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low cd4, ND viral, starting haart?
Jan 24, 2000

43y/o male was in hosp recently for "unusual" (dr.'s words) throat infection, learned cd4 was 162, viral is <400. long history of heavy drug (incl IV) abuse; seroconversion prolly in 1985. doc wrote scripts for combivir, nevirapine & bactrim. social worker believes i shuld hold off taking meds since virals are so low, stating the drugs dont lift cd4, but lower virals. 2 questions: does my scandinavian heritage affect HIV as i've ben told? and does such a cocktail open the door for possible resistance later on? thnx!

Response from Dr. Holodniy

I would agree with your doctor. Just because you can't measure viral load in the blood, doesn't mean that there is no virus replicating and destroying t cells. Your CD4 got to 162 for a reason. Alternatively, it could be a viral strain that the kind of test you received can't detect. Thus, your viral load is falsely low. Genetics might play a factor. I am not sure we know enough yet. Resistance is always possible for a variety of reasons, but not likely, since treatment now should effectively turn replication off in the areas of your body we cant measure. MH



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