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Need Help Please...HTLV Question
Dec 5, 2003

I was dx. 1 year ago as HIV+. Since then my CD4 count as gone from 740 to over 1000, and my VL has always been undectable. Everyone is confused with me. I have never been on meds, I have never been sick or shown any S&Sx. of HIV. I have had 3 tests though and all were HIV+. Today I went to a well known University Hospital HIV Clinic, where I even baffled them (my ID doc sent me there, because he didn't know what to do with me). They said the same thing, they had no idea what to say to me or to do with me. They are running a HTLV 1 and HTLV 2 and a B-DNA test in hopes that this will pick up my viral load. But after this, they said if it comes back normal they don't have an answer other than I am slow progressor. Can you give some insight here on what you might think, as well as what those 3 tests are and if I am + for one of them, am I still HIV+. Thanks a million! All of you are wonderful people, I visit this site every day!!!

Response from Dr. Pierone

It sounds like you fit into the category of a slow-progressor or non-progressor. I don't know what to tell you either except that you are not alone. We have about a dozen people that we take care of with either completely undetectable viral load or level that range from 75 to 200. Like you they are on no medications and feel well. From a practical perspective, you should have periodic blood testing to monitor for activation of this apparently dormant HIV infection. In one sense you are lucky, most people have to take HIV cocktails to achieve undetectable status, but your immune system has done the job for you at much less expense and trouble.

You may want to get involved in a clinical trial that looks at people in your situation. This depends of course on where you live and how interested you are in donating blood and possibly lymph nodes to help basic scientists better understand how to control HIV and develop new targets for treatment. Good luck!



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