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Life Expectancy

Jul 1, 2012

Dear Doctor, I was HIV diagnosed two months ago. My CD4 were 158 (without OIs). The doctor told me to start ARV treatment immediately. I have one month taking Atripla and I feel better. However, I am worried about life expectancy because I started ARV treatment with a low CD4 count. Please, could you tell me about this? On the other way, could it be possible that stress had worsened my CD4 initial test? Thanks a lot for your support.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

This is usually a very difficult question to answer and depends on many factors including age when HIV infection was acquired, other underlying medical conditions, amount of immune system damage when diagnosed, underlying genetics and therefore ones immune system for controlling the infection (with or without HIV meds), among other reasons. Although stress can affect CD4 count, your low count is unlikely to be the result of just stress alone.

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