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My partial lab results

Dec 29, 2013

Hello Dr. Holodniy:

I was diagnosed HIV+ a little over a year ago. I started with atripla almost right away. From my initial lab results, my doctor told me I was infected about 4 years ago, which is consistent with what I consider possible.

I was diagnosed during pre-op tests (ordered by my dentist), meaning I was feeling fine and in good health at the time (and still, thank the Lord).

So, my initial labs were: cd4: 400 Viral load: 700 (and other data I don't remember)

I live in Venezuela, here the government provides free HIV/AIDS medication for all who are diagnosed, given to us consistently once a month. Cd4 and viral load tests are also free of charge, but sometimes it takes time to get an appointment.

I was supposed to get re-tested 6 months after starting treatment. I had to wait almost a year, but they are back, partialy. I only got Cd4/Cd8 results, the viral load result is still pending (the told me to wait after new year's eve to go get them).

So, my NEWER results (just the ones I did get) are:

cd3: 1739 cd4: 732 cd8: 894 cd4/cd8 index: 0,8

I know my cd4 got a 300+ bump, that's good. But all the rest, could you please tell me. I know I must wait to get the viral load result before going to see my doctor again (she told me so), but could you please interpret the partial information I have.

Thank you.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

CD3 cells are all t lymphocyte cells which includes CD4 and CD8 cells. The CD8 cells are t lymphocytes which are the major cell that fights HIV. They usually are higher than CD4 cells in people with HIV infection. The CD4/CD8 index or ratio is usually between 1-2 in people without HIV infection. Yours is slightly below that because your CD8 count is increased, even though your CD4 count is in the normal range.

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