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AIDS before HIV
Aug 11, 2012

I tested negative for HIV in February 2012, but tested positive in March 2012 after being admitted to the hospital for Rhabdomyolysis. My CD4 count was 372, my viral load was well over 1,000,000, and my CD4% was 7%. I have been told that this is an AIDS diagnosis. How can I have transitioned from HIV to AIDS in less than 1 month? Is that possible?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

A CD4 percent of < 14% can by used to define AIDS. From what you describe, this is likely acute infection (given the previously negative test one month prior) where the CD4 count and percent can drop significantly, but increase once the immune system recognizes the infection and gets ahold of it. Thus, your counts could certainly improve over the next few weeks as the viral load is coming done. However, if they don't, HIV treatment could be considered sooner rather than later to get your CD4 count and percent up more quickly.



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