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Tested postive for Hepatitis B and HIV
Apr 12, 1999

Dr. Holodniy, I am a 19 year-old female who recently started seeing someone during the summer of 1998. We always used protection, but then stopped because I trusted him. Then around August, I was constantly ill, with infections ranging from minor ones such as fatigue to serious bacterial infections. I began to lose weight, and I thought for a while that I had mononucleosis. In November of 1998, I donated blood to the Red Cross. On December 12th, I received a letter saying that my blood was rejected because I had tested positive for Hepatitis B. I was relieved because I was HIV negative. I did not let this concern me until my boyfriend told me he tested positive for chlamydia. I then voluntarily got tested for all STD's including HIV. On March 5th 1999, my HIV antibody tests were positive, as well as the PCR DNA. The Western Blot test revealed 5 bands. My CD4 count is 701, viral load is 11,000, and CD4/CD8 ratio is .8. My boyfriend also tested positive, with about nine bands showing up on the Western Blot. His CD4 count was 540 and his CD4/CD8 ration is .7. His viral load is unknown because he has not returned to the doctor. I was wondering if you could maybe tell me how long you thought I had had this since my test in November was negative. Also, why would his CD4 cells be so much lower? Is it because he was exposed before I was? As a college student, I tend to drink a little. My boyfriend tends to drink even more than I do. Does this make us more susceptible to becoming ill? Could this also be a cause as to why his CD4 count it lower? Thank you, MS

Response from Dr. Holodniy

It's hard to know what might be different between the two of you. It sounds like your infection was relatively recent. The virus affects everyone differently. It may be related to differences in your immune systems abilities to control the virus. It may relate to different labs, times of day, or other illnesses affecting the T cell counts. MH



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