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undetectable but falling Cd4 counts
Mar 19, 2005

I was infected in 1981, and have been on the cocktail since it was possible. I have been watching my CD4 cells climb slowly but steadily until they had eventually reached over 800 from a low in the early 1990's of 160. In the last year they have been dropping through the 600's down to the mid 400's now but the percentage has risen to 22% My doctor says that I am healthy and that the percentage is more important and that I just have less white cells altogether. After all these years of watching numbers and basing my progress on a slow and steady rise, it is hard to feel confident that this big a drop is not cause for worry. Have other long term HAART therapy patients experienced this drop? I feel fine but like many people I know with HIV we worry about things changing because of the disease or the meds. I have never had a detectable level sice I started testing and have only changed meds because of elective reasons(looking for less side effects or easier dosage) Thanks for any info.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I tend to agree with your doctor's assessment. The absolute numbers can vary more than the percentage and are subject to fluctuations in total white blood cell and lymphocyte counts. As long as you are feeling well, your viral load is undetectable, and your CD4 percentage stays at that level, you will do fine. Given your longetivity with infection, time is definitely on your side.



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