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Did I recently seroconvert?
Sep 6, 2004

In early May of this past year, I got a really bad flu - unlike any other I had before. The serious symptoms (high fever, muscle aches, night sweats) lasted about five days, but I felt genrally ill and weak for a total of three weeks and lsot about 8 pounds during this time. My doctor did some lab work and found that indeed I was fighting some sort of virus/infection and my liver functions were rather high. Based on his suggestion, I decided to test for HIV - the result came back positive. I had lab work done immediately and my t-cells came back at 610 and my VL was >100,000. I was pleased with the t-cells, but really worried about my VL. I got my second set of lab results this morning. Good news I think. My t-cells are up to 649 and my viral load dropped to 2,000!! I am very pleased. From what I've read, it sounds like the flu I had in May was a serconversion and that I contracted HIV a couple of months earlier. What do you think? If so, is there anything I can do or take to delay the progression of the virus knowing that I was recently exposed? Or, do these numbers realy not say too much?

Thanks for your help and insight. I greatly appreciate it.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

You present a classic description of acute HIV infection symptoms. The drop in viral load is also not unexpected. Given your rather healthy CD4 count and low viral load, most experts would not recommend starting treatment. I think you need a few more points on the line to see which way things are going before making any further decisions about treatment. I might recommend getting a resistance test now, so you know whether there is any drug resistant virus that was transmitted. This will be important historical information to have if and when treatment is required. The longer one delays in getting such tests after infection, the less likely one can see evidence of transmitted resistant virus, as this virus fades to the background and wildtype(nonresistant virus) is all that a resistance assay will detect.



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