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Single digit cd4 percentage after 1.5 years of meds??

Apr 17, 2011

Thank you so much for any advice/answers you can offer. I am writing from Taiwan on behalf of my partner. After first being diagnosed almost two years ago with cd4 of only 44 and a viral load of 100,000, his cd4 is now in the upper 200s and his viral load has been undetectable for months. We were starting to feel very confident about a healthy life, until I was prompted to ask about cd4 percentage by a friend in the US. The results were that at diagnosis two years ago, it was only 6. At a later test, it was 8, and most recently (6 months ago) it was 9.

My question is, I guess, how concerned should we be with such a low percantage? As long as it is still increasing, should he be okay? And should he take any added precautions because it is so low? He is currently taking Reyataz (no booster) and Kivexa. He also has Hep B (as is kind of common over here...)

Again, thank you for help. It means everything to us to have this kind of contact with doctors with your level of experience.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

When you say he has Hep B, what exactly does that mean? Does he have chronic infection, where the HBV viral load was detected? If so, you may want to consider changing the Kivexa to truvada, which has two HIV drugs that are active against HBV, instead of one like Kivexa. HBV drug resistance can develop with the lamivudine component of Kivexa. This could also explain some of the slower rise in CD4 count if the HBV infection is still active.

Undetectable Viral Load, will standard HIV test still show positive?

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