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What does my labs tell me
Apr 17, 2003

My first lab results in December of 2002 showed my viral load at 93,000, my cd4 at 341 and my cd4 at 14. Three months later, in March 2003, my viral load is 135,000, my cd4 at 396 and my cd4 at 12. I was obviously pleased to see my cd4 raise, but a little concerned to see a raise in viral load and lower in percentage. What is your opinion on these numbers. Overall is it good news, bad news or indifferent news. With these numbers and as I have no symptoms, is waiting to start taking meds a wise choice? Is there any way to guess how long before I will need to start meds based on this trendline?

Thanks for your help!

Response from Dr. Young

Looking at your labs, I'd actually have more concerns about your status and risk of having a complication (sorry).

A person with a CD4 percentage of 12 (or 14 for that matter) has met the laboratory criteria for AIDS, irrespective of total CD4 count. Indeed, your viral load of greater than 100,000 also places (independent from CD4) at higher risk of having an AIDS event.

It is reassuring that you do not have any symptoms of HIV or AIDS, but if you were my patient, I'd be recommending beginning the process of lining up antiretroviral medications.

Good luck. BY



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