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How I feel doesn't match improvement in Labs
Dec 30, 2012

Hi

I was dx last April, VL was >500,000 and CD4 was 140. After starting meds Viral load came down to 100 range within 6 weeks, now it is bouncing back and froth between 48 and 110 over the last 4 draws, 1 month apart. The CD4 count is greater than 300 and keeps going up. I want to be "undetectable" but understand I may have to wait longer.

I was very compromised when DX, I have improved but am nowhere near where I was the summer before I was Dx. I am very deconditioned, I can not walk fast or run, HR in the 110s most of the time. Tol meds well, just not back to the guy who ran 3-6 miles 3 times a week the summer before I stated getting sick.

Every provider I have seen says I will get better, yet I have not met any of the marks along the way they expect. I'm very discouraged. Any insight?

Thanks

Response from Dr. Holodniy

It sounds like you have had a very good CD4 count response so far. Another number to follow is the CD4 percent, which I assume has also increased significantly since starting HIV treatment. Your viral load was very high before starting HIV treatment. Sometimes it takes 6 months or more to get to undetectable levels with such high levels. I assume a resistance test was obtained before starting HIV treatment and that it did not show any resistance to HIV meds, and particularly the ones you are currently taking. Sometimes additional HIV meds, or a change in HIV meds might be necessary to get your viral load to undetectable. With regards to your fatigue, etc, I assume your doctors have checked your thyroid functions, testosterone levels, and other basic blood tests to make sure nothing is out of whack, that could be accounting for your symptoms.



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