Aug 22, 2002
Iwas tested HIV+ about 5years ago and two weeks ago had for the first time done my cd4 count and viral, it comes out that my cd4 count is 80 and my viral load is 3700. What is the meaning of this. And is there some herbal things or something I can use to boost my cd4 without having to go antiritrovirals. Your help will greatly be appreciated, coz Im sos worried and confused and I don't know what to do. Thanking you in advance
Response from Dr. Young
Thanks for your questions--
A CD4 count of 80 is very, very low and is a very serious condition. This means that you have advanced HIV disease and AIDS (even if you feel well). Persons with a CD4 count below 100, without effective antiretroviral therapy have a nearly 1 in 3 chance of having a life threatening illness in one year (based on data from the CDC).
Your viral load of 3800 is good, as it is lower than average, and means that most drug therapies should work well, provided that you and your healthcare provider can find ones that are easy to be adherent to.
If you live in the Unites States, there is no other recommendation that to link up closely with a experienced HIV care provider. With her, you can start on effective antiretroviral therapies- usually three drug therapies. Such therapies have a very reasonable chance of restoring your immune function and reducing your risk of death.
As for herbal things or other alternatives; I'd find little time or space to recommend them for your with your degree of immunosuppression. Recall that many herbal products were experimented with prior to the advent of combination antiretroviral medications; none have resulted in meaningful immune reconstitution and certainly have not been associated with reduction in death or morbitity.
Hope this doesn't sound too dogmatic, but I can speak from the experience of trying everything for my patients prior to 1995 only to attend the funerals of the large majority of my patients. This trend stopped once we had effective treatments- namely antiretroviral combinations.
Good luck, stay in touch. -BY
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