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VL is down but T-Cells Down too
Dec 21, 2002

I just started my first treatment regimen one month ago -Ziagen/Epivir/Sustiva. It has been very good for me -almost no side effects. I just got my first labs at 4 weeks and they were mixed. VL=165 and tcells=154. Before starting treatment, my VL=94,000 and Tcells=195. My doctor says the VL drop is great and expects even better test results in 4 weeks. But why are tcells dropping? He tells me this is not that rare and he expects they will level off and or go up by my next test. Do you agree? should I be concerned at this point? (everything else on chem-screen was normal)

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

It's clear that the regimen that you're taking has done a great job in reducing your viral load. This fact has very strong and good predictions for the future success of the regimen.

As for the CD4 cell counts, I really don't look too hard at the CD4s at the first month, since I don't expect to see large changes. Indeed, I'd encourage you to examine the CD4 cell percentages-- it's quite possible that the percentages have remained the same or might even have gone up. This is another way of stating that CD4 absolute levels can change an awful amount from day to day, or even hour to hour. Any single test on CD4 cells must take this into account.

Hope this helps, keep up the good work with adherence. -BY

What should I take?
Should I start treatment now?

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