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Amazing results Four years on... "long term non-progressor"?
Aug 6, 2003

I know that you professionals don't use crystal balls...So I will ask a question based on your experiences. How common is for + people to have a substantial increases in Cd4 counts and a considerable drop in the Viral Load without the use of ART nearly 5 years after sero-conversion?? In the last 9 months my Cd4 has risen from 860 to 1340 (Up 480) and my Viral Load down from 15 000 to 3000. Is there a possibility I am on track to becoming a "long term non-progressor"? Your resonse would be greatly appreciated.

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

I think that the core part of your question actually centers on the amount of variation that we normally see in CD4 counts and viral loads.

In my experience, when a CD4 count is in the normal range (like your 860), there is quite a bit of variation, including numbers that increase or decrease-- but typically within that normal range. I'd have you look at your CD4 percentages, to see if they also show a similar increase. My guess is that the percentages don't show the same 50% increase (that you see in the rise between the two absolute numbers).

As for the viral load changes, a difference between 15000 and 3000 is, of course good to see, but also within the limits of normal variation-- about 5-fold. As such, I'm not sure (based on just two tests) that the differences actually represent a change. Either way, having a viral load in the low thousands is a good thing, and is predictive of having slower than average disease progression. BY



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