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HIV viral load / rate of CD4 decline
Aug 4, 2001

Hello. I wonder if you would share your opinion with me please ? In late Jan 01 I tested CD4 640;VL not detectable(to 400 copies). Now, in Jul my CD count was 550; VL not detectable ; The has gone from 35 to 31 ?

Therefore in 6 months my CD4 cells have declined by 90 ! Extrapolating that, it means that I will have 500 cells by December ... which is not very good news.

I am feeling really depressed as I had read that persons with undetectable viral loads normally experience a loss of 30 CD4 cells every year (or approx 15 in 6 month period). Can this simply be a 'blip' in the lab (my doctor used the same lab, both blood samples were drawn at the same time of day, and I did not have flu on either date), or does this mean I am destined to be a rapid progressor ? My doctor is confused and has brushed my concern off by blaming lab variations.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The change in CD4 count and percentage would be considered a significant change. Another snapshot would help determine if the trend is real.



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