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VL and TCell trend
Jul 29, 2001

Hello Doctor,

Thanks for taking the time to answer all these questions.

My first test in late December was VL 19,000 and Tcell 650, my second test was VL 743 and Tcell 635, my third test, which I got back a couple days ago was VL 19,000 and Tcell 850. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. My doctor says they're fine and I can come back in another 3 months to check again, but I would like to hear what you think. I've been taking some products such as ambrotose complex, phytaloe (mix of veggies and fruits) and Plus (L-Glutamic acid, L-Glycine, L-Lysine, L-Arginine, Beta Sitosterol) when I found out that I was HIV positive in December.

When I found out I was positive I felt a bit depressed and stopped going to the gym and started eating like a pig, but started these products. By the way, I'm not on meds yet.

Do you think the increase of my VL back to where they were in the beginning is due to my lack of sleep, poor eating habits and lack of exercise? Do I have any control of VL while not on medication? I think my Tcell count went up because of the products I've been using and I've also been juicing almost every day. Thanks again for your time!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

We have very little understanding about what herbs, or any other nutritional or vitamin supplement may do to the immune system, or how they may affect viral replication. Additionally, we have very little data on what stress, bad living habits do to these numbers as well. Although it's possible that you created an intervention to lower the viral load, it would require you in most cases to have stopped what you were doing in order to have the viral load come back to your baseline. I can't explain it unless, the middle result was the result of lab error and it wasn't your viral load at all. Current guidelines suggest, given your CD4 count and viral load, you can afford to wait with respect to starting HIV therapy. MH



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