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Cd4 and viral load
Mar 26, 2006

I don't understand alot about my cd4 and viral load but about 6 months ago I was taking HIV meds that didn't agree with me at all (diarrea and stomach discomfort) and after nearly dying in the hospital, my viral load was brought down to 750,000 and my cd4 was 17. I was then placed on sustiva and truvada and after about 6 months my cd4 only went up to 74 and my viral load was around 5,000. Now just having in the last week, taken another cd4 count and viral load, my cd4 is 460 and viral load at 1,000. I was at one time undetectable, should I expect this number (viral load) to continue to go down or will it just remain in that same area. I figured that by now, I would have a very high cd4 and an undetectable viral load. I realize that 460 for a cd4 is pretty good but I was more concerned that the viral load is still around 1,000. I hope this isn't real confusing but I guess I just want to know what to expect in the future. My Dr. says that he will see me grow up to be an old man and at 35, I am hoping this is the case. I am just wondering is there is a web site I can visit that will explain in more detail what the cd4 and viral load really mean. My Dr. seems pleased but I just don't understand it all.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

You have had a marvelous response considering where you have come from. Although your CD4 count is great, I am concerned that your viral load is 1,000. If you were undetectable and you are now at 1,000, and you are taking your meds faithfully, I would be concerned resistance to some of your meds might be developing. A resistance test might shed some light on this. It might require and additional medication (to intensify your regimen) or it may require a couple of new medications in place of those you have developed resistance to.



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