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Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
           
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My first Labs
Mar 11, 2007

I tested positive at the end of January. I went to my hiv specialist and he ran a screening for viral load and CD4..and supressor cells - not sure what the correct name is for them.

In any case - the results were good (according to my Doc). I think I was infected in October/November 2006. My VL was 91 and my CD4 was 378 - but, my Doc said the ration between that and supressor cells was normal so it's possible that I always had a lower CD4 count in the first place.

He said he'll see me again in 3 months for my next lab tests.

My questions: 1. How likely is it that my CD4 count was always low?

2. From what I've read on this site in the last month, it is extremely encouraging to have such a low viral load. In fact, it seems quite rare. What sense can I make of this - both realistically and in the extemes of hypotheticals?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

1. Wouldn't know unless you had a preinfection CD4 count. the normal range is 500 to 1500. Your ratio may be "normal" because your CD8 count is not elevated as seen in most people with HIV infection, but in the normal range. 2. You are correct. A low viral load is a good thing. You need a few more viral load and CD4 counts to see what the trend is over time. But for the short term, it appears your immune system is able to contain the virus on it's own with meds.



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