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life expectancy after very low cd4 count

Dec 4, 2011

Hi, Im a 27 year old athlete and I was diagnosed with HIV about 6 years ago. The first year and a half i went to a trial program to have it monitored and i never started meds because my viral load was low (around 12000) and my cd4 count was in the 500s. After that i moved to another city and didn't see a doctor until recently that i was diagnosed with PJP pneumonia, and i was told i had a cd4 count of 71 and percentage of 2! also, my VL was about 257,000 They immediately started me on HAART and of course bactrim. I was discharged from the hospital 3 days after being admitted since i was doing pretty good, and then 30 days after starting HAART I got blood work done again and my cd4 count was up to 174, the percentage was 13%, and i was almost undetectable (2000 copies/ ml) Now my question is, Since i waited until my cd4 count was so low to start treatment, is there a possibility that with medication it could recover to more normal levels around 600? or is it likely it will be always pretty low? Are the numbers normal for someone who has been on HAART for 30 days?

By the way, i have started training again to play competitive tennis :)

Thank you!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Excellent that you are back to playing tennis. A 100 cell increase is a great response in 30 days. Although it is possible to get back to a CD4 count of 600, in general, the lower the CD4 count is when you start HIV meds, the longer it takes and less likely it could be. You will likely see a further increase once your viral load is undetectable. How high it will go is hard to predict currently.

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