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Extra Questions to help someone who is positive, lookin for answer to help
Jan 9, 2003

Is it "Normal" for someone to drop 400 or so tcells in 6 weeks? With a Viral Load that was undetectable, and Now their vload is 16,000... I know the vload is still low, but if the pt's tcells are so close to being classified as being AIDS should this person start medication again? Or should they wait for another blood test.... Your help is very appreicated...

Response from Dr. Wohl

When in doubt, check it out. Unexpected wild and rapid swings in lab tests deserve repeat testing. A good thing about being an HIV doc is that there are few antiretroviral emergencies. Almost always there is some luxury of time.

Even if the T-cells really have dropped to 199, it is not like you will get PCP in the next 72 hours. People walk around with counts below 100 for years and have no idea they are HIV+. Also, as we frequently advise, don't only look at the absolute CD4 cell count but also see if the CD4 percent has changed much. The CD4 percent will help you and your clinician understand if a major, minor or no real shift in CD4 cells has happened. DW

aids & hiv
Should we start with the treatment.

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