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Understanding Your LabsUnderstanding Your Labs
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Aug 11, 2012

Hello, I'm 24 Years old, gay, Diagnosed on Feb 2012, first labs where CD4 540, VL 9000. My boyfriend is also infected, we discovered it at the same time, we weren't having safe sex but now we do it all the time. He's taking medications since march but I don't. The thing is that 6 months latter mi CD4 increased to 990 and VL to 12000.


Is it normal that my CD4 were from 540 to 990 in six months without any treatment?

taking vitamins and supplements can be the reason of that increase?

Can I start Treatment with this results?

Is it possible that it's a mistake?. We both got our blood tests the same day and in the same place, he went from CD4 280 and VL 56K to CD4 450 and VL 281 (kind of normal being on treatment) so, I don't think is possible that there's a mistake.

should I repeat the labs?

thanks for your time... I really appreciate it.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

First, you can't compare your results to your friends, as there are many reasons why you would both have different numbers. The differences in your two viral load levels are not significant and within assay variation. Finally, your CD4 counts are are different, but both within the normal range. The CD4 count can vary for a number of reasons including time of day, after immunizations, stress, with other ongoing medical conditions, different labs, among other reasons. Another number to watch is the CD4 percent which is a more stable number over time. It is unlikely that the vitamins resulted in this change. Many experts would suggest starting HIV treatment with your numbers.

When to start ARV meds
Hiv Viral Load & cd4

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