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Number Variation
Oct 29, 2003

How much variance should be expected in tcell counts between 3 month check-ups? My count went from 655 to 646, is this of concern? My VL has been : 3,500 (11/02) 5,500 (2/03) 39,000 (4/03) 15,000 (10/03)

Are these fluctuations normal and would you recommend treatment yet?

Do treatment potencies vary based on what your above numbers would look like? And if you take a less potent treatment, do you have less side effects? Would you recommend postponing treatment as long as possible?

Thank you for this website, it is of invaluable help.

Response from Dr. Young

Looks like all of your numbers are, generally speaking, without any significant variation. Look at your CD4 counts-- the 9 cell difference is not significant-- there can be a lot of variation here, up to 15-20 percent of the total from day to day. Similarly for viral loads, a 5-fold variation can be seen from day to day, without anything going on medically speaking. Hence, one day's 15000 could be another day's 3000 or 45000.

In these ranges, there is little to think that your numbers imply a lower potency of HIV medications-- usually only thought of in persons with high (>100,000) viral loads or very low (<50) CD4 cells.

Good luck and thanks for reading. BY


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