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Is my situation normal?
May 29, 2005

I was diagnosed in June 2004 (almost a year ago). My baseline CD4 count was 690 and VL of >200,000. Now, less than a year later, my CD4 count has dropped to 275 and my VL remains around 75,000. Is it "normal" for my CD4 to fall so quickly? Through the literature I've read, it seems they should take a slower decline. Does this mean I have a more potent strain of the virus? Do people like me respond well to treatment? My doc hasen't called me in for an apointment yet, but I suspect he will want to start meds ASAP. If he lets it go longer, my CD4 count will continue to fall and I'll be susceptible to God knows what. So, I guess my question is: How common is this? What is the prognisis?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Your situation is not that common, but definitely seen. If it is real on confirmation with a second set of blood tests, it is probably the result of your underlying immune system's inability to contain viral replication and the strain that you received. I believe if these numbers are real, your doctor will recommend starting treatment. You are still in very good shape to respond very well to HIV meds.



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