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Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
           
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trying to understand labs and desease?
Dec 17, 2005

I end up in the hospital due to a viral infection(west nile virus)during my stay they condusted several tests, including HIV, tests came negative for the first few times, no HIV antibodies no viral load, they gave antiretroviral therapy for the WNV, and continued to test for HIV, two months after my specialist ordered HIV testing again and have the HIV virus(300,000VL)and a CD4 count of 350 no antibodies still, a month after antibodies were present, one strain of the virus and no resistance to any drugs, due to my cd4 count and high VL he suggested to start treatment(Norvir and with a boost of reyataz and truvada)for 1 1/2 months,had to stop this first line of treatment due to strong side effects(very high liver enzimes, cholesterol an tryglicerides)at this point my VL was 100,000 copies and cd4 of 320. Then changed treatment to Truvada and Sustiva been on this combination for two months and my viral load now is >50(undetectable) and my cd4 is 380, I am so excited to be in the undetectable level now but my concern is my low cd4 count, do you have any explanation of why my VL is undetectable and my cd4 count still low? what is the chances of my cd4 count to go up? and if it is, is there any specific time frame for this to happen? I am a heterosexual guy, married, wife is negative and what are the chances of me being infected from WNV(west nile virus) to HIV due to fact that they use HAART treatment on the WNV stage? is there any relation at all? or it is only on my mind?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

That CD4 count would not be considered very low. In most people we don't know where their CD4 count is before HIV infection, since it is not a normal blood test we get. The normal range in HIV uninfected people ranges from about 500 to 1500. I would expect your CD4 count to increase somewhat over time, but to what level is not certain at this time. There is no known relationship between WNV and HIV that I am aware of. They are completely separate viruses and cause separate kinds of infections and syndromes. I also cannot comment about the use of HAART to treat WNV infection. To date, there have been no good antiviral treatment strategies found to be successful for WNV other than supportive care.



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