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How good is my immune system?

Feb 28, 2000

I was diagnosed HIV positive in December 1997. I must have been infected 2 years before that, as I had had a test and it was negative (stupidly, I didn't retest after 3 months)in late 1995.

My CD4 count has always remained above 500, and my viral load has never risen above 1500. I am not on any drug regime. I attend regular three monthly check ups and try to live healthy, although I smoke. The only symptoms that could possibly be related to HIV infection are that I get IBS (but this is in my family anyway,) and once I got a herpes like rash near my eye, which went in a week. What does this tell you about the status of my immune system?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Your immune system is pretty good thus far. That low, but detectable viral load is a bit high for my comfort. Most people with long term nonprogression (>10 years of infection) have viral loads <500, and CD4 >500. As long as the CD4 cells are hanging tight, probably nothing needs to be done. If the start to drop, treatment should be started.


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