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cd4, VL and treatment follow-up
Jun 2, 2004

Dear doc, I am writing this as a follow-up to my question on May 31st. It seems that the test results I got last week were somehow wrong. The repeat tests came out significantly better. My CD4 count is 439 instead of 230 (down from 510 in september 2003) and CD4% is 16.57% (down from 17.10% in september 2003). VL is 82000 so almost no change there either (63000 and 69000 previously). I feel relieved. However my doctor is somewhat inclined to start therapy since he thinks my VL is a bit high and CD4 is below 500. What do you think? Thanks a lot!

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your follow up.

I have a mixed answer for you. Gladdly, it looks like your CD4 absolute count changes were not reflected in any real change in your CD4 percentage. So while the absolute CD4 count wouldn't necessarily prompt me to recommend treatment, your relatively low CD4 percentage does.

A CD4% of 14 is, roughly speaking, equivalent to a typical absolute count of 200-- namely the AIDS defining lab value. Your CD4%s are pretty close to this threshold, and if you were my patient, I'd be beginning the discussion about HIV medication options. This does not mean that you must start today, but probably in the near future.

Have a lengthy discussion with your doctor about what your potential options are-- good luck, let us know how things go. BY



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