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Surgical Transmission 48 and Scared to Death
Aug 14, 2000

I don't know where to begin. I received word of HIV Positive after giving blood for a knee surgery 3 years ago in August of 1997. I was put on a triple therapy when undetectable of AZT, 3TC and Viracept. My reaction was horrible, with mud-like substance coming out of me. I did this for over a year -- then switched to Combivir for less than a year, which worked wonderfully. I have had 9 orthopedic surgeries -- congenital hip dysplasia, now two artificial hips and a knee. I gave up the pills altogether a year ago. Now my viral by RNA PCR was 7,287 (in July) with CD4 count from 600-684. RNA by DNA in Feb. showed 3,777. I was told not to start pills again. I would like to go back on Combivir alone. It worked for me. What's the difference between RNA by DNA and RNA by PCR? Everything I read about HIV is different, complicated and very, very scary. Looks like pure guesswork. Will there be an answer? What about the silver pulser, water purifier system. I have no symptoms, but am scared --------. How long of a lifespan will I have -- quality of life??? My doctors are really of no help and I shake from fear all the time now. I had a fluke in a test in June showing viral load 26,925. All this stuff seems to fluctuate like blood pressure, due to stress, shots, whatever. I feel my life is completely over. This is not so much a physical disease, but a horrible mental one, hanging on a tightrope ready to fall at any time. Thank you, J.N.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

There are different kinds of viral load assays. Both measure the same thing, that is, HIV RNA in blood plasma. One test uses PCR technology, the other uses bDNA technology. A viral load from the same sample will show somewhat different results, about 2 times different. Those two results that you got are essentially the same.

MH



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