and other medical issues are attended to.



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