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Confusing CD4 & Viral Load results
Jun 17, 2004

I am positive for the past 21 months. Test results at the end of each 3 months are: (VL-CD4) 47,000(789), 12,500(700), 14,000(680), 41,700(650), 10,800(650), 19,700(625), 56,700(675), 33,500(500), 65,000(500). The VL jumps around but the CD4's slowly fall. I am not on med's. Do you recommend that I just continue to monitor my results or should I start meds'?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

You're correct in your summary of your test results. Viral loads do jump around quite a bit-- up to a 5-fold variation can be seen in tests without any real clinical significance. When I see changes that are repeatedly greater than 10-fold, then I'll begin to ask about changes in disease status.

Your CD4s do seem to exhibit a very slow decline over the past year or so, but still well within a range that wouldn't prompt me to recommend starting therapy, unless you were having active symptoms (like fever, unexplained fatigue or weight loss).

I'd continue to monitor things.

Good luck and thanks for reading. BY



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