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908 Checking in.....
Dec 2, 2002

Dr Young,

Well, I got my labs back from my 90 day visit...so after three months on this combo, some mixed news, and I'm not quite sure how to react. I'm still kind of new to this & not sure what all the numbers mean. So here goes.....

8/2002 VL: 376,000 CD4: 262 : 31 9/2002 VL: 4,000 CD4: 466 : 33 10/2002 VL: 270 CD4: 423 : 42.5

My two main concerns are a) my CD4 went down by 43 and b) my VL is still detectable.

My doctor said these numbers are excellent, and while I want to believe him, I would like your opinion as well. He said he was encouraged with my "percentage" What does this mean? He also said that a VL of 270 was as good as undetecable. This is the first time I have ever heard THAT.

Is it normal for VL to go down but also have CD4 go down?

Numbers aside, I am happy to report that ALL of the side effects that I had during the first few weeks are G-O-N-E and all the other blood tests (liver, cholest, etc) were normal or better......

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your follow up.

I'm with your doctor on these results. The viral load response is an excellent one, particularly if you note that your baseline viral load was quite high. I'd continue to expect a decrease in the viral load, eventually reaching the magical level of less than 50 copies. The total CD4 count has, as you've noted gone down, but the CD4 percentage has actually gone up quite a bit.

These responses, especially in light of the improvement in your symptoms and other lab tests are very encouraging.

Thanks again for the follow up. -BY


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